Tented camp wilderness hunts have long been the standard means of hunting big game in remote parts of North America, and in recent years have become the standard modus operandi for big game hunts in remote parts of Asia as well. But a tented camp hunt in South America? No one ever heard of such a thing before. Hunts for big game in Argentina - the only South American country with significant populations of big game - have always been conducted out of very comfortable lodges or private homes that take in paying clients. All that has changed now. This coming March, for the first time, a tented camp hunt will be conducted for red stag in a remote part of the Andes Mountains of Argentina. This area is at such a high altitude - 5,000 to 8,000 feet - and so far removed from civilization that there are simply no acceptable accommodations anywhere nearby. At the same time, the quality of the stags is such that they justify putting up with some discomfort and even a bit of hardship.
Outfitters Cano and Cane Saint Antonin did a survey of the stags during the most recent rut and say that they saw animals they would judge to be SCI gold medal or better. Silver-medal animals were even more numerous. Because of the inaccessibility of the area, it has never been commercially hunted before. The outfitters fully expect that some real monsters will be taken by the first hunters....
This hunt is conducted in the southern Andes near the major resort city of Bariloche. Hunters fly into Bariloche, where they are met and driven for about an hour back into the Andes. At that point they get out and mount up on horseback and ride four to five hours into camp. From camp they will go out on horseback or on foot every morning, depending on where the stags are concentrated. It may at times be necessary to hunt so far away from the main camp that a spike camp will be required.