ARGENTINA: Argentina Adventure With MG Hunting

Brod

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I just returned from a great adventure to Argentina with @MG Hunting. This was a 5-day hunt for Red Stag as the primary animal. Time and luck permitting, I would then see what else Argentina had to offer. The actual hunt dates were March 29-April 2 with temperature highs ranging from 92 degrees on Day 1, then falling to 67 degrees by weeks end. I will break this hunt into daily segments.

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INTRO

This story begins in October of 2023 when I read several great reports here on AH about Argentina and spoke to several members who had recently traveled there. (@Nevada Wapati @Red Leg @ActionBob @HuntingGold @matt vejar @adgunner) MG Hunting seemed like the right fit for me. I initially reached out to Rocket then after a few conversations with Manuel, finalized the March/April hunt.

The Delta flight from Wisconsin to Buenos Aires via Atlanta was uneventful. Upon arrival, immigration and baggage was a breeze but I did run into a hiccup locating my pickup provided by MG Hunting. I spent the first 30 minutes scanning the 50-60 sign holders for my name and trying unsuccessfully to get ahold of Manuel. Finally, I saw an MG Hunting sign with 3 names other than mine. This is where I met my first fellow hunter. He was from Minnesota, flew in on the same flight, had been searching for 30 minutes, and trying to get ahold of Manuel as well. I asked if his name was one of them on the sign. He said no. I felt better then as we were in this together. In fairness, our flight had landed one hour early.

Minnesota and I loaded up and transferred to the regional airport to catch our final flight to Santa Rosa. The drive was about 40 minutes away and this was my only regret of the trip. I should have planned to do something in the city in between these events. With 7 hours until takeoff I headed back outside to enjoy the weather. There were many food stands here where I met several interesting travelers and enjoyed a few cold Argentina beers. Which were actually very good, I thought. With an hour prior to take off, I headed back inside, checked bag, made it through security and purchased an empanada. A short 1-hour flight later we landed and were greeted by several members of the MG Hunting team. We met the other hunters who trickled in one-by-one from baggage claim who flew in as well. This flight is only once a day.

We were now a group of 10 (9 hunters/1 observer) ranging in age from 30 to 70 by my estimate. Other than the fellow from Minnesota mentioned earlier, there was a husband/wife from Pennsylvania who later I learned had vast experience hunting Red Stag around the world but, this was their first visit to Argentina. There were two gentlemen from Panama who have hunted with MG many times over the last 20 years. The final four were from Wisconsin consisting of a father(observer)/daughter and a father/son. All seemed friendly and looked to be a good, fun group. I only had one concern. There were now 5 from Wisconsin. I wondered if we would run out of beer?

We loaded up the 3 trucks for the hour or so drive to camp. I was with Rocket (notable guide who is somewhat legendary on this forum) and the Pennsylvanian couple. The drive went quickly with conversation, and we soon arrived, unloaded, and were shown our rooms. Very nice indeed, I thought, each with their private bathroom. We then gathered in the living room/dining area for a drink then headed off to bed. We were all very tired by now and the 5:15 AM wakeup was just around the corner. Before retiring, I asked Rocket how the rifle assignments work as I knew most, if not all, of us did not travel with firearms. He said just pick out whatever you like, just leave the two lighter calibers for the ladies. I looked over the lineup and spotted the .270 and .3006. The rest appeared to be 7MM, 300WM, and 338s. They all looked like solid weapons so off to bed I went.


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DAY 1

5:15 wake up and the day begins. I was full of anticipation for the day that lay ahead. It took a little longer than planned to get my gear organized and out the door. Mostly because I’m always that way on the first day of a hunt plus I knew we were expecting an unseasonable hot day ahead. With the forecast of a 92-degree high, I wanted to make sure I had the lightest gear on so I wouldn’t melt. We met in the dining hall with a nice breakfast of eggs, bacon, sausage which was the norm for the week. We were then issued our heavy leggings. None of us were quite sure if these were protection from thorns/seeds or potential snake encounters. Regardless they were thick enough to prevent either, and then some. For some reason, I ended up being the last one out the door when I realized I never did pick out a rifle. So, there she sat waiting for me. She seemed so lonely by herself, the last one to be chosen waiting for the last hunter to claim her for the week. An Argentinian built 338 on a Mauser action, simply labeled #7. I picked her up and outside we went. I cycled the bolt…very smooth, checked the glass…nice and clean, inspected the safety… a little loose (which I made a mental note of) then dry fired the trigger….crisp and clean.

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Next up was guide assignment. There were 9 hunters and 9 guides. Whatever thought process they used for these pairings was unknown to me, but I was introduced to “Ese” as my guide. We sized each other up for a minute or two then we were off. Ese was in his early 30’s, with a muscular build, and always had a smile on his face. He spoke no English and I spoke no Spanish. However, over the course of the week it was apparent we shared something more important which was the passion to pursue game. Often thinking alike in strategy and approach with unspoken words and often resorting to hand signals we maneuvered as a team. At weeks end I realized we only had 4 common words we used. “Grande” means big, “Chinco” means small, “WOW” means bigger than Grande, and “Shoot” means either shoot now or you will never see that animal again.

From what I understand MG Hunting is up to almost 60,000 acres. I often wondered if I would run across the others while hunting but I never did. Occasionally you might hear a shot a mile off but, as far as in the field, there was plenty of space for all. Of the 60K, they do have a high fence area of 15K acres holding some real monsters. I’m not sure which side of the property this is though as we never ran across it in our wonderings which were mostly on the North Western end.

Still dark, Ese slowed the truck down and turned off the engine. We got out, gathered gear, and began to listen. Within 30 seconds, I heard my first roar. The magical sound appeared to be 400 yards off in the scrub straight ahead. Then another, off to our left, what I guessed at 200 yards. With the sun starting to rise, we headed to the left in careful pursuit.

The terrain was different than I expected. I knew it would be sandy and fairly flat, but I hadn’t imagined how thick the vegetation would be. It wasn’t difficult to get through but visually I could only see 20-30 yards at most times. These 10-20-foot-high bushes and trees made hunting more of a zig-zag approach to game. Every half hour or so we would come to an opening where we could see maybe 50-100 yards but for the most part visibility was limited to 30 yards. The other terrain features not expected were all the potholes. Millions and millions of 10-inch burrowing holes in the ground which I was told later were from armadillos. Some areas were worse than others, but the first two days they were everywhere! If walking a straight line, you would step in a hole by step 3 or 4. They were so numerous and often hidden by vegetation we hunters spent a great deal of time looking down following the guides steps, ultimately missing game movement ahead. Our guides usually fell once or twice a day. They seemed to never look down. I found it hard to believe armadillos could cause all this damage having not even seen one the first 4 days but, I take it they must dominate the night hours.

Back to the hunt, still pursuing the stag on the left, we closed the distance in half with a crosswind. He was still sounding off every 5 minutes, so we were moving slower and glassing through scrubs quietly inching forward. Then out of nowhere, 40 yards to our right a 3rd stag roars so loud I almost dropped #7. We were downwind and froze for his approach. He crossed in front of us. “Chinco” Ese said. The 2nd stag now decided to come investigate. “Chinco” Ese said again. With a course correction, we were now off towards the 1st stag. This stag had been moving away from us since early morning and we could barely hear him by now and estimated him at 800 yards. En route, I tripped in a hole but, caught myself. When Ese looked back, he noticed an old shed. While picking it up, a hind busted out of her hiding spot 30 yards away.

Still moving towards the 1st stag, we heard another, higher pitched stag. 30 minutes later in an opening we saw him, a spike. Apparently, spikes do not qualify as “Chinco” as Ese never paid them enough interest to say anything whenever we saw one. In this opening Ese stuck the shed in the sand, point down, as if the next time he was here he would retrieve. I thought that was odd as we were now at least two miles from anywhere and how would he find it again? Our stag was still moving away but I felt we were now 500 yards away. We heard a couple more faint roars in his direction from 1 or 2 other stags. We doubled our pace; the sun was warming up the day quickly and we were hearing less and less frequently. 40 minutes later we popped out onto a two track. We could see at least 400 yards to the North and South.

While catching my breath, I saw Ese go on alert to the North. Looking over his shoulder, I could see a hind at the edge of the scrub about 350 yards away. We were off. Walking along the edge for cover we covered 100 yards. There were two hinds now going back and forth crossing the two-track. Ese threw up the sticks and I quickly got on them. Following the hinds back and forth in the crosshairs to get a sense of timing, Ese then surprised me with a “Grande, Shoot!” I pulled my eye off the scope to see where he was looking then saw the big stag cross the two-track. I quickly got back on the scope but, it was too late, and he was in the scrub, out of sight. I’m not sure if I heard a disgruntled grunt from Ese or he was clearing this throat, but I wouldn’t blame him. I was not happy with my performance either. I should have stayed on the scope. We decided to walk another 100 yards in that direction as we hadn’t heard a roar in the last 20 minutes. Then 250 yards in front of us out popped a hind headed straight for us. Ese put up the sticks as the second hind follows the first. With crosshairs on the second hind, I’m following them as they get closer and closer until at 150, they hopped the fence and headed East. I then hear Ese and the word “Grande!” I picked the stag up at 250 yards following the same trail as the hinds and held steady until he got to about 150-175 yards. The stag slowed, then stopped for a split second as he saw us. Ese said “Shoot” at the same instant I squeezed the trigger on #7. I thought I saw him buckle but wasn’t positive. As he took off back into the scrub, I cycled another round but was unable to get a second shot off.

Ese was smiles ear to ear and very excitedly bouncing around. I was too, I admit. Redemption. He then explained the entire event in Spanish while I nodded. Then, he listened to my version in English while he nodded. Although neither understood what the other was saying we shared the moment just the same. Kind of comical as I think of it now.

We started down the two-track to look for tracks or blood where he crossed back into the scrub. (at least that’s what I thought we were doing) At 100 yards, Ese veers off into the scrub. I tried to explain to him it couldn’t possibly be this close, and we need to start at the spot of impact which is as least 50 yards further. After a while he came back out and we move further down the road. Stopping and following tracks every 10 yards and not finding the right ones nor any blood. Tracks were everywhere and by now everything looked the same. After an hour, Ese was confident he was on the right track and pointing to the ground which to me looked like every other track we’d crossed. We followed this track in the scrub for another 30 min with no blood. Now I’m starting to question my shot. We decide to mark the spot, grab lunch, and come back for a fresh start.

After lunch I met with Peter, one of the 3 brother/owners, and explained the events and asked what Ese had explained to him. He said Ese saw you hit him between the right shoulder and neck then the bullet exited the left hip. The stag buckled, dropped his rear left leg back and now occasionally drags the rear left hoof. This is what he kept pointing to you in the sand. It is a dead stag walking. Ese will find it as he is one of our best trackers and has worked for us for many years. I said that helps, but what I would like to do is when we go back out to start at the beginning. Find the place of shot and place of impact before we spend more time on this track. He translated and soon we were there.

The distance between the two spots did look like 150-175 yards so we started back down the track we left before lunch. We slowly traveled, never finding a drop of blood. I gave up looking at the tracks as they all looked the same to me and was trying to focus on any blood and avoid rolling an ankle in a hole. Close to an hour later, we were about a mile in, and I see Ese’s smile again. He points, and there our stag is. I never again questioned his tracking ability. That was truly impressive.

I got back to camp by 5:00, cleaned up, and spent the next couple hours thinking about what I would do tomorrow. My original plan was a Stag/Buffalo hunt, which changed to a Stag/Blackbuck hunt but now, with as much fun as I had today, I decided to chase Red Stag again in the morning.

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Ese was smiles ear to ear and very excitedly bouncing around. I was too, I admit. Redemption. He then explained the entire event in Spanish while I nodded. Then, he listened to my version in English while he nodded. Although neither understood what the other was saying we shared the moment just the same. Kind of comical as I think of it now.
Hahaha. No misunderstanding and no interpretation needed;)

Shots can definitely come and go quickly! Congratulations:)
 
DAY 1

5:15 wake up and the day begins. I was full of anticipation for the day that lay ahead. It took a little longer than planned to get my gear organized and out the door. Mostly because I’m always that way on the first day of a hunt plus I knew we were expecting an unseasonable hot day ahead. With the forecast of a 92-degree high, I wanted to make sure I had the lightest gear on so I wouldn’t melt. We met in the dining hall with a nice breakfast of eggs, bacon, sausage which was the norm for the week. We were then issued our heavy leggings. None of us were quite sure if these were protection from thorns/seeds or potential snake encounters. Regardless they were thick enough to prevent either, and then some. For some reason, I ended up being the last one out the door when I realized I never did pick out a rifle. So, there she sat waiting for me. She seemed so lonely by herself, the last one to be chosen waiting for the last hunter to claim her for the week. An Argentinian built 338 on a Mauser action, simply labeled #7. I picked her up and outside we went. I cycled the bolt…very smooth, checked the glass…nice and clean, inspected the safety… a little loose (which I made a mental note of) then dry fired the trigger….crisp and clean.

View attachment 599974

Next up was guide assignment. There were 9 hunters and 9 guides. Whatever thought process they used for these pairings was unknown to me, but I was introduced to “Ese” as my guide. We sized each other up for a minute or two then we were off. Ese was in his early 30’s, with a muscular build, and always had a smile on his face. He spoke no English and I spoke no Spanish. However, over the course of the week it was apparent we shared something more important which was the passion to pursue game. Often thinking alike in strategy and approach with unspoken words and often resorting to hand signals we maneuvered as a team. At weeks end I realized we only had 4 common words we used. “Grande” means big, “Chinco” means small, “WOW” means bigger than Grande, and “Shoot” means either shoot now or you will never see that animal again.

From what I understand MG Hunting is up to almost 60,000 acres. I often wondered if I would run across the others while hunting but I never did. Occasionally you might hear a shot a mile off but, as far as in the field, there was plenty of space for all. Of the 60K, they do have a high fence area of 15K acres holding some real monsters. I’m not sure which side of the property this is though as we never ran across it in our wonderings which were mostly on the North Western end.

Still dark, Ese slowed the truck down and turned off the engine. We got out, gathered gear, and began to listen. Within 30 seconds, I heard my first roar. The magical sound appeared to be 400 yards off in the scrub straight ahead. Then another, off to our left, what I guessed at 200 yards. With the sun starting to rise, we headed to the left in careful pursuit.

The terrain was different than I expected. I knew it would be sandy and fairly flat, but I hadn’t imagined how thick the vegetation would be. It wasn’t difficult to get through but visually I could only see 20-30 yards at most times. These 10-20-foot-high bushes and trees made hunting more of a zig-zag approach to game. Every half hour or so we would come to an opening where we could see maybe 50-100 yards but for the most part visibility was limited to 30 yards. The other terrain features not expected were all the potholes. Millions and millions of 10-inch burrowing holes in the ground which I was told later were from armadillos. Some areas were worse than others, but the first two days they were everywhere! If walking a straight line, you would step in a hole by step 3 or 4. They were so numerous and often hidden by vegetation we hunters spent a great deal of time looking down following the guides steps, ultimately missing game movement ahead. Our guides usually fell once or twice a day. They seemed to never look down. I found it hard to believe armadillos could cause all this damage having not even seen one the first 4 days but, I take it they must dominate the night hours.

Back to the hunt, still pursuing the stag on the left, we closed the distance in half with a crosswind. He was still sounding off every 5 minutes, so we were moving slower and glassing through scrubs quietly inching forward. Then out of nowhere, 40 yards to our right a 3rd stag roars so loud I almost dropped #7. We were downwind and froze for his approach. He crossed in front of us. “Chinco” Ese said. The 2nd stag now decided to come investigate. “Chinco” Ese said again. With a course correction, we were now off towards the 1st stag. This stag had been moving away from us since early morning and we could barely hear him by now and estimated him at 800 yards. En route, I tripped in a hole but, caught myself. When Ese looked back, he noticed an old shed. While picking it up, a hind busted out of her hiding spot 30 yards away.

Still moving towards the 1st stag, we heard another, higher pitched stag. 30 minutes later in an opening we saw him, a spike. Apparently, spikes do not qualify as “Chinco” as Ese never paid them enough interest to say anything whenever we saw one. In this opening Ese stuck the shed in the sand, point down, as if the next time he was here he would retrieve. I thought that was odd as we were now at least two miles from anywhere and how would he find it again? Our stag was still moving away but I felt we were now 500 yards away. We heard a couple more faint roars in his direction from 1 or 2 other stags. We doubled our pace; the sun was warming up the day quickly and we were hearing less and less frequently. 40 minutes later we popped out onto a two track. We could see at least 400 yards to the North and South.

While catching my breath, I saw Ese go on alert to the North. Looking over his shoulder, I could see a hind at the edge of the scrub about 350 yards away. We were off. Walking along the edge for cover we covered 100 yards. There were two hinds now going back and forth crossing the two-track. Ese threw up the sticks and I quickly got on them. Following the hinds back and forth in the crosshairs to get a sense of timing, Ese then surprised me with a “Grande, Shoot!” I pulled my eye off the scope to see where he was looking then saw the big stag cross the two-track. I quickly got back on the scope but, it was too late, and he was in the scrub, out of sight. I’m not sure if I heard a disgruntled grunt from Ese or he was clearing this throat, but I wouldn’t blame him. I was not happy with my performance either. I should have stayed on the scope. We decided to walk another 100 yards in that direction as we hadn’t heard a roar in the last 20 minutes. Then 250 yards in front of us out popped a hind headed straight for us. Ese put up the sticks as the second hind follows the first. With crosshairs on the second hind, I’m following them as they get closer and closer until at 150, they hopped the fence and headed East. I then hear Ese and the word “Grande!” I picked the stag up at 250 yards following the same trail as the hinds and held steady until he got to about 150-175 yards. The stag slowed, then stopped for a split second as he saw us. Ese said “Shoot” at the same instant I squeezed the trigger on #7. I thought I saw him buckle but wasn’t positive. As he took off back into the scrub, I cycled another round but was unable to get a second shot off.

Ese was smiles ear to ear and very excitedly bouncing around. I was too, I admit. Redemption. He then explained the entire event in Spanish while I nodded. Then, he listened to my version in English while he nodded. Although neither understood what the other was saying we shared the moment just the same. Kind of comical as I think of it now.

We started down the two-track to look for tracks or blood where he crossed back into the scrub. (at least that’s what I thought we were doing) At 100 yards, Ese veers off into the scrub. I tried to explain to him it couldn’t possibly be this close, and we need to start at the spot of impact which is as least 50 yards further. After a while he came back out and we move further down the road. Stopping and following tracks every 10 yards and not finding the right ones nor any blood. Tracks were everywhere and by now everything looked the same. After an hour, Ese was confident he was on the right track and pointing to the ground which to me looked like every other track we’d crossed. We followed this track in the scrub for another 30 min with no blood. Now I’m starting to question my shot. We decide to mark the spot, grab lunch, and come back for a fresh start.

After lunch I met with Peter, one of the 3 brother/owners, and explained the events and asked what Ese had explained to him. He said Ese saw you hit him between the right shoulder and neck then the bullet exited the left hip. The stag buckled, dropped his rear left leg back and now occasionally drags the rear left hoof. This is what he kept pointing to you in the sand. It is a dead stag walking. Ese will find it as he is one of our best trackers and has worked for us for many years. I said that helps, but what I would like to do is when we go back out to start at the beginning. Find the place of shot and place of impact before we spend more time on this track. He translated and soon we were there.

The distance between the two spots did look like 150-175 yards so we started back down the track we left before lunch. We slowly traveled, never finding a drop of blood. I gave up looking at the tracks as they all looked the same to me and was trying to focus on any blood and avoid rolling an ankle in a hole. Close to an hour later, we were about a mile in, and I see Ese’s smile again. He points, and there our stag is. I never again questioned his tracking ability. That was truly impressive.

I got back to camp by 5:00, cleaned up, and spent the next couple hours thinking about what I would do tomorrow. My original plan was a Stag/Buffalo hunt, which changed to a Stag/Blackbuck hunt but now, with as much fun as I had today, I decided to chase Red Stag again in the morning.

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Really well done, and well told. I know everyone congratulated you a truly fine free range bull. Getting a nice set of crowns like that can be a challenge.
 
DAY 2:

5:15 wake up and the day begins. Normally I’m not much of a breakfast person so I settled for some toast, then grabbed #7 and was the first out the door. Ese and I headed in the same direction as the day before while still dark. 15 minutes later we rolled to a stopped and stepped out to gear up and began walking for 5-10 minutes to a large opening. The sun was beginning to rise, and we spent the first 10 minutes glassing and listening. There was nothing to be seen but then we heard a distant roar behind us maybe 700 yards away. We turned around and headed that direction. After 100 yards, we heard another roar to our right which was very close. So, we changed course and ended up back on the two track we came in on. Ese spotted movement and I quickly glassed in that direction which was fairly open. There were several hinds we could see in and out of the vegetation about 200 yards away. We counted 7 hinds and a nice stag which kept circling them. He was very wide but thin with no crowns. We decided to head back in the direction of the first roar.

About 20 minutes later, we began hearing multiple stags. Another 20 minutes closer, we could tell there were 3. With the wind in our favor, we continued the course until we were about 200 yards from the one in the center. The terrain here was more open than yesterday, and we could see 30-40 yards with some openings to 60-120. We slowed way down and inched our way half the distance to the center stag which was the most vocal. While glassing to locate him, we heard the one on the left sound off not more than 60 yards away, then the one on the right maybe 150 yards away with a very deep, low call. We were literally surrounded on 3 sides, and I think Ese and I were both worried that any wind shift would alert one, and eventually the others with the alarmed exit. We decided to quickly check out the closest one to the left. It only took 20 steps and Ese spotted him. It took me a while to pick apart the bush at 40 yards, but I found him. Ese said “Grande” He was a very nice clean 10 point. I would have been very proud to take him yesterday but today, I was looking for something more. We left him quietly and headed back to the center stag. He had been quiet for about 15 minutes while we sneaked closer. Then we busted him. I never got a look at his head but watched his large, very dark body was breaking through the scrub in the direction of the far right stag. We were bummed as this bump ruined not one but two potential stalks. Not hearing any more roar, we decided to work our way back to the two track as we were about 2 miles in.

Walking through a slight terrain depression in thick cover it soon opened into a large meadow-like area. At the same time, Ese and I spotted movement ahead and to our left. “WOW!” Ese said. I agreed. It was one of the most beautiful sights I had ever seen. Not 200 yards away stood the most majestic stag leading his harem of 9 hinds. His antlers were skylined against the blue-bird sky like something you would only see on a calendar or something. It was a picture-perfect moment that I will never forget.

They had all stopped in their tracks and were trying to figure out what we were. I was on the sticks with lucky #7 and squeezed a shot off before they figured it out. They broke left to right running in front of us, but I couldn’t get another shot off without risking injury to one of the hinds. I simply watched in awe. I knew it was a solid hit. Ese was all smiles, and we might have even danced a gig or two out there in the middle of nowhere in celebration. He then told me in Spanish what happened, I told him in English, and we both agreed. Then we danced a little more.

We had another long track job, but I knew Ese was up for it. We followed blood for close to 400 yards before we found him. These are tough animals. It wasn’t until walking up that I noticed he was a fighter with two broken tines, but it didn’t matter. It didn’t take away from that magical, picture-perfect moment I first saw him and there were no regrets. Since it was close to lunch time and we were a long way from any road, Ese called in the calvary. In no time 5 other guides showed up, the stag was quartered, and we were walking out. All I could think about was what a fantastic second day of hunting.

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I took the rest of the afternoon off to think through my options. I really had planned on only taking one or possibly two animals but then I couldn’t imagine hanging around camp for another 3 days and watching all the others have fun.

I spoke to Peter and the two options that interested me the most were Blackbuck or possibly Water Buffalo. I expressed my confused feelings towards the buffalo in Argentina. I had watched many Water Buffalo hunts on the internet, and it seemed to me that some seemed sporting while the others resembled a farm animal shoot in the middle of a pasture. Having taken Buffalo in Africa, I wasn’t really interested in the later and I would be looking for something special if the former. Peter assured me it would be a hunt. He then showed me a picture of a Buffalo that looked simply amazing with dropped curls and an attitude. The photo was taken on March 5th (25 days earlier) however, he hadn’t been seen since. Peter explained, he may or may not be on the property, but we can give him a go. He will take time to find if we can find him.

With 3 days left of hunting, I couldn’t think of a better way to spend it than looking for him.

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Congratulations on two great stags and good luck with that buffalo. He is huge! Bigger than any I saw.
 
DAY 2:

5:15 wake up and the day begins. Normally I’m not much of a breakfast person so I settled for some toast, then grabbed #7 and was the first out the door. Ese and I headed in the same direction as the day before while still dark. 15 minutes later we rolled to a stopped and stepped out to gear up and began walking for 5-10 minutes to a large opening. The sun was beginning to rise, and we spent the first 10 minutes glassing and listening. There was nothing to be seen but then we heard a distant roar behind us maybe 700 yards away. We turned around and headed that direction. After 100 yards, we heard another roar to our right which was very close. So, we changed course and ended up back on the two track we came in on. Ese spotted movement and I quickly glassed in that direction which was fairly open. There were several hinds we could see in and out of the vegetation about 200 yards away. We counted 7 hinds and a nice stag which kept circling them. He was very wide but thin with no crowns. We decided to head back in the direction of the first roar.

About 20 minutes later, we began hearing multiple stags. Another 20 minutes closer, we could tell there were 3. With the wind in our favor, we continued the course until we were about 200 yards from the one in the center. The terrain here was more open than yesterday, and we could see 30-40 yards with some openings to 60-120. We slowed way down and inched our way half the distance to the center stag which was the most vocal. While glassing to locate him, we heard the one on the left sound off not more than 60 yards away, then the one on the right maybe 150 yards away with a very deep, low call. We were literally surrounded on 3 sides, and I think Ese and I were both worried that any wind shift would alert one, and eventually the others with the alarmed exit. We decided to quickly check out the closest one to the left. It only took 20 steps and Ese spotted him. It took me a while to pick apart the bush at 40 yards, but I found him. Ese said “Grande” He was a very nice clean 10 point. I would have been very proud to take him yesterday but today, I was looking for something more. We left him quietly and headed back to the center stag. He had been quiet for about 15 minutes while we sneaked closer. Then we busted him. I never got a look at his head but watched his large, very dark body was breaking through the scrub in the direction of the far right stag. We were bummed as this bump ruined not one but two potential stalks. Not hearing any more roar, we decided to work our way back to the two track as we were about 2 miles in.

Walking through a slight terrain depression in thick cover it soon opened into a large meadow-like area. At the same time, Ese and I spotted movement ahead and to our left. “WOW!” Ese said. I agreed. It was one of the most beautiful sights I had ever seen. Not 200 yards away stood the most majestic stag leading his harem of 9 hinds. His antlers were skylined against the blue-bird sky like something you would only see on a calendar or something. It was a picture-perfect moment that I will never forget.

They had all stopped in their tracks and were trying to figure out what we were. I was on the sticks with lucky #7 and squeezed a shot off before they figured it out. They broke left to right running in front of us, but I couldn’t get another shot off without risking injury to one of the hinds. I simply watched in awe. I knew it was a solid hit. Ese was all smiles, and we might have even danced a gig or two out there in the middle of nowhere in celebration. He then told me in Spanish what happened, I told him in English, and we both agreed. Then we danced a little more.

We had another long track job, but I knew Ese was up for it. We followed blood for close to 400 yards before we found him. These are tough animals. It wasn’t until walking up that I noticed he was a fighter with two broken tines, but it didn’t matter. It didn’t take away from that magical, picture-perfect moment I first saw him and there were no regrets. Since it was close to lunch time and we were a long way from any road, Ese called in the calvary. In no time 5 other guides showed up, the stag was quartered, and we were walking out. All I could think about was what a fantastic second day of hunting.

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I took the rest of the afternoon off to think through my options. I really had planned on only taking one or possibly two animals but then I couldn’t imagine hanging around camp for another 3 days and watching all the others have fun.

I spoke to Peter and the two options that interested me the most were Blackbuck or possibly Water Buffalo. I expressed my confused feelings towards the buffalo in Argentina. I had watched many Water Buffalo hunts on the internet, and it seemed to me that some seemed sporting while the others resembled a farm animal shoot in the middle of a pasture. Having taken Buffalo in Africa, I wasn’t really interested in the later and I would be looking for something special if the former. Peter assured me it would be a hunt. He then showed me a picture of a Buffalo that looked simply amazing with dropped curls and an attitude. The photo was taken on March 5th (25 days earlier) however, he hadn’t been seen since. Peter explained, he may or may not be on the property, but we can give him a go. He will take time to find if we can find him.

With 3 days left of hunting, I couldn’t think of a better way to spend it than looking for him.

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That second stag is the type of free range animal hunters go back to try and find every year. Congrats!!
 
Nice stags, enjoyed your report and look forward to hearing how the buffalo hunt unfolds
 
Fantastic! Nothing quite like being surrounded by roaring stags! They are both great animals, but that second stag is an amazing old warrior.
 
Beautiful stags. I'm a bit confused about bullet performance tho. Especially your first bull with the description of the hit it seems odd he went that far. Especially given the caliber........... Any idea about the ammo that you were hunting with?
Bruce
 
Beautiful stags. I'm a bit confused about bullet performance tho. Especially your first bull with the description of the hit it seems odd he went that far. Especially given the caliber........... Any idea about the ammo that you were hunting with?
Bruce
Thanks. Both stags were single-shot pass throughs with no bullet recovery. I guess I never even asked what it was I was shooting those first 2 days. I was surprised the first was an end-to-end pass through. The lack of blood I suppose was due to the bit high entrance and exit. Neither were perfect hits.
 
Thanks. Both stags were single-shot pass throughs with no bullet recovery. I guess I never even asked what it was I was shooting those first 2 days. I was surprised the first was an end-to-end pass through. The lack of blood I suppose was due to the bit high entrance and exit. Neither were perfect hits.

I had a similar experience in Romania. Due to problems with the Romanian permit system on arrival, my 9.3 loaded with Swift A-Frames stayed in the police station and I used a borrowed rifle with European ammunition. Both stags were well placed shots that resulted in pass through with little or no expansion and very little blood trail. I am confident both would have been anchored on the spot with my 9.3x62. I think we are pretty spoiled with the likes of Swift and Barnes bullets.
 
Hahaha. No misunderstanding and no interpretation needed;)

Shots can definitely come and go quickly! Congratulations:)

I had the same guide the following week.
His name is Ezequiel, which is the Spanish form of Ezekiel. I speak some Spanish so we didn’t have a problem communicating. His eyesight was impressive. He could spot animals in the woods in shadows that I had trouble picking out with binoculars. Will do a report later.
 
Congratulations on a successful hunt. I will watch for the rest of the story. Thanks for the report.
 
Hello @Brod. I am enjoing tremendously reading your hunt and pics.......keep it going......you did a great hunt....
 
Beautiful stags. I'm a bit confused about bullet performance tho. Especially your first bull with the description of the hit it seems odd he went that far. Especially given the caliber........... Any idea about the ammo that you were hunting with?
Bruce
Hi Bruce......Stags are soo hard specialy in the rut time with all that adrenaline in their boddies........

This are the bullets Rod were using in the .338

IMG-20240418-WA0014.jpg
 
I had the same guide the following week.
His name is Ezequiel, which is the Spanish form of Ezekiel. I speak some Spanish so we didn’t have a problem communicating. His eyesight was impressive. He could spot animals in the woods in shadows that I had trouble picking out with binoculars. Will do a report later.
Hey Mike @Finprof ......good to see you here....hope to read your hunt also.....
 
Congrats and thanks for sharing!
 
I would of thought that expansion would of been good with the Remington ammo. Still odd that the blood trails were so lacking. It's a real positive thing to have a guide that can track like that. Again congrats!
 

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Buffalo encounter this morning!

here with available dates for 2024/25

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