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A Wingshooters Bucket List....

In my early years of bird hunting I started a bucket list by pouring over the magazines by my father’s Lazy Boy. I would memorize item numbers in Lyon Country Supply, and dream of the day I had my own real bird dog. Dreams of skidding points, and huge Canadian geese in the decoys, banded green heads and woodcock over a Llewellyn or any other bird hunt I could read about and absorb.

In those early years my bucket list was simple and far to narrow. It mostly consisted of things I saw my father and uncles do. Goose hunts, shoot quail, own a fine bird dog − simple things for a simple time of life.

As I’ve gotten older and more experienced I have developed a more challenging bucket list − a list that is both doable yet challenging. A bucket list that any international wingshooter can be proud of. You might say, “Well if he’s writing a column about international wingshooting, shouldn’t he have done these already?” To that I say, “You’re probably right.” There is a lot for me still to do and I look forward to sharing my adventures as I complete this list. This is an evolving list, and has many goals, but let’s just go with the top ten on my bucket list of bird hunts.

Number 1 – The King Eider

Found in northern Coastal Arctic areas, the King Eider is one tough duck. It’s hunted in the depths of winter in some of the coldest areas of North America. To hunt Kings makes a late December hunt in Arkansas look like a spring picnic. Eider are hunted from small islands in the middle of the ocean. Sometimes many many miles from shore, small rocky islands that destroy equipment as the wind blows saltwater into everything. Many consider a King Eider hunt the most extreme duck hunt in the world, and I’d have to agree with them. When one combines the difficulty of the hunt, travel and weather with the beauty of a King Eider Drake this stands easily at the top of my bucket list.

Number 2 – Driven Red-Legged Partridge in Spain

There’s something about the pomp and circumstance that surrounds a well-run driven shoot. The tweeds, centuries of heritage and traditions come together to form an amazing experience. Driven shoots are not cheap, and the accommodations normally reflect that. The shoot I would go on is run out of a castle near the historic town of Toledo. With game parades and breathtaking food and wines always available. This is a trip for both the volume shooter as well as the more refined, dinner dress and tweeds. A far cry from blaze orange and blocking off a corn field in South Dakota.

Ventosilla Castle Spain

Ventosilla Castle in Spain is a top destination for driven Red-Legged Partridge.

Number 3 – Chesapeake Bay Waterfowl

Here is where history calls to me from the stories read as a boy of punt guns and birds to black out the sky. While Chesapeake Bay may not be what it once was, sitting in a modern lay out boat with modern decoys in the middle of this historic bay is very high on my list! And the whole time I’m there, I’ll think of the market hunters, the thousands of men who came before, and the millions upon millions of ducks that have passed through the nation’s largest estuary for a millennia.

Goose decoy spread Eastern Shore

A goose decoy spread on Maryland’s Eastern Shore.

Number 4 – South African Birds

It’s no surprise that the bird hunting opportunities in Africa are as varied as the big game. The main reason I have put South Africa so high on this list is because of three birds. First the mighty Spur Wing Goose, the supposed largest goose in the world. It’s a quiet species and you have to be on the “X” if you’re wanting a good shoot. Secondly, the Egyptian Goose, found in good numbers and is a great looking bird. Having grown up hunting Swan Lake National Wildlife Refuge in Sumner, Missouri I have had a lifelong love of big geese. Lastly, the South African bird I’m looking most forward to shooting is the Grey-Winged Partridge, a bird that coveys and holds well to dogs. A couple days of following a brace of English Pointers in the highlands of South Africa is a dream come true.

South Africa Egyptian Geese

Egyptian Geese taken on a wingshooting expedition to South Africa.

Number 5 – Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, Woodcock and Grouse.

History here is also important, but in all honesty it’s the bird numbers and the ecosystem they live in. Having grown up reading of setters and pointers holding a woodcock in deep cover, with the streams and trout, in all of North America few places capture my imagination like the Upper Peninsula − not to mention how truly remote you can get there.

Number 6 – North American Sandhill Cranes

While I have hunted them several times, I have never shot at one. From Canada to Kansas I have tried and tried to score on a Sandhill Crane, with no success. This year though is the year! I’ll be hunting the panhandle of Texas several times this year with TxFowl and am looking forward to seeing how it’s done! Considering he scouts with a plane I’m sure we should get on the birds. The main reason for my crane obsession? I have to know if they are really the Filet Mignon of the Sky.

Texas Cranes

Cranes harvested in a Texas hunt.

Number 7 – Eurasian Western Capercaillie

Found throughout Eurasia, the Capercaillie is the world’s largest grouse. It’s hunted in several different ways, from dogs to calling. A very large black bird with tons of personality, found in the deep forest of Eastern Europe, the habitat in which you find these birds seems straight out of a fairy tale. The idea of hunting the storied forests of Eastern Europe and Western Asia is something that has always been on my radar. One of my favorite recurring dreams is a big black bird flushing through a dark primeval forest.

Number 8 – Oscillated Turkey, Yucatan Peninsula

Nothing like the turkeys we know up north, this is a subspecies that few turkey hunters ever even consider. The keystone of National Wild Turkey Foundation’s World Slam, the Oscillated Turkey is a beautiful bird that rivals a peacock in colors and beauty. They are either called, or hunted over bait, deep in the jungles of the Yucatan. Not only is this a trophy bird, but the area in which it is hunted is rich in culture, and heritage.

Number 9 – Geese in Scotland

Who doesn’t want to go to Scotland? The distilleries alone could hold my attention, but really it’s the way in which Scots hunt. With a certain flair and tradition, both things I’ve grown to appreciate. The specific trip I’d like to take is to the Orkney Islands just off the Scottish coast, for Pinkfoot and Greylag geese. This is a less tourist-traveled area of Scotland and a place I think would feel like any rural area of North America. The hunting is done over decoys and seems to me to be very similar to the spreads and layout blinds we use here in the states.

Number 10 – Driven Birds in the U.K.

Talk about some options! Shooting driven birds in England is something that I’ve always wanted to do. The heritage of U.K. shooting is the main attraction, the traditions that go with the shoot, and the game parades. The formality of it all, combined with respect for the game and land is something that I feel I must learn. If I could have my choice, I would spend several months under the tutelage of one of several well-known gamekeepers. I know how we do it, how do they?

UK Driven

A driven hunt in the U.K.

Wrap-Up

It’s my hope that you’ve enjoyed this short list, and maybe it will help fuel a fire in you as well. I know I’ve spent more time day dreaming while writing this than I should. Also, I hope you enjoy following along as I try to achieve these goals. At 37 years of age, I have time and am looking forward to a future filled with feathers and the smell of spent shells.

If one of these trips piques your interest and you’re looking for someone to go with, please give me a call.

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Meet Eric Harrison, the 2017 Orvis Endorsed Wingshooting Guide of the Year

I’m extremely proud of my good buddy, Eric Harrison of Joshua Creek Ranch, who received the 2017 Orvis Endorsed Wingshooting Guide of the Year. Eric and I have been friends for many years, and I know him as a great guide and father. Many of Shotgun Life’s readers have hunted with a guide like Eric or Eric himself at some point. I thought it would be helpful to sit down with him for a quick Q&A to discover what it takes to be a winning wingshooting guide and how you can benefit from hunting with someone like him.

We'll start with a quick bio of Eric and then jump into our conversation. He grew up in Kentucky along the Ohio River, where Eric shared a passion for hunting with his father, who took him hunting as a young boy. He graduated from Southeastern Illinois College in 2002 with a degree in Game Preserve Management then moved to Texas to pursue a career as a hunting guide. In 2007 Eric started working at Joshua Creek Ranch. He’s a Texan at heart and embodies the spirit of "Texas Hospitality."

Eric

Award-winning wingshooting guide Eric Harrison of Joshua Creek Ranch.

Who is Eric Harrison?

I’m a lucky individual who chose a job he loves, and therefore doesn't have to work a day of his life. Growing up in the outdoors and then able to make a living from it is a dream come true.  I’m a proud father, loving husband and God-fearing Republican.

How long have you been a guide? How’d did you get into guiding?

My father started taking me hunting with him when I was four years old and it’s been game-on ever since. Once I started attending middle school Dad told me to make a choice between sports and hunting due to not enough time for both. I didn't choose sports thank God − a penguin could probably out-dribble me down a basketball court. I started hunting for a paycheck a little over a decade ago and have loved every minute of it. My favorite part to being a guide is all the hunters I get to meet and share my dogs with.

Why do you think you won this year’s Orvis Endorsed Wingshooting Guide of the Year?

I feel I won for many reasons. First, it’s easy to put on a great show when working at the world’s best hunting lodge, Joshua Creek Ranch. Second, I have the confidence to say my hunting-dog team on their worst day could out-hunt the average dog on their best day. And last would be my love for the sport. I not only have a loving family that raised me, that family has grown into a ranch, my dogs, my hunters and it’s become a great strength.

Who are people that have helped you get to where you are now? Who does Eric look up to in wingshooting or life?

My mom and dad get the credit for putting me on the path, and getting me birdie at a young age.  My uncle Mike inspired me to train dogs. And without Bruce Herring, my professor at Southeastern Illinois, I wouldn't be where I am today. He helped me get my degree in a very unique program that touches on all aspects within the hunting industry. Last, but not least, my hat goes off to Joe and Ann Kercheville, who own Joshua Creek Ranch. The Kercheville family took me under their wing 11 years ago, and like a started dog they finished me. Thank you Joe, I appreciate all that you have taught me.

You’re one of wingshooting’s best ambassadors. How many new shooters do you think you guide in a year?

EricFlush

Pheasants taken at Joshua Creek Ranch under the guidance of Eric Harrison.

New hunters and old hunters are all the same, just a soul trying to reconnect with Mother Nature.  At Joshua Creek we open our doors to any person wanting to share the experiences here. I hunt in the double digits every year with first-time hunters. In some respects a new hunter hasn't acquired any bad habits and is easy to train more than a mature hunter. New or old my only concern is that the hunter has a safe and enjoyable hunt.

Do you have any advice for new wingshooters? Advice for people wanting to expose others to the sport?

From one avid wingshooter to another it should be a goal to hunt more and more each year and to experience different ways to hunt. Shooting pheasants behind pointers is great but adding three cockers to the mix is better. Harvesting 15 doves is fun but shooting 1,500 dove in Argentina is mind blowing. Never stop moving forward in your hunting experience. If a hunter shoots birds five times in a year, that hunter should make it a goal to shoot birds six times the following. I've been hunting my entire life and it took me 33 years to find out that my favorite bird to shoot is a driven pheasant in England, but my new goal is to shoot grouse in Scotland. 

What in your view can we, as sportsmen and women, do to better promote the outdoors to non-hunters?

The best way to promote hunting is exposing it to our youth. My dad spent every weekend teaching me the outdoors and a lot of kids don't have that. If hunters could stop a kid from playing on the computer and take the kid outside for an adventure it would change that kid’s life for the good. I challenge all hunters with the 5-to-1 deal.  For every five hunts you go on you take a youth hunter on the sixth.

What’s your favorite breed of bird dog and why?

My favorite breed of bird dog is the kind that hunts, but I love English dog lines. Setters and cockers have a great temperament, eager to please, always ready to hunt as well as great family companions. Sonto was the name of my first Joshua Creek bird dog and my best dog now is a long-haired black and white setter named Sonto. He can work a field like a conductor leading an orchestra.

If you could hunt with anyone, dead or alive, who would it be?

If I could hunt with anyone in the history of hunting it would be good old Teddy Roosevelt in Africa. That man knew how to hunt. Second would be my great grandpa, Pascal. He lived in the Tennessee mountains and made his money by guiding bird hunts, taking folks fly fishing and moonshining. 

Eric and Dogs

Eric Harrison and his dogs ready for a wingshooting hunt at Joshua Creek Ranch.

When you meet a group for the first time, what are some telltale signs you might look for? Is there a “Don’t be that person”?

Here are three tips for wingshooters. First, don't show up to a quail hunt with a 12 gauge, that’s way too much gun for such a small bird. With experience you'll find shot placement outweighs firepower. Two, don't wear new boots; they will only cause blisters. And three, don't wear camo. Dogs hold birds on point so no need to hide from the bird. Wingshooting is a gentleman’s sport, so pick up an Orvis catalog and look the part. The same goes for the guide you’re hunting with. If your guide shows up with new boots, new hunting vest and a cheesy grin then march back into the pro-shop and ask for an experienced guide.

Where else have you hunted besides Joshua Creek Ranch?

I have been on hunts from Alaska down to the Mexican border. Shooting dove in Argentina was a blast but that didn't touch shooting pheasant in England. I’m 33 and very excited about what’s next; teaching my son is going to be special.

Tells us about your worst hunt?

Good hunts come and go but my worst hunts always originate from a lack of communication.  Either between my dogs or my hunters, and it can spiral out of hand. My dogs are well-trained, but with the number of hunts I run it’s inevitable that they’ll have a bad day. Communication with my hunting clients is important. For example you don’t want them walking past birds. It’s a delicate balance between doing what the hunter wants and guiding a good hunt.

Eric and Gucci

Eric Harrison with his dog Gucci.

Tell us about your best/favorite hunt?

On the other hand my favorite hunt happens all the time and is easy to duplicate. Get a group of shooters with positive attitudes who can shoot, and have them follow me around a pasture as I work my dogs. Then when the dogs start going on points left and right we flank them. The best feeling in the world is when all of the hunters are focused on the sound of a cocker running into the tall grass flushing a covey.

 If you were to hunt one bird and one bird only for the rest of your life which would it be?

Quail behind setters.

We’ve talked many times about your theory of the “team” aspect of upland hunting, I find your explanation very insightful. Can you explain Eric Harrison’s team approach to guiding a bird hunt?

The guide is the leader. Dogs and hunters should always follow instructions of the guide. My number-one goal on a hunt is to keep my dogs and hunters safe. I don’t wake up in the morning with the expectation for a mediocre hunt, and it irritates me to not come in with the most birds.

Dogs are a tool, a key component to finding the birds. It takes the right tool for the job and many hunts differ, so be sure to know your dog and to have the right tool for the job. Without a good dog the hunt has already failed. 

The hunter is the talent and should have many different skills in order to be good. It must be understood that their position is to follow the guide, but recognize when it’s their time to lead. They should study their skills and understand the mechanics of shotgun shooting and shot placement – to foresee shot obstacles and work as a team so when a bird rises someone in the party will have a shot presentation. Knowing how a bird dog should properly work so one can read a dog’s body like a book when he says, get ready I’m birdie. And remember that they are the reason the team came to play.

There is a growing trend in the hunting industry to market the fitness aspects of hunting, with many guides and T.V. hosts claiming to be athletes. Do you consider yourself a hunting athlete?

As a kid I would tell my city-slicker friends that hunting was a sport and they teased asking me where are my trophies. Hunting is a sport with trophies and has athletes like any other sport. I hunt because I’m driven to it. I train with my team every season and we give it our all. But hunting is way more than a sport to me. It’s a family tradition I want to pass down to my son. It started as a tool of survival and has evolved into my family and life. I love the ranch I work for and I love my family and consider it all my hunting team and as part of my life. 

Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

My goals for the coming years are to keep training and perfecting my skills. I want to be healthy and happy with a strong family. It turns out that I’m a very competitive person and I don't like to be last. Joshua Creek Ranch has been a great family to me and I will always be there for them. I did go to school to become a hunting ranch manager and feel I’m following the path and right leaders to be a great one.

What’s it like to guide at Joshua Creek Ranch?

It’s just as much fun to guide at Joshua Creek as it is to hunt. The property is 1,200 acres of perfect bird-hunting habitat with miles of moving water and high hills. It’s fun to have such an incredible office. We have divided the ranch into 12 different hunting pastures and each guide is assigned a different pasture each hunt, leaving excitement for what’s to come. The hunts are always changing, birds are always moving, and I always have hunters. What more could a guide ask for?

What’s a hunt like at Joshua Creek Ranch?

Hunting at Joshua Creek Ranch is a bird hunter’s dream come true. Great dogs, great guides, lodging and meals, with a lot of hard work and dedication that keeps our hunters coming back.  Average hunts are three hours long. Hunters go through three boxes of shells, so that’s 75 presented shots at different flying birds that were worked and pointed. Sounds like a pointing dogs dream come true too. 

 

I highly recommend hunting with Eric. He’s seen more birds shot in his young life than most of us ever will. If you’re interested in hunting at Joshua Creek Ranch, feel free to give me a call or send an email and I’d be happy to set it up for you. They offer everything from driven pheasants to unbelievable walk up hunts.

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The Best Way to Find and Hunt North American Wild Quail

Wild quail hunting can be found from Mexico to the uplands of California to the northern Midwest across the country to the so-called Golden Triangle of Georgia. North America itself is home to several quail species that live in assorted habitats and regions. Given the incredible variety of quail hunting opportunities there are many ways a hunter can get on birds – making these challenging birds available for an array of budgets and skill levels.

Make no mistake, wild quail can be hard to come by: changing agricultural practices, loss of habitat, increase in predation or just poor management. In the Golden Triangle of Georgia, millions of dollars are spent on private, invitation-only quail plantations. Although this doesn’t help the average Joe, it does insure the future of the wild quail population. On the flip side of the coin, at public spaces the competition can be fierce for the limited acreage and number of hunters. However, a wealth of local and national information about those kinds of hunts is available through conservation organizations such as Quail Forever (it’s also a great way to meet likeminded hunters who can keep you in the loop on nearby hunting conditions).

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Armed with quail-hunting intelligence and abundant public land, in areas of Missouri, Kansas, or California I say load the dogs, pack up your gear and head on out. Scheduling a public-land hunting trip during the week is a smart move (if possible) to avoid the weekend rush. Just be ready for mad rush of hunters if you’re part of the opening day crowd.

What if you don’t have dogs or live near a decent area for quail hunts? An outfitter is your best solution. Many reputable and qualified wild-quail outfitters can be found in Texas and elsewhere throughout the west. These outfitters hunt vast tracts of private and leased land, which allows for their clients to often find birds. I strongly recommend avoiding “wild quail” outfitters who say they have 500 acres, because there is no way a viable commercial operation can have sustainable hunting of wild quail on such a small acreage (unless they take two groups per year, in that case are they really an outfitter?) As with all outfitters, check references and ask questions. The right questions will tell you plenty about the outfitter. Make sure they hunt enough land to be chasing new birds at the end of the season. An outfitter who has been in business for more than five years is doing something right.

Valley Quail 006

If you want to travel, a reputable outfitter increases your odds of success while at the same time helps ensure that your money is well-spent on results, lodging and meals. Wild quail hunts can range from roughly $1,500 to as much as $10,000 for two-to-three days of hunting, depending on the location and accommodations.

There are some beautiful lodges that have wild quail, and generally they occupy the high end of the price spectrum. Hunting out of a lodge is an excellent way to go if you’re entertaining customers or if enjoy a more refined experience. Many outfitters can accommodate guests in ranch houses or cabins close to the hunting. Several guides I know work out of hotels in the various areas they hunt, which could help significantly reduce the cost of your wild quail hunt. Of course, accommodations rarely have anything to do with the shooting. A five-star lodge may have the same quality of hunting as a guide who works out of a Motel 6.

IMG 5095

Meanwhile, Mexico has plenty of fair prices and great lodging for wild quail hunts. The only difference between Mexico and a hunt in the U.S. is that many Mexican quail hunts are without dogs, and instead you walk up on the birds. Mexico is the place for sheer numbers if you’d like to get into 30-to-40 coveys in a day. One of my favorite trips is to hunt the little black throated quail in the Yucatan over good dogs. There are a lot of birds down there and few hunters regardless of the area of Mexico you choose. If considering a Mexico quail hunt I highly recommend using an agent to ensure a reputable outfitter who can give you a successful hunting experience.

honey lake 1

Based on my own years of experience as an outfitter, here are some things you should avoid when looking for a wild quail destination:

  • Small acreages just can’t handle hunting wild quail on a commercial basis. They’ll shoot out 500 acres in the first couple groups.
  • Any place that lets you shoot more than the state limit is either a preserve or running an illegal operation. I know of some “put and take” places that advertise wild quail, but in actuality they are early release birds or put out that day by one of the employees.
  • Avoid long drives to the actual hunting field. An hour or so to and from is not uncommon, and not a big deal. It’s when you’re put up in a hotel and the shooting is two or more hours away, this can get to be too much. If the drives are long, an honest outfitter will tell you that. Make sure you ask up front.
  • Mixed groups can be a warning sign. Most good guides and outfitters do not mix groups. Quail hunts are personal and an operation that is piling people in will eventually miss something, or drop the ball in some way. It’s not always the case, but definitely something to consider.
  • New operations are always a gamble. Some of the new guides we’ve found over the years have turned into well-respected and nationally known outfitters. Many others have faded away never to be heard from again. While not a hard and fast rule, it’s one to think about.
  • No internet presence is a red flag. If an outfitter has zero presence on the internet in 2017 he’s either old school (and possibly one of the greats) or is hiding something (like numerous complaints). Most of the legends in the quail world have at least a Facebook page or a mention somewhere.

Quail season will be here before we know it, so if you have any questions feel free to give me a call at (800) 292-2213 or shoot me an email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

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Respect for the Humble Pigeon...

The aerial acrobatics that a pigeon can perform are awe-inspiring in the world of wingshooting. The pigeon can only be rivaled in speed by a teal or a dove. A pigeon can turn on a dime. It can barrel roll or loop to loop with the best jet pilots. So it’s no wonder that when I ask well-traveled wingshooters “What’s your favorite bird to hunt?” more often than not they answer “pigeon.”

Why? It’s not as obvious as you might think. Aside from the sporting flight of a pigeon and the pure speed that leaves the shooter forever behind, it’s the pigeon’s readiness to decoy that most of my clients seem to enjoy most. A group of 5-15 pigeon turning into the decoys may be the most challenging decoyed bird on the planet. The only birds that I can think of that decoys as readily and still challenges the shooter are the various species of teal. Where the pigeon surpasses the teal is on a dramatic change of direction with deceptive movements and feints that can cause you to move out of position…and miss.

Uruguay pigeons in flight

Some of the action from pigeon hunting in Uruguay.

Another great reason to entertain a pigeon shoot is the incredible volume of birds. The estimates here are in boxes of shells actually possible since we all know no two pigeon shooters are created equal. The Picazuro Pigeon of South America is the king of pigeon enthusiasts. Paraguay was once the THE place to hunt pigeons, and still has birds, it’s just not safe enough. In Argentina depending on the province, you’ll be able to shoot 20 boxes a day. In Salta Province, on Argentina’s northern border, the pigeons are more plentiful with 30-plus boxes per day. Uruguay is still a viable option with 10 boxes or on a good day. The reigning champ of pigeon destinations would have to be Bolivia. Depending on the time of year, shooting your way through 40 boxes of shells in a day ranks as one of the best wingshooting experiences on the planet.  

Picazuros aren’t like the pigeons we see in North America; they’re bigger, wilder and migrate readily. The Picazuro flies in the ever changing “balled up” flock natural to most pigeons, but it’s the numbers that set the Bolivian, Paraguayan, and Northern Argentine Picazuro apart from just about any other species that decoys. Flocks of 100 - 200 landing in and strafing the decoys happens so fast it’s hard to pick out one bird to focus on. As soon as you’ve settled from your last opportunity another group ranging from 5 -100 is presented in the decoys. Truly non-stop action that is hard to find anywhere.

Uruguay Pigeons 1

Here’s an example of pigeons that can be taken in Uruguay.

One of the best things about pigeons? It’s that you can shoot them all over the world. We’ve all seen the flocks around our local grain elevators, the feed lot, or circling the barn. We see them on the walk into the downtown office, and there are lots of them! There are several outfitters and companies in the U.S. who are starting to cater to the pigeon hunter. In Idaho is perhaps the best instance and in my opinion a North American trend setter with guided tours offered by Soar No More in Kuna has been offering pigeon decoys and high volume hunts since 2009. While we’re not affiliated with Soar No More I admire that they will be responsible for bringing true decoyed pigeons to the masses in the U.S. Credit where it’s due.

Decoyed pigeons Uruguay

Pigeon decoys at work in Uruguay.

The same principles you use to be a consistent duck hunter will serve the pigeon hunter well. Knowing where the birds have been working, setting up on the “X”, movement in the decoys, concealment, are all solid practices on any decoyed pigeon hunt. A hunter can shoot year-round, and even bait pigeons when the other seasons are out. Giving the wingshooter practice on live birds in the off seasons will help to up your percentages during your fall duck hunts. Those early teal are in trouble if you’ve spent the summer gunning pigeons.

In the U.S. our pigeons are great, they decoy readily and give the shooter a distinct challenge. However, it’s the high-volume shooting of South America that we simply can’t compete with. A place in the U.S. that shoots 1,000 pigeons a gun won’t be shot again for another year or in some cases many more. But you can do that in South America day after day after day (not that you will).

Punta Del Estes shooting destination

Punta del Este is a beautiful luxury resort in Uruguay that offers great pigeon hunts.

Pigeons are the perfect opportunity to enjoy the outdoors and pass time while you wait for the waterfowl to show up. They are also the ideal trip for anyone wanting to shoot in South America. Whether you’re a duck hunter, a dove hunter, or just shoot on occasion; the humble pigeon will challenge your skills and make you an overall better wingshooter. This is why I love hunting pigeons, they force you to improve, and squab makes for a fine meal.

Until next month; if you’re going to miss…..miss in front.

Paul Anderson is Vice President of Detail Company Adventures at http://detailcompany.com.  Based in Houston, Texas, Detail Company Adventures has been offering high-quality wingshooting, fishing and big game hunts in South America, Europe and America for more than 25 years. If you have any questions or need some advice feel free to contact Paul at to=This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or (800)292-2213. 

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Why Even the Seasoned Traveler Should Use a Qualified Booking Agent

In the world of international hunting there are several ways to book your “hunt of a lifetime.” It could be at conventions such as Safari Club International, or a local show, the Internet, word of mouth or through a booking agent. The easiest, and honestly, most reliable way to book a hunt will be through a booking agent. Here’s why:

Deciding where to go can be a headache, figuring out flights, transfers in arrival cities, hotels, licenses, included and excluded, among other considerations. Most people who can afford to hunt internationally don’t have the time to do all the research, due diligence that it takes to find your perfect destination. This is where an agent/consultant can save you massive amounts of time and frustration.

Chacu 1

A good agent will ask questions to understand the desires of the customer then using his or her connections and expertise to pair you with the right outfitter for your expectations. There are so many considerations, not to mention the fierce competition with more wingshooting lodges in Cordoba Argentina than the rest of the country. How do you choose? Price? Ease of transportation?

An agent is not married to one lodge or destination. Detail Company Adventures, for example, can work with 15 to 20 outfitters in Argentina alone. While there are some great operations in the world others are not so great. An agent has been there and already knows the product and can protect their customers through an intimate knowledge of the operation. If you ask 30 outfitters about their business, 28 will tell you flat out that they’re the best. How can you tell who is and who isn’t? An independent agent is beholding to no one but their customers.

Getting to the destination can sometimes be a feat in its self, which is why we always suggest purchasing flights and travel through an agent. Upon arrival in, say, Buenos Aires, we have in-country representatives who will shuttle you through the city, take you shopping, to dinner, or sightseeing. We have worked with these people for years and know they provide excellent service. Having years of experience and references trumps “Trip Advisor” reviews any day. Another thing to think about is transfers, and traveling as a hunter. Not all services found on the internet are hunter/gun friendly. We’ve saved you the leg work of finding a decent city tour or other side trip.

Chacu 2 Guys

The airlines (cue horror music) are not hunter friendly. Period. We deal with the various airlines every day, and here is where a good booking agent can really help their clients out. While most of our trips go through without a hitch, there is always a chance of something happening. A good agent is on-call most hours to help fix a delayed flight, missed connection or lost bag. For example, Detail Company Adventures has several ways of helping out our customers either through our travel agent or connections we have at the various airlines. Several times every month we get a late-night call from a client whose flight is delayed or they missed a connection. More often than not we can get plan “B” going and get our customers out of the jam. Travelocity does not do this.

Chacu doves

From the hunting licenses to flights to passports, there is a ton of information that needs to be compiled and processed to the lodge, airlines, or transfer/tour operators. This takes time and knowledge of what each step of the journey might need. If a group of eight shooters wants to go to Cordoba, Argentina the amount of information gathered and sent to the outfitter can add up to hours of work. This is yet another way an independent agent can help make the trip easier and more enjoyable, by compiling the information from the group and handling the details.

Find an agent who can recommend numerous lodges and sort out the best hunting trip. Talk to several agents and pick one you like and trust, then put them to work. A great agent’s number- one concern is his or her clients. I’ve learned from some of the best out there and can tell you that the agents who take every trip personally are always going to be the ones with longevity. If they’ve made it longer than five years in this business they normally have it figured out. (Detail Company Adventures has been in business nearly 30 years.)

A good booking agent can be your best asset for managing the risks involved in an international hunt. So the next time you’re thinking about an international adventure. Be sure to give me or any agent a call.

Paul Anderson is Vice President of Detail Company Adventures at http://detailcompany.com.  Based in Houston, Texas, Detail Company Adventures has been offering high-quality wingshooting, fishing and big game hunts in South America, Europe and America for more than 25 years. If you have any questions or need some advice feel free to contact Paul at to=This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or (800)292-2213. 

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How to Get the Most From High-Volume Wingshooting

There’s a term in international wingshooting called “High-Volume.” Most outfitters claim they have truly high-volume shooting, and in many cases they do. Especially when you’re talking about shooting doves in South America. But what is High-Volume shooting, and more importantly how do you determine what High-Volume shooting really is?

The truth of it is that everyone who has experienced High-Volume shooting has a different opinion about it. In this month’s Worldwide Wing Shooter, I’ll try my best to break it down for you.

In the realm of dove shooting, a great day in Mexico might be a standard day in Uruguay, while a standard day in Uruguay, might be a below average day in some of the Argentine or Bolivian roosts. A day of high-volume shooting in my opinion, is this: that if you have a loaded gun in your hands that you can shoot at a reasonable target somewhere in your shooting window. All day, every minute. That is high volume, meaning the only break you take is a break that you want to take.

Boliva Dove Hunting

There’s non-stop action for high-volume dove hunting in Bolivia.

In Cordoba, Argentina, the capitol of High-Volume wingshooting, the record for most doves in a single day is supposedly around 15,000. Yes, you read that right, it’s an astronomical number. My disclaimer: at the risk of angering the outfitters of Cordoba, I don’t believe it. It’s not that I don’t believe the numbers of doves are there, because they are. There are roosts and outfitters in Cordoba that have that kind of shooting. My problem with 15,000 is what is considered a dead bird. Is a feather a dead bird? Or a bird that hits the ground? There is just no way to substantiate the claim. I do believe though that the doves are there for that kind of shooting. On top of that if you do the math, it seems almost impossible.

A day of high-volume shooting is a great way to work on weaknesses in your shooting. Maybe you’ve had problems with a certain shot, a left to right crosser. Or a certain overhead angle, my recommendation is to shoot that left right crosser or problem bird until you’ve got it down. Then pick out another problem presentation and shoot it until you’ve got it down.

Posta del Norte Lodge video

Click here to watch high-volume dove hunting video at the Posta del Norte Lodge in Argentina.

Also be sure to take progressively longer shots. Overhead or crossers, try working your shots out to a distance. Start close and work your way out to farther and farther birds. By the end of a three day shoot you should be hitting birds you would have never have tried to shoot on opening day here is the states. The enormous amount of birds in some of the huge roosts of South America allow you to pick and choose, not just take what comes.

Tamaulipas Mexico Dove Hunt

Some doves taken by hunters in the high-volume hunting area around Tamaulipas, Mexico.

The flyways and direction the birds take is remarkably consistent, allowing a shooter to truly dial in on those sporty fifty yard crossers. It always amazes me that the birds tend to fly the same routes, and speeds. Granted that there are always going to be a few odd birds, that don’t follow that prescribed route. The majority of the flights follow a similar route, which after an hour or more at the same stand you may have shot all the variable presentations or flyways that are presented from that blind. If you find yourself shooting the same three to four presentations and hitting each well, don’t be afraid to ask the outfitter to change your location to give you a different presentation. This will give you new presentations to work on and keep the shooting challenging.

Entre Rios Lodge Argentina

The Entre Rios Lodge in Argentina is a luxury destination for high-volume wingshooting.

In my opinion High-Volume dove shooting is one of the best and quickest ways to improve your shooting overall. Nowhere in the shooting world can you shoot as much, as quickly and instinctively as you can at one of the major roosts of Argentina or Bolivia. Try to look at high-volume shooting as an opportunity to improve your overall shooting with the added bonus of non-stop fun.

The lodges of South America that offer truly High-Volume shooting have the guest experience down to a fine art. Most reputable lodges offer gourmet food, fine bedding and newly remodeled interiors. The drinks are included, the food in is included, but the shells….never are. There are High-Volume lodges that are the definition of luxury, with a cost that reflects amenities that make it a luxury lodge. There are also lodges that may not be considered luxurious, but can definitely be considered comfortable, while still having the short drives and High-Volume shooting you would expect in South America.

Price almost always correlates directly with the level of accommodation, as an outfitter that has been in business for five or more years, has the shooting. Cordoba for example is an incredibly competitive market, where no outfitter can afford to skimp on bath soap, let alone the shooting.

So you can have the best of both worlds: High-Volume wingshooting and luxury accommodations. It all sounds good to me.

Paul Anderson is Vice President of Detail Company Adventures at http://detailcompany.com.  Based in Houston, Texas, Detail Company Adventures has been offering high-quality wingshooting, fishing and big game hunts in South America, Europe and America for more than 25 years. If you have any questions or need some advice feel free to contact Paul at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or (800)292-2213. 

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5 Easy Tips for Enjoying Your International Wingshooting Adventure

As a hunting and fishing consultant, it’s a daily task to make sure each one of my customers gets the very best trip they can possibly have. Part of my job is to ask questions, and match each client to a lodge or outfitter that best matches their expectations and desires. That’s why I believe working with an agent or consultant is the number one thing the traveling wingshooter can do to ensure a good trip. Since most agents have been to the places they represent they have insights as to how you can maximize your money and time. What follows are a few things that I recommend to my clients and think they apply well to most any wingshooting adventure.

Since we are talking about wingshooting, let’s talk about guns. At driven shoots most all people take their own guns, and many people do take guns to South America. My opinion is this…why? I can understand wanting to take your matched set on a Spanish driven shoot or the Grouse Moors. That’s a given. After all, who wouldn’t want to shoot a matched set of Purdeys or Holland and Hollands? That’s a bucket list accomplishment for many. But why take your own Beretta to shoot 5000 rounds in Argentina? Besides the obvious wear and tear there are other reasons I recommend not taking your shotguns to South America.

Baggage handler

Some airline baggage handlers might express their bias against hunting by the way they convey your shotgun.

There are risks involved in traveling with guns. Not every airline or their employees think highly of hunters and shooters, not to mention the chance that any customs agent can decide at any time that you should miss your connection, or that they just don’t like you. It happens, believe me.

When working with clients I try to reduce as much risk as possible that something might go wrong. Taking your own gun increases risk, while manageable, it’s a risk I don’t deem worth the hassle (at least not to South America). Most South American lodges rent Berettas and Benellis, the venerable 390 and 391 are staples of the Cordoba lodges, with a few A400’s and Benellis starting to appear here and there. Why not have a stock maker fit you with a custom stock, most outfitters have a list of their guns that they will be glad to share. Get a fitted stock and the odds are that the stock can then be used at several lodges. Your percentages will go up. Plus no fees or forms to fill out and you’re shooting what is essentially a fitted gun. Long-armed shooters would do well to bring a slip over recoil pad if the fitted stock is out of the question.

DSCF3267

High-volume wingshooting exerts wear and tear on your shotgun. You may want to consider renting one from the lodge instead of transporting your own.

Bring your own hearing and eye protection. Almost all outfitters have disposable ear plugs and maybe safety glasses, but who wants to look like they’re getting ready to weed eat instead of shoot? Besides the looks, functionality of the things you are familiar and comfortable with, will help you hit more as the day goes on. For the recoil sensitive I would recommend a PAST pad or one of the integrated padded shirts. 

past pad

A PAST Pad can dramatically increase the comfort of your high-volume wingshooting experience.

Go shoot beforehand. Go to your local clays range and shoot several rounds of sporting clays before you leave on your adventure. Of course the shots won’t be like true wingshooting, but a couple rounds at the course will do wonders for your confidence alone. Not to mention helping you remember what lead and recoil are like. Better yet, get in the habit of shooting often. Join the National Sporting Clays Association and get into the sport, because your wingshooting will definitely benefit. There are very few purely instinctive and truly talented shotgunners in the world, the rest of us must practice.

Eyes ears

To ensure maximum safety and performance, bring your own eye and ear protection.

Get an instructor. The excuse, “I’ve been shooting my whole life, I don’t need instruction” doesn’t fly with me. I’ve been shooting my whole life as well and the two best things I ever did for my shooting was to shoot a fitted gun and get instruction. In that order. A good instructor will understand that he is not coaching for clays. Explain to him or her where you’re going and more than likely he’ll have been to South America and can help set-up scenarios. You pay a good amount of money to go on different adventures, why not spend a little beforehand to increase your percentages? Shells are very rarely included (in South America at least) and are never cheap, so why not do everything you can before your trip to maximize your success? The National Sporting Clays Association has a list of shooting instructors by state.

G H Shooting School

To really get the most enjoyment and value from your wingshooting adventure consider taking shooting lessons beforehand from a qualified instructor.

Be sure to pay attention to the pack list provided by the outfitter, many of the suggestions are from years of experience. If they say bring bug spray there is a reason for it. Still, pack wisely, you don’t need to carry everything and the kitchen sink. And almost all decent lodges have next- day laundry. Many of my clients take only carry-on bags, for a three/four day shoot, then have laundry done at the lodge. Taking a carry-on bag speeds up going through customs and is another way to reduce risks. A lost bag is never fun, and it’s hard to lose something that you’re always carrying.

Just a few suggestions from an outside-the-box perspective. If you have any questions or are looking for the wingshooting adventure of a life time please feel free to contact me.

 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 800-292-2213

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The South American Road Less Traveled: Incredible Mixed-Bag Wingshooting in Uruguay

While Uruguay has been a player in the international wingshooting scene for many years, the country has been slightly overshadowed by Argentina. Uruguay is a true wingshooter’s dream, and quite possibly has the best mixed bag of wingshooting in the world.

Uruguay is one of the most stable countries in South America, and is very friendly to the Norte Americano. Montevideo is the capital city of roughly 1.8 million people. It’s a great entry and exit point, and I recommend a least one night in Montevideo. The food in the capital city is somewhat typical of Southern South America, with beef and wine being the main draws. Hotels are reasonably priced, with options for the budget minded or luxury traveler. A stroll along the river with a thermos of hot water and a mate’ (tea gourd) is an experience that adds to the trip and is an opportunity to interact with the culture of Uruguay, not to mention some serious people watching. (A mate’ makes a great keepsake as well.) Uruguay being a smaller country you can easily drive across from border to border in six to seven hours.

Montevideo Salvo Palace

The Salvo Palace in Uruguay’s capital, Montevideo.

A gem for the avid wingshooter, there are numerous lodges in Uruguay that can accommodate any type of wingshooter and budget. Opportunities for perdiz, high-volume shooting, decoyed pigeons and ducks are available in many cases from a single lodge. Which is what makes Uruguay one of the top destinations: one lodge, four feathers!

Several reputable outfitters have lodges with the best mixed-bag options centering around Paysandu in the northwestern region of the country. Almost all of Uruguay’s great lodges can be found within a five-hour drive from Montevideo or Buenos Aires. With so many options I recommend calling a reputable consultant to get you a shoot that is what you’re expecting and matches your wants.

Cangue lodge exterior

One of the stately wingshooting lodges in Uruguay.

Although shooting does not match the volume of Cordoba in Argentina, the potential to shoot a couple thousand doves per day is definitely possible in Uruguay. The shooting in Uruguay is truly high-volume, with most lodges having short drives to the field, and over decent roads. The terrain can vary from rolling hills to flat land and river bottoms. Roosts can occur wherever there is substantial brush, and many times can be found along the thick vegetation growing along a river. If you’re looking to shoot 10,000 doves in a day, there are better places. If you’re looking to shoot a couple thousand, then Uruguay has plenty of birds.

Perdiz are plentiful and are hunted behind pointing dogs. Expect a perdiz rise to be singles or pairs; a three bird rise is rare but not unheard of. Generally, 10 −15 flushes per hunt are the norm. Perdiz are very well accustomed to the cattle range and grasslands that spread across Uruguay, and can be found throughout most of the country. Shooting is normally in wide open country, with the only real difficulty being the propensity of perdiz to fly low, which makes knowing where the dog and other hunters are a high priority.

Pigeon shooting in Uruguay is very satisfying. They are hunted by either pass shooting or decoyed. The decoyed pigeon is by far my favorite (a byproduct of being a Missouri boy), with 60 – 80 birds per shoot a good representation or Uruguay pigeons. Most pigeon hunting is done over sorghum or other agriculture, or near one or the large feed lots that are popping up all over Uruguay – leading me to believe that we will start to see better and better pigeon numbers. Blinds for pigeon hunting are temporary and consist of poles and fabric. Some blinds will be cut out of the brush, depending on the outfitter. 

More Uruguay dove shooting

Although dove hunting in Uruguay isn’t as abundant as in Cordoba, Argentina, the numbers available to wingshooters is still very impressive.

The duck hunting in Uruguay is as good as anywhere in the world, and one of the top destinations to shoot the Rosey Billed Pochard. Whether you are shooting the rivers in the west or the pot holes of the northeast, there is great duck shooting. You can expect 20 – 30 per shoot being a conservative limit, depending on outfitter and area. The ducks here are shot over water, either in lagoons and back waters of the major rivers, or well scouted potholes that dot the country side. Ducks in Uruguay are shot over species specific decoys, your blind will be handmade that morning or the day before and will hide you very well. These are not like North American ducks that are highly acclimated to hunters. A comparison is hard to make, in that the ducks of Uruguay get so little pressure that they rarely are bothered by a blind or the hunter.

Uruguay dove shootingLO RES

A good day of dove hunting in Uruguay.

Uruguay is a wonderful country and a top destination for the feather collector. From wine to the shooting, Uruguay holds its own among any of the historic wingshooting areas of the world. Not being as well-known as Argentina or Bolivia has allowed a certain preservation of culture in the estancias of Uruguay, and adds to the overall feel of exclusivity. To me Uruguay is where you go when you don’t want to be like everyone else. Uruguay is a great alternative to Argentina and is a place that should be high on the list of any traveling wingshooter!

If you’d like to talk about the many options in Uruguay, please feel free to reach out to me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or (800) 292-2213.

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Canada Cast and Blast - Yes, we Can

By Larry Scheuerman

I have recently experienced an Argentina Cast and Blast for Doves and Dorado and Doves and Patagonia trout (truly awesome and the subject of my next Blog you gotta try it).  So, I say why not a Canadian Cast and Blast based out of Calgary Alberta or even an Alberta/Saskatchewan option.

 Sound interesting please read on:

The prairies received another real winter in 2016/2017 especially in Southern Alberta, lots of snow and cold.  This is not fun to live in but it equates to heavy spring run off and full ponds.   This means duck factory’s will be cranking out Mallards and Canadas by the thousands again this spring and we are overrun with Snows. Our migratory season starts in early September just when Calgary’s Bow river and our neighboring Elk river and hitting the annual high numbers of big bows, browns and cut’s (they need to fatten up for the shit storm we Canadians call winter).  The huge numbers of local and early migrating ducks and geese combined with awesome clear sunny days and fat trout makes for an ideal Cast and Blast scenario. The steaks are as good as Argentina’s, the Canadian $ is close to an all-time low against the US $, flights are short and cheep, what’s not to like about this idea. Also, the ducks are uneducated as we get first crack at them.   We can set you up on a 1- 3-day shoot and as much or as little fishing as you like.

Larry Canada DucksJPG

 

Options are limited only by your imagination and guide availability (which is disappearing faster than our winter) I am suggesting Calgary city based or Alberta or Saskatchewan lodge based hunts and Calgary of Fernie fishing.  Banff National Park is close by and with the low Canadian $ shopping is low cost and awesome if you want to bring your significant other.   Calgary hotels are low cost and available thanks to the low oil prices

L fish canadaJPG

 

Interested?  I suggest early September to mid October for a Cast Blast as the weather can be getting risky for comfortable fishing but the trout are here and hungry if you want to push it to late October. 

L trout CanadaJPG

 

Add a Monster Whitetail or a Moose and shoot November waterfowl if a Blast and Blast is more to you liking. At Detail Company, we have Canada covered.  

 

L Ducks CanadaJPG

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Pigeons and Why we love them....

The humble pigeon, and why we should respect it.

A pigeon can only be rivaled in speed by a teal or a dove, a pigeon can turn on a dime, barrel roll or loop to loop with the best pilots out there. The aerial acrobatics that a pigeon can perform are unrivaled in the world of wing shooting. When I talk to well-traveled wingshooters, I often ask, “What’s your favorite?”.  More often than not; it’s the humble pigeon they enjoy the most.

Why? It’s not as obvious as one might think. Aside from the sporting flight of a pigeon and the pure speed that leaves the shooter forever behind. It’s the pigeons’ readiness to decoy that most of my clients seem to enjoy, myself included. A group of 5-15 pigeon turning into the decoys may be the most challenging decoyed bird on the planet. The only bird that I can think of that decoys as readily and still challenges the shooter are the various species of teal. Where the pigeon surpasses the teal is on the change of direction. Most hunters have had the privilege of watching dragon fly zip and dart through the sky, pigeon are not too far off this level of agility. In and out of the dekes before you know it.

Another great reason to entertain a pigeon shoot, is the volume of shooting. Paraguay was once the THE place to hunt pigeons, and still has birds, it’s just not safe enough. In Argentina depending on the province, you’ll be able to shoot 200 + birds a day. In Salta Province, on Argentina’s northern border, the pigeons are more plentiful with 500 – 1000 pigeons per day that readily decoy. Uruguay, is still a viable option with 100 or so being a good shoot. The reigning champ of pigeon destinations would have to be Bolivia. Depending on the time of year, 1000 Picazuro pigeons a day can be achieved regularly.

Picazuros’ aren’t like the pigeons we see in North America, they’re bigger, they’re “wild” and they migrate more readily. The Picazuro flies in the ever changing “balled up” flock natural to most pigeons, it’s the numbers that set the Bolivian, Paraguayan, and Northern Argentine Picazuro, apart from just about any other species that decoys. Flocks of 100 – 200 landing in and strafing the decoys happens so fast it’s hard to pick out one bird to focus on. As soon as you’ve settled from your last opportunity another group of ranging from 5 to 100 is presented in the decoy’s. Truly non-stop action that is hard to find any-where.

One of the best things about pigeons? Is that you can shoot them all over the world. We’ve all seen the flocks around our local Grain Elevators, the feed lot, or circling the barn. We see them on the walk into the downtown office, and there are lots of them! There are several outfitters and companies in the U.S. who are starting to cater to the pigeon hunter. In Idaho is perhaps the best instance and in my opinion a north American trend setter…. Soar no More, has been offering pigeon decoys and high volume hunts since 2009. While not affiliated with Soar no More, I admire that they will be responsible for bringing true decoyed pigeons to the masses in the U.S. Credit where it’s due.

The same principles one uses to be a consistent duck hunter, will serve the pigeon hunter well. Knowing where the birds have been working. Setting up on the “X”, movement in the decoys, and concealment, are all solid practices on any decoyed bird. A hunter can shoot year around, and even bait pigeons when the other seasons are out. Giving the wingshooter practice on live birds in the off seasons, will help to up your percentages during your fall duck hunts. Those early teal are in trouble if you’ve spent the summer gunning pigeons.

In the US. Our pigeons are great, they decoy readily and give the shooter a distinct challenge. It’s the high volume shooting of South America that we just can’t compete with. A shooting grounds in the US that shoots 1000 pigeons a gun won’t be shot again for another year or in some cases many more. In S. America you can go to the same blind the next day, not that you will, just that you could. Pigeons are the perfect opportunity to enjoy the outdoors and pass time while you wait for the waterfowl to show up. They are also the ideal trip for anyone wanting to shoot in South America. Whether you’re a duck hunter, a dove hunter, or just shoot on occasion; the humble pigeon will challenge your skills and make you an overall better wingshooter. This is why I love hunting pigeons, they force you to improve, and squab makes for a fine meal.

Until next month; if you’re going to miss…..miss in front.

P…

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Bird Species of South America

BIRD SPECIES OF SOUTH AMERICA

TYPE

ENGLISH SPANISH SCIENTIFIC NAME
DUCK
Brown Pintail Maicero Anas Georgica
White Cheeked Pintail Gargantilla Anas Bahamensis
Silver Teal Capucino Anas Versicolor
Rosy-Billed Pochard Picazo Netta Peposaca
Brazilian Duck Cutiri Amazoneta Brasiliensis
Ringed Teal De Collar Calloneta Leucophrys
Black Headed Cabeza Negra Heteronetta Atricapilla
Lake Duck Zambullidor Oxyura Vittata
Masked Fierro Oxyura Doninica
Southern Wigeon Overo Anas Sibilatrix
Speckled Teal Barcino Anas Flavirostris
Red Shoveler Cuchara Anas Platalea
Cinnamon Teal Colorado Anas Cyanoptea
Comb Duck Crestodo Sarkidiornis Melanotos
Muscovy Duck Criollo Cairina Moschata
Fulvous Tree Duck Siriri Colorado Dendrocygna Bicolor
Black Bellied Tree Duck Siriri Ala Blanca Dendrocygna Autumnalis
White Faced Tree Duck Siriri Pampa Dendrocygna Viduata

DOVE

Picazuro Pigeon Picazuro Columba Picazuro
Spot-winged Tinamou Manchada Columba Maculosa
Eared Dove Torcaza Zenaida Auriculata
Picui Ground Dove Torcacita Columbina Picui
Golden Spotted Ground Dove Ala Dorada Metropelia Aymara
PARTRIDGE
Tataupa Tinamou Tataupa Comun Crypturellus Tataupa
Red-Winged Tinamou Colorado Rhynochotus Rufescens
Brushland Tinamou Inambu Montaraz Northoprocta Cinerascens
Spotted Tinamou Inambu Comun Nothura Maculosa
Elegant Crested Tinamou Martinet Comun Eudromia Elegans
WILD GOOSE
Magellan Goose Cauquen Comun Chloephaga Picta

SNIPE

Common Snipe Becasina Comun Gallinago Gallinago

This list is intended as a guide only in the importation of game and does not denote species that are legal or illegal to hunt; this determined by the outfitter and the game laws of the country and province you are hunting in.

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Nicaragua...Wingshootings best kept secret!

Nicaragua Hunting

By: Paul Anderson

 

In the last several years, more and more hunters have discovered that Hunting in Nicaragua offers some of the best wingshooting in Central America. Since the 1990’s Nicaragua hunting has gone from being “virtually unknown” to becoming “legendary.” Nicaragua serves as the wintering grounds for millions of ducks and offers expansive habitat perfect for dove hunting. Nicaragua's unspoiled lagoons and far-reaching farmlands make for robust bird populations. Dove hunting in Nicaragua means white-winged dove hunting…as a matter of fact hunters can expect 90% – 95% white-winged dove and 5%-10% mourning dove. Duck hunting in Nicaragua means plenty of blue and green teal with occasional Pintails and Wigeon. DCA’s exclusive Nicaragua hunting program is complimented by beautiful accommodations, fantastic regional foods and a friendly staff of professionals to take care of all your needs in and out of the field.

The season for duck & dove hunting in Nicaragua is November – March, for dove only it goes up to April. There is also a short dove season that runs Mid July – Mid August (A break throuugh May and June during the rainy season).

Trips are typically arranged: Thursday AM to Sunday PM or Sunday PM to Thursday AM.

The HUNT

You will be met at the Managua, Nicaragua airport and driven to the lodge where the friendly staff will cater to your every need. Nicaragua Duck hunting will be conducted in the mornings with a (6 box – 150 shell limit per hunt). Wake up call will be at 3:00 am for daily duck hunt; sun is up at 5:15 am. Air boats and mud boats comfortably get hunters to the blinds located in a beautiful volcanic area, home to Nicaragua’s best duck hunting. Hip waders are all you will need. After returning to the lodge, having lunch and a well needed “siesta” hot barrel dove action will begin, an 8 to 12 boxes per shoot is to be expected. All dove fields are 15-20 min. away, duck hunting is 45 min. from the lodge. Additional days of hunting consist of a morning shoot and an afternoon shoot. You will never shoot the same location twice. Typical programs include 6 hunts, 3 duck hunts and 3 dove hunts making this a great mix bag hunt.

During mid-July through mid August there is a break in the rainy season, which allows for the many crops of milo, peanuts, sesame etc. to be harvested and will attract many white wing and blue rock pigeons, making this an incredible summer.

The LODGE

The new lodge is located in the city of Granada (oldest city in the Americas) and is conveniently closer to the marshes where you will be duck hunting. This lodge was a great find that includes 10 large private rooms with private baths, a/c, pool, beautiful terrace area with a great view of the Mombacho volcano, back patio area and a view of lake Nicaragua. The lodge can take up to 8 hunters.The lodge has a wonderful staff, including a great chef, plan on full meals of seafood, steaks, fresh fruit, all with an open bar.

The lodge is located in the beautiful and historic town of Granada, Nicaragua. Nicaragua it’s rated as one of the safest countries and is rated #1 for retirement and second homes for Americans and Europeans and is one of the easiest world-class dove and duck hunting destinations for American hunters to reach. It’s 3 1/2 hr. flight from Houston, 2 hr. flight from Miami, 3 hrs.and 45 min. from Atlanta. Both American Airlines and Continental offer convenient flights to Nicaragua’s capital city of Managua.The lodge is only 45 min. from the Managua International Airport.

Best Nicaragua Dove Hunting times as suggested by DCA: March, April, July and August.

 

We can accommodate all types of shooters and people. We've had people that literally didn't want to get their feet wet on a duck hunt to the die hard dove hunter looking for a replacement to Mexico White-wings. While the ducks aren't on the level of Ol' Mexico they are plentiful and like all Teal are one of the most sporting birds available to the wing-shooter. 

 

If you're interested in a Cast and Blast we also represent fishing destinations in Nicaragua and have had great success on Tarpon, Snook and other near shore species. We can ever set your group up for on a big game fishing experience! Nicaragua is fast becoming the sportsman's paradise. If not legendary it soon shall be if we have anything to say about it!!! Give us Call to set up your Nicaragua Hunting or fishing trip! (800) 292-2213

 

 

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Bolivia - The High Volume Winshooting Alternative By: Nick Sisley

When it comes to doves and shooting hundreds if not thousands of shotshells a day Argentina has written this book - so to speak. That “book” is still being written in Argentina for it can be non-stop shooting from the start of the hunt until it is over. On the other side of this coin Argentina always means a long overnight flight to get there and then a long overnight flight to get home. The ballpark timing of these flights is about eleven hours – Miami to Cordoba (or wherever) – and then eleven more overnight hours to return, and many of us don’t live in Miami – so add on your domestic flight to Miami – coming and going.

            As folks get older these long overnight flights do wear on us. A second factor is bringing shotguns with you. It costs roughly $200 for each gun you bring in to Argentina, and most of us bring two guns. Getting through the government hoops to pay these costs in Argentina is time consuming, and the authorities are not making this gun process any easier or quicker. Then there are the problems if simply flying domestically from US airports with guns - an issue that also keeps getting more complicated. If you use one airline to fly to Miami and another from Miami to South America you can just about forget getting that gun issue worked out.

            The answer to this gun dilemma can be just to rent. But do you want to shoot 4000 – to say 6000 shotshells out of a non-gas-operated semi-auto? That’s a lot of recoil. Rental costs tend to be about $65 a day, but you won’t face the gun transportation costs and their related issues.

            Back to Bolivia! It is an overnight flight from Miami to Santa Cruz – about 6 hours to La Paz – stay on the same plane – about an hour’s flight to Santa Cruz. Arrival is in time for about a 100 minute drive to one of two lodges that lie to the east around vast Mennonite farming country. Hunt doves that afternoon – with morning and afternoon hunts the next two or three days (your choice), followed by a morning hunt the last day – drive back to Santa Cruz for an overnight stay at a hotel. This is important – fly back to Miami the next day – yes a daytime flight that arrives Miami in time to connect with most flights to your home destination. So it is not an overnight debilitating flight both ways.

            I have made 53 (or more) trips to shoot Central and South America, and I judge the volume of shooting and numbers of doves in Bolivia to be on a par with Argentina. If there is a difference it’s that in Argentina the shooting is year round, though in most instances some months of the year are better than others. In Bolivia the shooting is from May – to October. Why? Because these doves are migratory. They fly northward to Bolivia in May. Go south back to where they came from in October. So if you are after getting away from northern USA winters Argentina is still your choice.

            Another difference is that Argentina has blossomed with literally scores of dove hunting outfitters. In Bolivia there are only two! Costs of the land packages are roughly the same in both countries – as are the price of shotshells. In Bolivia strong efforts are made to recover most all the birds shot so they don’t go to waste. Local poor folks take vast numbers of these.

            Jorge Molina has two lodges, Carlos Olano has one so there are three lodges. Each can feature private rooms taking a max of 8 – 10. These lodges lack nothing in comfort and appointments compared to lodges in Argentina. The food is just as good in either country – which in my experience has always been excellent in both.

            In Argentina long rides to the shooting area can mean it makes common sense to have lunch in the field – then rest in hammocks until the afternoon shooting starts. Lunches in the field can be part of the Bolivia experience, but, on average, the drives to the birds are not as long. Consequently, it is convenient to return to the lodge at midday, often for a second breakfast, a later lunch before shooting again, and your own comfortable bed to rest in. Lunches in the field are a memorable experience to be sure, but so are shorter drives to the birds and resting in a great bed.

            In both countries you will find the local people are great. In Bolivia shooters can rent guns as well. No matter how you add up the pluses and minuses of these two countries the end result is a magnificent experience. Some examples of added costs in Bolivia would be $200 to bring up to four guns in. So if you and your partner each bring in two guns that’s $100 total. These charges are mainly for the assistance of a professional to get your guns in and out of the country. Tips are extra – mainly to bird boys and the lodge staff. Most lodges offer professional massages at extra cost – about $80 an hour though some take only half hour sessions. Carlos Olano has a charge for gun entry, but it is included in the land package. There was a $160 visa required – valid for 10 years – but I believe this requirement has been relaxed. Just check with your agent.

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A New Look Same Great Service....

Detail Company Adventures - July 22, 2016

By: Paul Anderson - V.P. 

Jeri Booth and the DCA team have been working hard all summer, and are proud to take our new website live this week. It's been a challenge that we have thoroughly enjoyed. It's not easy to put Jeri's 30 years of hunting industry knowledge and connections into one website.....believe me it's not easy....the amount of knowledge kept in Jeri's head astounds me daily. She's a walking international hunting and fishing encyclopedia! The connections she's developed over the years have become treasured friends, her clients are fiercely loyal...I've known Jeri for over 10 years now and can without a doubt say she knows as much about international hunting and fishing as anyone. Period. After all she's one of the pioneers of the industry..and I for one intend to see she gets her due.

Think about it....Jeri Booth started DCA in 1980 (the year I was born), in a time when hunting was a male dominated industry. There were no cover photos of women on Outdoor Life, the word Huntress wasn't thrown around on every other hash tag...ladies if you at all hunt, if you are in this industry, you owe Jeri Booth a heart felt thank you....she among a few others helped pave the way. In a time when women who enjoyed the outdoors were not the norm...she is an O.G. Huntress. As her friend and employee, I will be forever grateful for the opportunities she has given me; from traveling the world hunting and fishing to introducing me to some of the industries biggest names. She's changed my life, just as she's changed the face of international hunting and fishing in many ways; she's a pioneer and would kill for her clients. A roll model for any sales person, Jeri keeps her customers best interest at heart at all times, they say business isn't personal....  be careful saying that to Jeri, she takes the defeats and victories very personally. Which I believe all great sales people do, we represent lodges and clients from around the world...but we are in the business of building lasting relationships, and we take those relationships very personally. 

DCA has brought on a new consultant who feels the same way, Larry Scheuerman, a fly fishing aficionado and lover of anything hunted in the mountains. Larry's talents and experiences run deep, hailing out of Canada, Larry is our number one guy for all things in the North Country. As well as our in house fly fishing guru. If you're looking for a fishing trip of a life time or a big bull moose, Larry's your guy!  

This summer has brought on many many changes here at DCA. The new website being the one we are most proud of, along with developing new destinations and programs. My first ever blog, new employees, new everything in alot of ways... one thing that has not nor will not change is our commitment to the customer and finding the best opportunities available! Sign up for the Blog, and stay up to date with the lastest goings on here at DCA. Below you'll find just a couple of the new options, our Red Stag and Dove Program is one we are definitely proud of and hope our clients enjoy this Detail Co. Exclusive. Mendoza Red Stag and Cordoba doves....Does it get any better than that? Here's the run down:

RED STAG AND DOVE COMBO!

Detail Company Adventures is proud to announce an exclusive Dove and Red Stag combo! With domestic flights, transfers and License included. 

April - May 2017 (later dates are available, but these are prime roar dates!)

Your flights in country are included, your transfers to and from the airports are included, your licenses are included. Our Mendoza Estancia is one the most beautiful and historically correct estancia in all of Argentina, with the dove lodge being one of the top shoots and is an amazing Cordoba dove lodge. Pair this with a some side tours or wineries and you have the trip of a life time. 

Itinerary

  • Arriving from Houston into Santiago, Chile or Buenos Aires.

  • One way Flight to Mendoza

  • 5 nights and 4 days hunt out of Tupungato (best Red Stag program in South America) – Including 1 stag up to 320 SCI

  • One way flight to Córdoba from Mendoza

  • 3 nights and 6 hunts out of Picazuro Lodge

  • One way flight from Córdoba back to Buenos Aires or Santiago

  • Total nights = 8

Included

  • Hunting Licenses at both Locations

  • Domestic Flights in Argentina

Excluded:

  • International Flights

  • Gun rental ($75.00 per day)

  • Cartridges ($13.25 per box)

  • Sanitary and Export Papers for the trophy stag

  • Shipping of the animal (prices vary I can get current rates closer to the date)

  • Gratuities 

    $ 9,995.00 p/person

There are several things we've worked into this trip, number one being the in Argentina flights! taking the head ache out of any planning! Also, we've negotiated a great deal at both Lodges...If you tried booking this trip with anyone else or to these same lodges on your own it would be an $11,000.00 + trip! We're here for you and dedicated to getting you our customer the best deal possible! 

 

New Mendoza Province Tours!

Another program we're very proud of is our new relationship with our Mendoza tour operator, Tasting Mendoza, and Dolores Montero! Dolores does an unbelievable job, and is has the attention to DETAIL that we expect from all our partners. Whether you'd like vineyard tours at any of the famous wineries, mountain adventures, horse back across the Andes, fishing, touring a working cattle ranch, through our wonderful new partnership we have and amazing assortment to offer. Not to mention the best hotels in Mendoza! Try a couple nights in Mendoza on the front or back end of your next trip. Personally my favorite part of a stop in Mendoza is the night life, and promenade. Around 8-10 pm every evening people walk the main streets, drinking, talking, enjoying several Tapas locations, grabbing dinner, people watching and ambiance.  It's truly a great way to finish off your Argentine vacation. 

We can put something together based on extra large groups or for the couple that wants to get away! Malbec aplenty! 

Check back often as I'll be posting new blogs on a regular basis! Believe me when I say this is just the beginning!  Check back soon and please sign up to the blog and newsletter! Thank you for taking the time to read my first ever blog post, I hope you enjoyed it and are looking forward to the progression! I know I am!!!

Tight Lines and Smokin' Barrels,

Paul

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Detail Company Adventures Launches New Website

The Detail Company Adventures is proud to announce the launch of our new website. Our new site is your one stop shop for all high end hunting and fishing adventures. We are constantly updating our site with new trips around the globe. Make sure to fill out our contact form to let us know you were here.

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  1. Normally all inquiries are answered on the same business day. For immediate assistance during weekday business hours, please call one of our consultants at 713-524-7235. Let's hunt!
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