Most avid dove hunters are well aware that Argentina is the dove hunting capital of the world, and for any hunters that have hunted in Argentina they almost certainly have seen pigeons. What is not as well-known is due to the geography, climate and agriculture Argentina is also the number one destination globally for pigeon hunting. Many areas in Argentina boast large numbers of pigeons, for example Salta, San Luis, Santiago del Estero and La Pampa; accordingly you will find the best pigeon hunting lodges in these provinces.
In general pigeons in concentrated numbers try to separate themselves from the dove, because while the pigeons are much larger in body size, they can’t compete for food with the millions upon millions of dove. When possible the pigeons roost in different areas and find grain crops too large for the dove to eat like peanuts and beans so they don’t have to compete for food, but inevitably there are times of the year where the two birds coexist. Unlike the dove in the warmer months pigeons tend to stay in smaller flocks and do not concentrate the way doves do. Around May when the weather starts to cool the pigeons begin to group together and search for food and water in large groups. For this reason its pigeon hunting is best in the months of May through September. There are no federal or provincial bag limits for pigeons, however its protocol for your outfitter to limit your pigeon harvest to 150-250 pigeons per day. These limits of course are set to protect the long term sustainability of pigeon hunting in Argentina. Most pigeon hunting areas boast high volumes of dove within a 30 minute drive, so it’s quite common take on a combination hunt to include doves and pigeons.
Pigeon hunting is done using two methods, the first being over decoys. This is much like duck hunting over decoys as the pigeons are attracted to the spinning wing and carousel decoys. The other method is pass shooting, which is done in a fly way, where the pigeons are “intercepted” on the way from their roosts to their feeding grounds or water holes. Both are extremely fun and challenging, much more so than dove as the pigeons are hearty birds and are wary of movement or activity that is not normal to them, like a truck in the field, or a cooler under tree. Their wariness requires your field assistant to make a blind similar to a duck blind in the field.
There are many lodges that offer pigeon hunting in Argentina, each with their own distinction which can make it very difficult to select the lodge that best suits your needs.
At Southern Outfitting it’s our passion to provide our clients with the information necessary to make the best hunting area and lodge choices.