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On our list of suggested items to bring we have listed medical tape for your loading finger/thumb. We are commonly asked “what the heck is the tape for?” For those that have been to Argentina its likely you know, for those that haven’t experienced dove shooting in Argentina yet, we’ll be glad to explain.

For those that shoot double barrels this blog doesn’t apply.

On your busiest day at the skeet range or dove field in the US, you might load 100-150 rounds into your semi-automatic. In Argentina you may load 1000 or more rounds per day and over 3-4 days of shooting this equates to more than rounds than most shooters load in 2-3 years at home. Repeatedly pushing up and into the spring loaded tang or flap of the magazine tube thousands of times will cause your finger/thumb nail to be a sore, raw mess. I have seen the nasty bruising, sore digits and even blisters under the nail to bad that the nail fell off.

Simply wrapping tape around your loading finger provides protection for your loading digit, and allows a smooth surface to contact the tubular magazine tang.

It may sound crazy, but don’t make the mistake of going day 1 without the tape as on day 2 you’ll be squeamish and day 3 you’ll be so sore you’ll have your bird boy loading your shotgun for you!

The dove in Argentina flies very similar to the dove in the US, therefore your shot presentations are essentially the same, and however there is one big difference which is simply the volume of dove.

On most days improved cylinder or even skeet is the preferred choke. You will almost immediately notice how much better your shooting percentages become for two reasons. 1) You can pick your shots. For example that 55 yard crossing dove that you have little chance of hitting, in the US most hunters take the shot. They do so hoping at a minimum they cause the dove to turn towards them, and there is a remote chance they get lucky and actually drop it. 2) Repetition! You will shoot as much as you want and get lots of practice at varied shot presentations. For dove shooters that have not experienced Argentina dove shooting, you will be amazed at how well you do shooting 35-40 yard shots using an improved cylinder choke.

Now on windy days in Argentina, much like in the US the dove fly much higher and faster. If a hunter is faced with high, fast birds you have a couple options. The first of course would be to tighten your choke to modified or even improved modified and practice your long leads. Once a shooter determines the lead you’ll be knocking down these birds consistently. The second option is to simply ignore the high birds, face into the wind and pick off the birds that have chosen to fly into the wind. There won’t be as many dove flying into the wind as with it, but it has been my experience around 10% of the dove you will see on windy days haven’t quite figured out to use the wind to their advantage. These birds will be by far the easiest shots as often they’ll be flying so slow it’s almost as if they are not moving.

In summary we suggest starting with skeet or improved cylinder and make adjustments to your choke as needed. Each shooter has different styles and preferences, so the most important issue related to shotgun chokes is to experiment and have fun!

Many hunters chose to bring their own shotguns with them on their Duck or Dove hunting excursions to Argentina or other locations across the globe. It’s actually quite easy to bring your own shotgun, but something that is often overlooked by clients and even outfitters is the US Customs requirement demonstrating that the firearm was not purchased abroad. There are many reasons for this, certainly some related to duties, others related to obtaining the firearm illegally, and probably most importantly can the individual legally possess a firearm in the US.

The US Department of Homeland Security along with US Customs and Border protection require that for re-entry of a firearm into the United States that US Customs Form CPB 4457 accompanies each firearm. These forms are simple to obtain and there is no charge. Simply visit your local US Customs Office with your firearm and ask for form CPB 4457. You will complete part of the form, the officer will verify the serial number, sign, date and stamp the form. The form does not expire and with this you are free to enter and exit the US as often as you like.

In theory US Customs can seize your firearm without this form, or possibly force you to pay duty, and at a minimum you will be hassled at the airport when you return. Southern Outfitting strongly suggests that anyone traveling abroad with a firearm to go through the simple process of obtaining your Customs Form before your departure!

It’s actually quite easy to bring your shotgun with you on a duck or dove hunting trip to Argentina. First of course you need an airline approved, lockable gun case. When you arrive at the ticket counter at your local airport tell the agent you have a firearm. They will ask you to open your case, make sure your gun is unloaded and fill out an orange tag demonstrating the firearm has been checked and is unloaded. A copy of the orange tag will be placed in your gun case, then you lock it up and it then goes through the process that all other baggage goes through before being loaded on the plane. Generally speaking this will be the last time you see your shotgun until you arrive at your destination, even if you have connecting flights. (If connecting in Santiago Chile they may ask you to open the case and once again verify the shotgun is unloaded before loading onto your final flight into Argentina)

Argentina allows each hunter enter the country with a maximum of 3 shotguns. Extra barrel sets are considered an additional gun, so a 2 barrel set counts as 2 guns.

The department that processes your paperwork and registers your firearms is called RENAR (Registro Nacional de Armas y Explosivos). Upon arrival into Argentina and after collecting your luggage and entering the customs area of the airport you simply tell the customs officer you have a shotgun (escopeta in Spanish) and you will be directed to the RENAR department. Here the officers will match your RENAR form up to your shotgun ensuring the make, model and serial numbers match. There is a fee for bringing your shotgun, and it ranges between $100 and $140 U$D per shotgun/barrel, paid in cash to directly to the RENAR department.

As part of the service that Southern Outfitting provides, we will complete your RENAR forms and answer any questions you may have related to bringing your own shotgun to Argentina.

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