Argentina 2013: A Wonderful Hunt and Fantastic Vacation: Part 7

by david on July 30, 2013

I was actually up about 5:15, probably due to the fact that I had been waking up every 30-45 minutes in anticipation of the day’s activities.  Being up early allowed me plenty of time for a big breakfast and lots of black coffee.  The bacon was a slightly different cut than I was used to but bacon, eggs, and toast with butter and jelly are always welcome at hunting camp.  The combination of the protein, carbohydrates, sugar, and caffeine would last me until lunch.

On the way to the fields, we pulled over to the side of the road stopped.  The bird boys jumped out of their truck with machetes and started cutting stalks of papyrus and brush.  I was just about to ask why they were doing that when Claus explained that we would be hunting from inside blinds.  That would allow us to position ourselves in the middle of the field rather than around the edges.  We made to the dove field just past 7:00 and I met my bird boy.  Jose was more of a bird man, actually, with many years of experience at South American Adventure Safaris (SAAS).  He spoke very little English and I speak virtually no Spanish, so we got along famously.  With nothing to talk about, I stood back and watched him set up for the day.  First, he pulled my shotgun from its case and handed it to me.  It was a Beretta AL391 and I was very familiar with it.  I had put several hundred rounds through one just like it in preparation for this trip.  He then dumped a box of shells into my pouch, pointed skyward and said his first word of English: “Shoot”.  It was still a little dark and somewhat foggy, so I held off on the shooting part, but I did start to turn my eyes skyward and let him finish the blind.  A few minutes later, he was done and I took my place inside and waited for the action to start.  I had heard shots around me so I know the others were seeing birds but I still did not know where everyone was.  A few minutes later, I could make out my closest neighbor and decided to join in on the fun.  By the end of the morning, I would know most of Jose’s vocabulary, or the important parts of it anyway.  He had “no” and “shoot” down pat, and I could live with that.

My guide and teacher for the week, Jose


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