Bodfuan Worldwides operation in Argentina is based in Cordoba, the flight is just 13 hours to Buenos Aires where you can take sights of the capital city. The following morning you board a 1-hour flight to Cordoba. Our guide will pick the team up from the airport and will take you us to the luxury-hunting lodge where you will be met by a parade of house staff.
This is where the royal style hospitality begins. The lodge originally built in the early 1900’s was rebuilt just a few years ago and is full of character. The team all have single rooms most of which are more like a suite. After a 3-course lunch prepared with fine local ingredients and beautiful wines, your team will be taken to the field by an experienced guide to enjoy a long afternoon of shooting. Dressed in boots, shorts and short-sleeved shirt you will be ready for the field. Your bird boy, who will stay with you for the week, will take you to your peg. As the birds start to come in, nothing will prepare those as a game shooter for what is about to happen! The equivalent of a constant flow of driven birds, thousands of 30 to 40 yard birds flying towards you, with the odd 70 to 80 yard crossing bird thrown in to keep the adrenalin pumping. It’s a mixture of shooting Grouse with the speed, good Partridge for the height and Woodcock because these birds like to flick around in the wind. Your first shots will be demoralising, as you will never have had to swing on a bird so fast in your life. However the quantity will soon see you improve. You can easily shoot 1000 each per day.
Doves are seen as a massive pest in Argentina, a country whose main industry is farming, as they eat many of the crops. Shooting the Doves is a cull, which helps the locals in many ways. The outfitters are big employers in Cordoba with many loyal staff who have worked their way up the ranks since leaving school, the school of which many outfitters sponsor. Many of the birds are eaten by the locals and a lot are eaten by eagles, which constantly hover above the field picking the runners and eating them straight away. This gives us confidence in good ethics that shooting, like in the UK, is good for conservation and the economy.
More information can be found at http://www.bodfuanworldwide.com
A typical trip is 1 week out of the UK, but we can tailor a trip for a group. Individual guns welcome.
18:00 Arrive Heathrow Terminal 5 – You will have been checked in and just need to pick up your boarding card and drop off baggage at the check in desk.
21.45 Depart for Buenos Aires (BA)
08.30 Arrive Buenos Aires
09.30 Transfer to Claridge Hotel
11.00 City Tour, Lunch in Bocca, Tango Show / Free Time
06:30 Transfer to Internal Airport
08:30 Depart for Cordoba with LAN – Checked In
09:05 Land Cordoba and Transfer to Lodge, check in, relax, early lunch
Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday
5 Days of High Volume Dove Shooting All Food & Drinks Included
16.30 Transfer to Internal Airport 17.30 Depart for Buenos Aires with LAN – Checked In 18.30 Land BA 19:00 Check in at Claridge Hotel, time for shopping and free evening
10:00 Transfer to Internal Airport
13:30 Depart for UK
06:00 Land Heathrow Terminal 5
What to take?
Main Luggage: 1 Bag at 23kg Limit for both flights
Hand Luggage: 1 piece of hand baggage (56cm x 45cm x 25cm/22in x 18in x 10in)
Weather: It will be warm but showers are possible
Clothes: I’m taking smart jeans, 2 x shorts, 4 light cotton shirts as there is daily laundry
Jackets: I’m taking a very light waterproof and a shooting gilet
Shoes: I’m taking a smartish pair for Meal Times/BA and a comfy light boots for shooting
Guns: Hire Included. We pick guns on Monday morning either Autos or OU 20/28 bores
Currency: USD in $100 bills and $1 bills we trade pesos there (you cannot get USD from a bank or ATM)
Tips (Week): Bird Boy $250 paid direct on Friday AM. Guide $75usd & House Staff $75usd
Cartridges: The Guide keeps a tally and you settle up by credit card at the end of the week. $13 box/25
Below is a review of Jono’s first trip many years ago
I found myself on a very windy day on a dove-shooting trip in Cordoba, Argentina, the dove shooting capital of the world. When I booked the trip back at the start of the UK game season I didn’t dream such sport existed. After Day 1 of the trip taking in the sights of Benes Aires, the capital city, we boarded a 1-hour flight to Cordoba. Our Outfitter picked us up from the airport and we were taken to the luxury-hunting lodge “La Portenita” where we were met by a parade of house staff.
This was where the royal style hospitality began. The lodge originally built in the early 1900’s was rebuilt just a few years ago and is full of character. The team all had single rooms most of which were more like a suite. After a 3 course lunch with beautiful local wine and ingredients we were taken to the field by our experienced guide in the ford pick up, where my new hat would struggle to stay on my head as the wind was that strong. It was 26 degrees but it felt lovely and fresh because of the wind.
Dressed in boots, shorts, short-sleeved cotton shirt and a gilet I was ready for the field. My bird boy for the week ‘Santi’ who spoke enough English for us to get by, took me to my peg. The birds started to come in, as a game shooter nothing could prepare me for what was about to happen! It was the equivalent of a constant flow of driven birds, thousands of 30 to 40 yard birds flying towards me, with the odd 70 to 80 yard crossing bird thrown in to keep the adrenalin pumping. It was a mixture of shooting Grouse with the speed, Good Partridge for the height & Woodcock because these birds like to flick around in the wind. My first shots were demoralising, as I had never had to swing on a bird so fast in my life. I only shot 100 odd birds in the first hour for 250 Cartridges. You may think compared to UK birds the ratio of 2.5 to 1 is for easy birds or an extremely good shot of which I am not. The fact is that you can pretty much get a consistent bird throughout the afternoon, so you can just keep practising that bird similar to a clay at a clay ground. Your ratio is poor at first but you get that good you soon start killing bird after bird. I discovered a whole new world outside of my comfort zone. Santi my bird boy would shout ‘ploomer’ for every bird I take tail feathers out of and ‘merduro’ for every bird I kill, in between shouting “Beautiful Shot”, both are counted as a kill on his clicker.
Doves are a massive pest in Argentina, eating many crops, farming being main industry. Shooting the Doves is a cull which helps the locals in many way. The outfitters are big employers in Cordoba with many loyal staff who have worked their way up the ranks since leaving school, the school of which many outfitters sponsor. Many of the birds are eaten by the locals and a lot are eaten by eagles, which constantly hover above the field picking the runners and eating straight away. This gives me confidence in good ethics that shooting, like in the UK, is good for conservation and the economy.
The first day shooting ends back at the shoot lodge where again we were greeted by the house staff that served us hot towels, champagne and canapés. We were previously asked in the day if we wanted a professional masseuse to attend at the end of the day. We then changed for dinner and met the rest of the team who had flown in from the US.
Typically there are different places to shoot in Cordoba and asking your guide he will place you accordingly for height of bird, crosses, overhead, going away birds etc. We chose quality over quantity and I felt 500 cartridges in an afternoon was enough; other members shot 1000 plus cartridges. We all shot 20 gauge Berretta’s which we hired at the lodge along with our hunting licenses. There was an extensive gunroom of 20b and 28b over and under’s and Benelli Autos which are a preferred choice of the American clients.
Day 3 of the trip started at 7am with a wake up call and a hearty breakfast that included bacon, eggs, cereal & toast, the only meal of the day that didn’t contain steak! If you like steak, you will like it in Cordoba, expect to eat good steak and lots of it twice a day. Out to the field, which had previously been scouted by our guide and local experts “Nikko & Gabriel”. Not so windy on this day but very dry and warm, bringing with it fantastic bird’s that were slightly less testing than the previous day but this gave me chance to push at those long crossing birds. I could only hit these long crossing birds by shutting my left eye and smoke trailing the bird to really find the line, a tip given to me by coach Bob Valentine in the early days of my driven shooting career.
The influx of Doves slowed down in the mid day heat and we retired to a safari style silver service lunch in a small coppice which had been laid up by Nikko, our field chef and dove scout. Lunch was more amazing stake rib, a 10oz plus sirloin followed by apple tart. Argentinian Red Wine is never far away. At lunch Jimmy one of the American team comments “gee these guys are slipping no cots or hammocks” as we realise the bird boys are right behind setting them up.
After a snooze until mid afternoon we are back out for intensive shooting. I stopped every 125 cartridges for an ice coke or water, which your bird boy is set up for. It is courteous to let the bird boy have a few shots now and then, however Santi preferred my trustee Nikon D40 and I let him take photos and gave him a rest from loading.
I shot over 500 birds this day and my good friend Arwel shot 999 not knowing this until just before dinner. We joked with him as there were caps issued saying “I shot 1000 doves in a day” no cap caps saying I shot 999 in day! After the 3-course meal we helped our selves to the bar, which was included and retired to the beautiful garden lounge where a fire had been set up for us.
Day 4 of the trip was completely different from previous days, our scout Nikko had been out since 1st light looking for the good shooting. We set up for the day where Santi my bird boy had set up a beautiful hide. We waited an hour but the birds didn’t come, they had moved on. The guide says “no good” and we packed up and move on. The scout must have made 40 calls to farmers looking for the birds and took me to a great spot next to a beautiful windmill and some large pylons where the birds were flying high similar to high Pheasants in the UK. This had been my most challenging shooting yet.
After another excellent lunch in the field and a snooze in the hammock the guide comments “I sorry about this morning, it hunting you know”. He was deeply embarrassed as I had only shot 120 odd birds. He explained that some times this happens in the months of April, May and June. This made me realise the job of the scout is very important. We were promised lots of birds in the afternoon, a promise of which he delivered. The guide took me to a place where constant 50 plus yard birds, that simulated high Pheasants, just kept coming and coming and coming. For 2 hours I shot non-stop, shooting over 500 birds. The guide came to pick me up at 5pm as the other guys had also shot lots of birds and were ready for a massage and a beer. I decided to stay out and go for my 1000 bird day. Shortly after this the birds slowed up from the direction I had been shooting and started flying back to the roost in the opposite direction. They were now faster but lower giving me chance to shoot the long crossing birds with both eyes open and maintained lead. I still struggled a little so kept both eyes open but started with the bird and just pulled in front. Well my head got too big for my hat, I couldn’t miss, the penny dropped everything came together and I was shooting like I had always dreamed of. By 6pm I was physically and mentally drained and I needed to shoot another 75 birds to break the 1000 target. We had made a deal at the beginning of the week with the Americans, that whoever shot the least birds per day sat at the bottom of the table and whoever shot the most sat at the top. I was determined that that seat was mine, but didn’t know how the others had got on. At 7pm I shot bird number 1001 with the 2nd barrel, a memorable bird. This was the best day shooting of my life and I remember thinking, how will I feel on a game day back home shooting so few birds? Anyway back to the lodge for Tea & Medals, well wine at the head of the table!
Day 5 of the trip I took the day easy shooting only 500 shells and a mixture of testing birds, some of the team chose to go pigeon shooting at a small surcharge but this was limited to 250 birds for the afternoon. My good friend Dave shot 1040 birds this day taking the lead for the week. We had a special meal on this evening inviting Nikko & Gabriel for dinner, fools play never being far away.
We ended the trip with a day in Benes Aeres touring the Islands by boat and taking in a Tango Show. All in all the trip surprised me, I expected lots of shooting but I didn’t expect the birds to be so testing. I thought 95% of my enjoyment on the trip would be the shooting but as with all good shooting the crack with the group would be hard to beat!
For a beginner looking to get into game shooting it would be my advice to spend time at a shooting school and then to take a trip to Cordoba as apposed to say 8 x 150 bird pheasant days, where you may only shoot 100 birds across the 8 days as a beginner. Dove shooting suits people from all walks of shooting life be it Driven Game, Wildfowling or Pigeon Shooting and although it may seem expensive for a week it truly is a once in a lifetime experience.