Dove Hunting | Southern Outfitting


The short answer is “as many as you want.”

 The long answer is there is no limit on doves in Argentina. The country of Argentina has an agricultural area that spans over 300,000 square miles. For perspective, this area is larger than the country of France and Portugal combined or larger than Texas and Ohio combined.

In this area, there is an estimated 200 million dove that, for the most part, do not migrate and indeed don’t migrate outside of the agricultural region.

 The dove finds home in roosts that cover thousands of acres and do nothing but eat, drink and make babies.



A band of land in the northern part of Argentina has the perfect soil, climate, and rainfall. This area is roughly 300,000 square miles, or the size of Texas and Ohio combined.

Because the area has such fertile soil and the perfect climate for agriculture, this region is the world’s 4th largest producer of corn, the 3rd largest producer of soybean, the 8th largest producer of sorghum, and the 8th largest producer of peanuts. These agricultural statistics are impressive, especially considering the country uses less than 1/3 of its geography for agriculture.

Unlike most areas in the world, in this agricultural region, Argentina has a crop turnover 3 times a year. In addition to 3 crop turnovers, the farmers in Argentina stagger the sowing of their fields so they can harvest over a larger period. The acts of staggering sowing, staggered harvest, and 3 crops turn a year means there is good on the ground effectively every day of the year.

The excellent climate, the tremendous amount of agriculture, ample access to water and roosting grounds, and the farming practices create the perfect habit for the dove.

Along with the perfect habitat for doves, over the last 100 years, the genetic, natural trigger to migrate has been turned off. There is no reason for the Argentina dove to migrate as everything the dove needs is there for them. Their food, water, and shelter are inside the region; the change in weather is not extreme, as in this region, the average temperature is around 75 degrees F, with lows in the winter months around 44 degrees F and highs in the summer months around 93 degrees F.

In this area, there are an estimated 200 million doves that, for the most part, do not migrate and certainly don’t migrate outside of the agricultural region.
The dove finds home in roosts that cover thousands of acres and do nothing but eat, drink and make babies.

A breeding pair of doves often breeds 5 times in one year and produces as many as 3 eggs. These eggs hatch in 12-14 days, turn to fledglings in 9 days, and just 45 days after hatch, the new doves can begin breeding. This breeding pair is responsible for approximately 15 doves in one year, effectively increasing the population by 7.5 times. Still, one must extrapolate, as the first eggs laid in the year begin to reproduce only 45 days later. These 15 doves produce 112 doves in 45 days; these 112 doves produce 840 doves just 45 days later; these 840 doves produce 6300 doves in just 45 days; these 6300 doves produce over 47,000 doves in the just 45 days. Now it gets staggering as the 47,000 doves are responsible for over 352,000 doves.

Beyond these 5 breeding cycles in one year, a person will need a scientific calculator and an advanced math degree to calculate the astonishing volume of doves one breeding pair is, directly and indirectly, responsible for in just one year.



To answer this question, it’s important to uncover the 3 essentials of survival for the Argentina dove. Simply put, these are Food, Water, and Shelter. With the essentials on the table, we will address each individually and then summarize where to hunt doves in Argentina and why there is so many dove in this country.

Food

Argentina is blessed to have some of the richest, most fertile soil on Earth. We often say that if you throw a seed on the ground, it will grow. Along with the dark, rich soil, the northern half of Argentina has a very temperate climate and rarely sees temperatures below 45 degrees F in the winter, and generally does not experience temperatures over 93 degrees in the summer heat. 

 In the northern half of Argentina, it is not uncommon to turn crops three times per year.

 The grains produced in Argentina are the livelihood of the dove. Doves consume as much as 40% of the harvest in some areas.



This is one of the most asked questions regarding a high-volume dove hunting trip to Argentina.
Before I answer, I must provide the viewers of this forum with some important information.

First because Argentina is south of the equator, the seasons are reversed. Our winter is Argentina’s summer, and our summer is Argentina’s winter. It’s hard to comprehend without spending time in Argentina that Christmas Day in South America is one of the hottest days of the year. Along the east coast of the US, early February traditionally is extremely cold, while in Argentina, it’s not uncommon to have temperatures over 90 degrees F.



Southern Outfitting and our partners are wing shooting specialists. Many big game species are commonly hunted in Argentina, but because our focus and our purpose are based around wing shooting in Argentina, this information is specific to the 4 main birds that are hunted in Argentina.

Dove (in Spanish Paloma) 

The Golden Eared dove is the most commonly hunted bird in Argentina.

 There is a 300,000 square mile area in the northern 1/3 of Argentina that boasts dove populations in the tens of millions and arguably hundreds of millions.

 In Argentina, decoys are not necessary. Our scouts know where the roosts are, so generally, 1-2 days before the arrival of hunters, the scouts visit the roosts to determine where the dove are flying. They follow the dove to their end location, which is often a freshly planted field, a field under harvest, or even cattle feeding areas. Next, the scouts locate an area in between the roost and the feeding area and set up blinds or locate patches of trees for the hunters to hunt under. The doves will all fly by in the same general direction. After lunch, the doves change course and head to the water holes. Again, the scouts know where the water holes are, so you will often hunt the same field, but the doves will come from the opposite direction of the morning hunt. 



The short answer is YES!

There are many reasons why Argentina is known for the best wing shooting in the world.

The primary reason why hunting is so good in Argentina is because of the abundance of agriculture, primarily grain crops.

 Agriculture is so prolific due to rich, dark soils, excellent climate, adequate rainfall with excellent irrigation methods, and over 300,000 square miles of highly productive farmable land. For a point of reference, the agricultural region of Argentina is larger than the entire country of France and Portugal combined. Another reference point to demonstrate the immense mass of farmable land is that the agricultural region is larger than Texas and Ohio Combined!

Of course, the wildlife, especially the birds, love all the grain. They have a constant food source in the agricultural reason as no matter what time of year, there are fields under harvest and fields being planted. 



Argentina is a large country, roughly 1/3 the size of the continental United States.

There are only 4 cities in the country that have what is considered large populations. Buenos Aires city is the largest, with a population of 15 million. In second place is Cordoba city with roughly 1.5 million. Rosario and Mendoza round out the list at slightly less than 1 million residents. After these 4 cities, there are just a few with populations over 400,000 people.

The large cities in Argentina, particularly Buenos Aires, are similar to large cities in Europe from the standpoint of safety. Specifically means there are homeless and beggars in the populated areas, however, the beggars are not aggressive and pose no threat whatsoever to American travelers.



There are 3 major expenses involved in a dove hunting trip to Argentina and several smaller costs. The costs are broken down below.

Airfare- This is a significant expense depending on your home airport and your flight options. You can expect to pay for coach airfare anywhere from $1100 to $1600. So, for cost planning, use $1350 per person for coach airfare.

For Business Class airfare, a rule of thumb is coach airfare costs x 3 to 3.5.

Shells- Most commonly underestimated is your shell bill. The average price for a box (25) dove loads is $13 per box. Yes, some lodges may find shells around $12.75 and others around $14 per box, but most lodges land at $13 per box.

 The average hunter shoots 1000 rounds per day. This equals 40 boxes, or 40 x $13 = $520 per day.

The average dove hunt is 3 days (sometimes 4 days). So, 3 days at $520 per day is $1560 in shells.

 Certainly, a more aggressive shooter will shoot more, and it’s really easy to do, but for planning, use the number of $1520 in shells.



Is Argentina open for hunting?

The short answer is YES!

The long answer is that in March 2020, due to Covid, the country of Argentina closed its borders for all travel for non-essential purposes. Other than government business and family emergencies where an Argentina resident outside of the country had a family member fall ill, were any travelers allowed entry into the country.

 

 In November 2021, the country of Argentina opened its borders for tourism allowing specifically named countries. Fortunately, the United States was on the list. From November 2021 until April 2022, some intensive travel requirements related to vaccinations, negative Covid tests, and declarations related to Covid had to be completed. Fortunately, Argentina has relaxed the requirements, and today all that is needed is proof of health insurance while inside the country and the completion of a document stating that the traveler doesn’t have Covid and hasn’t been exposed to someone with Covid. As always, a valid US passport is required for entry into Argentina.

After nearly two years of no travel, the airline industry to and from Argentina is still recovering. Many of the flights that ran every day of the week have not resumed. Major connecting cities like Lima, Peru, and Santiago, Chile, have not had their historical connections to Argentina today.

 Inside Argentina, the major carrier Aerolineas Argentina is recovering slowly. Still, many of the flights from Buenos Aires to connecting cities like Cordoba, Salta, Santiago del Estero, San Luis, Tucuman, and Santa Fe have not resumed pre-Covid departures.

 In a few short months, Air Travel will resume to pre-Covid levels, but even though there are fewer flight options, Southern Outfitting has clients coming and going nearly every day of 2022!

 

The short answer is YES!

The long answer is that in March 2020, due to Covid, the country of Argentina closed its borders for all travel for non-essential purposes. Other than government business and family emergencies where an Argentina resident outside of the country had a family member fall ill, were any travelers allowed entry into the country.

 

 In November 2021, the country of Argentina opened its borders for tourism allowing specifically named countries. Fortunately, the United States was on the list. From November 2021 until April 2022, some intensive travel requirements related to vaccinations, negative Covid tests, and declarations related to Covid had to be completed. Fortunately, Argentina has relaxed the requirements, and today all that is needed is proof of health insurance while inside the country and the completion of a document stating that the traveler doesn’t have Covid and hasn’t been exposed to someone with Covid. As always, a valid US passport is required for entry into Argentina.

After nearly two years of no travel, the airline industry to and from Argentina is still recovering. Many of the flights that ran every day of the week have not resumed. Major connecting cities like Lima, Peru, and Santiago, Chile, have not had their historical connections to Argentina today.

 Inside Argentina, the major carrier Aerolineas Argentina is recovering slowly. Still, many of the flights from Buenos Aires to connecting cities like Cordoba, Salta, Santiago del Estero, San Luis, Tucuman, and Santa Fe have not resumed pre-Covid departures.

 In a few short months, Air Travel will resume to pre-Covid levels, but even though there are fewer flight options, Southern Outfitting has clients coming and going nearly every day of 2022!



The native language in Argentina is Spanish. Argentine Spanish influences Spain and Italy, and while their Spanish is not unique, it is slightly different than Spanish in Central America and Mexico. A person that speaks Spanish will, without question, be able to communicate perfectly in Argentina. Because of the European influence on the language, most Americans find Argentina’s Spanish to be a little easier to understand than perhaps Spanish from Mexico or Puerto Rico.


CHARLOTTE, NC

Headquarters

Argentina Outfitter for Dove, Duck and Pigeons
(803) 818-1110

SouthernOutfitting.com

rcollins@southernoutfitting.com

ARGENTINA

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Southern Outfitting is a leader in the Argentina dove and duck hunting industry, with more than 20 years of experience. We are passionate about bird-hunting! Our commitment to you as our client starts from when you first contact us until your trip ends – so that every step has been thought out carefully beforehand by our professional staff.


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