Wingshooting in Argentina. The love, the anticipation, the planning, the shooting, the camaraderie…the memories.
Nothing compares to that moment you look at the waves of doves sweeping across the Argentine sky toward water, or grain, or the roost – wave, after wave, after wave of doves – from five to five hundred at a time, as far as you can see, in wave after unbroken wave.
This is why you come to Argentina – first and foremost – for the dove shooting, not hunting, ‘shooting’. Oh, yes, there are wonderful pigeon hunts, tremendous duck hunts, great perdiz hunting over pointing dogs, and even big game hunting, but the number one reason Americans come to Argentina is the doves. Argentina boasts literally millions and millions of doves, so many they are considered ‘pests’, and the farmers welcome you to shoot as many as you can to keep them from ravaging their sunflower, corn, sorghum, and grain fields.
A first class hunt awaits. Delivered directly to your blind, your personal ‘secretario’ (bird boy) has your gun, a stool, a cooler with water and soft drinks, and a case (500) of shells waiting for you. You are dressed in browns or greens, or even camo, though not necessary, and you don your shooting glasses, ear plugs, and shooting gloves in preparation for the afternoon shoot as doves continue to pour in over your head and as far right and left as you can see.
There is no place on earth for the wingshooter like Argentina. It is not unusual to shoot 1000, 1500, 2000 or more shells in an afternoon. You will resign your position before the birds stop flying. You will be worn out and they will still be flying. It is the way of Argentina.
At days end, it will dawn on you that no matter how many you shoot, you will not make a dent in the numbers of dove seen. It will dawn on you that, as a shotgun shooter, you have reached Nirvana. It will dawn on you that you are incredibly tired, and incredibly happy, and that you will be able to do this two, or maybe three, more days.
You are overwhelmed. You are ecstatic. Life is standing still so you can enjoy the moment.
You are in Argentina.