David Denies was the first outfitter in Cordoba over 25 years ago, and he virtually pioneered high volume dove shooting in the region, putting his flag into the ground and declaring the area the Dove Shooting Capital of the World. Since those first years, the David Denies Company has refined dove shooting, setting a new standard for service in our lodges, and in the field. These standards have also been applied to Jacana Lodge, our duck hunting program, and San Juan Lodge in Uruguay, where we hunt perdiz with dogs, and enjoy dove and pigeon shooting.
A personal reflection on the short history of dove shooting in Cordoba… since 1985
"I’ll tell you David, I've shot many times in Mexico and Colombia and I never saw these many birds, we must have hit the day they migrate"
This was 1982, and my old friend Gene knew what he was talking about. The greatest dove hunt in those days was in the Cauca valley in Colombia. It was famous, and it was possible to visit that region and shoot a whole case of shells!! A case of 500 shells!! … how things have changed.
We had been driving around Argentina for two weeks, Gene and his wife Nancy wanted to see country’s many wonders, and we roamed through vast regions like gypsies. We bought gas by the jug and lambs on the hoof. We saw the incredible colours of the Salta mountains, and worked our way high into Tucuman through the only subtropical jungle anywhere, and finally wound through some tough dirt tracks in the sierras of Cordoba.
We didn’t start to see the big flocks of doves until we came through the tiny town of Villa del Dique. Six miles later we stopped to take a have a look from a high spot on the highway. Though it is difficult to believe, looking through binoculars there were huge flocks flying from the grain filled plains into the wild hills of southern Cordoba for as far as we could see. They were flying across the hardtop, from south to north in lines and flocks and huge, high groups. Looking west and then east, I began to grasp the immensity of this movement of birds. The flyway was at least five miles wide. It seemed weird, or maybe it was perfect timing, but surely we must have hit the day of a great dove migration.
Minutes later, after turning the truck into a dirt road in an isolated valley, we loaded the two shotguns we were carrying and began plucking birds from the sky—but in no time we were totally out of shells. As we picked up our doves, we inspected the birds and found their crops were full of corn. It took us some time to come to the realization that this was not a migration. These birds were feeding and going back to the roost. This happened here every day!
I was back in October that same year and saw the same staggering amount of birds. I returned again in March of ’86 and led the first party of Americans into the area—as far as I know they were the first foreigners to shoot dove in Argentina.
Looking back now, I still marvel at the fact that a casual sightseeing tour lead to what today is a multimillion dollar business spawned by an amazing renewable resource. Dove shooting today provides jobs for many of my countrymen, benefits the region and the region’s poor, and provides world class sport to the people who visit us from countries around the globe.
Good shooting and be safe,