Bird Hunting Report October – 2009
Economic Slowdown Prompts
- Timeline: Right Now!
- Accommodations: Above average
- Food: Excellent
- Hunting: Easy
Most hunters associate hot-barreled dove hunting in South America with the spring and early summer, but the dove hunting season is a year round affair, and there are some cost effective opportunities dove hunting this fall in South America.
The Bird Hunting Report does not make it a practice to “shill” for outfitters but when there are attractively priced opportunities, we want to pass them onto you. In particular, Los Chanares has introduced an incentive for fall hunters. From October through December, hunters will pay $2,795 for four days and three nights, including airfare from Miami and hunting licenses (a $260 value). I have hunted at Los Chanares with my host Bo DuBose, and it is a well-run operation with an excellent quality of hunting. The lodge is owned by David Perez, an affable University of Texas grad who grew up in Florida, worked at Credit Suisse, and transferred to Buenos Aires some nine years ago. With the downfall of the currency in Argentina, Perez went into the equity business, managing farms and hence fell into the hunting business.
His manager and partner is Alex Mitri, from Columbia with a Lebanese father, who used to run Erland von Sneidern’s hunting operations in Columbia. Perez acquired Los Chanares from Serge Dompierre back in 2005.
If you put together a group of 10 hunters, you can control the lodge, which accommodates up to 14 people. One benefit of the dove hunting there is that all the shoots are within a 15-minute drive of the lodge. Perez leases or owns roughly 7,000 acres of shooting areas in the vicinity of the lodge. The lodge owns one of the main roosts in the area, located in the hills above the lodge. The lodge’s proximity to the roost is currently an advantage since some hunting has fallen off in the more agricultural areas because of recent drought conditions.
Perez reports that hunting is off now perhaps 50 percent throughout Cordoba because of the economic downturn. His lodge is down around 20 percent so he is offering some incentive pricing. Another positive is that there’s been less pressure on the doves.
The weather in the fall generally carries temperatures ranging from 60-80 degrees during the day and 40-60 overnight, so dress appropriately.
Los Chanares’ cook, Jessica, who used to have a restaurant in Buenos Aires, cooks dove for guests in every conceivable manner – dove kebabs, dove burritos, dove pâté, dove nuggets, you name it.
Ancillary costs at Los Chanares are $15-$20/day for tips, $35/day for guns and $65/day for licenses. Shells are $10.75 a box and a hunter averages 25 boxes per session.
To get to Los Chanares, fly to Cordoba, either via Santiago or Buenos Aires. The disadvantage of going through BA is the need to move from the international airport to the domestic airport, which is about an hour away, but BA is of course worth visiting if you have the time. Then Los Chanares is 120 kilometers or about a1 1/2-hour drive from Cordoba.
Perez has recently opened up a second lodge, which we have not been to, called Sierra Rava Lodge, also in Cordoba. His lodge has seven bedrooms, each with two twin sized beds and a private bathroom. If you can put together 14 people for this lodge, it’s $3,400 per day for the group, which ends up at $242/day instead of $330, which is still below the average in the area.
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