CWA Members’ Great Argentina Adventure Text and photos by Greg Chasko Graphics and Layout by Joe Alix
In July, 2019 two long-time CWA members, Rick Boucher and Greg Chasko and a CWA “newbie,” Tyler Luciani, jumped the equator and went to Argentina for a duck hunting adventure!
Outdoor magazines, especially the waterfowl publications, are ripe with stories about the phenomenal duck hunting (and dove and pigeon shooting) in Argentina. Please enjoy this Photo Essay that tells and shows the story of three crusty, Connecticut nimrods turned loose in this bird hunter’s paradise!
Our adventure took place near Cordoba in north central Argentina. The area is characterized by flat and often wet topography with many rivers and other water bodies. It is primarily “cattle country” with other agriculture, like cotton, mixed in.
Ducks and other wildlife
There are many different species of South American ducks that occur in Argentina. The majority of birds we harvested were Rosy-Billed Pochards, White-Faced Whistling Ducks, Silver Teal and Ringed Teal. There was a ton of Ibises and Egrets and we got the unique opportunity to see an Anaconda python in the wild!
Ducks were abundant, but they did not occur in “clouds” as is sometimes seen in the North American prairies. Rather, they occurred in smaller flocks that flew throughout the day.
We three old codgers have harvested a lot of birds over the years. For us, being outdoors and hunting is the “event,” it’s not about the harvest. But one goes to Argentina to have the opportunity for a lot of shooting!
The first issue we settled with the Outfitter was to ensure that all birds harvested would be used and not wasted. He assured us that all birds (except for the ones we kept to dine on at the Lodge) would go to the local, rural folks who were generally poor and greatly appreciated them. And, this was, indeed, the case.
Each of us was accompanied by a Guide who transported us to our hunting sites, retrieved birds and provided anything we needed. We used shotguns provided by the Outfitter, Beretta A-440 Lights. They performed perfectly and there was very little felt recoil, an important consideration when you are taking a lot of shots! Hunters pay a reasonable price for the shells they shoot. (Hunters can bring their own guns and bring birds home. We elected not to do that due to the complicated bureaucracy involved and to simplify our travel).
Shown below are the different habits and blinds that we hunted from as well as the vessels and vehicles that took us to our hunting spots.
Most of the area we were in was large areas of farms suitable for grazing cattle, not surprising as Argentina is a big producer of beef. However, we did not see any “cattle baron” mansions. The dwellings we saw were simple structures, many with thatched roofs. But there were a lot of horses also. Rick, the “Equestrian” even went for a little ride!
The Lodge and Outfitter
We stayed in a nice lodge in San Javier outside of Cordoba. Accommodations were excellent, but not spectacular, which is just right for me. The food was excellent and the staff was friendly. For me, it was perfect, very nice but not too fancy!
We dined on the famous Argentinian beef and we had duck hors d’oeuvres every night and a ½ duck for two of our lunches. I wish I spoke Spanish so that I could have learned from the cooks how they prepared them. They were outstanding! All the food was good and lunch and dinner were served with tasty Argentina Malbec wines.
The Outfitter we used was C&C Outfitters and were very pleased with the total experience. You can find many Outfitters online, but Rick went to the big annual Sportsmen’s Show in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania and met with C&C Outfitter, Nacho Castro, in person. This sealed the deal as Nacho is a great, personable guy who works hard to provide his clients with a great experience, which is what we had!