Checking In On Stag Hunting In Argentina


Published: July - 1998

For many years, truly in-the-know European hunters have been taking their red stags in the South American country of Argentina, rather than in the traditional countries of Austria, Hungary, Romania and Bulgaria. Lately, European interest in Argentina has increased almost to the point of an invasion. The reason's simple. At this point, a European hunter can fly from Europe to Argentina, have a quality hunt, shoot a good stag and fly home, all for much less than the trophy fee alone for a comparable stag in a top Eastern European venue. In point of fact, a first-quality stag hunt in Argentina may be had today for as little as $3,795, and that is a flat-fee hunt that includes one stag of any size. What's more, the quality of Argentine stags has been steadily improving, thanks to scientific principles of game management.

The aforementioned hunt takes place on the Estancia Baguales on the Huemul Peninsula, which juts out into Lake Nahuel Huapi in the Andes Mountains near the town of Bariloche. This is beautiful but rough and steep country that alternates between stands of ancient growth trees and vast, rolling meadows. Red stags are quite abundant. In fact, it is routine to see 10 to 20 stags a day. Most will be of SCI silver-medal quality, but many will be of gold-medal quality. In fact, the second-best stag ever killed in Argentina - a high CIC gold-medal animal of 228 points - was killed on this estancia, and a 222-pointer was killed on the adjoining estancia this past season. Hunters generally see more stags per day before and after the rut as compared to during the rut. Hunting is physically easier during the rut, as hunting outside the rut requires some fairly stiff climbing and long horseback rides. Fortunately, the horses are tame, the saddles are comfortable and guides Cane St. Antonín and Fabián Pérez-Catán are as professional and competent as any I have met anywhere.

Four-wheel-drive vehicles and stands near salt blocks can mitigate some of the rigors for older and out-of-shape hunters, but the hunt still requires........(continued)

 
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