La Portenita Lodge, nestled within a beautiful countryside setting, is situated within the confines of a true working Argentine Estancia and offers some of the best Dove shooting found anywhere in the country and even the continent. Located just a fifty minute transfer time from the local airport, the Lodge has welcomed guests since the mid-nineties.
Under the control of H&H, the only outfitter in the region, the Lodge owns and controls over 20,000 acres of prime roosting ground for the wild Eared Dove. The landscape is heavily wooded, covered with native trees, know as Piquillin and frequently crossed by natural streams, producing an ideal habitat for the reproduction of these popular game birds. In addition, Alex and Zeke, who take care of the land, plant their own crops exclusively for Doves in the region and use no-till methods, providing the birds with a consistent, unlimited amount of food. Even though the area is already home to a vast population of birds, estimated between 30-32 million, these methods have kept bird numbers at the Lodge consistent and mean they’re now able to offer all-year-round shooting opportunities.
With some of the best shooting in Argentina and the worlds most abundant number of wild Doves, combined with superb food and hospitality, it’s no wonder that La Portenita Lodge is a name on the top of many Wing Shooters bucket lists.
The Eared Dove is the most prominent game bird in South America and Argentina. A recent study by Argentine Game and Natural Resource estimated the population in the region to be upwards of 32 million. With swathes of prime habitat and a vast abundance of food, the birds have no fixed breeding season and breed all year round, just one reason why the numbers are so large. Feeding primarily on a diet of seeds, fruits and plants, they’re massive agricultural pests, and hunters in the region are welcomed with open arms by the farmers and landowners.
The bird itself is a stout-bodied bird with a short neck and short slender bill, weighing around 4oz and measuring typically between 8 and 9 inches. They’re renowned for their long wedge-like tail and olive/brown plumage, and tiny black spots on their wings. In addition, they feature a grey crown, black lines behind the eyes and ear-coverts; it’s these black markings that give the bird its ‘eared’ name.
Strong-flying and acrobatic, they can reach speeds of over fifty miles per hour. As a result, they provide an excellent challenge for even the most experienced travelling gun. Their flight is often high, fast and direct; they fly very similar to Pigeons, using sharp flicks of their wings to propel themselves through the air.
Want to know more about the Eared Dove, then read our Species Spotlight: Eared Dove.
A holiday to the La Portenita Lodge is a generally laid back affair, and the physical exertion is minimal. Each day you’ll get picked up by the Lodges 15 seat passenger vans with air conditioning, refreshments and two-way radios and driven the short distance to the hunting grounds; from there, there’s just a short walk to the drives, so a sturdy pair of boots is recommended.
The most exertion comes from the shooting itself, as the action for the birds can be fast and furious, and it’s a hot barrel destination with the average gun shooting around 1,500 cartridges a day. Shooting this many shells can be punishing on the shoulder, so we advise taking a quality shoulder pad or shooting vest.
A keen and well-seasoned wing shooter would appreciate this programme due to the opportunities for a wide range of challenging birds and could take great satisfaction in picking the most challenging targets. However, at the same time, it’s an ideal experience for the beginner and intermediate gun to try their hand at plentiful well-presented birds, with plenty of opportunities to improve their skill level, whilst being well looked after on their peg.
To find out more about Dove Shooting In Argentina at La Portenita Lodge, visit our YouTube channel.
The daily hunting program at La Portenita Lodge, generally starts at around 7.00am, with a hearty breakfast before a short drive to the shoot. Once in the field, you will be assigned with your own experienced professional bird boy, who will provide shells, act as a loader, retrieve fallen birds and keep drinks cool and at the ready. Once you get set up and ready to go, it can be fast and furious; however, the bird boy will be on hand to assist you.
Depending on the time of year, you will shoot until noon, when you’ll get treated to a tremendous Asado-style lunch, complemented with salads, gourmet desserts and fantastic wines. After lunch, many travelling guns like to enjoy a nap in one of the hammocks, mellowing out and resting before the afternoon session gets underway. The afternoon hunting sessions re-commences at around 2.00am or 2:30am, and you will continue to shoot the influx of Doves until almost dark. There is no designated time to finish; however, good sense and tired shooters know when they’ve had enough and when the day is done.
Upon returning to the Lodge, you can relax with a hot shower, enjoy some drinks and tasty hors d’oeuvres while waiting for a freshly prepared dinner. The Lodge has professional massage therapists on staff to help you unwind and relax at the end of the day.
La Porteñita sits atop a hill with magnificent views of the beautiful countryside that surrounds it. Once the vacation home of a wealthy Argentine family, it remains a favourite destination for shooters who appreciate the subtle sophistication and abundant hospitality still found at La Porteñita. The house is set within the confines of a working Argentine Estancia, making for a unique hunting experience. Open since 1996 and recently renovated, the mix of modern furnishings and traditional lodge décor combine to make this a very comfortable and relaxing setting.
The main house has six large bedrooms with en-suite bathrooms overlooking the lodges sensational views of the mountains, park, swimming pool and the gallery. There’s also a separate villa on-site, which offers three additional bedrooms with private bathrooms.
The Lodge is abundant with areas designed for rest and relaxation, especially after a heavy day shooting in the field. These areas include many tranquil porches, a sunken fire pit lounge and even an outdoor swimming pool. All are ideally shared with your partner, fishing buddies or other guests, with a drink in hand.
With a mesmerising driveway up to the Lodge, it certainly gives you the impression of grandeur and that you’d be correct, lined with beautiful trees that give you a warm and inviting feel to what will be the holiday of a lifetime.
During your stay at the Lodge the experienced staff, with over 20 years of experience catering to hunters, will make your stay at La Portenita the holiday of a lifetime. The gourmet meals are a combination of European dishes combined with typical Argentine cuisine. They use their own grass-fed beef, so the meat you enjoy during your stay is second to none. La Portenita Lodge will meet the expectations of the most discerning international traveller.
For either travelling non-hunters or hunters who don’t wish to shoot on every session, you can explore the thousands of stunning acres of the surrounding countryside on either foot or by horseback, and the guides can take you to the best sightseeing spots.
For your convenience, the Lodge also offers free high-speed wireless access. So you can check e-mails or send bragging photos to your friends, family and fellow hunters back home.
The below itinerary is flexible should you require additional shooting days or additional free days to explore; we can tailor this itinerary to suit you personally. Feel free to talk to our travel consultants who can explain all options available.
Depart UK (alternative routes available)
Arrive Buenos Aires
On arrival transfer to the domestic terminal for your connecting flight to Cordoba.
Depart Buenos Aires
On arrival at Cordoba, you will be greeted by a representative from Hayes & Hayes who will be waiting to assist you through customs and if you bring your own gun you will have to be checked by the Argentinean Army at the airport. After clearing customs the staff will be ready to transfer you to the lodge. When you arrive, you will receive a warm welcome from the entire lodge staff and some delightful cocktails. Once you have had time to settle in, you will depart with your guides for your first afternoon’s high volume Dove shooting.
Overnight Accommodation: La Portenita Lodge (Twin room) F/B
Over the following 4 days, your program will generally start at 8:00 am with a hearty breakfast and a short drive to the shoot. Wake up calls and departure times may vary depending on the time of year and where you will be hunting that day. Most drives to the dove fields are 15-50 minutes away from the lodge.
In the field, you will be assigned a pickup boy, who will provide you with shells and refreshments and direct you to your shooting stand. If you are new to wing shooting your Bird boy will give you extra guidance and help you during the day. You will need a good shoulder pad or an adequately padded skeet vest for the vast amount of birds flocking in as you will expect to shoot over 1000 shells in the field.
If at any time the numbers of birds start to decrease in size, the guide will move you on to higher populated areas where they will be feeding.
Overnight Accommodation: La Portenita Lodge (Twin room) F/B
In the morning our staff will transport you to the domestic airport for your return connection flight to Buenos Aires.
Arrive Buenos Aires Depart Buenos Aires
Average Customer Satisfaction Score 92%
"Apart from 16 hours of flying everything from the company to the bird boys and house staff was excellent. Memories too many to list. One lunch time comment stated " The best outdoor lunch I have ever had" I'm a real foodie but the chef who cooked lunch on a steel grid with a shovel and hot ashes was truelly top drawer. Oh and his fresh salads were a revelation. We ate like kings everyday. Only issue we had was a cock up at Buenos Aires airport and nobody could have helped us with that. Gun choice at the lodge was poor and not what we expected. We had invisaged a room with a good choice to choose from in reality we had to pick from 2 semi autos and 10 silver pigeons of which only one was 29" barreled. But the shooting was epic.... Nice touch was the daily spread sheets on performances."
"First class lodge and shooting from start to finish, thanks Sportquest"
"Our trip July 8-14, was the best trip ever, because I took my entire family. The first complaint that I heard, 10 minutes after we arrived, was from my youngest daughter which is 17 years old. She told me the staff was "too polite and helpful". The only other complaint was the day we left, my oldest daughter, which is 23, said she was sad because "leaving La Portenita was like leaving home". I cannot thank your staff enough for the experience that they made possible for my family. We have not stopped talking about Pato, Danielta, Claudio and the friends they all made with the guides. You have a great staff at La Portenita. My oldest daughter just called to let me know that she already had the flight information for the next trip. THANKS AGAIN GUYS for providing a wonderful experience for myself, my wife and the "kids"."
The season runs from All Year.
Season: All Year
Peak: October to April
Cal 12 and 20: 13,75 USD
Cal 28 and 410: 14,75 USD
Remember that Sportquest Holidays' services are completely FREE! When you book a trip with Sportquest Holidays, you never pay more than when you book directly with the lodge and flights independently.
Prices are based on two adults sharing transfers, shooting and accommodation (unless otherwise stated) and are correct at the time of going to press. Subject to time of year or date and currency fluctuations, these prices may fluctuate slightly due to flight price increases or fuel surcharge.
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