Patagonia Fishing Forecast – 2014 Season

A happy client!

The 2014 fishing season in Patagonia is just a month away, and everyone is fired up and getting geared up for our best season ever.  Read on to find out why……

  • More water - The Andes Mountains are packed with snow – more than we have had in over a decade – and we are expecting the excellent water levels to continue throughout the spring and summer.  Better water means bigger fish and better fishing! 
  • Mouse Infestation - The Caña Colihue – a solid cane bamboo found in the mountains – bloomed last season in the Trevelin area.  This plant blooms once every sixty years leaving behind seeds much like a small grain.  Mice gorge on the seeds and hyper-reproduce leading to thousands – if not millions – ending up in area rivers and lakes.  Aggressive trout can double their body weight during the infestation.
  • Better Hatches - Increased moisture also means better aquatic and terrestrial vegetation, and with warming temperatures, terrestrial insects will be abundant and hatches prevalent.
  • More Access - We are currently working on more access to area rivers and lakes and our guides are already out scouting.  We are proud to have the most access to the best water in Argentina, and as usual will have some exciting new places in 2014.

A dry fly hit!

Everything is shaping up for a very very good fishing season.  If you are already signed up – get ready for a great trip – if you don’t already have a trip planned this winter, let us know what you are looking for and we’ll design a custom trip perfect for you.

 

 

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Lincoln, Buenos Aires, Argentina – Duck Hunting at Jacana Lodge

We all have our “bucket lists” of hunts we hope to one day take.  Included in my list was a desire to shoot a huge variety of ducks, a huge number of ducks, and shoot them from one beautiful duck hunting lodge.  I just accomplished all 3 wishes at JACANA LODGE.  Located in Lincoln, Argentina, JACANA is arguably the finest duck-hunting lodge in the entire world.  The service, accommodations, hospitality, and food are on par with the finest 5-star hotels in all of North or South America.  With regard to the duck hunting, the varieties of ducks (13 species) exist in numbers unlike anything I’ve seen in over 50 years of wing shooting.  For the duck hunting connoisseur looking for the ABSOLUTE PERFECT combination of world class accommodations and spectacular shooting there quite simply is no finer place—-period!

Jacana Lodge

As mentioned, JACANA is located approximately 185 miles from Buenos Aires, Argentina.  I flew into Buenos Aires nonstop from the Dallas Ft. Worth International Airport (DFW). I then took a van to the lodge.  When I arrived at the lodge, I was met by Charlie Lanusse (Jacana Lodge Manager) and his entire staff.  They made me feel “at home” from the moment I arrived until the time I departed.

Jacana’s Hostess and the daily menu

I’d come to Argentina hoping to shoot as large a variety of ducks as possible—I wasn’t disappointed.  I shot 11 of the 13 varieties of ducks that are available in Argentina including Brazilian duck, widgeon, pintail, red shoveler, and rosey-billed pochard.  This was “topped” only by the number of ducks I saw and shot.  In 3 days of hunting I shot nearly 200 ducks.

A truck load of ducks at Jacana Lodge

Both morning and evening hunts are conducted over decoys which have been set prior to your stand arrival.  Shooting is from sunken platform blinds, double dry blinds, or individual pit blinds.  About 50% of my shooting was at decoying birds and 50% was at passing birds.  Each hunter, or hunting pair, is accompanied by a “bird boy” who will assist you in spotting incoming ducks and retrieve your downed birds.  Jacana has nearly 100 blinds located over tens of thousands of acres.  You will NEVER shoot the same stand twice during your stay.  Drive time to the blinds varies with water conditions and varies from 10 to 45 minutes.  You can expect to shoot 3 to 5 boxes of shells in the morning and 3 boxes of shells in the evening.  JACANA has a large selection of fine guns available so it is not necessary to bring yours.

Sunrise at Jacana Lodge

To summarize—- the photos accompanying this “blog” do not due justice to the beauty of this incredible facility or the quality of the hunting.  I’ve been fortunate enough to have traveled throughout the world and I have never seen a more beautiful lodge or experienced better shooting.

The living room at Jacana

To learn more about JACANA lodge, call DAVE MELLUM at 719 963-4479 or e-mail him at dave@detailcompany.com.

 

 

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Buenos Aires, Argentina – Mix Bag Hunt at Los Crestones Lodge

I love Argentina—the people, the food, the culture.  But I especially love the hunting.  Whether Big Game hunting or wing shooting, the hunting is unquestionably some of the finest in the world.  And, I never pass an opportunity to experience new hunting lodges in this beautiful country.

I recently hunted LOS CRESTONES lodge.  Located in the Province of Buenos Aires, LOS CRESTONES is just 1 ½ hours driving time from the Buenos Aires International airport (EZE).  If you are looking for a lodge with multiple hunting options, then this is the place for you.  While I’d come to Los Crestones to shoot ducks and perdiz (a prized Argentine game bird similar to quail), you can also shoot pigeons, doves and hunt blackbuck antelope and axis deer all while staying at Los Crestones.

Los Crestones Lodge

I flew into Buenos Aires in late May and arrived at the lodge in the early evening.  The staff, lodge manager, and director of the hunting operations- Sebastian Casado greeted me.  After putting my luggage away, I joined Sebastian for dinner.  He told me the history of the estancia (it dates back to 1886) and we discussed the many hunting options available to me.  I opted to stick with my original plan of hunting ducks in the morning and perdiz in the afternoon.  (But Sebastian is totally flexible in his scheduling should you desire to change your mind and hunt other birds or big game.)

I was awakened the next morning by a knock at my door.  After a quick shower and made to order breakfast I left in the dark for one of the many duck hunting locations available to you.  I was accompanied by Sebastian and the lodge’s head guide.

We arrived at our hunting location in the dark and my guide set out decoys in a flooded area adjacent to a recently harvested grain field.  After the decoys were set I walked out to the blind in very shallow water not above my knees.  I then stepped into the blind itself and immediately noticed that I was not standing on a soft mud bottom but rather on a wooden platform that had been solidly anchored to the pond’s bottom—it was very stable and very comfortable.

Awaiting for ducks at Sunrise, notice the Robo Duck on the left

As the sun started to rise I stood in awe looking at literally thousands of flying ducks.  I’ve duck hunted for many years but I had never seen that many ducks at one hunting location.  The ducks stared decoying into our “spread” and I was all but overwhelmed.  I honestly could not reload fast enough to keep up with the decoying and passing ducks.  I soon realized that they were going to continue to fly and to therefore slow down and enjoy the moment.

Dave Mellum, his bird boy and a bag full of ducks after a morning hunt

I lost track of the total number of ducks I shot (and missed) but when my guide said “Finished”, I was ready to quit having had the best morning’s duck hunt of my life.  We picked up the empty casing, gathered my downed ducks, and returned to the lodge for a traditional Argentine asado (BBQ) lunch.

Dave is ready for Argentine barbecue

I took a few minutes after lunch to catch up on e-mails and relax before heading out for perdiz.

Sebastian Casado, Lodge Manager for Los Crestones with his dog

Like the duck hunting, Los Crestones has multiple perdiz hunting locations and you will never hunt the same field twice.

Sebastian brought me a beautiful Beretta 28 gauge over-and-under (I opted to use the lodge’s guns rather than bring my own) for the afternoon’s perdiz hunt.  With a beautifully trained German short hair pointer we drove less than 10 minutes to the hunt area.  We parked the truck, strolled down wind, then turned around and released our dog to start locating the perdiz.  With his nose into the wind he located the first of many birds after walking less than 50 yards.  I was amazed at the number of wild birds we flushed and I “limited out” on just one pass through the field.

Dave Mellum shows a couple of perdiz after a successful afternoon hunt

That evening Sebastian further explained the hunting options available to guests.  While most guests hunt ducks in the morning, the afternoon can be filled with perdiz hunting, more duck hunting, pigeon hunting over decoys or low volume dove shooting.  Additionally, just 30 minutes from the lodge is an area that holds the world’s largest herds of wild blackbuck antelope.  A bit farther away you’ll find some of the best wild axis deer hunting in Argentina.

As I was leaving Los Crestones, a group of 8 new hunters were arriving.  They return every year—a testament to the hunting, facilities and staff at Los Crestones.

For more information or to book a hunt at this fabulous Lodge call Dave Mellum at (719) 963-4479 or email him at dave@detailcompany.com.

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Entre Rios, Argentina – Duck Hunting at Santo Domingo Lodge

If you are not familiar with Argentina then you may not know that the country is a sportsman’s paradise.  From big game hunting in the province of La Pampa, to the world acclaimed dove shooting in Cordoba—Argentina has something for everyone.  Duck hunting is no exception!  With little hunting pressure, liberal limits, and great variety in duck species Argentina’s duck hunting is fabulous.

Duck hunter at sunset at Santo Domingo Lodge

The one main determent hunters have encountered over the years has been the travel time required to get from the countries main airport (EZE) and capitol Buenos Aires to the duck hunting areas.  But this is no longer the case when hunting Santo Domingo lodge.  A beautiful duck hunting only lodge located less than 2 hours driving time from Buenos Aires, I’ve just returned from hunting Santo Domingo and want to “get the word out” that great duck hunting and long drives to get there are no longer required.

Santo Domingo Lodge

I was in Argentina on a big game hunt when given the opportunity to hunt ducks at Santo Domingo.  My time was very limited but when they explained the convenience of the travel logistics it was an “offer I couldn’t refuse”.

The lodge arranged my transportation from Buenos Aires and, as advertised, it was an incredibly easy and fast trip to the lodge.  Traveling over great roads we reached the lodge in less than 2 hours from the international airport.

When we turned off the main highway and entered the ranches property, I was surprised at the incredible amount of water on the ranch itself.  Gustavo, the lodge manager, later explained that this working cattle ranch controls the water levels in the flooded fields through a gate and canal system.  As a result, even in the driest of years, Santo Domingo will always have water and therefore great duck hunting.

Silver Teal formation.

I arrived at the lodge just in time for “lunch”.  But not “just lunch” rather I arrived to a feast of salads, freshly baked breads, Argentine steak, wine, fresh fruit, and desert.  After trying to say no to offers of second servings I finally managed to push myself away from the table and go outside to meet two of the lodge’s guides.  We discussed the afternoon’s hunting options and they offered me the variety of guns available for my use.  I selected a Beretta 12 gauge over-and-under for the afternoon hunt.

After checking e-mails, I changed into my hunting clothes and asked about getting some waders.  To my absolute astonishment, they explained that I wouldn’t need waders.  Although the hunting is over decoys, they construct and build their blinds on solid dry ground on the edges of flooded fields or on the banks of the canals.  This I had to see!

Field Assistants building a dry blind and placing decoys at Santo Domingo

We left the lodge and drove perhaps 20 minutes to one of the hunting areas not on the ranch itself.  As we approached the flooded field we flushed hundreds-perhaps thousands-of ducks.  The sky filled with ducks and it reminded me of the almost unimaginable numbers of dove one sees when dove hunting in Cordoba—-BUT these were ducks!

As told, my guide set decoys on the edge of the flooded field and built a blind on solid dry ground.  Ducks stared “setting” in our decoys while the guide was still in the water.  There is NO hunting pressure in the areas Santo Domingo hunts so the ducks are not “gun shy” to people or even vehicles.

Afternoon hunting action at Santo Domingo Lodge

It was still very early (about 3:00 pm) when I shot my first duck.  The over-and-under gun proved to be more than adequate as the shots were all close in and they never stopped coming to our decoys.  We left the blind with perhaps 2 hours of shooting light remaining but I’d already reached my afternoon limit of 20.  I’d shot a variety of ducks including Brazilian duck, teal, pintail, and rosey-billed Pochard.

Dave Mellum and his variety of ducks hunted at Santo Domingo Lodge

As previously mentioned, my time was very limited so I was only able to hunt the following morning before having to return back to Buenos Aires.  For this reason I hunted less than 5 minutes driving time from the lodge itself.  The morning’s hunt was almost a repeat of the previous day—i.e. set decoys, stand on dry ground, shoot LOTS of ducks, limit out, and return to the lodge for a fabulous meal.

To summarize:  1) Santo Domingo will always have ducks due to its access, availability, and control of water.  2) There is no long drive time from Buenos Aires to reach the lodge.  3) The hunting, staff, guides, food, and lodging are all first class.

For more information or to book a hunt at Santo Domingo Lodge call Dave Mellum at (719) 963-4479 or email him at dave@detailcompany.com.

 

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News of Jeri’s trip to Argentina | May – June 2013

This May Jeri flew to Argentina to visit friends and check out new exciting destinations to share with our readers. Below you will find her recommendations as well as amusing anecdotes of her trip.

She took a LAN flight from Miami to Cordoba.  The Miami airport is a hassle, as all airports seem these days, but far more organized and has plenty of space to move around since the big remodeling project was completed.

LAN does an outstanding job for service and their friendly staff is always ready to please the airline guest. The food served was tasty and she had no complains.  LAN is moving up in ranking for their service and efficiency and Jeri highly recommends this method of travel to South America. Travel guests will find the seating, offering more legroom for economy guests and first class is “first class”. If you are looking for an option, try LAN!

She did her share of riding and driving during her May/June 2013 visit to Argentina. Jeri, her associates and driver – Argentine George, drove around the mountain area from Cordoba to the San Luis Province, close to Mendoza.  The drive is spectacular with vista to enjoy and lasting memories.

Jeri and her argentine assistant George at Lujan Hotel in San Luis Province

She visited a small town in San Luis, called Lujan.  The pigeons thrive in this area with no other outfitters shooting near except her host, Ramiro.  The pigeon shooting takes place in different areas mostly over decoys but pass shooting is also an option.  This location is perfect for those who are visiting the wine country and want to escape to the countryside for hunting.

Lujan Hotel in Lujan, San Luis Province

Feedlots that supply over 1500 cattle make this a feeding frenzy for pigeons. The accommodations were nice with food and wine even nicer J. Her reference is Cory Pabody known to many in the oil field business. Call Jeri for a CD of Cory’s group great hunt!

The Mendoza vineyards can be reached in 3 hours to taste some of Argentina’s famous wines. All the vineyards in the Mendoza area offer wine tasting’s and tours and the accommodations range from a wonderful B&B to the famous Cavas Wine Lodge or downtown at one of the five star hotels. Talk to Jeri, she has all the contacts to plan a winery visit to beautiful Mendoza, combined with pigeon shooting in San Luis.

Off to Cordoba, where Jeri returns to her Argentine home, “Sierra Brava Lodge”.  The dove population remains the best in the world. The Best Bird shooting is June to March where you can expect to shoot 2 to 25 cases per day. Sierra Brava is a small lodge with all the comforts of home with great service and wonderful dining.  The dove breast served before cocktail hour is almost worth a trip to Sierra Brava according to Jeri. Sierra Brava birds are back door shooting or 30 minute drives to the fields. It is a great family dove shooting lodge or relaxed and comfy place for any friend or business associate. It is just down right fun! Sierra Brava is located in the Macha area in the Province of Cordoba. Rent a gun or bring your own and fly to Cordoba City, Argentina.  We are waiting for you!!!

Left to right, Topo, Jeri, George and Janis at Sierra Brava Lodge

After a dove hunt with the Sierra Brava staff we planned a pigeon shoot.  These pigeons are fast and smart. Hunters find this great fun and challenging.  The lodge is located near a golf course and another location with many feedlots and olive groves.  Pigeons love to feed on that stuff. If you are looking for a dove & pigeon shoot (without more travel) you will find this ranch amusing. Make your plans for this pigeon lodge with Topo your guide.  He will make the move even more amusing. Topo has become famous for his cooking, his outstanding personality but most important, his dove & pigeon finds with his great partner and Jeri’s friend Juanjo Salas.

Paloma Brava Living room

A break was needed for food and wine (not water) in the big city of Buenos Aires. What an amazing city this is for shopping, dining and sipping on some of the best wines in the world. The port district is trendy and you will find great dining.  Their are some great values for shopping, dining and exploring the great city and you can be assured Jeri and the staff at DCA can tango you, shop, tour, wine and dine you with the finest guides you could find worldwide.  It is worth a trip to Buenos Aires right now!!

After a much-deserved rest in Buenos Aires, Let’s go duck hunting -May to August-, in Argentina. 2013 is an amazing duck hunting year & 2014 just may be better if you have reservations! If not, you might be out of duck, sorry I meant luck!

Duck hunting action over decoys at Santo Domingo Lodge in Entre Rios

Jeri and her friend Bill Braden from Bolivia drove an amazing short distance from Buenos Aires to the Entre Rios Province to visit a duck lodge – Santo Domingo -, 115 miles from the city. The primary duck hunting is 10 to 15 minutes from the lodge.  The Lodge offers two bedrooms on the first floor each with two beds and full bath and one bedroom with three beds on the upper level. Dining & living room on 1st   floor with Internet Wi-Fi. The staff is pleasant and speaks English. Bird boys assist each group of two hunters to their blinds that are natural man made blinds in the marshes surrounding the area. Ducks flights over decoys with experienced duck callers near back of your blind.  It is always much more exciting with a great caller to assist bringing ducks to you.

Jeri shared her blind with Bill and reports to us she made some good shots but assures our readers, Bill made much better shots. It was great to be in the wide-open spaces with good crisp air and watch the large flights of ducks fly over to shoot and or miss. Camo clothing and waders are needed for most duck hunting in Argentina.

Santo Domingo Lodge at night

Duck scouting did not stop with Entre Rios.

Jeri and three friends drove l.5 hours to the Buenos Aires Province to find amazing accommodations, and a grand estancia used for polo when duck season ends. You can visit for two days or ten days knowing you can be back to international airport after shooting in time for your night flight, or back to Buenos Aires in time for dinner hour.

Jeri and Maxi – expert duck caller in Buenos Aires province.

The duck area is covered with ponds and lagoons with ducks flying in over decoys. The guide for this area is not new as a duck guide and his proud papa lab who picks the ducks for mounting but most important for table fare. Some dove, some pigeons and perdiz also can be shot in this area. Always good food at any estancia or lodge this lady visits.

Sitting area at duck lodge in Buenos Aires Province

Last she continues a short distance away to another amazing lodge for ducks & perdiz shooting.   The lodge is a B&B off-season.  The duck area is huge and her group shot ducks and heard amazing duck calling.  The food and lodging are both warm and comfortable for relaxing after a great duck day.  This location is also in the Buenos Aires Province.  The duck hunting location is carefully managed on an exclusive basis by the management. Blind set up, the best Jeri has seen on a duck scouting adventure. Ducks welcome their food all year long. Jeri’s guests return year after year and the outfitter is looking forward to hosting a well known Texas group soon as we write this news. She will report who this celebrity is and will report names and how they rate this trip. This proves full confidence by reporting before a report is filed. We will advise our readers shortly.

Here are just a few ducks you may expect to see flying over the decoys:
Speckled Teal, Brazilian Duck, Argentine Blue-bill, Ringed Teal, Cinnamon Teal, Yellow-billed Pintail, Rosy Bill Pochard and many more.

Forget the long drives and call Jeri Booth for a duck hunt this season or next. All three lodges vary in pricing and do fill up fast. We are taking reservations for the 2014 season now.

On a final note, Jeri is planning to return soon to visit another one of her favorite spots, Los Ombues in Entre Rios for hunters to enjoy a mixed bag or dove only and continue on to visit two red stag areas. We will be reporting on this trip as well.

That’s all for this trip blog. We hope you have enjoyed it. Call Jeri at 713-524-7239 or email her at jeribooth@detailcompany.com if you want to know more about her trip and her new findings!

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Abaco & Bair’s – A combined week for Bonefish at the Bahamas!!!!

Fishing the Bahamas at Abaco Lodge

DCA is proud to offer this unique trip, a combined week between the 2 lodges, Saturday to Saturday, where clients will fish 3 full days at Abaco Lodge & 3 full days at Bairs Lodge. This is an excellent way to get to know different waters in the Bahamas and fish different scenarios. The program will include ONLY a private charter between the 2 lodges (short flight of 45 minutes in between both lodges).

Ideal for a private party, this one of a kind program requires a minimum party of 4 anglers, 6 to 8 is the ideal number and no more than 10 anglers.

For the months of October, November, December | February, March.
Subject to availability!

 

Abaco Lodge

Abaco Lodge

- Outstanding logistics from the US with direct flights from Miami and Fort L. from the Marsh Harbor airport it is a 7 minute drive to the lodge.

- Outstanding logistics from the lodge, once you are there in terms of fishery, the dock is right foots away from the lodge and within 15 minute ride you can be fishing.

- Lots of bonefish around, lots of tailing fish, good lodge for numbers, a good angler can catch 20-30 fish on a good day.

- Good shots at Lemon Shark and Kudas (they always carry spinning tackle for Kudas).

- A possibility to have some shots at Baby Tarpon & Permits (better season for this May and June).

- Outstanding accommodations, based on single king sized bed rooms with private bathrooms (10 rooms).

- Outstanding service as you are used at Nervous Waters lodges.

- The best skiffs on the market to ride shallow waters.

Fighting with a Bonefish at Bairs Lodge

- Top Notch food within Bahamas.

- It’s possible to trailer to the ocean side, where there is a chance of bigger fish, but they are more difficult.

Huge Bonefish at Abaco Lodge

 

Bairs Lodge

Bairs Lodge

- Good Logistics from the USS, direct flights from Fort L, but only 1 option of airline and 2 daily flights almost every day (if not you can go via Nassau, same as to Abaco Lodge)

- Outstanding accommodations, but shared rooms, 6 rooms can accommodate 12 or 10 anglers.

Bairs accommodations

- Outstanding boats and the best guides in the area, with an average of 15+ years experience guiding for us.

- Terrific fishing = Bairs is more remote, you have more fishing scenarios where to catch bones, from white sandy flats, to grassy flats, to Mangroves, to creeks, all in one same area, so every day you will fish different type of waters which always make the fishing more attractive.

- Possibility to ride to the called “west side” where the big bones are (5-10lbs fish).

- Lots of wading opportunities if so desired.

- Top Notch food within Bahamas.

- Top Notch Loaner equipment to fly fish (same in Abaco)

- Little fly shop at each destination (same at Aabco) with all a client might need, from rods, to reels, lines, flies, etc

- It is possible to catch big sharks, snappers and Jacks out of the big blue holes along the island.

A happy client with a Bonefish at Bairs Lodge in the Bahamas

To talk about Abaco & Bairs or to book a fishing trip there call Juan Pablo Reynal  at 786-207-4532 or e-mail him at jpreynal@detailcompany.com

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La Pampa, Argentina – Bow Hunting & Upland Birds at Poitahue Hunting Ranch

Endorsed by many of the major names in outdoors hunting (e.g. Craig Boddington, Jim Shockey, Colorado Buck, and “Pigman”), Poitahue Hunting Lodge was everything these people had claimed and everything I’d hoped for in a real hunting adventure. To quote Craig Boddington, “This is one of the best places I have ever been! The lodge and staff are fantastic, the country beautiful and your free-range stags are wonderfully challenging. I am only sorry that my wife, Donna, was not part of this Argentine adventure-which means we must return! I cannot thank you enough!”

Poitahue (pronounced “poy-ta-way”) is located in La Pampa Province, Argentina about 350 miles southwest of Buenos Aires, Argentina. I flew nonstop to Buenos Aires from Dallas Ft. Worth International Airport (DFW), and then took a domestic flight from Buenos Aires to Santa Rosa, Argentina. The lodge is located about 1 ½ hour driving time from Santa Rosa. (Aerolineas Argentinas has jet service Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from Buenos Aires to Santa Rosa. Alternatively, ground vehicle transportation can be arranged from Buenos Aires to the lodge with a drive time of about 7 hours.)

Poitahue consists of over 85,000 acres of free range hunting and has been in the family of Alejandro Pini for over 5 generations. Historically the primary game animal of pursuit has been the red stag. Over the years however, the ranch has introduced new game animals such as fallow deer, axis deer, water buffalo, blackbuck antelope, wild boar, and mouflon sheep. Additionally, the ranch’s wing shooting is spectacular.

March and April are undoubtedly the most popular months for hunting. The red stag are fully into the rut and locating these elusive animals is much easier. Most of the hunting is spot and stalk and taking advantage of the vocal “roar” the stags make during the rut significantly helps in locating their position. You will find the hunting challenging, the terrain varied, and although the guides are intimately familiar with the areas, the stag’s instincts for survival seem to always humble the hunters.

I made my trip in late May. I’d planned not to hunt red stag but rather water buffalo (with my bow) and also do some pigeon shooting. The water buffalo wonder the ranch in herds ranging from 4 to 6 up to groups of over 20. It was amazing how difficult it could be to locate a herd of 2000-plus pound animals. There were times when we (myself and guide) glassed and walked for over 2 hours without locating buffalo. Some of the terrain which the buffalo inhabited was so thick that we were nearly upon them (less than 75 yards) before spotting them.

Dave is ready to shoot…

I’d planned 5 days for my visit and on day 3 of my hunt all “the stars aligned” and I found the right buffalo at the right distance and was successful in taking the pictured trophy. Not the largest of the buffalo I saw, but a trophy to me.

Dave Mellum’s Water Buffalo Trophy at Poitahue Hunting Ranch

There were 4 other hunters at Poitahue when I was there. Although they were big game hunters, they’d actually come to Poitahue for wing shooting. They’d flown into Buenos Aires from Atlanta, Georgia and were hunting a “mixed bag” of ducks, dove, and perdiz (a prized Argentine game bird similar to quail).

There are no ducks at Poitahue itself, so the lodge personnel met this group at the Buenos Aires International airport and they stopped enroute to the lodge for both duck and dove shooting. I was not with them but from the stories they told and the photos they showed me, they had MORE than a terrific hunt on the way. (This is a great option for the “diversified” hunter who wants to do both a mixed bag of wing shooting and big game hunting).

I would join the group of 4 for pigeon shooting conveniently located less than 30 minutes from the lodge. I’d previously hunted perdiz, but not pigeon, so I was eagerly anticipating this hunt. (FYI, the lodge has a large selection of guns so unless you are partial to your own gun it is probably “easier” to use the lodges’ guns rather than bring yours.)

Pigeon hunting at Poitahue Hunting Ranch

Our group of 5 hunted pigeon 1 morning and 2 afternoons. In total we shot over 650 birds in the 3 hunts. Until you actually witness the incredible number of pigeons available it is hard to visualize this type of shooting.

Dave Mellum getting ready for hot barrel pigeon hunting with Poitahue Hunting

I left Poitahue 5 days after my arrival. I had shot A LOT of pigeons and saw many big game animals– in addition to the water buffalo I shot. I had the opportunity to stalk red stag, fallow deer, and blackbuck antelope. And –although not needing it—I’ll use this as an “excuse” to return to this incredible hunting facility.

To talk about Poitahue Hunting or book a hunt there call Dave Mellum  at 719-963-4479 or e-mail him at dave@detailcompany.com

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Salta, Argentina – Golden Dorado Fly Fishing, an Incredible Adventure!

Detail Company Adventures, a leader in worldwide hunting and fishing travel, prides itself on the quality of lodges it represents and offers its clients.  As part of our commitment to you, we continually review our lodges to ensure they meet the highest of standards in all areas.  In keeping with that commitment, I recently traveled to Chacu lodge in Salta, Argentina for a Golden Dorado fly-fishing trip.

John John’s 16 lb. Golden Dorado from the Juramento River

When I arrived in Salta Airport, Carlos from Chacu was there, ready to take me to the lodge.  The drive to the lodge took about 1 hour and 45 minutes. Our route to the lodge took us through part of the city of Salta and then into the rural areas around the city until finally we where in the middle of farm country.

I didn’t fish the first afternoon I arrived at the lodge.  Paco, the lodge manager and master fishing guide showed me around the lodge and later he discussed with me the course of action for the days to come.

Chacu Lodge

Later that night and before dinner I caught up on e-mail (the lodge has wireless internet) and “checked in” back home using my cell phone, the lodge has boosters so the coverage is perfect as well.

Back to the fishing, at Chacu Lodge there are two places to fish for Golden Dorado, one is by wading the crystal clear rivers in the tropical forest area and the other one is by floating a bigger river in the flat lands.

Fishing the Del Valle River

Both options face lots of difficulties but the rewards can be out of this world. There are three rivers heading up into the tropical forest —Del Valle River, Seco River and Dorado River—. These rivers require a good deal of walking over small boulders, a great deal of stealth approaching the banks and precise casting to small pockets of water.

Fishing for Golden Dorado in these rivers is like fishing for trout –though you hook them like a tarpon–, you can actually see them cruising the runs and pools, but they can see you as well, it’s a game of hide and seek and the better one wins!

Golden Dorado cruising the crystal clear waters of the Dorado River.

There are big fish in those small to mid-size rivers, if you hook one, you better be prepared…
Average size is 6 pounds but you will see 10 to 15 pounders as well, now hooking them and landing them are two different stories.

The ranch has roads accessing the different rivers, but don’t be fooled, you are in the middle of the tropical forest, you will see a great variety of animals and birds and of course bugs, though nothing that insect repellent won’t fix.

But enough of warnings, the fishing is incredible, the landscape is beautiful and you wont see another human being besides your partner and your guide. Believe me, the satisfactions outnumber any inconveniences you might encounter along the way.

A view of the Dorado River

When fishing these rivers, you move from the main lodge –Chacu– to the fishing lodge –San Fernando—that’s located just 20 minutes from the rivers. Chacu has 9 double bedrooms and all the amenities of a 5 star hotel, but it’s two hours away from these rivers. On the other side San Fernando is right there but is more a fishing camp than a 5 star hotel, though you will have everything you need: comfortable bedrooms, hot water, electricity (generator) and a great dining area with a grill, all looking into the tropical forest. You will spend two nights at this lodge and three nights at Chacu.

After fishing these rivers, you move back to Chacu, where you will spend the last two nights. Coming up next, “The Grand Finale”, floating the Juramento River. You will be sharp after three days of fishing and you will be ready for this intense challenge. The Juramento is wider than the other rivers, carries more water and is full of dead trees and branches above and below the water line. These conditions provide excellent protection and cover for the Golden Dorado, thus there are lots of fish in the river and a lot of big ones as well.

Floating the Juramento River

You will need to cast -with precision- between 50 and 90 feet from a moving raft, and your casts will need to be very close to the dead branches, you will lose flies, a lot of them, but…you will hook some unbelievable fish and seeing that piece of gold as it jumps fully out of the water will be imprinted in your memory for ever!

This trip is a major ADVENTURE with capital letters; it’s THE fishing trip you wont forget for a long time!

Click the following link to watch a 2 minute video of the Juramento River:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M_eoZbouyrI

To book a fishing trip to Chacu Lodge in Salta, Argentina, call John John Reynal at (786) 207-4532 or email him at john.john@detailcompany.com

 

Price: $750 per fisherman per day, based on double occupancy.

Season: March – May | September – November

 

NOTE!  Wine Tours in Salta and Cafayate can be arranged after the fishing trip for a 1, 2 or 3-day program. Non-fishing guests can relax at the lodge, go sightseeing and shopping in Salta while the fishing trip is underway.

Two gauchos in Salta’s beautiful landscape!

A Cast & Blast program is also available. Spectacular dove hunting is available March – November and Decoyed Pigeon Hunting is available Mid May – End of September.

Dove hunting in Salta

How to get there?

Several airlines fly to Buenos Aires from the U.S. with nonstop service offered from DFW, Miami, New York and Houston. Getting to Buenos Aires from the U.S. is no problem.  The processing through customs and immigration went very smoothly.  However, if you have not traveled to Argentina recently, there is now a $140 per person reciprocity fee charged by the Argentine government —it is good for 10 years, this fee will have to be paid online prior departure from the US, please call us and we will gladly help you.

When you arrive in Buenos Aires you can either choose to stay in a hotel for the night and enjoy Buenos Aires, a very cosmopolitan city or transfer to the domestic airport for the flight to Salta. The ride to the domestic airport is usually 1 to 1 ½ hours but if you are bringing guns (for a cast & blast – more later) allow at least 4 hours to clear your gun and make the transfer.

The flight from Buenos Aires to Salta was about 2 hours—comfortable, jet service, on time.

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Quebec Caribou Limit DROPS to 1

In a press release issued April 26th, the Quebec Minister of Sustainable Development, Environment, Wildlife and Parks officially announced that starting in 2014 the limit on caribou will be reduced to only one caribou per hunter in those areas which remain open.  (Note!  All hunting for caribou of the George River herd is and will remain closed.)  This measure was taken in response to the decrease in the Quebec caribou herd over the past few years.

Meanwhile, both the quantity and quality of our Argentina and New Zealand big game offerings continues to get better and better.  The Red Stag continues to top the “Bucket List” of many of our clients.  With the prime rut of the Red Stag in March and April, this offers a perfect big game hunting time frame for those who are busy pursuing North American big game in the fall or African game in the summer.

Free Range Red Stags at Poitahue Hunting in Northern La Pampa, Argentina.

We offer both north island and south island New Zealand hunts and our expansive Poitahue hunting lodge in Argentina offers the finest free range big game hunting in all of Argentina.  With over 13 species of big game, plus excellent wingshooting options for doves, pigeons and perdiz, Poitahue Hunting Lodge is simply unmatched in hunting, accommodations, and service.

New Zealand Trophy Red Stags at Manuka Point

Like all fine hunting establishments, the peak hunting times “fill up” very quickly.  If you are interested in either a New Zealand or Argentina Big Game hunt please contact DAVE MELLUM at 719-963-4479 or e-mail him at dave@detailcompany.com

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Minnesota – Trophy White Tail Deer Lodge – Autumn Antlers

The Whitetail Deer is the most pursued and sought after big game animal in the world. Tens of thousands of hunters spend countless numbers of hours reading about, planning for, and visualizing the taking of a trophy Whitetail.  While the word “trophy” has a different meaning to every hunter, it is universally accepted that the “rack” of a mature Whitetail deer is truly a thing of beauty.

Whitetail Trophy at Autumn Antlers

Whitetail Trophy taken at Autumn Antlers

Now, in the rolling hardwood terrain of central Minnesota, Autumn Antlers Trophy Whitetail Lodge has built a Five Star hunting facility where the Whitetail bucks grow racks whose beauty is unmatched anywhere in the entire United States.

Entrance to the lodge.

Autumn Antlers Lodge at night. Beautiful

Drawing from many years experience managing other hunting and fishing camps, Autumn Antlers has constructed this Five Star lodge designed around you—-the hunter.  Although large in size (8,200 square feet), Autumn Antlers keeps its number of guests to a minimum.  With only six guest rooms, the lodge knows the importance of customer service and prides itself in providing personalized attention to every hunter.

Single King Size Bed at one of our rooms

During your stay, each hunter will have the exclusive services of a trained and experienced guide.  Hunter and guide will discuss such things as tactics, weapon to be used (clients choice), and hunting options such as spot and stalk, ground blind, or tree stand.  Autumn Antlers wants you to experience that ultimate Whitetail hunt you’ve always dreamt about and goes to every length to ensure you get it.

In addition to beautiful deer, gourmet meals are prepared every evening.  Satellite TV and high speed internet are available, and a massive fieldstone fireplace, next to the open bar, is a relaxing gathering point for planning the next days hunt or for “bragging” to your friends about the trophy you shot that day.

The main area at the lodge

Located a short 2 hour drive from the Minneapolis St. Paul International airport (MSP), I recently visited the lodge to see first hand what I’d already read about in the Texas Trophy Hunter and Sporting Classics magazines.  Easy to get to, guests can fly into this major city in the morning and be “on stand” that afternoon.

For the business or corporation looking to reward its top clients or employees, Autumn Antlers is the perfect destination.  5 Star lodging, gourmet meals, unrivaled hunting, no crowds and an atmosphere that even non-hunters will truly enjoy, Autumn Antlers is the perfect retreat.

Front Entrance to the Lodge.

For more information or to book a hunt at Autumn Antlers Trophy Whitetail Lodge call Dave Mellum at (719) 963-4479 or email him at dave@detailcompany.com.  Start planning now, the season will be here before you know it!  (Hunting begins mid September 2013).

Whitetail Trophy taken at Autumn Antlers during winter

Elk Trophy at Autumn Antlers

European Mouflon Trophies at Autumn Antlers

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