August 2008 Newsletter
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Word from the Owner David Perez
So far, so great! We started the winter season in June with probably the most birds seen on the property since we started operating. The birds came back from the harvest season on June 1 “as programmed” and the shooting has been fantastic!
At the lodge, things are running very smoothly. We brought back the same staff as last year and as usual Alex and Jessica are running a tight ship. We made some nice improvements at the lodge including redecorating the living and dining areas.
Finally, we had several groups come this June and July that have been to lodge 6-7 years in a row. For these group leaders like Fowler, Holmes, Hollier/ Sturlese, Lipsey and McClinton, we send you a special thanks for being the Los Chanares pioneers! To everybody else, thank you for helping make our lodge in Cordoba the best around!
Shooting Update from Alex Mitri
The bird situation is better than ever! There are several factors that caused this June and July to be the best since we started. First, the roost is in very good condition due to the very cold winter last year that killed all the bugs that affect the Piquillin (thorn bush) and Chanar tree. Second, there was a record crop in Cordoba last year and with many more hectares planted with corn. Finally, there were good rains in January and February which means all the streams are flowing well. So there has been a perfect storm of habitat, food and water.
At Los Chanares, Martin continues to do an excellent job of renting new fields and optimizing current fields. We have built several new roads to take advantage of some of our third party farm rentals and we are putting water holes in every one of our “landing strips” where we place corn. Of particular note is La Rouverre, which is the field to the right when you drive out the front gate. This property has seen an incredible increase in birds due to our game management program. At this time we continue discovering “ honey holes” inside this property.
Featured Employee – Viviana Ordonez
When you arrive at the lodge, you surely will remember the face of Vivianna Ordonez as she hands you a hot towel in winter time or a nice cool one in summer time. Vivi is the smiling face that greets our clients. Her small size and smiling face always have a lasting impression on our clients. Vivi is also in charge of the laundry service at the lodge.
Despite being small in size, Vivi has a huge character. She arrives on her chopper motorcycle everyday that intimidates most of the bird boys. She has 2 brothers that work as bird boys – Milton and Gonzalo. Her family also rents us one of our most important fields outside of Los Chanares.
The Latest and Greatest Improvement
In April and May, Alex and Jessica decided it was time to redecorate the lodge. After 3 years of small improvements, we wanted to spice things up and surprise our clients who have been coming with us for many years. We converted the dining area with the two fire places into a very comfortable living area. Clients can now enjoy the most comfortable area of the lodge late into the evenings. The dining was expanded to a capacity of up to 22 people and it is now located inside next to the kitchen. Finally, we have a new business center with a computer, hi-speed Internet and a printer. We hope these changes will improve your experience at the lodge and make you feel more at home!
Frequently Asked Question
One of the most commonly asked a question at the lodge is where are the shells made? We buy 95% of our shells from a company called RD in Tucuman, Argentina. Tucuman is a province that is 4 hours north by car from the lodge. The owner of the shell factory Firmo Roberto bought the largest ammo company Orbea in the 90s and merged it into his company Roberti Deportes (RD).
RD is considered the preeminent shell manufacturer in South America and hopes to export to the developed world in the next 3-5 years. The shells have come a long way in terms of quality over the last five years. This is due to the hard work and ingenuity of the Roberti family. The biggest change was 3 years ago when the company began its own internal production of the primers. Recently the company started production of its own powder since the Argentina military is the only supplier of powder and is extremely unreliable. RD hopes to manufacture 100 million shells next year.
The cost of shells has more than doubled in the last 3 years. This is mainly due to an increase in the price of lead, plastic and general Argentine inflation. Los Chanares was able to hold prices this year because we bought all of our 2008 shells in July 2007 before the run-up in commodity prices. Next June unfortunately the price of shells will rise to $12 a box, but we hope to use our purchasing power to maintain the costs as much as possible.
Argentina Summer/Fall Dates
Some of the best shooting of the property are during the warmer months of October-March. We have had strong interest for these dates especially the month of February. There are still some excellent dates available in January and March where you can enjoy the sunflower shooting. Finally, don’t forget about our incredible father/son deal in November and December where the father pays $1,800 and the son goes free.
Thank you very much for your time and hope to hear from you, sometime soon.