Dove Hunting at Estancia Los Chanares, Argentina, October 2005
Written by B.Fontenot, LA
The following is a day by day record of the dove hunt Mike Simm and I made with an excellent outfitter just north of the city of Cordoba, Argentina. While this was the most phenomenal dove hunt we have ever been on, it is important to note that this hunt almost did not take place. A few weeks before our hunting trip was supposed to occur, hurricane Rita hit the town of Delcambre (Mike’s office is there). The news said the town was completely under water. I called Mike to find out how bad his office was damaged. As we spoke he was on his way, boat in tow, to Delcambre to see if he still had an office. As we concluded our conversation we both agreed that there was no chance, in light of what happened, that we would be able to make the hunt. Two hours later my cell phone rang. It was Mike. He said “There’s no water in my office, I will be fine… DON’T CANCEL THE HUNT! The rest is history.
October 14- Afternoon hunt- 4:10 to 6:50—- 60 boxes of shells shot by me. Drive to field was 3 minutes…could have actually walked to the field. Under trees, 70 degrees, sun and wind to our back. Could have shot ’till 8 PM easily. Enough shooting for 1st day.
Dinner: Free range sirloin strip, new potatoes (similar to La Fonda’s), Opus One wine, coconut cake and ice cream with ice cream spritzer drink. It was cool that night so we finished the evening with a fine Port wine next to a warm fire in the study.
October 15- Wake-up call 8 AM.
Breakfast: Wonderful Brazilian coffee, orange juice, homemade muffins, waffles, eggs, bacon, ham, cereal, toast, grilled cheese, sweet milk caramel spread, and other selections to numerous to mention.
Morning hunt- 8:45 to noon—- 75 boxes of shells. Becoming apparent that this gigantic roost has phenomenal amounts of doves all around it. 7000 acres of property. Never putting any shooting pressure on doves..the place is too big! They can handle 15-20 hunters at one time easily. Their max for lodging is 17 persons in exclusive accommodations. Today, if Mike and I would shoot all day with no breaks, we could easily have shot 10 cases of shells each (just today). The drive to the field was a little over 3 minutes. Instead of devoting 1.5 to 3 hours per day driving to the fields, we can now use this extra time to enjoy wine with lunch and have plenty of time for a midday nap without sacrificing hunting time.
Lunch: A Bar-b-que… Dove Kabobs (melt in your mouth), Free range beef Tenderloin (medium rare), huge beef and pork ribs, ¼ chicken, Flan and sweet milk caramel. “Los
Haroldos” wine…a blend of Cabernet and Malbec.
Afternoon hunt- 3:45 to 6 PM 50 boxes. 68 degrees, high winds. We quit at 6 PM deciding to save our energy for the roost tomorrow morning. 5 minute drive to and from field. Arrived at lodge physically spent…then we had massages which were great. Felt like a new person after the masseuse left. Fatigue completely resolved!
Dinner: Dove etouffee, spinach ravioli, Tira Misu, “Alamos” wine, a Malbec.
October 16- Morning hunt 60 boxes. 65 to 70 degrees, dead calm, crystal clear skies, perfect conditions. 15 minutes to another property. This day will go down in infamy—call it “Mike’s Mecca Day” or ” It wasn’t pretty on the hill”. non-stop flocks of 200 to 400 doves for 4 hours! Must have seen 2 million birds by morning’s end. Most phenomenal display of doves we have ever seen in 25 years. Mike loaded his own guns and shot 70 boxes. If his bird boy would have loaded his guns for him he would have easily shot over 100 boxes of shells that morning. I shot 60 boxes because I didn’t join Mike’s location until 2 hours into the morning hunt (when he called me on his field radio to come and experience this indescribable sight).
Afternoon hunt- Perfect conditions, 70 degrees, clear skies. 15 minutes to edge of Secondary roost. ZILLIONS OF BIRDS EVERYWHERE! Shot from 3:40 to 5:30 PM when Mike and I “ran out of gas”. Shut down the shooting at 40 boxes. Too tired to lift gun. Looking back on the experience of this wonderful day we couldn’t have been more pleased with everything! Mike and I returned to lodge for a 7 PM massage. Made fresh people out of us.
Dinner: Dove nuggets in white sauce with chimi churri salsa, huge pork chops with apples and onions, grey sauced sweet potatoes, fresh tomatoes with Balsamic vinegar, pear, cinnamon, graham cracker crust pie with almonds & ice cream dessert.
October 17- Morning hunt- 60 degrees early-75 degrees by 10 AM. No wind, clear sky, classic, easy shooting. We shot at least 75 to 85 % average on doves coming straight on us-no flaring-( I know we should be ashamed of ourselves continuing to shoot these easy shots…but we still did it!). Nice, relaxing, at your own pace shooting. It’s becoming apparent to me that our hunting guides (Alex and Martin) here at Los Chanares have deliberately exposed us to a wide variety of types of shooting with their many varied hunting locations. It looks as if we have had a big improvement on the Argentina dove hunt experience by the No.1 desired improvement of having the drives to and from the fields never to be longer than 15 minutes… with the average time running at about 6 minutes…and then as an unanticipated bonus of having all the birds you can shoot on every hunt. We have had that all too familiar feeling of near total exhaustion from 16 hour hunting days. This place has allowed us to savor the hunt with fine wines and food and relaxing down time of our own choosing. Truly a quantum leap compared to all of our previous hunting trips. It’s now 1:10 PM, we have finished lunch. Mike has checked his e-rnails, we are taking a nap in our air conditioned room, not in the hot, insect infested fields.
Lunch: Dove tacos (soft), fresh tomatoes, mashed garlic potatoes, 2 veal cutlets with chimmi churri sauce, apple pie and ice cream.
Afternoon hunt – Clear sky, 7 minutes to field, 75 degrees. Ended up meeting Mike at Cul-de-Sac shaped area. We sat under the trees and shot birds coming from all directions from 3:45 to 6:15 PM 45 boxes shot. Stopped shooting early… had enough for today. We were high on a hill shooting about 1/2 mile from the large roost. We could see about 3 miles in all directions and there were thousands of doves in any direction you would look. This place (7000 acres) can handle 100 hunters every day and not make a dent in the dove pop. No one can come into this locked gate property and they really know how to manage the bird population.
Dinner: Carpazis (like Proschiutto Italian ham) salad, Dove spaghetti, sweet cream caramel mousse.
October 18 (my birthday) Morning hunt- 75 degrees, clear, slight breeze, 34 boxes. Still more birds as far as the eye can see.
Lunch: Filet Mignon with mushroom sauce, avocado salad, cream potatoes, hot brownie pie with ice cream.
Mike and I together shot a total of 785 boxes of shells ( 39 cases). Our total of doves killed…. 11,640. Heading home this afternoon. Looking forward to coming back next year…hopefully with more friends that really appreciate this fine style of dove hunting.
Dove Hunting at Estancia Los Chanares, Argentina, October 2005
Written by B.Fontenot – , LA
Paloma shooting in Argentina
Paloma in Argentina is probably the most accessible high volume game shooting available in the world today. The birds are prolific and challenging and the cost of shooting them is relatively affordable. This article describes my recent trip to a Paloma shooting estancia near Cordoba in Argentina.
Paloma is a dove indigenous to much of South America and it is very common in the grain growing areas of Argentina. They are considered to be an agricultural pest due to the amount of grain they consume, particularly during the planting season. Paloma can be shot throughout the year without limit under a game licence.
Paloma is the common name given to the Eared dove (Zenaida auriculata). It is a small slate grey bird 24cm long weighing about 110 grams. It has a fine black line extending behind its eye and a blue black mark in the lower ear coverts. The wings have large black spots. The tail is long and wedge shaped. In the hand the chest and vent have a rosy grey tint. In the air it is a neat compact bird resembling a small blue rock dove (common feral pigeon) in profile and flight. It is very fast under power and is even faster with its wings set in descent or with the wind behind it. This speed and its ability to rapidly change directions make it a challenging game bird.
The ranch I shot at is called Los Chanares. It is named after a small tree with distinctive green bark that is a favored roosting tree for Paloma in Cordoba province. Los Chanares is sited on 10,000 acres of a major Paloma roost, hence the name. In fact much of the roost is covered in a thorn bush which is even more favored by the Paloma for resting, nesting and roosting.
Los Chanares is a purpose built shooting estancia (ranch). It is organized around shooting. The 10,000 hectares are mostly covered in thick scrub ranging over low hills. Adjacent to the lodge is a large field of around 60 hectares which is used to grow sunflowers in the summer. The crop is for the birds. The remainder of the property is natural scrub with roads pushed through it to provide access to the shooting sites. Where soil conditions allow these roads have been widened or extended into small fields for additional crop areas. Shooting stations are sited throughout the property to take advantage of the cover of larger trees, ridge lines etc. Many have had small blinds built in front of them to provide additional cover for the shooters. There are over eighty shooting stations on the property to accommodate shooters and to provide adequate rotation so the birds do not avoid heavily shot areas.
A recent scientific estimate puts the Cordoba dove population at around 32 million birds. Los Chanares estimates that there it has around a million birds resident on its 10,000 hectares. Walking around and seeing the large numbers of birds in the air and on the ground feeding would seem to suggest that this is a reasonable estimate. The birds have two young per breeding cycle and have around four breeding cycles per year. The birds are fed year round with the sunflower crop and, in winter, the daily spreading of corn. A small stream and an artificial pond provide water.
My visit to Los Chanares was at the start of the shooting season. There is a short break of around three months from March to June and my visit was in mid June. This meant that I had the property to myself. I was accompanied on my visit by my wife, Megan, who took a short break from our three week tour of northern west Argentina to allow me three days of shooting. The accommodation and services are truly luxurious. The food was excellent and far too plentiful for someone my age. The service warm and attentive and our hosts organized a day tour of the local historical sites for my wife for one day of our stay. We both found Los Chanares a very pleasant place to spend a few days even without the shooting.
We arrived at Los Chanares around lunch time and after introductions, a very large steak for lunch and a short rest, I was taken by truck to my designated shooting station for my first session. In the back of the truck was my loader, Franco, two 28 gauge Berretta silver pigeons and case of shells.
Martin the game keeper at Los Chanares has made intelligent use of the terrain and selective clearing to create of wide variation of shooting experiences. Some stations offer short range rapid fire shooting, others high fast passing shots, while others offer overhead birds. Collectively they provide the full range birds likely to be encountered on a driven game shoot. The sheer number of birds ensures there is a steady stream of targets that would approximate or exceed the high volume British driven game shoots of the late 19th century. However, the Paloma are not driven, they are simply moving in and out or around the roost in their daily cycle of movements.
We were dropped on the side of a dirt track with our gear and walked about 25 metres down a rough track to the shooting position. Station one was on the side of a small gully in heavy scrub. We had some high scrub behind us and two larger trees with dead branches to our left. To the right was more thick scrub which limited visibility. Down slope and to the right I could see around 70 metres over low vegetation. Franco put the gun together, loaded it and handed it to me clearly expecting me to get on with it. I had a quick inspection of the gun, moved the selector to fire the lower barrel first and out of habit put the safety catch in the on position.
There were birds moving all around us and I fired off my first two shots at Paloma. I didn’t hit anything but it didn’t matter much since there were birds in the air constantly. I broke the gun and handed the empties to Franco who seemed a bit surprised I didn’t eject them but quickly inserted two more shells into the empty chambers. After a few more shots I started to drop a few birds, most of which fell into thick scrub. I wasn’t sure whether we supposed to retrieve as we went but since Franco kept reloading the gun I kept shooting. It took a little while to get a sense of the range since I had no real idea how large or small the birds were and what they should look like when they were in range. But after some trial and error things started to come together and hits started to become a bit more regular. I quickly learned that one shot at a time was prudent except where a wounded bird needed a follow up second shot. I found it difficult to track two birds at the same time.
The birds were small but they were very fast and highly mobile. A Paloma under power is faster than a clay target and a dropping bird with its wings set is very fast indeed. I missed many birds by not giving them enough lead. Range estimation was an early problem. Subtending was not much use because the birds were too small to extend beyond the barrel width even when they were well within range. I eventually found that a useful benchmark was that if I could see their eye and if they looked three dimensional they were around 35 metres away. This did not mean that they were easy to hit though. I missed many incoming birds because they shifted course after I had blotted them out with my barrels. The passing birds required a lot of lead and a smooth follow-through.
About 10 minutes into the shooting several large eagles arrived and positioned themselves in the dead trees around 30 metres to my left. When a bird fell in an accessible position one would drop down and pick it up. Franco was unperturbed by this so I figured it is part and parcel of Paloma shooting. After a few more minutes a grey fox arrived and picked up a dead bird around thirty metres in front of me. Fascinated by the exotic wildlife I took time out to watch an eagle juggle and swallow a dove whole and kept an eye out for the fox. In the undergrowth around me I could hear the sounds of animals moving.
Franco explained that there were both eagles and hawks attending our hunt. After consulting a bird book back at the lodge I decided that I had observed Black Chested Buzzard Eagles (Buteo melanoleucus) and a Crested Caracaras (Polyborus plancus). The former is stout bird about the size of a Little Eagle, the latter a bird allied to the falcons with a buoyant wing forward flight like a black cockatoo and distinctive white window on each under wing. I also saw another large red eagle which I could not clearly identify. All have adjusted well to life on Los Chanares and like the fox had learnt to associate gun fire with food.
This station provided shots from all angles but the most regular shots were birds coming up the gully at an angle of around 25 degrees. I tried to vary the shots I took but found the overheads from behind particularly difficult because the birds were out of range if I did not pick them up very quickly. I also found the eagles baulked my swing. I assumed it would be bad form to bag an accidental eagle. I shot around five boxes over the course of around two hours before indicating to Franco that I had had enough for the day.
I should introduce Franco at this point. Franco was a friendly young man in his mid twenties. He knew his business and he applied his skills with professional pride. He spoke little English and I spoke no Spanish so our oral communication was limited but these limitations did not impede our partnership and my experience was much richer for his presence. His equipment included a folding shooting chair with integral cooler box with drinks inside it, a bag for birds and empties, a magnetic shell picker upperer, and a click counter to keep track of the birds I shot. He was very attentive, watching closely my every move, and always ready with two new shells when the gun had been fired. As each pack of shells went into his vest Franco carefully folded the empty pack and placed it into the first empty pack to keep track of the shell count. The balance at the end of each shoot was kept aside for the next session. When I needed a break Franco would produce whatever I wanted from the cooler and offered me the chair.
Franco quickly accommodated my habit of extracting the spent shells (rather than ejecting them) and of helping him carry the equipment back to the pick up site at the end of the shoot. He complemented me on the odd good shot and he agreed when I told him I had missed too far behind. Franco sensed my interest in the local wildlife and told me the common name of the birds we saw and heard. I was particularly pleased when after a few sessions he called me amigo. At the end of the shooting session Franco would use his radio to summon the truck to come and pick us up and alert home base of my imminent arrival. On my arrival back at the accommodation I was greeted at the door and handed a cool towel to freshen up.
Next morning around nine I was taken to my next shooting assignment. There was a lifting fog and the shooting station faced west on the side of a hill. I had a large tree behind me and a road on my left although this did not extend my line of sight all that far. Birds were coming towards me out of the fog or quickly from my right. These latter birds often had their wings set descending from the ridge above. The fog amplified the sound of the bird’s wings and the sound they made reminded me of grey teal. There were around 20 birds visible in my shooting window most of the time and range was difficult to estimate in the fog. The birds came out of the fog thick and fast and I managed to knock a good few of them down. Later in the morning a tractor came up the road and I stopped shooting until they had passed. The guys on the tractor threw a dead bird up over the bushes from behind us. They thought that was a great joke and we all had a laugh. A few minutes later Tango the estancia’s resident Great Dane came up the road and helped himself to a few dead doves for breakfast. I was not keeping count but felt that my shooting was steadily improving. When I had had about two hours shooting I called a halt and helped Franco gather up the birds.
Station 3 in the afternoon was at the corner of an overgrown field on the side a hill facing north. The birds flew very high here with the dominant flow being incomers at my extreme left. It took me a while to get their measure but I managed to pull down some very high and fast birds. There were fewer birds in the air and most were at extreme range. At one point three horses walked out of the scrub and crossed the field in front of me. Franco radioed back to the estancia and explained to me that they belonged to workers on the estancia and shouldn’t have been there. That night we had delicious dove breast nuggets for appetizers before dinner from the birds we had gathered that morning. The breasts had been soaked in milk then crumbed and deep fried. They were delicious and Megan and I made a good show of eating them making a substantial dint in our dinner appetite
Station 4 was under a large tree in a flat field adjacent to a major gully. There were two other trees nearby. Between me and estancia was a heavily vegetated gully but I could see the top of a grain silo about 150 metres on my right. Directly in front was another tree about 40 metres away which was a useful range indicator but immediately beyond it was another tree with a saddled horse standing beneath it. Immediately beyond the horse a service track emerged from the gully and ran to my right. Since I was under a large tree most of the shooting window contained an obstacle or two. I did not feel all that comfortable lobbing shot on the Estancia roof, the silo, or the horse. I therefore kept my shooting as high and to the right as I could manage. The main flows of birds were high passing shots in both directions. I shot well all morning with a double on my first and last two shots of the day. Tango came over when he heard the shooting and had a couple of birds for breakfast. An eagle turned up as well and ate a few birds. The tractor appeared from the gully about mid morning and little later Megan came up the road on her morning walk. I called her over for a quick range safety instruction before she continued her walk. At this station I shot the one and only following bird for the trip. Remarkably over three days shooting this was the only bird I shot that I was not aiming for.
Station 5 that afternoon was facing a 20 metre ride. We were on the up hill side of the road with birds coming across the road towards me. There was also a lighter traffic from behind. The incomers were coming into view across the road at around 40 metres. To get a shot in required quick target acquisition and no hesitation. This station approximated my idea of driven partridge shooting with birds suddenly appearing over a hedge in front of me. I found the best way to shoot it was to concentrate on a narrow part of the hedge, make a quick range assessment, and blot the bird out for a very quick shot. The neighbourhood eagles and hawks came in quickly for breakfast and a small grey fox came out the scrub opposite three times to pick up downed birds. At one point a guy came up the road on a horse. He waved a quick hello as he passed.
The last shooting station on my final morning was on the edge of the gully facing the entry road and the 60 hectare field. The station was only around 50 metres from the lodge. This field was spread with corn (maize) each day to feed the doves. There was therefore a constant stream of overhead and incoming birds. I shot 7 boxes on this station and the most I had shot on any session so far. Tango and the eagles had a good breakfast. Megan walked down to watch me shoot but pronounced that it was not a very appealing spectator sport as I dropped incoming and passing birds with some efficiency. Towards the end of the morning a number of Crested Caracara came down to gather some of the fallen.
I did not set out to shoot a large number of birds at Los Chanares. My goal was to enjoy the shooting rather than test my physical endurance and from experience I knew that my shooting would deteriorate when I become fatigued. I therefore chose to use a 28 gauge over and under rather the 20 gauges and semi autos on offer. I set myself a notional quota per session of around six boxes of shells. This gave me around two hours of unhurried shooting and approximated a full day of simulated field shooting twice a day.
I tried to vary the targets I selected and to shoot only challenging birds. I avoided shots at slow moving and close birds and I fired a follow-up shot on any bird I did not consider a clean kill wherever possible.
I did not count the birds I thought I had hit preferring to keep my concentration on the next bird. Franco on the other hand made a very careful count using the click counter in his kit. He had a keen eye and a lot of experience in Paloma shooting so I can only assume that he made an accurate count as he saw it.
I did not ask Franco for a count each day and he did not offer one but at the end of my trip I was presented with a statistical analysis of each shooting session when I paid the shell bill. According to Franco I shot around six birds for every ten shots fired. This stuck me as a good bit higher than I would have estimated. I would have said around four. Martin the game keeper had told me that the real overall success rate at Los Chanares is more like one bird for every four shells fired so even allowing for a healthy amount of own side bias I felt I had shot pretty well.
I used one of the Estancia’s guns rather than importing my own gun. The gun I chose to use was a 28 gauge Beretta silver pigeon. I found the gun almost identical to the one I own and more than adequate to the task. It was choked ¼ and ½ and this seemed an effective choking even on the higher birds (if I estimated the required lead correctly). The gun was fairly new and well maintained. Martin told me that the over and unders are fully serviced annually with the replacement of firing pins, ejectors, springs etc as required. He also told me the Bennelli semi autos worked very hard and parts were replaced much more regularly. Los Chanares’ choice of these two makes is a powerful recommendation given the amount of use their guns get.
The cartridges were of local manufacture, 21 grams of 71/2 shot. They were loaded with a clean burning powder and used an Italian style wad. Over a case and half I had only three misfires caused by hard primers. They all went off when reloaded into the bottom barrel.
When I was on target I had no trouble killing birds in the air. Paloma did not seem that hard to kill but they a small bird and they needed to b centred in the pattern to ensure multiple pellet strikes. I measured instant kills out to 45 metres from the muzzle. I imagine that a 20 gauge would extend the range a little more but there seemed little reason to go up a gauge given the abundance of birds.
My game bird experience has been limited to ducks and walked up pheasants and partridge but based on my reading I would say that Paloma shooting is a good approximation of high driven pheasant and partridge shooting.
Clay target shooting is a lot of fun but there is no comparison between the challenges presented by a predictable clay target and an unpredictable live bird. Los Chanares provided a great opportunity to hone my game shooting skills and to master the full range of shots almost under the controlled conditions of a clay target range. This was a rare and unique opportunity. Shooting the birds was preferable to alternative pest control methods such as poisoning and the dead birds were put to good use by the local wildlife, the chef and the employees.
The other wildlife encountered while shooting was a real and unexpected highlight. I saw eagles, hawks and foxes at close range. I saw perdiz (Tinamou), Chaco Chachalaca (a large pheasant like bird with a stunningly raucous dawn call), great flocks of blackbirds, siskins, ground doves, monk parrots, (individual) hummingbirds and quwi (wild guinea pigs). The range and abundance of birds was beyond anything I experienced before. I saw the tracks of white collared peccary or perhaps small deer and while I saw no sign of a puma I was assured that there were puma living in and around the Estancia. Perhaps they were silently eating the Paloma while I shot nearby.
To Whom It May Concern
Just got back today from our trip to Los Chanares.
There were 18 in our Party from Texas.
We all had an incredible time.
From the accommodations, to the food, to the staff and of course the hunting, it was all first class.
Our hosts, Naheul (sp) and Jobe were the most friendly and knowledgeable guides that I have ever had. Each day was perfectly planned and went off without a hitch. The bird boys were friendly and courteous, as well as the lodge staff.
I hope you will let the staff know how appreciative we are of their hospitality.
Thanks for a great experience.
Mr. Perez thought I would take the time to let you know personally that our trip to Los Chanares was everything advertized and more. It is a big deal to get a country boy to travel 4,000 miles to go hunting but I was absolutely impressed with you entire facility and staff. From the time I stepped off of the plane to the time they helped me carry my luggage back into the airport I felt welcomed and at home.
- The bird boys, really men. They were very perceptive of our comfort and abilities and soon they were poking fun when we would miss and goofing off with my sons. All while keeping safety as priority one. We had a ball with them each and every hunt.
- Zach Newman; You really have a great opportunity here. I hire young men for my organization and can assure you he is professional, personable, and has a keen attention to detail. I watched his interaction with all the guests and he is genuinely a great person. It has to be a challenge to gain the respect of the older and local staff but from what I gathered he has accomplished this. Meeting him when we unloaded at the ranch really “set the hook” and let me know I had made a great choice in where to stay.
- Lastly the shooting experience. I had assumed that by the last hunt I would become a little board with the same old thing. Nothing could be further from the truth. Before the end of the first box of 25 shells we were again at maximum fun, shooting endless amounts of doves at every flying speed, angle and distance. My 2 sons and I were going to try to be disciplined and shoot 6 cases but we shot 10 and killed over 2100 birds that last morning hunt.
It has been a chore to describe the experience to my hunting buddies. I just tell them they will just have to see it for themselves.
Thanks for the experience and I hope to be back soon.
We had an excellent time. Alex and the staff was more than courteous. The hunting was exceptional and so was the accommodations and food. Thank you for setting this up for us, the trip was as advertised.
The trip was amazing. I cannot think of anything that could be done to make it better. Thanks to David, Alex, Nahuel, and the staff for a wonderful experience.
The trip was fantastic. It is difficult to imagine any improvements. Staff, food, bird volume, travel coordination all truly outstanding. I hope I will be able to do it again.
I can honestly say that even after all of the videos and pictures that I saw showing the lodge and the world class shooting I was still in awe of the whole experience. The lodge, food and staff were exceptional! The shooting itself is something that any wing shooter would be truly amazed by. I can’t wait to go back! I really want to go back with my daughter and her husband. Mainly just to see the look of astonishment on their faces when they see the sheer volume of birds and experience the non-stop action for themselves! When I settled my tab for the shells I told the member of the staff that while the total cost of the trip was not cheap at all, in my eyes it was worth every dollar I spent. To me it was truly a trip of a lifetime.
Thank you again for all of your assistance.
Thank you for everything. Our experience at Los Chanares was everything you promised. The hunting was in well prepared beautiful spots, great “bird boys”, with LOTS of dove! The food was not only fabulous, it was beautifully presented, in many different settings. The outdoor lunches were over the top. ALL of the staff was attentive, and informative about the hunting, lodge and Argentina. From the pick up at the airport to the drop off, we truly felt like we were visiting friends at their Estancia.
We look forward to our next visit.
This was absolutely the most fun hunt I have ever made and the most memorable. To be able to make such a hunt with two of my sons made it very special. The number of birds and the variety of shots, the great bird boys, the quality and friendliness of the staff and the great food makes this hunt one of the highlights of my life. It also allows me to check off one of the things on my bucket list and one of the items I would like to repeat as many times as possible as long as possible. Thanks for all your help as regards making the process trouble free. I would also like to mention that Bennett Fontenot is one of your most passionate supporters. His enthusiasm, check lists, communications re: travel, critical things to bring, details about the lodge and hunts were all key to the success of our trip and key to convincing others to make the trip with us. The group interaction was terrific. What a great bunch of guys. Thanks again for everything.
I thought I would send you this email to help describe why we hunt with David Perez at Los Chanares, Argentina. Hunting at Los Chanares in Cordoba, Argentina is and has been our “gold standard” for high volume dove hunting in Argentina for years ( by the way I don’t get any payment for recommending Los Chanares, ha! ). I’m just one of his hunting clients that has hunted there for the last 6 years.
For 30 years my buddies and I have been constantly improving our hunting venues to find the best dove hunting situation anywhere on the globe. We’ve hunted in Culiacan, Merida,Tamulipas and Nuevo Leon, Mexico, Choliteca, Honduras, Cali, Colombia, S.A., Sierra Verde and La Loma hunting lodges in Cordoba Province, Argentina, and Tucaman hunting lodge in Salta Province, Argentina, before we discovered Los Chanares, Cordoba Province, Argentina in 2005.
Up until the time we discovered Los Chanares, our hunts with other outfitters were characterized by having plenty of birds to shoot, good food, nice sleeping accommodations etc. The only drawback was that many times we had to drive to and from the fields that took sometimes as much as 11/2 hours to get to the field and one and a half hours to return… on miles and miles of bad road. This extra 3 hours every day coupled with waking up at 5 AM served to wear on us physically. The result was having long, physically demanding days everyday. Towards the end of the hunt we were so tired the effort to hunt was so grueling it diminished the enjoyment of the hunt. We thought this was the only way you could hunt in Argentina…since most outfitters did it this way.Then it happened… I read the book “Wingshooting Argentina”, by Stuart Williams. Stuart has hunted over 250 times in Africa and Europe, over 40 times in Argentina, is a Yale graduate, internationally acclaimed hunting photographer, writes for several hunting mags.etc. I called him and asked him what he thought was the best dove hunting lodge in Argentina. That’s when he said without question….Los Chanares. So we tried it and he was right, it was wonderful. At this place you get all the birds you want to shoot, great food and a 5 star estancia (lodge)…but the best part is that there are no long drives to the fields to drain you of energy. The longest drive was 15 minutes…with the average drive being 7 minutes. Plus, your wake up call is at 8 AM instead of 5 AM. We wake up at 8AM and shoot one or two cases of shells before 11AM, go back to the lodge (5 minute ride), eat and drink huge amounts, take a nap, wake up fresh, go back out for the afternoon hunt, etc. You will shoot at least 250 boxes of shells over a 4 day period. Last year I shot 300 boxes and killed about 6000 doves.
You are hunting on a privately owned, 7000 acre fenced and locked hunting area. The second largest dove roost in the Province of Cordoba in on this property! The bird count is around 15 million and increasing in numbers because the doves produce offspring 4-5 times a year with no predatory or hunting pressure as opposed to the doves in Louisiana producing once a year with nothing but wall to wall hunting pressure.
let me say on behalf of my entire group thank you and the DCA staff for a fabulous trip. As you know, this was my 5th trip to Argentina and BY FAR my best. What separates this outfit is the little things they do that other outfitters do not. The reduced travel time is simply great and the food was exquisite to say the least.
Thanks so much,
Trip was as good as it gets. From pickup to drop-off we were made to feel at home. Food was excellent and lodge was great. Bird numbers were even better than my last visit three years ago and and hunting only limited to how much you could stand to shoot. Thanks again for all you did prior to our arrival to insure our travel and permits needs were taken care of.
Wish all of you happy hunting success
Taking lunch break on our last day here at the lodge and Robbie and I want to thank you from the bottom of our hearts for talking us into coming here. It has surpassed any other adventure he and I have been on. There are 8 gentlemen from London who are so impressed with the young lad from the states and how well he can shoot.
Robbie hit the 1000 club on the first afternoon with 86% hit rate. He hit the 2000 club yesterday with a 85% hit rate and he is going for the 3000 club today.
The staff, the conditions are absolutely perfect and we will be back again.
We will send pictures to you when we get back to the States
Alex, I want to thank you for the wonderful experience I had last week . Our trip home was long, but with the awesome memories of the “Dove Shoot” made it easy forget the long journey home. I’m back at the office and was looking at the brochure , and said I’m going to write a quick thank you note! It was great to see you again , even though it’s been 9 years, you look the same. Thank all of the staff for making our trip so great, you truly have the BEST DOVE SHOOT IN CORDOBA !
What a fantastic trip, Los chanares was as beautiful as I remember it, a tranquil spot in the middle of some stunning scenery and more importantly fields with vast quantities of challenging doves and the odd parakeet.
Alex was, as ever, a superb host and the rest of the house staff and bird boys looked after us very well. My colleague who is new to dove shooting was very impressed and is already askin when the next trip will be – another one hooked!!
Thank you again for all the help and support you and your team have given us in making this another memorable trip.
We have never had a better organized or more successful Argentina dove shoot in the 15+ years we have been shooting down there. Our sincere thanks to David, Alex, Andy and their staff for their attention to every detail and for attending to our every need. The shooting was superb with different bird presentations at every station, never the same (they have over 300 shooting stations spread over 9,000 acres)… some really challenging shooting which we like … high birds and plenty of fast crossing long shots from every direction. The high volume “bang-bang rapid fire at anything” guns in the other party got their fill as well.
Los Chanares is very unique as it is located in the foot hills which comprise the roost areas. You never leave the property. The furthest we drove to a station was 15 minutes and most are closer. We had exceptional bird-boys that knew what they were doing … which is really rare as we all know. The Estancia is just the right size with 10 rooms … first class and well appointed … the food was just outstanding, and the wines and bar were just as excellent … great single malt scotch … complimented with some fine Cuban cigars. Hats off to David and Alex … a “Six Star ++” shoot… and we are going back next year for both doves and pigeons, and hopefully we will be going back for many years to come.
We all had a great trip. This is definitely the best trip our group has ever taken. Everything was in order with the lodge. We were picked up at the airport no waiting or wondering they took care of the bags and had refreshments for us on the drive to the lodge. Our host at the lodge was extremely helpful, friendly and accommodating. No complaints with the lodge at all. The food and wine was plentiful and really good. The hunting was unbelievable. The bird boys were generous with their hit counters, which only serves to make the shooters feel better about their ability. Some of us had I-phones with speakers in the field, hunting to our favorite music. We would shoot, do a little dance; then shoot some more, and more, and more. Our group of 10 hunters for 2 and ½ days of shooting were credited with over 45,000 hits. Our last hunt was abbreviated due to rain. I really dont know of anything that could have made the experience better. I definitely will be going back. Guess this was the once in a lifetime hunt that wont be.
BA was wonderful. I definitely want to go back there. The people were so friendly. What a fantastic vacation. Thanks again for helping to set this trip up. Ill be back.
This was my 4th trip to the Cordoba area to dove hunt and was by far the best venue I have seen. The cuisine, accommodations, and hunting were over the top. It has been hard to come back to Oklahoma and go to work. I just keep reminding myself that this is what pays for these fun adventures.
Thanks for the memories.
I had an unbelievable time in December at Los Chanares in Argentina. The hunting, estancia, food, wine and staff were all first class! It truly was a trip of a lifetime.
Again, thanks for dialing us in on a great trip in December!
We had a blast. The trip went well, the food was delicious and plentiful, the lodge was comfortable and homey, and the birds were incredible. The staff and bird boys were accommodating and friendly. Alex and Andy were gracious hosts and kept things in order. We made new friends and met fellow hunters who shared the passion.
A huge thanks to you and your staff for making this a great vacation and adventure.
My 4th trip to Las Chanares, Hard to believe it just gets better, nothing to add about the service or food, everybody who writes you says it all, its superb. But its all about the Dove Hunting isn’t it?
Last year I brought my wife and we spent a memorable afternoon in the High Hill country, this year somehow I returned to the same shooting position as my wife and I did last year, what an afternoon it was. I only shot for about 2 hours, as a very Senior Citizen my shoulder told me it was enough. I then just sat there and watched the birds fly from up the Canyon to the top of my shooting blind. An hour went by before I walked on down to the waiting ride home. I was mesmerized by the sight of the Doves coming up from the valley. Did I see 10,000 – 100,000 or maybe 500,000 birds, I don’t know, but it was spectacular. You can tell your friends when you return home what you seen, but hardly any of them will believe it. You must go to Los Chanares to see it for your yourself.
Thanks again Alex, I’ll see you next year.
We both had a great trip, it seems to be getting better by the year ,higher birds and more of them! The lodge as usual was 5 star, Alex and all your staff were excellent and took care of us during our stay.
Barry enjoyed it so much he is already talking about coming again next year- I will be in touch in early 2012 regarding this and hope the rest your season goes well.
We had an amazing time. Alex and the rest of the staff were great. It totally exceeded our expectations and we would be happy to refer it to friends and family.
We hope to be back again with a bigger crew. Also, much thanks to your assistant Soledad for her recommendations for our trip.
We had an absolutely wonderful time! Everyone took very good care of us, right on time for everything. I would not have believed the dove hunting unless I experienced it. Thanks for all your help.
My trip to Argentina was great. My business objectives went well. And more importantly the dove hunting was awesome!
I was very impressed with the hunting, lodge, food, staff, etc. It was a great experience that I hope to do again with Los Chanares in the future.
Our trip was fabulous. The boy’s expectations were far exceeded by the number of birds and the quality of the accommodations, service and especially the food. The entertainment one evening was a wonderful touch as well. The bird boys were the best I’ve ever experienced anywhere and Alex took very good care of everyone.
Thanks again for a memorable time. I’ll be sure to relay my stories to all of my New Orleans friends.
We had a great time at your Lodge Feb 1-5, 2011. On a score of 1-10, 10 being the best I would rate the following:
I hope you can see the whole trip exceeded my expectation. We especially appreciate you flexibility on our schedule. There were a lot of little things like having a server ready with chilled wet washcloths as you get off the truck coming in from shooting that added punch to the quality of the service at your lodge. Without question, this won’t be my last trip to you place.
- Wing shooting 10
- Good setup for opportunity and challenge of shooting stands 10
- Condition of shooting fields 10
- Bird Boys 10
- Equipment (guns and ammo) 10
- Lodge 10
- Bedrooms 8 (I prefer single rooms over 2 guy in a room)
- Staff service 10+
- Cleanliness 10
- Meals 10
- Wine and alcohol 10
- Massage 10
We have arrived back in Dallas and I wanted to send you both a quick note while my shoulder was still sore! I have traveled all over Argentina bird hunting, and to most continents big game hunting and/or fishing, and I can say without a doubt that Los Chanares is the best run operation I have ever had the pleasure of visiting. It was better than “as good as it get’s”! Your attention to detail speaks highly of the pride running throughout the outfit. I appreciate how difficult it is to accommodate a group our size and commend you on making it look easy. We look forward to making Los Chanares our home in Argentina!
When we were doing the final customs and baggage clearance upon our arrival in Cordoba, your guy appeared to help us. When he took us back to the airport at the end of our trip, he did not just dump us at the curb. He parked the car and stayed with us until we checked in and headed to immigration. From beginning to end, our visit to Los Chanares was perfect.
The facilities are beautiful, and they are flawlessly maintained. They are comfortable and look like they were designed by a decorator. We enjoyed meals outside under the trees and in your indoor dining room. There were two different environments for cocktails, appetizers and conversation after the afternoon shoot.
When our first night’s dinner finished with warm melting chocolate cake with homemade ice cream, it became clear that the food was not that of a typical hunting lodge. The food was great; Los Chanares has a real chef. The wines and liquor were all first rate too.
Of course, what we came for was the birds, and we were not disappointed. We had three morning shoots and three afternoon shoots. We shot in six different places within ten minutes of the lodge. All had different looks. There were many birds, but the shooting was surprisingly challenging. We used two of your almost new Beretta over and unders, which were clean and well maintained.
Alex and his staff do a beautiful job. My son and I had a truly memorable outing. Many thanks to you and your entire staff.
“Our arrival into Cordoba was easy. All of our guns and gear were loaded onto one cart and carried to customs for us. Getting the guns into the country was no problem. From there to the bus was all done for us. The ride to the lodge was comfortable and pleasant. The welcome arrival was extremely pleasant and set the tone for the whole trip in my opinion. Your house staff did an excellent job. Everyone of your staff was pleasant and courteous. I was most appreciative and told them all I appreciated their service. I have always believed people doing a good job need to be told so. The food for all three meals and snacks after the hunt were great. I enjoyed the lunch back at the lodge instead of at the field as with some outfitters. Getting really comfortable is so much better than a hammock or cot in the field. There are always flies and other bugs in the field to interrupt a nap! The shooting locations were all good. Mother nature made it interesting with the wind a couple of times, but that is hunting. It made me a better shot working on longer leads and other adjustments. I enjoyed it. Thanks for having 410. ga shells available. I really enjoy shooting mine better than anything else I own. They are not always available and I appreciate your having them. My bird boy Milton was a nice and kind person. He was attentive and polite. My compliments to him. My gear was always ready and he knew which gun I wanted to shoot when. I never had any problem with anything being mixed up.”
Our exit from Argentina was as easy as coming in. We had help with our bags, through inspection and on our way. We had a perfect trip.
I just wanted to drop you a line to let you know about the return visit Cory Stagg and I made to Los Chañares last week. We also brought along my cousin Jarod Johnson.
My comment is that when we left in ’07, we could not imagine how the hunting or the hospitality could get any better, but it has! I described it the best way I could to Jarod when I got back last time and he said that this first trip for him was better than he thought it would be. Needless to say we are ready to go back. We do not intend to wait three years this time, but we do have to consider the cost.
In my best estimate, Martin’s work has increased the number of birds by about 33%, which boggles my mind. As usual Alex, Jessica, the house staff, bird boys and others involved were superior! It was also great to meet Anthony. Alex hooked me up with my same bird boy, Hernan, and I thought that was a nice accommodation. Hernan and I get along very well and he continues to help me with my Spanish while we are shooting. To say the least, consistency means a lot to me.
I would like to meet you one day as you seem to be an interesting person, so maybe we will bump into one another at Chañares sometime.
We will return ASAP and I will try to bring you some new clients next time.
We had a great trip to Argentina, Chile and Uruguay.We put 2500 kilometers on our cars, especially around Salta, Cachi and Cafayete. Also did a lot of driving around Mendoza. Wine and food excellent in all places. Beaches in Uruguay very special (Jose Ignacio).
Alex and his crew treated us royally at Los Chanares. I think we were very fortunate, as the lodge was not busy. Just one other gentleman from California and his two grandsons. We became quite good friends and had lots of time to chat with Alex and really get some good insight into life in South America.The shooting was beyond anything I could have imagined. I used a 28G and was the most conservative of our group. Tried for high percentage of hits vs numbers.
My wife, Terri, a non shooter really enjoyed the opportunity to relax while enjoying great food and accommodation. I speak French so had lots of good chats with Max, your chef.He does a great job. We tried to get him to think fish for some meals, but he says 80% of your customers are from Texas and demand steak. The meat we tasted was some of the best we ate in the country.
Appreciate the help in setting up the stay at Los Chanares and especially you making Terri feel welcome. If your travels ever bring you to Vancouver, please feel free to call.
“We had a fantastic time!!!!! I had the best hunt ever. I couldn’t believe how many birds there were. I’d always been told by the outfitters east of Cordoba that the dove hunting north of Cordoba was just not as good. Were they ever wrong. I was able to set personal records for most birds on a hunt, most birds in a day, most birds in an afternoon and highest shooting percentage (82%). WOW!!!
Your staff and facilities are really great. You’ve done an excellent job at some of the small things, like having a hot towel waiting when you get back to the lodge. I’m ready to go back.
My wife also had a fantastic experience. She has just taken up hunting in the last two years and she asked me to tell you how much she enjoyed the whole experience. It also helped her shooting. The first day she shot about 25% and the last morning she was close to 50%.”
Our gun inventory includes: 25 Benelli 20 gauge autos, 2 Berretta 20 gauge autos, 4 Berretta 20 gauge over and unders, 4 Silver Pigeon 28 gauge over unders, 2 .410 Silver Pigeon over and unders, and 1 12 gauge over and under. All of our guns are in excellent condition and most were purchased within the last 3 years.
Thanks again for your Hospitality you provided to Sheila and I. This was Sheila’s first trip to Argentina, she tells me I can’t go again without her. Everything I promised her came true. The Lodge was Beautiful, your wife Jess was charming and Beautiful as well, the food was outstanding, the Service was that of a five star Hotel, the Dove shooting was as good as it gets We did enjoy our short visit, you folks have a way of making everyone there feel like “Family” Your Doves are the best of any Estancia I have ever visited in Argentina (this was my 44th hunting trip to Argentina). The other guests were all great companions and fine Sportsman, Sheila has fond memories of all of them, although she didn’t shoot, they all made her feel like she was one of the group and of course so did you. My congratulations to you and to David, both of you have done an outstanding job with Los Chanares. See you next year.
I just wanted to drop you a note and thank you for everything during our trip a little over a week ago. The entire Los Chanares staff was great and it was the best shooting we have every had. That is saying something as we have been making the trip to Argentina since 1998.
We had a blast! My brothers and I could not have been treated any better. Kudos to all your staff. I spoke highly of your place to my friends on this weekend pheasant hunting trip to South Dakota as well as showed pictures and all were impressed. I will try and set up another trip soon if all goes well. The trip lived up to all my expectations so I thank you for creating such a place to spend memorable, precious time with those so close to me. Look forward to the next trip.
Los Chanares continues, and expands, its’ legacy with this group of Louisianians. Take it from a group of hardcore duck hunters, who fully understand great food, fun and wingshooting; Los Chanares is second to none. We hope to continue to frequent your first class facilities and staff along with expanding our group.
“Thank you, the trip was all we could hope for. Los Chanares does a fabulous job. the facility is nice, the food is unbelievable and the hunting cannot be believed. Just as important is the staff. Everyone there seems to be trying their best. From Andreas at the airport, Martine and Alex, and all of the ” little people”. It’s a long trip, but if you want to shoot doves, I cannot imagine a better experience. I will surely tell all my friends.
“It was a trip of a lifetime . We all made it OK and the guns are back in the safe clean and neat. You have a great team and a super wife take good care of them all like you took care of us .
THANKS a lot Alex for you hospitality and patience with us , Thank everybody for us from Eduardo ,Rene, Pedro to all the Estancia people who cooked and took care of us .
We are planning our next trip to see you next year.
Take care my friend
“Thank you for all you did to help Donna and our family put together this trip. We all had a blast and the trip was fantastic. Everyone from here to BA, Cordoba, Chanares, and back could not have been any better. You have a fantastic team of people and they take care of business first class. After my grandson, Cole Bailey, put a hurt on the birds, 5046, you may have to rest the place for a while. If you have anyone who needs the latest update on the place or feedback don’t hesitate to call me. ”
“Perfect weather. Incredible birds. The best food and drink. Wonderful hosts.
We all managed to sleep pretty well on the airline flights.
Put us down for next year about this same time. Adios, Mexico!”
“It was the best hunt of any kind I’ve ever been on. The lodge and services were excellent, the people made us feel at home. The shooting was unsurpassed. I would like to book next year’s hunt for my brother and I. Thanks”
First we want to thank you & your team very much for the wonderful time we spent at the Lodge, a great thanks to David as well who made our trip possible.
You & your wife are a great couple & a big added value to the whole system at the Estancia, even Baiba enjoyed the time a lot while being in a very masculin place & enviroment!
We jus arrived yesterday from our South American trip & we still insist that you come & visit us, we would really enjoy & you can stay at our place… Bring your dad as well, it will be a pleasure!
Say Hi to all, Martin, Franco & the whole team without forgetting a special greeting from Baiba to Mrs. Mitri! 🙂
“Good Day David,
Just a quick note of thanks for a really first class and hugely enjoyable stay at your estancia.
Vicki and I enjoyed the stay enormously, the accommodation and “house” facilities are superb, the staff all fantastic and the food and service beyond reproach. It was truly a memorable experience.
The dove shooting was for me a revelation. I had of course heard lots from Tony but you need to see it to really have an understanding and feeling for what goes on. As I am sure you will have heard I had decided to shoot “English style” and challenged myself to trying to bring down difficult high birds such as we shoot here in the UK. True to form the challenge was wonderful. At times I was having a go at things which were simply out of range given my use of the 28 bore with a very light load, but I am not sure that I would have done much better on the really high doves even with my 12 bore 32 gram 6’s! Your Bird Boy, Diego, who looked after me did a great job and offered good support when it was needed.
The wild life in the shooting areas was amazing too, I could not get over the numerous eagles which circled continuously and indeed perched eating at no more than 25 meter
distance. All in all a breathtaking experience.
Once again thank you very much for the opportunity of shooting at Los Chanares, please pass my best wishes and Christmas Greetings to all of your Team.
Happy Christmas and all success for 2010!”
A wonderful time was had by all, see attachment “The gang from Ecuador”.
Our special regards and thanks to the whole crew for the great organization, including you.
We were especially impressed by the management principals used in maintaining a healthy and abundant population of doves.
Also, it did not go unnoticed by the gang, that Martin made of special effort to keep the doves on site despite that fact that they should be moving south to feed.
Yes, we shot a lot, eat a lot, and in fact, the average weight gain per person was around 5 lbs.
In short, it is a great hunting club, keenly managed by some of the nicest people you ever could meet.
I have enclosed a summary sheet made by Martin of the shots fried, doves killed and shooting averages. Not to brag of course, but we challenge any of the other gangs that happen to book with you to beat these scores.
Our great appreciation for providing us with an excellent hunt and stay in Chañares.”
“Had a great time with you guys. Everything was 5 star. Way beyond my expectations. I really have no negative comments. I can’t wait to go back.”
“The trip was great! Alex and his staff were very professional and Los Chanares is a warm and delightful lodge on a beautiful estancia. Food, accommodations, and the dove shooting are truly world class. Thanks for your part in making it a very special trip.”
“I just wanted to take a minute to thank you for the hunt we just had at Los Chanares. To say it was fabulous would be an understatement. I still can’t believe the number of dove in your area. My friend Jeff and I shot 7375 shells and took nearly 6000 doves in three days. Incredible!!! Alex and your staff did a wonderful job. I hope to return with more friends soon.”
“Thanks for a fantastic trip. Dad and Curt both have had a permanent smiles since their return, and I don’t think words could describe their surprise of encountering so many dove. Any chance you might be adding a more-exclusive 1,500 Bird Club?
The first-rate performance of Los Chanares on this experience will no doubt pave the way for future business. You have a first-class operation on all fronts.”
“As you might expect with any trip to Los Chanares,my trip was fabulous. 3/4 of the guests were repeat customers, which says so much for the service ,the courtesy, the birds, the food, the lodge and of course for Alex. I too am a repeat customer of Alex’s and that pretty much sealed the deal for me when I found out Alex was the jefe of this lodge.”
“I’ve been to Argentina 16 or 17 times with 3 different outfitters stayed at 8 or9 different estancias. Los Chanares is the best. This includes staff ,lodge,food, birds and very important, short rides to the birds. I will be back with my boys. Hope the refferals generate business.”
” We had a good hunt and was well taken care of and David was most generous. Birds were good and I was high shooter and got my 2000 bird a day golf shirt on both full days of shooting. See the old man still has it !!!!! 6083 birds in 19 hours at 87% All made it without injury or illness so it was successful. May we continue for many more years as good friends with good health and good hunting. ”
“I enjoyed my time in Cordoba a great deal. It was a great break from my routine.
I found the birds amazing! More or less continuous flight through the day, and challenging (lots of variety). I did not feel the need to spend more than a couple of hours hunting in the morning and again in the afternoon – I was completely sated after this, and have no enthusiasm for volume, when the quality is so good.
The food was excellent, and more than enough. I was treated as a house guest and felt good about this.
The lodging was comfortable and I enjoyed the fire in the evening. I was able to spend a little time sketching, some time reading, and time reflecting over a glass (or two) of good wine.
Hugo, the birdboy was attentive and capable. I appreciated his advice and assistance, as well as conversation.
The house staff were also attentive and friendly.
My transfers were efficient.
Overall I was treated very well, with personal attention, and enjoyed my experience greatly. I hope to be back before too long.
“To Alex, Jessica, and all the incredible staff at Los Chanares: Thank you for an unbelievable experience. My friend Scott and I will be telling stories from our trip for a long long time. There is nowhere else in the world to see that kind of shooting! I hope there will be many more visits to Los Chanares in the future. Thanks again for running such a class operation.”
“Thanks alex and jessica for a sensational trip. Just got back to the UK (no charlie didn’t get off in Sao Paulo for once). Best trip ever, couldn’t ask for more. That windy day will live long in the memory – 80 mph high doves are what we brits dream about. Karin loved her handbag by the way. Hope you’ve managed to replace the vodka!!!”
“My friend and I truly enjoyed a once in a lifetime type experience. Alex and his staff are complete professionals and tremendous hosts. The weather was perfect and the shooting is like nothing we have ever seen before. Every aspect of our trip exceeded our expectations. I look forward to returning there next year if my wife doesn’t kill me! Thank you again for all your help.”
“The trip was awesome and could not have been any better in my dreams. The food meets the standards of any 5 star rated restaurant and that’s coming from a New Orleans set of taste buds. We look forward to another hunt in the future. Thanks for everything.”
“Your group does a great job! I thought that last year was great, but this year was even better! Alex knows how to add the little touches that set you all apart. Thanks and we all enjoyed, look forward to next year.”
“Great trip. Alex and staff really took care of us and he furnished us with more variety of hunts than last year. It was flawless.”
“Both Christy and I wanted to let you know how much we enjoyed out stay with you guys. It is not often that my wife is as excited about hunting trips as myself. Knowing that she enjoyed her trip as much as I did says a lot about the quality of your lodge. She has already said that I can not return with out her. We enjoyed the shooting, the meals, the lodge, and the staff, it was all top notch. We wish you the very best for the future and look forward to our next trip to Los Chanares.”
“I want to thank you and your staff for the most unbelievable hunting experience I could have ever imagined. From the moment we arrived in Cordoba until we were taken back to the airport, everything was first class. No detail is overlooked…the food and service were incredible! You have a great operation and manage it with skills that I have not seen in any other lodges I have been to.
In my opinion, the hunting is the best wing shooting in the world. Five stars do not do your operation justice! Please say hello to Jessica and I hope to see you again very soon.”
“I wanted to send you a note of appreciation for the absolutely wonderful trip we had to Los Chanares. I can’t say enough good things about the accommodations. The food was first class, the room was very comfortable, the common rooms were charming and of course the shooting was over the top!
I simply can’t imagine finding a place with more to offer. Two points really stood out for me as far as the hunting was concerned — first, there were no long drives which most other places require and second, the roost shooting was unbelievable! The shooting spread sheets and the picture CD were a great bonus.
Again, many thanks for the trip of a lifetime! You run an amazing operation.”
“I wanted to thank you again for the fantastic hospitality. Carol truly appreciated your attention to make her comfortable. She is still talking about the city tour. Thank you so much! Please tell everyone at Los Chanares that we are looking forward to seeing you again.”
“The lodge was the best I have been to. Alex, Jessica and the rest of the staff were outstanding! Of special note was the cuisine — Daniel was superb in the kitchen.
The dove hunting was spectacular. The fact that the shooting was never more than 10 minutes away from the lodge was so convenient. As a group, shooting more than 15,000 doves was fantastic! Never shooting in the same place more than once was refreshing. Shooting in hilly terrain instead of plain field shooting was a great change.
Alex and David have the right setup, and so far they are getting it right. I wish you well and hopefully we will not only be the first Jamaican group to visit, but we will be back with friends.”
“We can’t stop talking about what a great time we had at Estancia Los Chanares — so much so that our co-workers hide from us when we walk down the hall! I can’t tell if it’s because they don’t believe the number of birds we shot or if they are just tired of hearing about our trip. In any event, it was such a great trip and I appreciate very much all you did to make it a success. Once again, thank you for a great hunt. I hope I have the opportunity to hunt with you again.”
“I had a wonderful time at Los Chanares. The shooting was first class and both Alex and Jessica were perfect hosts. Alex put me in positions to shoot high birds, which is exactly what I requested — not that I hit many!
The food was first class. The accommodations were very clean and comfortable, and the staff was courteous and helpful. All-in-all, it was a fantastic experience, and I hope to do it again soon with some friends from the UK.
Most importantly, I would like to thank you for arranging the weekend at very short notice! It was very kind of you and I did have a really great time.”
“I would like to compliment you on the first class operation that Los Chanares is. I had never been to South America, nor had I ever hunted anything before! Argentina and the people are beautiful and my dove hunting experience at the estancia was as good as it gets.
Alex, Jessica & Martin (along with the entire staff) made my stay too wonderful to truly describe in words-so I’ll just say it was PERFECT!”
“We just wanted to write a note to say that we arrived home safely on Tuesday. We want to sincerely thank you for a most enjoyable vacation.
The estancia, the staff, the food and the general atmosphere were all marvelous!
As far as the shooting was concerned I have been shooting now for over 40 years and have never experienced anything better…and I have been to many places to shoot birds.
Thank you so much, all of you…and particularly you, David.”
“A great time was had by all! Your improvements are excellent. You have added many fine touches like the perfectly manicured shooting spots and well fed doves, better hors d’oeuvres, the welcoming towel, better and more food, clean towels, the massage staff, the improved layout of the sitting room and bar, wider selection of fine wines, WiFi access, the use of your guns, better entertainment and the unforgettable Tango.
We all really appreciate the attention that you, Alex, Jessica and the entire staff gave to us…outstanding!
The arrangements John made were perfect. Without Ana Marie, it would have been a nightmare at the airport! She was also an excellent tour guide. You all are to be complimented.
I’d say in my 12+ trips to Argentina, this was by far the best. You all have really made Los Chanares THE place to shoot doves in Argentina. We look forward to returning and I will be in touch to set dates for the future.”
“I wanted to thank everyone at Los Chanares for a wonderful shooting experience. In the future, I plan to organize a group of my friends from Georgia to hunt there. With luck, we can all schedule time off to travel together at the same time.
Again, I would like to thank you for an incredible time. I could not have dreamed of a better shooting experience — being offered shot after shot of endless doves and finishing the days with sore muscles, blistered hands and gun powder stinging my nostrils! Thanks Alex.”
“Once again, I just wanted to let you know that we all had a wonderful time at Los Chanares–there is simply nothing better. Everyone back home can’t believe it was better than last time (2004) but there is no doubt that it was 10 times better! I need to send you a copy of the video I shot while I was there–it is pretty funny.
I know that next time we are going to have a huge line of people wanting to come back with us! There is no doubt we will round up 16 people and have another BIG PARTY–with a little dove hunting on the side!”
Thank you Alex! We arrived home to 10 inches of snow on New Year’s Eve. The boys were upset that they missed the fireworks at Los Chanares. I guess next time we will stay for New Years!
We all had an absolutely awesome time. As I told you while we were there, it exceeded expectations…the staff, the accommodations, the food and of course the hunting. Please send my regards to Jessica as well!
The photo CD was great. Your pictures were much better than the ones I took… a very nice touch.
We’ll stay in touch as I am sure we will be back again soon. The boys say ‘hi’ to those horses you call dogs.”
“Ronald Pulliam, Bo and I had a wonderful time at Estancia Los Chanares. It certainly exceeded our expectations. I can’t imagine a better hunting experience!
There are three things that make your Ranch so special. First, the accommodations were excellent — rooms were nice and very relaxing. It’s a great place to kick back and eat wonderful meals while visiting with guests and staff after a long day of hunting.
Second, the entire staff was friendly and made a special effort to make us feel welcome. I especially appreciated the attention paid to Bo and Mr. Pulliam. It was such a nice personal touch for you to stay and watch after us.
Finally, the sheer number of doves and layout of the various fields were incredible! There was never a dull moment and we all enjoyed the opportunity to try the difficult shooting patterns. Each half day’s hunt was an entirely new experience. Our favorite was the shoot where we were positioned on the side of the mountain. What a beautiful scenic experience!
Thanks again for the wonderful bird hunting trip. Please share our appreciation with your entire staff. You are very fortunate to have them. I have assured John LaRussa that he needs to send more clients your way and I am doing my part to spread the word. I look forward to my next trip to Estancia Los Chanares.”
“All the dove shooting places you mention are good, but there is a definite pecking order among them. The Trek options are eliminated because they are hammered so hard by so many shooters that the doves tend to fly very high. Salta is very hard to get to and it can be very hot there, depending on when you go. La Guarida is a nice place, but you face long drives on bad roads to the shooting fields. I think of Los Ombues as a mixed-bag place — good for all three species it offers but not in the same league for any given species as other places which offer only that species.
That brings us to Los Chanares. I would say without hesitation that it is the best dove-shooting resort in the world. You may have read about it in books, but here is recent news about Los Chanares that makes it even better. It has recently changed ownership! The new owner is a young, enthusiastic American by the name of David Perez. I met with him several times during a recent trip to Argentina, and was quite favorably impressed. He has hired a top manager, he bought a large number of new Benelli 20 gauge semi-autos and he hired a brand new kitchen staff so the quality of food and service are definitely superior to what it was. Perhaps most importantly, he has lowered the daily cost.
One great feature of Los Chanares is that you can pick and choose the kinds of shots you want. Every shooting stand is graded according to the difficulty of birds. Beginning shooters are placed on hilltops where the birds fly low, whereas expert shooters are placed down in swales and valleys where they pass much higher. Each shooter announces the degree of difficulty of shots he wants and is placed accordingly.
I would have to say that Los Chanares is unquestionably the finest dove-shooting resort in the world. You can easily fire 4 cases (2000 rounds) of shells there.
Los Chanares is very much in demand during certain times of the year, so it is strongly recommended to make your reservations early. The periods most in demand are January through March and July through November.”
“We had a great time at your estancia!
The hunting was spectacular — especially the afternoon when the 30 mph morning winds subsided to gentle breezes. The food was excellent! We especially enjoyed the dove burrito dinner and the fantastic grilled steak at lunch after our morning shoot. As great as lunch was, I was a little bit late because it’s hard to remove the hunt from the dog! Rafael, our bird boy, was a great help and seemed to enjoy the shot as much as I did.”
“The trip was AWESOME! All day long, emails have been flying back and forth about how great everything was. I have not heard a complaint yet about anything.! BsAs was definitely the icing on the cake.
Stay in touch and let me know if you or Alex ever want to travel to Louisiana. Mi casa es su casa…”
“We had a great time last week at Los Chanares. The amenities, service and food were absolutely second to none. Your staff is top-notch and I appreciate the effort that went in to making our hunt what was described to me by one client as ‘the very best vacation ever had, hunting or otherwise.’
The photo CD was also an excellent touch. I appreciate those pictures very much.
We will see you again soon.”
Thank you most sincerely for a most enjoyable vacation.
Estancia, the staff, the food and the general atmosphere were marvelous.
As far as the shooting was concerned I have been shooting now for over forty years and have never experienced any better, having said that, I have been to many and varied places to shoot birds.
The lodge was the best I have been to and Alex, Jessica and the rest of the staff were outstanding. Of special note was the cuisine.
– The dove hunting was spectacular.
– The fact that the shooting was never more than 10 minutes away from the lodge was a great feature.
– The fact that we never shot the same place more than once was refreshing.
– The fact that we were able to shoot in hilly terrain instead of all field shooting was the second best feature for us as a group.
Alex and David have the right setup and so far they are getting it right. I wish them well and hopefully God willing we will not only be the first Jamaican group, but we will be back with friends.
I wanted to drop you a note of appreciation for the absolutely wonderful trip we had to Los Chanares. I can’t say enough about the accommodations. The food was first class (great chef), the room was very comfortable, the main part of the lodge was charming and, of course the shooting was over the top. I simply can’t imagine finding a place with more to offer !! Two things really stood out for me as far as the shooting was concerned: first, there were no long drives which most other places require and the roost shooting is something that can’t be described. Again, many thanks for the trip of a lifetime !! You run one helluva nice operation.
I have hunted in 4 different continents but dove hunting in Argentina at Los Chanares is the best organized, most pleasant camp that I have ever been to ! I look forward to coming back.”