Big Game Adventures – Part I

After 4 incredible days of Wingshooting, the Kings, along with two huge friends of them, Toddy and Robby, decided to start a long trip leading to La Pampa, looking for Red Stag, Buffalos, antelopes, or whatever crosses before their bows and arrows.

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It was kind of a cloudy and dark day when my phone rang and, after a shy “time to wake up”, I jumped off the bed and took a quick shower. Clean and ready, I took all the necessary stuff that I needed for the field and went direct to the dining room. While I was getting closer, I noticed a shape coming from one of the tables used for breakfast and going back to the kitchen and, after walking a few meters, I opened the door separating the dining room from the reception and gave my good mornings to “Chabo”, who was with a huge smile – something weird on a dark and early Monday morning- and gently waiting for us with an incredible breakfast.

One after the other, the Kings, Robby and Toddy were all ready to have breakfast.

After this super energetic morning, we said thanks to Chabo and decided to put everything on the trucks; we all knew it was going to be a long but great day of hunting.

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After 8 hours of driving and a quick stop on the gas station, we arrived to Ataliva Roca, La Pampa where Nicolas was waiting for us with a bowl of hot soup followed by a plate with stag raviolis, which I think is the best option to reload our energies from the long trip. We accompanied lunch with water and wine, and once we had eaten good and felt good, while Nicolas was organizing the afternoon hunt, we all went to the back of the house so the hunters can do a little practice with target shooting. Something I found funny was that there were two options: the classic circle towards which you shoot, or the favorite of everyone’s: a wild pig made of foam.

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The match clock showed 4:15 pm when the entire group finally went out looking for the next big adventure.

They left all together by the main road 700 mts before getting to open field. There, everyone took different ways, each one following their own guide. Everyone were looking for a red stag, except for Tim, who was desperate to take his Water Buffalo home (of course, hunted with bow and arrow).
Even though they dind’t have many hours to hunt, everyone told me that while returning, they saw many animals, but the shots were not clear (remember that, with bow and arrow, the distances are limited).
That night we had stag meat with mashed sweet potato for dinner, always accompanied with the classic homemade wine from Nicolas’ family. Once the dinner was over, everyone went to the living room to relax and finish the day with a glass of whisky or just a beer. Julio and I went to bed earlier than our guests since we were a little bit tired after driving for 8 hours.

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The second day was incredible. By the time we got together, we were told that Robby, who that morning decided to go out with a rifle, have already hunted a stag and an antelope. That was, according to what the guide said, an incredible shot, especially the stag’s one, because it was not on an easy position to be hunted. It was difficult for Robby to hide his huge smile while he was telling us about what he did that morning and the adrenaline he felt the moment before pulling the trigger.

That same morning I was with Jake and Franco (Jake’s guide) waiting for a stag to come closer and drink some water. Surprising for us, especially for Franco who was not expecting us to be lucky so fast, two beautiful male stags of about 13 or 14 inches appeared within 15 minutes. The tension was incredible. It was, for me, a spectacular moment, knowing that even taking a deep noisy breathes would alert them. You could notice the way they were standing, paying attention to any changes in the ambient, to anything they were not used to. That was giving me the felling that they knew we were there but it was difficult for them to see us. I could notice that Jake had chosen the big one (both of them were a pair of amazing stags) because he could have shooted the smaller one twice, but he didn’t want to. It is said that Patience is bitter, but its fruit is sweet, and so was the stag, because after 15 tens but nice minutes, the huge stag that Jake had between his eyes, was exposed, giving Jake one last chance to shot, because as we all know, it’s almost impossible to have a second chance with bow and arrow.

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Suddenly, with our eyes on the stag, I heard the pulley’s sound stretching to the maximum. I thought to myself “I know our stag can hear that too, but since he can´t see us, he´s standing still, but paying a bit more of attention”. Finally, Jake lets his arrow go. Quickly and before the arrow gets to the target, the two male stags and the group of females that were coming and going, started to move, but before the biggest stag started moving, I could see with the sensor on my camera how the arrow hits it on the top of his body. Franco told us that it is not the best spot to hit it because there are no organs and it´s impossible that he bleed as much as we need to kill him, but there is always the possibility of an infection. Franco also suggested that we wait 20 minutes to go and get it, and so we did…

To be continued…
Juan Aguiló
Host & Media
Pointer Outfitters

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Hunting with Tim King

I just got back this weekend from an incredible 9 day adventure in Argentina that started with 3 days of dove hunting in Córdoba and then heading to La Pampa to hunt with Catena Safaris.

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I was after water buffalo, a long time dream of mine. I have worn out most anybody here on TG that had experience with buffalo, because I was concerned about arrow failure. I have gotten excellent advice from 1/2 dozen guys, but perhaps the best was from Andy Ivy who said basically, enough is enough, practice,and go do it!

But after several unsuccessful stalks, I finally got a hurried 22 yard shot on the largest bull of a 29 member herd….and missed!!
I was 4″ under his chest, a shot that I have nailed thousands of times in the past year leading up to the hunt.
He was in the rear of the herd as they all spooked and started to disappear once again.
For some crazy reason(I think it was a God thing) the bull directly in front of him wheeled around and started head butting my bull, giving me just enough time to make the shot, this time exactly where I was imagining it going. 
My arrow buried to the cresting, angling forward right behind his elbow with a cutting sound I hope I will never forget.
He ran with the rest of the group never changing pace, except for an occasional sparring with the other bull. At about 100 yards he collapsed, literally dead on his feet! He had not lasted 3 minutes tops.
It was estimated to weight 1800-2000 pounds.

My arrow had about 18″ penetration, and had cut through 3/8″ hide, rib, and right through his heart.

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I was very pleased with my setup, a #69.5 Bob Lee Ultimate recurve, a SBD string, and FMJ DG 300 shafts, with 300 gr Tuffheads on the front. I JB Welded the setup together with Traditional Archery Solutions stainless steel 200 gr inserts, with Bigfoot double footing system for a total of 1000 grains. This was almost the exact set up that Hybrid Bowhunter had recommended.
Not only did the shaft not fail, the arrow only has a slight bend from when he fell.

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The cherry on top was getting to be in the blind 2 days later with my son Jake when he shot a very nice Fallow with his ASL, a Miller Old Tom.
My other son Royce set aside his Robertson recurve and shot a very nice stag at dusk of the last day with his guides rifle when it looked like the clock was going to run out on us.

Again, can’t thank all the guys here that gave me such solid advice. I was almost obsessing about getting the right setup, but I think it was worth it!

Tim King

 

A Big Game adventure with two amazing friends

IMG_GR_testimonials1457527325This story started in between Connecticut and New York. We were in a hunting club with my dear friend Bob Serrano talking about his next trip to Argentina. Bob has come to Argentina more than probably 8 or 10 times in the last 15 years but I met him 9 years ago. We normally hunt doves with him; we have been hunting mostly in the northern area of Córdoba, in the flat lands of northern La Dormida.

Bob is a really good hunter and he enjoys a lot shooting the challenging birds, so the last time, when we were in Connecticut at this hunting camp, what we were doing was a competition of rifle shooting, pistol shooting, and some other things like canoeing, but I had to excuse myself because I knew I was going to end up inside the river.

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So, when we were at that camp, we talked about doing some Big Hunt in Argentina. Bob is one of the most experienced persons I have ever met when it comes toshooting with bow and arrow. He has been in Africa several times, I don’t know exactly the number (I am not a numbers person) but I remember I saw his videos, and one time I saw a very special one hunting an elephant with a bow and arrow, which really surprised and impacted me as it is a great story.

When I stayed at his house, he managed to make room for me on his men room with most of his mounted animals and I must admit it was very impressive too see all those animals, and being part of all that history surrounded by a piece of each one of his hunting.

So I talked to Bob and told him about the different options we have at Pointer for Big Hunting in Patagonia, San Luis, La Pampa and Córdoba. We went through different possibilities and so he decided he wanted to do Water Buffalo hunting as a challenge shooting it with bow and arrow.

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We also decided to do it in a very challenging place like Rincon Lodge; the challenge was that, at this particular Lodge, there are no brushy areas needed for that kind of hunting so we knew we would just have some huge rocks to hide behind them.

After all that conversation, we started chatting by email, with all the information coming and going, until we could finally set up dates  and, at the end, we decided we would do some combination of Dove Hunting and Big Game Hunting.

The good thing about hunting in Rincon Lodge is that it is only three hours away from our dove hunting lodges, one of the main reasons that made us choose this place, and also because of the challenge of being horse riding in the high mountains of Córdoba, looking for the best buffalo.

Ever since that day, we agreed I would join him and one of our main guides, Juan Aguiló, would do that too, in order to take some pictures.

After six months of planning, we met at the airport in Córdoba. We drove him and three more people for dove hunt at La Loma Lodge. Bob came with Eddie, Richard and another Bob: Bob Young. We had a great time hunting together a lot of birds in the hills of Córdoba, smoking a lot of shells until four days after we were ready to go hunting to Rincon.

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In the mid time, before he come hunting with us, we found out Bob Young wanted to get his very first Red Stag. He is on his mid fifties and he had never hunted abroad America and he wanted to do his first with us here in Argentina, so we were very pleased to take the two Bobs for Big Game hunting at Rincon.

We arrived in the late evening, ready to have some appetizers, drinks, and to stay at the fire place at the lodge, expecting to have a really nice and relaxing evening.

The next day, I remember waking up in a beautiful sunny morning that had almost no wind at all and was a bit cold. It was amazing to walk outside, get close to the horses and feel their breath and their worm bodies even though the weather was mostly cold. I cannot express how nice was that feeling, knowing that I was about to go horse ridingwith my dear friend Bob Serrano and our guest Bob Young in such a paradise as Rincon is.

It was a good day. At the beginning we approached to some animals but the buffalos were not in range for the bow and arrow hunting. At the same time, we were looking for animals for Bob Young. He wanted a good Red Stag and asked if he could do it with bow and arrow but if not, he would be very happy to do it with his rifle.

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After all morning long, and also afternoon long of horse riding and stalking for red stag, we finally saw a great trophy on the second day, so we left our horses and started walking probably for no more than 200 m. in one hour. It was really important to be patience and to have a good vision of the Stag, just to make the best shot.

IMG_GR_testimonials1457528628The adrenaline of that moment was amazing; I was holding the camera and Bob lay down over this rock and he put his rifle over the top of one of his backpack and our guide Santiago was telling him to hold on. Everything was so smooth and quiet, he was whispering every single word, until bob said “I think I got it, I really do” so Santiago said “yes, you got it, shoot!” and as soon as Santiago said that, we heard right away the strong sound of his rifle, and the Red Stag made a little jump almost behind a rock and he would have disappeared in less than a minute so Santiago hurried up and reloaded Bob’s rifle for a second shot and in less than ten seconds they were ready to pull the trigger again so we heard another loud noise which was this second shot going straight to the point and we saw the animal falling down. The excitement Bob had at that time was just unbelievable. 

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The feeling after that awesome shot, the feeling of looking at Bob’s eyes, looking at his excitement, was totally amazing. Santiago, Bob and I, the three of us hugged, jumped in the air and were really happy. We knew that we would have to walk to the animal, take some pictures, make some videos and wait for the guides to come and take the animal back.

For that day, it was it. It was a great day with a story to remember forever and I am looking forward to do it again.

IMG_GR_testimonials1457530589Regarding Bob Serrano, that day he was with Juan and his guide. At the evening he got his dreamed Water Buffalo, which was not a surprise for me because, as I mentioned before, he is one of the best hunters I have ever met. He was very happy since he finally got another desired trophy that I assume is hanging on his walls, in the same room I spent my first night when I visited him a couple of years ago.

I am looking forward for my next meeting with the two Bobs in Connecticut, for some more beers, camaraderie and great fun.

Pablo Aguilo.
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