Enter booking agent Dale Hedgepeth of Hedgepeth's Adventures in Hunting. Hedgepeth tells me he has thoroughly researched the big game possibilities in Uruguay. At the invitation of the Uruguayan Ministry of Tourism, he has made three exploratory hunts, and is now ready to offer hunts to the public. Species in the offing are Asiatic water buffalo, fallow deer, axis deer and wild boar.
What makes Uruguay such an interesting hunting destination is the fact that the country has virtually no hunting culture. The game has received little or no hunting pressure, and accordingly, Dale Hedgepeth says hunters going there early will likely take some exceptional trophies. That's particularly true as regards water buffalo, he says, and he has high trophy expectations for the other species too.
Water buffalo were imported into Uruguay about 20 years ago and released on an 18,000-acre ranch called El Tesoro de los Bufalos in the far north of the country where the habitat is perfect for them. It is a hot, swampy area with vast rice plantations. The initial herd of 20 animals has now multiplied to over 400 animals, Hedgepeth says, and they are doing extensive damage, so the landowner is eager to get the herd thinned out. He will permit hunters to take 20 animals a year, a number that will limit damage but maintain trophy quality at the same time. The oldest animals are over 20 years old, and are absolute monsters, according to Hedgepeth.
The planned buffalo hunts here are scheduled to run three days and involve........(continued)