Argentina Duck Hunting + Pigeons & Parrots 2014

I had been wanting to hunt ducks & pigeons in Argentina since my last visit for dove hunting in Argentina.

Ramiro, with Puelo Expeditions, was our host and our trip was fantastic.

Argentina duck hunting is the “little sister” of Argentina Dove Hunting.  While they don’t have ducks in the same quantity as doves, they do have a LOT of ducks.  And, the ducks they have are almost all unique to the Southern hemisphere.  It’s a bit more expensive to hunt ducks in Argentina but you end up shooting less so it is “theoretically” about the same price.  I guess it depends on the size of your shotgun shell bill after a dove hunt – mine was rather large.  By contrast, I hunted ducks for 4 days with 1 dove hunt and 1 pigeon/parakeet hunt and only shot 45 boxes.  On dove hunts, I typically shoot as much as 80 boxes per day. The best part of our Argentina duck hunt was the amazing number of crazy shots that were successful.  What was magnificent was the superb scenery, a steady stream of ducks arriving about every 5 minutes, long shots with a 20ga, shooting lead instead of steel, crazy double and quadruple shots with my buddy Larry and our host.  Puelo Expeditions, Ramiro, and his superb team delivered so far beyond our expectations that we were continually surprised and amazed

Puelo Expeditions should be your first choice for Argentina Duck Hunting if you want a superb, finest personal experience. You can get a little taste of the action Argentina Duck Hunting in the video.

Saturday 4/26/14, Day 0.5
830 am arrival in Buenos Aires, Argentina
Arrived at the Lodge 1030 after 90m drive
The Estancia smells like San Pablo and is what San Pablo prob wanted to be.
Amazing Estancia! Someone thought far ahead and cared for it lovingly.

PM Hunt4PM into blind in a small pond.

Southern Screamers – not a game bird but very cool!

Slow but steady traffic all afternoon.

Shot full afternoon limit of 25 per person.

A big part of duck hunting is species identification.  At some point, almost every duck hunter turns into a species hunter since species identification is so important to our game laws.  The species we saw in South America were almost all unique to South America.  This surprised me and turned out to be an enormous treat for us.

14 Speckled Teal
5 Yellow-Billed Pintail. It was very hard to tell hen or drake
6 Ringed Teal
3 Silver Teal
2 Spot-Winged Pigeons
2 Picazuro Pigeons
1 Monk Parakeet

Amazing end to an amazing hunt!!!

Sunday 4/27/14, Hunt Day 1
With Santi and Ramiro

Duck pond in pampas. Very much like Katy Prairie

Rosy-billed Pochard

Southern Wigeon

Heavy Strap! 40 ducks total

Harvest includes Southern Wigeon and Rosy-billed Pochards. Also Speckled Teal, Silver Teal, Ringed Teal and Yellow-billed Pintails.

Steady traffic of small groups daylight to 930.
Clouds of Mosquitos but stand up blind in water and strong wind kept them off until on shore.

Stickers are big in Argentina. Actually Jimson Weed!

With Claudio, Santi’s dad
Big lake in a pasture
Jumped 60 birds at setup
Shot 14. Very slow. Ducks weren’t flying – just sitting
Did shoot red shoveler
Giant white whooping crane looking birds were Maguari Stork

Monday 4/28/14, Hunt Day 2

Hunted large lake pond
We were warned birds would fly late.
Had swarms of pigeons early out of the trees behind us – shot 22!

Big fog bank rolling in.

Big fog bank rolled through and then rolled on.

Our intrepid guides Ramiro & Santi being super stealthy – not. It didn’t matter!

Southern Screamer – named appropriately. These aren’t huntable birds and we didn’t shoot any.  They do make one hell of a racket though and truly deserve their name.

Southern Wigeon I love hunting wigeon.  I like their wingbeat pattern and how they will work a call and decoys.  I also think they are the prettiest duck out there.  So, I was quite delighted to harvest several while duck hunting in Argentina. I think the southern species is even more beautiful than their northern cousins.

Very good shooting all morning long

Noon, walked the tree canopied lanes at the lodge.

PM shot doves, pigeons & parakeets in an open field.

Tuesday 4/29/14, Hunt Day 3

Hunted little teal hole.

Silver Teal  This is my favorite duck of the entire Argentine duck hunting trip.  We were relatively early in the season as we hunted the first week of May.  Since the southern hemisphere is six months opposite the northern hemisphere, their duck hunting season is 6 months opposite of ours. Since we were early in the season, not many ducks had begun migration.  So, we hunted mostly local ducks.  This was very different that hunting local ducks up here.  Most of the local ducks where we hunted were teal and they are my very favorite.  The silver teal was the scarcest species of teal we saw.  This photo was taken in a teal hole (small pond filled with reeds with a small open area in the middle) where we were literally bombarded by teal one day.  So many, that they were literally swimming right up to our blind!

I shot my first Cinnamon Teal  I live in Texas and are just a tiny bit too far east to see cinnamon teal.  I didn’t expect to see a cinnamon while hunting ducks in Argentina but I knew this guy as soon as he came by the blind.  What a treat to get my first cinnamon teal on a duck hunting in Argentina.

Ringed, Speckled & Cinnamon Teal – w parakeets.  Ringed teal are another example of unique southern duck species.  They are very noticeable in flight due to the very white ring on their wings.  We also shot parakeets.  I love shooting parakeets.  You can hear them coming as they chatter to each other in flight.  They usually fly in pairs which offers a very nice double on a regular basis.  I love shooting parakeets so much that I’ll pass up a duck shot to take one at parakeets.  No, they aren’t good for anything but they are a huge pest in Argentina.  They eat grain just like a dove but they use their very sharp beak to chop off the heads of mature grain stalks rather than just pick up seeds off the ground like the doves.  Farmers hate them and are generally happy to let you shoot them. Below the silver and ring teal are a few speckled teal.  Speckled teal were by far the most common teal we saw and shot.

We saw mostly Speckled Teal but a great mixed bag!!

Another heavy strap day

We hunted pigeons, parakeets and doves at an estancia around the hacienda – very cool shooting!  We had an afternoon hunt for pigeons and parakeets at our specific request. If you want this type of hunt, make sure you request it ahead of time.  It is common to shoot a few pigeons and parakeets while hunting other species but it is very unique to hunt them at their roost.  It’s harder than it sounds.  Hunting the roost only provides a concentration of pigeons and parakeets, we didn’t shoot them out of the trees or their nest.  But, it did provide us a place to hunt them with sufficient regular traffic that it made a hunt.  They roost in very very tall eucalyptus trees and fly in and out all day long.  It was fun to build a big stack of green birds and then go have a great pigeon asado (Argentina bar-b-que) afterward.  The pigeons are very tasty.  I can’t say the same for the parakeets.

Picazuro Pigeon

Monk Parakeet

Spot-winged Pigeon

Pretty Mixed Bag.

The Roost.

Lucky Spectators – we only shoot them when they fly.

We probably killed over 100 parrots and at least 50 pigeons. I wish I’d brought the duck strap and loaded it with pigeons & parrots!

Wednesday 4/30/14, Hunt Day 3.5
Last Hunt before returning home.

Back to the first pond
Using mojo this time
Hard rain and windy but it cleared by the time we were done

Lots of shooting – mine were 20s and Larry shot 12s. Every great hunt has to end and this photo summed it up the best.  Man, we had some amazing shooting, shots and laughs.  What else could a duck hunter ask for in a duck hunting trip to Argentina?

Stunning teal hunt!