The first Argentina
Wingshooting School, has flown. In the early afternoon of December
5, 2003, seven of us met at Miami Airport for the flight to Santiago
and transfer to Cordoba, Argentina. The eighth member of the team
of guns was flying from California and was to join us in Cordoba.
On arrival, our passage through immigration
was swift and we were met in the baggage hall by two porters who
had already collected our bags and guns. They shepherded us through
to customs where Tomas Fontera was waiting with bouquets of roses
for the ladies in our team and all the necessary licenses and paper
work. This certainly made bringing the guns into Argentina a breeze!
Loaded into the company’s assortment
of Jeeps and trucks, we made the final leg of the trip to our accommodations,
South of Cordoba and conveniently just 15 minutes from the dove
roost. (I have been with other outfitters where the journey to the
shooting can take forty minutes to one hour.) Being based so close
is really a bonus.
Rather than the typical Estancia, our accommodations
at these dove fields is a very pleasant small hotel, with en-suite
rooms, swimming pool and a private dinning room for our party. The
accommodations, food and service are First Class, including the
extremely well-stocked bar. (An exploration of the Fine Wines of
Argentina as well as the other array of excellent “Swing Lubricators”,
encouraged the telling of great examples of Shooting Prowess in
Allocated our rooms, we showered,
unpacked clothes and guns before changing into our shooting clothes
and the short trip to the dove fields. On arrival, we found Juan,
our guide, and the bird boys waiting.
After introductions, we
sat down to an alfresco lunch of barbecued beef. Yes,Argentinian
steak is pretty hard to beat, especially when cooked over an open
After lunch, we
took up our allocated pegs. The bird boys had built “hides”
and had our guns, cartridges and refreshments to-hand; we were ready
to “let the battle commence”!
Those of you who have sampled the
delights of dove shooting in Argentina will never forget that initial
surge of adrenalin when you first see the size, number and constant
flight of dove! It has never failed to induce a frenzy of loading
and shooting until, gradually, the realization sets in that it is
not going to suddenly end. At that point, you can begin to take
your time and pick your shots.
When our group had reached this stage,
I began to visit with each one, video taping them in action for
analysis before dinner that evening in the first of the classroom
The camera does not lie, and that
evening we all witnessed the familiar mistakes in the fundamentals
that cause us to miss. After watching and discussing the video,
I gave a class on the whys and howto’s of straight shooting.
This included footwork, gunmount and technique. In the field the
next day, I spent sessions with each gun, giving constructive critiques
based on my observation from the previous day’s taping, comparing
that with how the individual was shooting that day.
This coaching format was repeated throughout
the four days and as individual improvement was made, the emphasis
moved from the fundamentals to the best technique for shots encountered
To a man (and woman) , we pronounced
this a memorable adventure! And all of us proclaimed “We shall
return!” as soon as schedules and seasons permit.
SARA DI CORDOBA
Remove dove breast from
the bone, remove skin and clean. Sautee over very high heat
in a lightly oiled cast iron skillet for about 2 minutes.
The outside must be seared and the inside pink. Put over paper
towels to cool. When cool, slice thinly, arrange in a flat
plate and lightly brush with chimichurri sauce. Serve with
cucumber slices and more chimichurri sauce.
1/2 cup of Extra Virgin Olive Oil 3 tablespoons
of freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/3 cup of minced parsley
1/2 to 1 clove of garlic
1 large shallot
1 teaspoon of basil minced
1 teaspoon of thyme minced
salt and pepper to taste
Blend all these ingredients in a food processer and let rest
for at least 3 hours. Adjust oil, lemon juice and salt and
pepper to taste and serve apart. The sauce can be made a day
From that Culinary Genius,