ARGENTINA: Hunting Argentina

Michael Vigne

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Jun 5, 2019
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Hunting reports
My first wild boar.

I have been volunteering on a cattle farm in La Pampa province of Argentina for a couple of months now and it has been an amazing experience. The best part of my experience has not been the hunting but meeting the wonderful people of Argentina. The Argentine people are so similar to us, South Africans, in culture and values. I am very sad that we are restricted by the language barrier! If only my friends and family could meet the people I have met, they would be such great friends. I love bring people of different cultures together whom I know would be best of friends, unfortunately the language will always separate people and that’s why I urge people to learn languages!

Nonetheless this is a story of a stepping stone hunt in the rest of my life…

We had received two Spanish hunting clients from close to Madrid. These gentlemen were a father and son lawyer duo and friends of the farm owner. The week started off well and the hunting party especially the two Spaniards were so charismatic! I was very happy to be hunting, I had seen spoor of puma and many deer and pigs for so long I extremely anxious all the time. I was crying inside to have some hunting start happening.

The hunting method comprised mainly of night shooting by waiting at waterholes called “charcos.” We had baited the charcos for the previous three weeks in anticipation of the arrival of the hunters! Maize was scattered in the charcos under the water to prevent the pigeons from polishing it all off. The pigs would take more time rooting in the mud to get to the maize and it would keep the animals at the charcos when the hunters were set up. The stakeout was held in small wooden houses built specially for hunting in a tree or windmill nearby to the charcos.

The first evening the hunters had a lot of action at the waterholes but only a young pig was brought home for the pot. The week went one and multiple animals were taken, some good pigs and Red deer were harvested during the week! It was only the one hunter who was still looking for a good boar to fulfil his Argentine experience. Unfortunately, this gentleman had sat at the same charco for 4 days and had not shot anything! On the final day there were extra people and rifles therefore I was offered the opportunity to hunt for the evening. I obviously was ecstatic to finally be the one pulling the trigger. The catch was that the only open charco was the one which had not been getting any action throughout the week. It would have been easy to skip the long cold stake in the veld but luckily my friend and personal Ph Federico insisted that it did not matter - there is always a chance to see something. This made the experience good from the beginning. Most people would be pessimistic about their chances, but I was very happy to have the mere opportunity of hunting something in Argentina. Fed and I had been out in previous weeks to hunt a red deer in the rut but we never got sights on a stag big enough with sufficient points to shoot. Therefore, I was used to biding my time and was disappointed if we did not shoot something. I mean this is the essence of hunting too - if you are happy to leave the veld empty handed you really appreciate hunting. This mindset prevents taking hasty shots which can result in the wounding of an animal or disappointment if the day doesn’t result in a record book animal.

Despite the low probability, Fed and I set out for a long wait at La Salada charco (The Salty Waterhole). I was happy to just hunt, Fed had made sandwiches and packed chocolates, so we were in for a good time! One cannot understand the type of bonding one can do by sitting in complete silence with someone for hours...

I knew I had to keep alert, if there was an animal which came in, I would see it and I would shoot it. Though I had prepared mentally for nothing I was still determined to search for the small shot in the dark. The bush was dead and there were no animals in sight for hours…that was when my eyes started to play tricks on me. I started to see things that weren’t there and at one stage I thought I could see the glittering of the eyes of a puma in the moonlight, it was seriously playing tricks on me.

Around the magic hour of 11pm I saw a black figure in the distance. I was unsure of what it was, an animal, my imagination or even a ghost, how would I know. Eventually I saw the figure move closer towards us and I motioned to Federico to look at it - it was a pig! Fed gave me the thumbs up and I positioned myself for the shot and loaded the rifle, pointing at the moving figure. The pig came closer but was very apprehensive, it was moving slowing and testing the air as it wearily came closer. Fed whispered, “tirale, tirale!” which means shoot it, shoot it. I knew he wanted me to shoot but it was facing towards me and I couldn’t take the risky shot. I have wounded big game in the past with the frontal shot and it is now a shot I prefer to never take. Fed was becoming anxious that the pig would bolt away and that I did not understand him. He reaffirmed with the frantic whisper, “shoot, shoot!” I couldn’t see a full target very well with only the moonlight and therefor I waited for the pig to turn broadside, I put the crosshairs on the pig for the basic box shot and squeezed the trigger.

I felt very confident of the shot but was not sure of anything in the darkness. We couldn’t hear the shot as the echo resonated from inside the small wooden house. A few seconds later we heard the fence as the animal past it. Fed reckoned the animal must have expired at the fence and that is why it made a large noise against the wires. I was hoping that he was correct. We climbed down the windmill and walked towards the area of the noise at the fence. The fence was about 200 metres away from the spot where the animal was first hit. As we approached the fence, we saw a mountain of a pig lying motionless! I was overwhelmed with excitement but luckily Fed knew to keep everything ready in case the animal had not been completely dead. The pig had indeed expired. It had run for about 200m with a 150gr .308 bullet above the heart in the lung/aorta region. The Remington factory soft point didn’t even exit. What testament to the size and strength of these animals! The animal was estimated to be over the 100kgs and probably about 120kgs.

We took photos and were constantly amazed by the enormous size, I was so happy my first wild boar and a massive one at that! Unfortunately, the fella had broken one of his tusks but the other was a very good size of 7inches and narrowly missed Rowland ward! I couldn’t be more thankful about this amazing experience!

I wanted to go to Argentina, experience the culture and learn the language. I ended up making lifelong friends and we pulled off a few shots along the way!

¡Muchas gracias a todos quien hacen esto posible!


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Michael, how long have you been in Argentina? I have a hunt booked with MG Hunting for Red Stag next March. BTW do you have any photos of the boar you took?

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