ARGENTINA: Argentina Adventure With MG Hunting

DAY 3

6:30 wake up and the day begins. I traded in #7 for a .375 H&H Argentina build with a Mauser action. Upon inspection the bolt was running a little stiff, so I had Peter put a little lubricant on her and she was soon cycling smooth as glass. The plan this morning was to head to the far Northwestern corner of the property looking for fresh tracks cutting across the two-tracks then following up to identify said bull. Peter would be joining Ese and I this morning as backup with his .458.

The terrain here is not as flat with rolling hills. The vegetation was just as thick but there were very few armadillo holes. I wondered if buffalo and armadillos did not get along well together? We stopped several times the first 30 minutes and looked at tracks that were either too small or too old then continued. We then crossed an area that looked promising which had several large fresh tracks however the wind prevented us from directly following. We decided to circle around to see if they exited this area.

In doing so, we were on the two-track with a 4-foot fence running parallel on our left. To our right was about 30 yards of open area before the scrub began. (similar to a powerline back home) As we were just cresting a hill, we stopped to stare at an unusual sight. 200 yards straight ahead on the same two-track were four very large buffalo running directly at us. Looking for trouble, I imagined. As they continued running down the track we were standing on, I asked Peter if this was unusual? He looked as confused as I was and said he wasn’t sure what was going on. Either something spooked them, or they were fighting but your bull is the second to right. Peter put up the sticks and the buffalo kept coming.

At about 100 yards they must have spotted us because they stopped and were staring in our direction. Peter asked if I was comfortable with a shot from this distance. I said, no, not with an unknown weapon. I said I’d like to get within 50 yards. He asked what I wanted to do. With the wind blowing to 1:00, I suggested us to line up as one person and walk slowly across the 30 yards to the right until we get into cover then work our way towards them for a closer shot. Working towards them, about halfway, the wind shifted to 9:00. I look to the left and see one of the buffalo on the opposite side of the fence nose up. I had not calculated the fence jump or wind shift in my plan, but we were busted regardless. They were now all on the other side of the fence/property line. Ese was able to see them return either by jumping or pushing back through the fence further down so at least they were back on our side. Peter suggested we let them cool down and try again later as they will be spooked, and we don’t want to lose them. I agreed so we headed off to the East.

After 30 minutes, Peter spotted a lone bull. He was about 300 yards away on the edge of the scrub and all I could see was its rear end. We glassed for several minutes as he milled around finally turning and stepped out. He was simply huge and at least 300 lbs. heavier than the four we had just encountered. His horns were very small compared to his size. Peter asked if I was interested. I said let’s see how close we can get. We worked or way to 30 yards before backing back out. Pictures of these Argentina buffalo do not do them justice. They look so much more impressive up-close and in 3D. It was a fantastic morning.

We headed back to the lodge for lunch and to come up with a plan for this afternoon’s hunt. Peter felt if I really wanted the best chance at this bull, it would be to sit over the closest water to his last location and if he didn’t come in, we could start tracking again in the morning in that area. I agreed. Peter could not join us, so Ese and I headed out with Manuel (which is another brother/owner) with the .458 as backup.

As we came over a hill, we saw 20 some ostriches running in and around the cover. It was amusing to see. We soon reached the nearest water hole. From what I understand, there are 7-8 of these throughout the property and this was the closest one to where we were this morning. It wasn’t much of a water hole. Maybe 10x10 feet across. I envisioned a fancy concrete blind in the shade or something, but we were just tucked in the brush with a large tree to our back. Which was fine and comfortable. The water was about 40 yards to the South, and we had a South wind. Perfect…for the first hour. We watched a cow and calf come in and it was very relaxing. Until the parrots showed up. For those of you who have not been to Argentina these green parrots are everywhere by the millions. They are as common as our sparrows back home. They are pretty to look at but squawk and make so much noise, they become annoying very quickly. The problem was we were close to one of their nests.

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With 90 minutes of light left, the wind switched to the Northeast which was the worst possible direction for this setup. Worse yet, there really wasn’t a place for us to relocate to. As we sat there for an hour, I gave this opportunity a zero percent chance for success. It will never work. Ese then spotted a huge Blackbuck behind us in the distance. While he and I were thinking through in our minds how we could pull this off, Manuel pulled us back from our distraction. The wind had magically shifted back and he had spotted buffalo moving through the bush. With maybe 20 minutes of light, we could see several in the distance. At their pace, it didn’t look like we would have enough time. I was wrong. Set up on the sticks, watching an opening, I whispered, is he one of them? Glancing at Ese, he held 2 fingers and Manuel confirmed the second one was my bull. At 50 yards, I watched the first bull pass through the opening in the crosshairs then waited for the second. As he did, I heard Ese whisper “shoot” the same instant I squeezed on the bull’s shoulder. The bull spun 180 degrees as I cycled the bolt and squeezed on his opposite shoulder. One more lightning-fast bolt cycle and the third hit home on his shoulder as well. He dropped within 10 yards of the first shot. I was glad, as I’m sure Ese and Manuel were, that there would be no long tracking job tonight. We quickly approached as it was getting dark now and I put an insurance shot in, just in case. (photos are poor due to phone camera low light compensation)

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We were back to the lodge by 8:00. I cleaned up, and had another wonderful evening of dinner, drinks, and comradery celebrating with all the other hunters and their days success. At 11:00 Ese came in and handed me the bullets retrieved. For the last 3 hours he and a couple other guides had been butchering that 2,000 lbs. bull in the field.

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3 days in the books with 2 days to go. I stayed up later than I probably should have but I was having too much fun listening to stories from the others on past adventures. It was a really great group of people. But my mind kept wandering back to earlier this evening. I wonder if that huge Blackbuck is in that field every evening?
 
You have got some nice trophies! Excited to hear the rest
 
Greater Rhea not ostrich, but still a darn big flightless bird. That is one heck of a bull. I will be down there looking for his twin in a little less than two years.
 
Excellent bull. Congratulations
 
DAY 4

I slept in today as early morning starts aren't required for Blackbuck hunting. I enjoyed the morning around camp taking some photos and talking to “Austin” the 3rd brother/owner. I also spent some time with the chef who prepared amazing meals throughout the week including a 5-course Easter lunch.

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The chef (I’m sorry but forgot his name), and Peter with a boar which one of the Panama guys shot the first day. Everyone was amazed on the flavor and taste of this boar. It was incredible.

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After lunch, Ese and I went out to look for Blackbuck with #7. We headed North and began seeing them within 20 minutes in the open fields. Finding them would not be the problem. However, getting close enough for a shot would prove quite challenging. Earlier in the day, Rocket mentioned for the last one he got last week he had to crawl 400 yards for. I now knew what he meant. The terrain we were hunting was extremely flat with sparse grass below the knees. To make matters worse there was very little brush or trees to use as cover. These little guys were wired. 400 yards seemed to be the distance tolerable before they would race off. We tried several stalks on several really nice bucks with no success. This was going to be a lot tougher than I first imagined.

Back at the lodge I also thought about shot distances and how a .338 is probably not the best choice for these longer distances. I spoke to Peter and traded #7 in for a .300 WM for tomorrows hunt. I knew this was still a bit overkill, but I was much more comfortable since I shoot a 300 WM back home at 350 yards on a weekly basis.

The Panama guys, who had an equally successful week with stags and hogs decided to join the hunt for Blackbuck tomorrow as well.


DAY 5

We woke to an incredibly windy morning. In checking the forecast, wind speeds would peak at 1:00 at 34 mph with gusts up to 46 mph.

While walking around in my socks, I almost stepped on this little guy. I asked Manuel if this was some kind of scorpion? He said kind of but, it is not poisonous. Its sting is more like a wasp. I put my shoes on.

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We left the lodge at 11:00 with a packed lunch as we intended to spend the remainder of the day afield and it was going to be a lot further away from camp. We piled in two trucks with Austin driving the 3 hunters and Peter with the 3 guides. I was pleasantly surprised when an hour later we arrived at a place that looked much more suitable to hunt this wary animal. This 20,000 acre property consisted of slightly rolling hills with enough suitable cover to make this look like a really fun place to hunt. Not to mention the fact that we could already see groups of blackbucks in the distance in almost every direction.

Peter explained that the bucks will all try to head South to flee. So, the plan was we would be dropped off on the southern edge of the property (about a half mile from each other) and work our way North. The idea was while working the cover straight ahead, any bucks spooked from one hunter may cross to another. It reminded me of whitetail deer drives in Iowa 40 years ago. We first dropped off one Panama, then two Panama, then Ese, Peter, and I were last on the line.

The wind was very strong and it was hard to see with sand constantly whipping in our eyes. Only 100 yards in we crested a small hill and saw 20 some blackbuck moving right to left ahead at 150 yards. We quickly ducked and found cover in a tree line to our left. On the other side of the tree line the sticks went up and I tried to get set but the sticks were a little too low and the wind kept pushing me a bit off balanced. The bucks were still moving and about 200 yards away. Peter grabbed the sticks and we moved 5 or 6 paces behind a bush and I’m on the sticks again. This time I’m fairly steady but the wind was still causing some problems. We all agree the last one was the nicest. Knowing I would have some wind drift, I put the crosshairs on the front edge of his chest and held steady as he continued to walk. He paused for a split second, Ese, said “shoot”. Just as I squeezed the trigger, a wind gust pushed the crosshairs to the bucks head as the gun sounded off. Blackbuck scattered everywhere. “Damn!, I’m sorry guys, I missed..” I said while I look over to Peter and Ese they are jumping up and down with smiles. Peter said, “Great shot, he dropped right there”. He did? Sure enough, he was lying there as we walked up with a shot to the spine. The rangefinder read 280 yards back to the tree line.

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Within the next 45 minutes both Panama guys had shot their bucks as well. I wish we would have gotten a photo of the three together as they looked identical in color and there couldn’t have been an inch difference in length between them. In talking to the other guys, we figured we must have seen at least 300 blackbuck each during that hour. If you are a serious free-range blackbuck hunter, I could not imagine a better place to hunt than here. You could spend all day picking apart these guys for a true giant and see literally a thousand head in the process.

We had a nice lunch then headed back to camp. Along the way I saw 7 armadillos. They must enjoy windy days, I thought.

This brings my hunt to an end. It was a very enjoyable trip which I’m sure I will return.

Ese the Awesome.

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At the airport saying farewell to Peter and Rocket.

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Back in Buenos Aires, several of us met at this bar which was very close to our hotel for a few final laughs.

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Blackbuck is still on my "to do" list. Looks likea nice one. Mass looks very nice. Congrats
Bruce
 
Wow you had a great hunt! All fantastic trophies!

When I hunted with MG, there was a Panamanian guy who I only remember as "the Panamaniac". He was there with a Doctor from, I think Puru.... They had been hunting with Marcelo about from the beginning;) The Doc hunt with Marcelo right out of the lodge, literally walking across the field out front. He was holding out for a better stag, I think he wanted double crowns and at least 13 points..... You did great my friend:)
 
Wow you had a great hunt! All fantastic trophies!

When I hunted with MG, there was a Panamanian guy who I only remember as "the Panamaniac". He was there with a Doctor from, I think Puru.... They had been hunting with Marcelo about from the beginning;) The Doc hunt with Marcelo right out of the lodge, literally walking across the field out front. He was holding out for a better stag, I think he wanted double crowns and at least 13 points..... You did great my friend:)
Thanks, it was a lot of fun and worth doing again. I'm guessing it would be the same Panama guys.
 
WOW, you certainly did well with MG Hunting. Congratulations on great trophies and memories.
 
Thanks for the report! It was very well written and you had my full attention the whole time. I love getting the whole story. The photos were excellent too.
That blackbuck has amazing horns - incredible mass! The antler "character" of your second stag is really cool and makes it a true one-of-a-kind. Great trophies all around. Great to hear that your trip was this successful and MG earned a terrific recommendation.
 
Thank you for the report. The blackbuck has great mass and is very wide. Congratulations.
 
That’s an extremely nice blackbuck. I hunted them one time in Texas and and was not able to get close enough. They are spooky animals
 
Thank you all for your kind words. It makes the detailed process of writing/retelling a worth while effort.
 
Great hunt, congrats on some wonderful animals. Makes me want to make it down to Argentina someday.
 
You did a great job of writing the story up. The food picture made me want to move Argentina to 2025!
 
Thanks, it was a lot of fun and worth doing again. I'm guessing it would be the same Panama guys.
Hello Rod.......yes......the Doctor and his friend is the same person that hunts with us every year since a long time ago.....
 
Great hunt, congrats !
 
Hey Brod! Congratulations! A wonderfully written and photographed hunt! Another epic hunt with MG Hunting.com! I hunted with Rocket and Pedro last year and left with adventures to last a lifetime! They're the BEST!
 

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