Hi, my name is JJ and I’d like to give you some pieces of advice for you to have an unmatchable Argentina dove hunting hard to forget, that will last in your memory for the rest of your life.
Once you’ve decided on your Argentina dove hunting trip, you’ll have millions of doves to shoot with granted success, but taking into account my advice you’ll enhance greatly your dove hunting adventure.
After 15 years’ experience as a dove hunting outfitter and having hosted over 8,000 hunters, I’m able to conclude that the Argentina dove hunting is something that needs to be lived in order to experience yourself the unbelievable volume of doves we have in Argentina, where we usually shoot a box of 25 shells every three minutes.
Practice makes perfect so before coming for an incredible Argentina dove hunting, it would be a good idea to do some shooting at home. Of course you won’t feel the same emotion of the high dove numbers we’ve got in Argentina, but this practice will be very useful to improve your shooting ability. Another good option is to do some clay shooting with spots very similar to the ones for dove hunting in Argentina.
Guns and shells
It’s very important to choose the shotgun caliber. In my opinion, the best is a 20 gauge shotgun loaded with 7/8 oz or also a 28 gauge with 3/4 oz. A 410 gauge shotgun is a good caliber too, but in Argentina we only have 410 shells of 2 inches loaded with 2/4 oz., and I consider them a little weak, so for that reason I won’t recommend it. There are still a few hunters though, who come Argentina dove hunting for their first time and bring their 12 gauge shotguns, but in my experience let me tell you that after half a day of dove hunting in Argentina, they end up with a sore shoulder, and they decide to go on with a 20 gauge shotgun instead. I don’t blame them!
As regards the kind of shotgun system, there are over and under, side by side, pump action and semiautomatic. The best option is semi auto shotguns, since they offer less recoil effect, and they can hold four shells to shoot. This is an advantage especially considering the doves’ dynamic and erratic flight which sometimes makes us fail shots we give for granted (in Argentina there’s no limit as to the number of shells in the magazine).
For pellets, we use number 7, 71/2, and 8 and the ones that dove hunters favor is number 8 when there’s no wind and number 7 on windy days, although most of them choose 71/2.
As regards chokes, the most appropriate for Argentina dove hunting is undoubtedly number 3 or modified. I’ve seen lots of doves easily falling down between 30 and 45 yards using this kind of chokes.
When you want to go dove hunting near home, you need to scout yourself or to send someone to do it for you beforehand. But when you come Argentina dove hunting, we’ve got every single detail taken care of for you. You just need to come and enjoy this ultimate dove shooting experience in Argentina. Remember we work harder and harder to satisfy all your and our hundreds of dove hunters’ needs every year always striving to offer you all the best Argentina dove hunting you’ve ever thought about!
Argentina dove hunting Fields and Seasons
Once in the field and having chosen your gun and with your shells in hand, you’re ready for an incredible Argentina dove hunting. As a hunter myself, I’ve been shooting doves all over Argentina, but I can tell you in all honesty that there’s no other area as the east of the province of Cordoba that can offer such high standards for dove shooting. Cordoba is the second most important province in Argentina, the one with the most developed agricultural activity, and as a result, it offers the most grain for doves to eat, with the largest dove reproduction rate in the world. Just imagine this number: in Arroyito, where we have one of the largest dove roosts of about 1,200 acres, there live 20 million doves which hatch five times a year, laying two eggs each hatch. Amazingly, the little doves that are born after the first hatch in September are ready to reproduce again by late November. This makes an incalculable number of doves flying all over your head!
I would also like to add that the east of Cordoba, where we are located, is a flat area, 90% of it very well exploited for agriculture and, having all the grain doves need, they stay in the permanent big roosts all year round. Our high volume non-stop shooting is not affected by the crops and our doves are non-migratory birds in the east of Cordoba, the area where we do all our dove hunts. We usually shoot around the roosts, or in the dove feeding spots nearby and we can always guarantee you high dove population in all the fields where we shoot. In the eastern areas where we are located then, doves don’t migrate as it happens in the northern areas of the province. In the north of Cordoba the roosts are in the mountains, without close agricultural activity. From May to August, our coldest season, doves in the north migrate to flatter areas in search for food, setting up temporary roosts. Birds are sometimes harder to find and this may imply longer distances from the northern lodges to the hunting fields. That’s the main reason why JJ Caceria’s whole Argentina dove hunting operation is located in the east of Cordoba, in order to provide continuous, unlimited dove volume shooting all year round near the lodge!
As to decoys, I won’t say much about it, since in Argentina we don’t use them for dove hunting.
We organize hunts considering a number of factors. From August to April, when doves are reproducing, you shoot by the roosts. We’ve got about 200 blinds, 5 feet high x 10 feet wide, strategically located around the roosts and it’s very comfortable for hunters to shoot behind them. They are big enough for one or two hunters and their bird boys. Safety is of prime importance to us, that’s why blinds are placed on a straight line running side by side with the roosts. Wind is another important factor that can make a difference to offer more challenging hunts, according to hunters’ preferences and experience. For example, if hunters like to shoot low doves with a straight flyway, we place them behind blinds with doves flying against the wind. But, for hunters who prefer harder shots or for those more experienced, we place them behind blinds with doves flying with the wind or with the wind blowing to them on one of their sides, which makes their flight faster, higher and more unpredictable, in a zigzag pattern. Another hunters’ favorite shooting spot is near places where doves go drink water. We have even made a pond near the roost and millions of doves go there every evening before going back to the roost. This is a shot in all directions going no farther than 20 yards away.
From May to July, though, our coldest months, our morning shooting plan changes. During our winter, 100% of the doves leave the roost early in the first 45 minutes of the morning heading towards sorghum, corn and soy fields to feed themselves. We wait for them right there making blinds out of branches and bushes in the area. Doves fly about 10 and 15 miles a day looking for food and to see them coming to their feeding spots is just out of this world, it’s like smoke clouds getting closer and closer! In the evening, dove hunts are very similar all year round, and countless doves go back to their roosts. You can choose to shoot either in the roosts or in the ponds where they drink water.
I would also like to mention that February is many dove hunters’ favorite time of the year because it’s the sunflower’s season.
Although many hunters prefer to shoot sitting on a stool, I believe it’s better to shoot standing up because we can rotate our bodies freely and this gives us a wider swing. To shoot effectively you should do the following: when you see a flock coming, lift your shotgun and choose the dove you want to shoot. It’s always better to pick the first in the group because that will allow you a second shot in case you miss or to shoot another one if you hit the first one. Once you chose your bird, rest your shotgun on your shoulder and keep the swing with the same speed as your dove flight and without stopping, pull the trigger softly, don’t pull it backwards. If you see that after your shooting, the dove doesn’t change its flyway, it’s very likely that your shot was a little bit behind the bird, so you should shoot a little bit more to the front next time. If you see then, that after your shot, the dove moves slightly up or down or stops its flight for a second, it’s probably because your shooting was a little bit in front of it. It’s essential, then, to observe and watch carefully the dove movement when shooting so as to correct the next shot. Another important tip is to swing continuously at the moment of pulling the trigger because, even if your bird is in front of your barrel, if you stop the swing, your shot will always end up behind the bird. This is a very common mistake in beginning hunters.
It’s not necessary to wear camo for Argentina dove hunting. You should rather bring comfortable tanned or caki clothes. Ear plugs, shooting glasses, shoulder pads, gloves, a hat and a shell bag are essential items you will always need. Mosquitoes are not a problem but if you come during our warmer seasons, some repelent and sun block will also be useful.
Your birdboy will be helping you all the time during your Argentina dove hunting. Although the dove volume is very high, he will point exactly at which doves to shoot, pick up your doves and shells, bring drinks and shells to you, count your hit birds, etc.. Many dove hunters who come to Argentina become members of the 1,000 Dove Club, for people who shoot and hit over 1,000 doves in a day! On average, hunters hit 65% of the doves they shoot, so in order to get their trophy and become proud members of the 1,000 Dove Club, they shoot about 1,500 rounds in a day!
Argentinian Beef Barbecue in the Field
After a great morning and a lot of action, it’s very relaxing to have a typical Argentinian beef barbecue in the field, for you to experience our most typical lunch sharing hunting stories, talking about the incredible dove shooting you are having or simply enjoying the outdoors among friends. Many of you will find a good nap on the hammocks very refreshing to gather more energy for another exciting dove hunt in the afternoon. Over the years, I’ve seen thousands of hunters having the time of their lives, from the ones who shoot to break records to those who just take it easy, drop their guns from time to time and just enjoy the whole Argentina dove hunting adventure, something that needs to be experienced rather than explained…
My advice as a hunter is that if you really like shooting as much as I do, you should treat yourself and come for the most awesome dove hunting in Argentina. There’s no other bird species in the world that can have this much concentration in the same area as eared doves do in Cordoba. The feeling you get when you see them flying all together and shoot them almost non-stop is something hard to forget that cannot be compared to any other wingshooting. Many have described the dove concentration as mosquito clouds on a marsh. It is an addictive shooting experience, and once you try it, you need to do it again.
Make it happen and choose Argentina dove hunting for your next shooting destination!