Cordoba’s Dove Season Pause is an Investment in the Future

  Cordoba   |     Apr. 24, 2019

Cordoba, Argentina — Trek International Safaris is proud to support an agreement to a dove season contraction in Cordoba, Argentina, which all regional outfitters unanimously and voluntarily entered into last year. As a response to Argentina’s worst drought in a century in 2017-‘18, this agreement effectively pauses all dove hunting in the Cordoba province during November and December.

Trek and our Cordoba partners, H&H Outfitters, have always taken extraordinary care to methodically rotate our hunting areas, even when requiring new investments in the region. We are unconditionally committed to long-term sustainability of dove hunting in Cordoba and our leadership role in the Cordoba hunting community.

Cordoba remains the greatest dove show on earth for traveling wingshooters, and for good reason. Research shows that eared dove populations in Cordoba are massive, with an estimated 23 million to 32 million eared doves calling the region home. Notwithstanding the continued strong numbers, birds always follow water, so the move is a logical response aimed at protecting Cordoba’s position as dove hunting’s premier venue. 

“Last year’s drought really compelled Cordoba’s outfitters to take action, because we all understand the birds need water to thrive,” said Joe Patterson, vice president for Trek. “The season contraction comes during a key breeding period for the birds, and as the water conditions are favorable this year, we feel the timing of this agreement is ideal.”

Argentina’s eared dove is classified as a “least concern” conservation status, and in fact, continues to be characterized as an economic nuisance owing to the damage the species perpetually wreaks on crops.  

The relationship between farming and hunting has always been a symbiotic one, but perhaps no place is this more critical than in Cordoba. The birds here breed four times a year, thriving in an agriculturally rich area that depends greatly on grain farming.

With the drought causing a 20-percent reduction in crop yield last year, both the farmers and the birds were affected. Fortunately, this year’s crop yields have returned to normal levels, and the 2019 harvest is expected to last much longer than that of 2019— great news for Cordoba’s farmers and tens of millions of eared doves. 

It is important to reiterate Cordoba’s outfitters took the initiative to reduce the hunting season independently and with no pressure from outside influences.

“This is probably the first time Cordoba’s outfitters have all agreed on anything,” Patterson said with a smile. “We all see the agreement as an investment in Cordoba’s future.”

As with any environmental concern, the cause-and-effect relationship with this decision is complex and not easily measured. Going forward, the agreement will be re-evaluated on a year-by-year basis. 

New Trek Program During Cordoba’s Hunting Pause

Any dove hunt hosted during November or December in Cordoba this year would violate the agreement. We understand that these are months many of our clients target for hunting adventure travel. With that in mind, we have put together an outstanding opportunity to experience Cordoba-level high-volume dove shooting in neighboring San Luis Province, specifically out of the town of Merlo.

Having extensively scouted this area, we can confidently report that the bird numbers are very strong in and around our San Luis fields. Moving our Cordoba operations to Merlo for a couple of months will provide an exciting new experience for our clients, while allowing us to better protect Cordoba’s dove program for the next generation of traveling wingshooters.

As there are few outfitters in San Luis, the area experiences a fraction of the hunting as that of Cordoba. So, the new program will minimally impact the birds. 

We will headquarter this adventure at A Hotel Decosuites, which is just a 40-minute charter flight from Cordoba using H&H’s own Cessna Grand Caravan. The Decosuites is an upscale boutique property, located in close proximity to Merlo’s casinos, and just 20-35 minutes drive to our dove hunting fields in the region.

In addition to providing an exciting new adventure for dove hunters, this program is being offered at an incredible cost value. H&H’s experienced team will be the boots on the ground, so you can be sure of the same high-level attention to detail of Trek and H&H’s traditional Cordoba lodge hunts.

The dates available for this adventure run from Nov. 1 to Dec. 22, and the first to contact us will have their pick of the available slots. Pricing includes three full days and two half days of hunting, four nights lodging, meals, beer, select wines and liquor, gun rental, hunting license, round-trip charter flight and all transfers. 

Groups will fly into Cordoba and take our Grand Caravan charter plane, landing in Merlo just minutes from the hotel. American Airlines direct flight from Miami to Cordoba will be well established by November, and we will make any necessary adjustments to the shooting schedule for hunters choosing this option.  If interested, please email or call 1-800-654-9915 at your earliest so we can start planning your adventure!

View Merlo Program Itinerary

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