ARGENTINA: Red Stag Hunt March 2018 With TGB Outfitters

Mike B

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I finally have a bit of time to sit down and do a quick report on my hunt. This will be a little shorter, but it was absolutely tons of fun! We were hunting in the LaPampa province of Argentina with TGB Outfitters. It was an auction hunt.

Travel:
I booked with LATAM airlines about 8 months in advance when a deal for $800 round trip came up to BA. It was kind of a sucky flight in terms of connections, but the airline was good, flight was fine, no delays or anything to really complain about. It was just a longer flight (IAH > MIA > LIM > EZE down and then EZE > Santiago > MIA> IAH back).

After we arrived in BA, TGB had arranged for a charter flight for all the guests that week. We were met by a driver at the airport who then took my Dad and myself to the domestic airport where smaller flights leave. it was about a 90 minute drive in traffic and they had a small cafe we waited in for the rest of the hunters. Once everyone was there, we loaded up the plane and flew an hour and a half south to Santa Rosa. From there we drove another hour and a half or so to camp (we were about 30 min from Telen if anyone cares to look it up).

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Camp:
So the great lodge on the website wasn't there! During the off season they were moving it closer to the free range hunting area and a big storm destroyed it in January. They are building a new lodge that will be really nice, but it just wasn't finished when we got there (about 2-3 weeks longer they said). We had a comfortable little brick house to stay in, My dad and I shared a room, 2 other hunters shared another room and the 2 couples in camp stayed in a small local hotel in Telen. All in all it was fine, but the new lodge will be much nicer for sure! Food was great, we ate alot of beef and red stag, which was really good. We had Axis and Fallow deer one night as well and both were good. I still liked the stag better!

The first night in camp I had a cold shower, but that was my fault. I wasn't "thinking in spanish" so the knobs in the shower were "F" and "C". I fiddled with both but wasn't patient enough and never seemed to get hot water. Well, I was thinking C - Cold and F - I don't know. It's really C - Caliente and F - Frio. My dad was more patient after me and got a hot shower! I was talking to the outfitter in the morning telling him of my goofup and he said, "what did you think F meant F-ING Hot?" :ROFLMAO: We all had a good laugh about it and I made sure to 'think in spanish' the rest of the trip!

The Hunt!
The plan for the week was free range red stag, blackbuck and if we had time, dove - But stag was the target above all else.

The first 2 days were spent chasing stag, and for those that haven't hunted in the roar, it's really different. It's an amazing hunt but those stag NEVER stop moving! So when you hear them, off you go. This was a pretty typical day for us:
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The first morning we spent chasing stag, but never saw anything. That evening I got in near a small group and we watched them for a bit. The stag in that group was a management stag (broken on one side) but it was fun to watch them and get in close.

The second day was more of the same. We chased some a long ways across a burn area, but never got near enough to see them. I did however almost step on 2 venomous snakes!
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By this time a few other other people in camp had a stag and one guy that was hunting the high fence area kept seeing 'too big' or 'too small' so we started calling him Goldilocks!

Day 3 was the day! The morning of day 3 we spooked a couple smaller stag, saw some sheep and then got into the middle of 3 stags roaring! This was really fun. We bumped into a couple females that didn't see us but were eating around 50 yards out. We froze, slowy sank down, watched and listened. There were 2 stags our in front roaring about 150 yards apart and then another back to our right that was a few hundred yards off. We couldn't see any of them (behind hills , trees, etc) but could tell they were moving in closer and closer. We sat there for 20-30 min, and those stupid females turned towards us and started walking right at us! As you can guess, it took about another 2-3 minutes of a stare down at 25 yards and they bolted, barking the whole way and taking the stags with them!

That evening we went out and really put the miles on. We snuck in on a really nice stag, I got on the guides shoulder and by the time I got on the stag (using a shoulder is not a solid rest!) and got settled, he bolted. I told the guide it was my fault, not his - he got me there, I just couldn't connect with it. Off we went chasing the next roar. We end up having to sneak through a fence and creep up on another stag. I can't see him, he's laying down, but just ahead of us. I get on the sticks (last stag I found with Bino's, then tried to get on with the scope, I did't want to do that again and watch him bolt!) and start looking for it, but about 2 seconds after I get on the sticks he stands up. I go for the shoulder, find it and BOOM, put it down just as he took his first step to bolt! He got about 150 yards, but we found him real easy!
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I am on cloud 9 - and on top of that, when we get back to camp, my Dad and 2 other guys had their stags as well! it was the night for stags! My Dad's pictures were a bit blurry because it was much darker, but here is one of the skull. My Dad had the unfortunate privilege of paying for 2 stags. The wounded one the 2nd day, they found blood (pools of it at points), used a dog and everything. but after about 4 miles it was apparent it wasn't that wounded. He laid this 2nd one down and decided to drop blackbuck off his list (stag hunting is just tons of fun!)
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So I'll save you the details on the rest of the trip. We went out for blackbuck the next day and I knocked down a small one. The guide said shoot the one on the right, I got on the one on the right, had to adjust the sticks and ended up on the one right behind it (there we right next to eachother). I was a bit rushed (my fault not the guide) and pulled the trigger on the smaller one. Still happy because it was much cheaper! but the bigger one was nicer for sure. My phone seems to have eaten that picture, so I'll post it later if I can find it.

The last couple days we decided to skip dove because it was really windy. We had lazy mornings in camp and went out in the evening to hunt for management stag. As luck would have it, we kept bumping into really nice stag so I didn't get to shoot anything else. We did get in about 60-70 yards from a really nice big one (probably just a little bigger than what I shot), and the guide did a roar to call him in closer. Boy, that stag came roaring and stomping out looking for us! he was ready for a fight! I wish I had video of it! once he got about 25 yards away and had moved downwind, he bolted - but it was fun!

Overall, I had a great time and would recommend it to anyone! Stag are just a TON of fun to hunt! We spent one day fishing for dorado up near BA with Nervous waters and didn't catch anything. Guide was great, but the water level was up about 4' overnight (strong winds pushed the tide in and wouldn't let the river drain) so the fishing was generally sucky. It dropped about 2' over the afternoon but we just couldn't get anything to bite.
 

Nyati

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Congrats, seems like you enjoyed your hunt !
 

BRICKBURN

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Nice Stag.
You both rolled with the punches on that trip.
 

CAustin

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Very nice stag! Thanks for sharing the pictures.
 

BRICKBURN

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So, from your step counter it appears you were hiking around some pretty flat country.
Is that the case?
 

firehuntfish

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Nice job @Mike B ....! Great looking stag!
 

Mike B

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So, from your step counter it appears you were hiking around some pretty flat country.
Is that the case?

Yep, I’d say comparable to Limpopo.


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Blackbuck area

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My Blackbuck... lets just say he measured “Represenative”. He will still make a pretty mount.

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cpr0312

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Congrats and thanks for sharing!
 

enysse

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Thanks for sharing the hunt report! Nice red stag!
 

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