Argentina: Dove Capital

Alton Jones
Now that is a pile of doves.

We just got back in town from our Argentinean dove hunt. It was, without a doubt, one of the best hunts I’ve ever been on. We had great wingshooting, friendship, and lots of fun interacting with the locals. Everything about the trip was fantastic.

When we first arrived to the lodge, which was in a pretty remote area, I heard this whirring sound off in the distance that sounded like a factory running big machinery. It was almost like a dull shrill like when your rub your finger around the rim of a crystal wine glass. It was the constant wingbeat of doves from every direction. That’s how many there are. Another example would be the locusts in the trees around West Point Lake. It was a constant murmur that doesn’t go away until night.

When it came time to hunt, we stacked ’em up. The birds in the photo are from one afternoon. We kept track of how many how many birds we shot, and in three days, the eight of us killed 34,000 birds. That’s not a misprint - 34,000. My shoulder remembers well. And that didn’t even put a dent in the population. Plus, my shooting got a lot better.

But, as good as I did, Little Alton did even better. He’s a better shot than I am and joined the 2,000 Club. You join that club if in one day you shoot more than 2,000 birds, and he shot 2,400. I got just over 1,500. They count and give little awards if you get into one of these clubs.

The doves are considered a pest down there, much like hogs are in most of the South. They regularly destroy the crops; therefore, there is no season for them -- it’s a year-round deal. Plus, every bird we shot was rounded up and distributed to the local villages for food. None of it went to waste.

Every afternoon, we had Argentinean BBQ with chicken, sausage, beef and lamb.

It was unreal. As great as the hunting was and as much fun we had hanging out with the guys, the real highlight of the trip was when we took a suitcase full of toys and passed them around to the children. 

Every one of us was teary-eyed after we saw the joy on their faces. There are a lot of simple things that we take for granted. We are truly blessed and enjoy things that a lot of people around the world can’t. Like I said, it was a great trip and it’s good to be home.

Anyhow, I’m leaving tomorrow morning to head to Kilgore, Texas, to be a part of the Skeeter dealer’s meeting. I know a lot of the dealers, so it’ll be great to reconnect with them, and meet the new team. Plus, I’m looking forward to seeing the 2012 product lineup.

After that, I’ll start planning my next trip to Falcon. It’s going to coincide with the opening of dove season (that’s right, more dove hunting). We’ll have a cast and blast down there that I’m really looking forward to. I feel like I’ll be much more prepared after the Argentina trip.

One other thing: Our lab, Grace, is pregnant. She may have puppies by the time I submit my next blog. Jimmye Sue took her to the vet and they took X-rays and there are at least 11 puppies. Poor Grace can hardly bend over to eat right now. You can tell she’s miserable. But we bought her a whelping box so she can sleep and nurse without crushing the puppies. We’re looking forward to being first-time dog breeders (this may be the only time, too.)

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