Despite its stately 19th century facade, Pica Zuro is a modern launchpad for Dove hunters. It’s grand, it’s comfortable, and it’s close to the Doves. Located in the province of Córdoba, in Central Argentina, 100 kilometres North of the Córdoba City International Airport, it’s home to some of the best Dove shooting found not just in South America but the world.
The Lodge is positioned with hundreds of private-access hunting locations just a stone’s throw from its doors. With more than 250,000 acres of land spread over a mixture of steep hills, sunflower fields, creeks beds, and sorghum plots, hunters can enjoy a variety of quality sport all year round. Each day, travelling guns leave the Lodge’s pastoral setting and move to the hills and fields, where Doves fly in spectacular numbers.
For more than 25 years, seasoned international wing shooters have recognized Córdoba as the world’s leading destination for high-volume Dove hunting. Discovered by David Denies, the pioneer of dove hunting in Argentina since 1984, Pica Zuro has set the benchmark for others to follow for over twenty years. These things combined with more than 320 days of sun per year and easy access with direct flights, it’s simple to see why the Pica Zuro Lodge is a Lodge on many keen hunters bucket list.
Forget what you’ve heard about dove hunting in Mexico or what you used to hear about the doves in Colombia. Simply put, the Dove shooting available in Córdoba is, on its worst day, exceptional and more typically is beyond comparison with any other dove hunting resource around the globe. Considered by many, for a good reason, as the Dove hunting capital of the world, the region is home to more than 50 million non-migratory Doves. Reproducing at an average rate of five times per year, the Lodge and its surrounding area have a near endless stream of these small, popular birds.
Apart from the sheer volume of Doves in Cordoba, the variety of the shooting is staggering. Throughout the rolling farmland landscape, located within a short drive, the Lodge has fifty-five hunting locations, all designed to utilize this staggering bird resource. Here the birds fly simultaneously in almost every direction, breaking, banking and swirling with many at heights that will test even the most expert of shots. The birds fly literally in waves, darkening the skies, and whether you wish to focus on sheer numbers, on average, hunters shoot around 1,500 cartridges each day or go for the most challenging shots; the options are yours.
Each spot and landscape offers a different hunting challenge each day, with the ability to dial up or dial down the difficulty of the shooting within each location, and the destination is ideally suited for keen guns of all abilities.
This bird was named Eared Dove for a dark patch of feathers on the side of its upper cheek that looks like an ear. A strong flier that can reach speeds of up to 55 mph, the Doves measure approximately 9.4 inches long with a long wedge-like tail and weigh around 4oz. In size, they’re very similar to that of North America’s famous Mourning Dove, and it can be pretty tricky to tell the two species apart. Farming practices and vast roost areas have allowed these birds to thrive to population levels of epic proportions. Various recent estimates in the Cordoba region put the Eared dove populations at over fifty million birds.
The shooting season at Pica Zuro Lodge in Argentina is pretty much all year round; however, it can get split into four seasons depending on what you’d like to experience.
From July through to February is the most popular time to visit; it almost forms half the lodges year and includes the end of winter, entire spring and part of summer. For the end of winter and most of the spring, temperatures are mild, skies blue and the wind predominantly from the east. At the tail end of this block is summer. The weather is still relatively settled; however, the wind is primarily from the North, and tropical showers are expected late in the day.
During this period, the Lodge can present every bird in the book, from sky-scraping high Doves to low and slow birds perfect for beginners – and all flying at every possible angle. They can also ‘duplicate’ every game birdshot in the book – from high Pheasants, crossing Ducks, or incoming Grouse. If hunters want low birds, they hunt the ridges; and if they wish to shoot high Doves, they go deep into the valleys.
From February to March, the weather is sunny and dry, with only the occasional shower. During this period, many of the best hunts occur in the early mornings and late evenings. The shooting during this period is much like June and July, but with the added benefit of longer days and warmer temperatures.
From March to June is Autumn, and while some rain is possible, the region rarely receives more than a day or two of rain per month. High concentrations of low-flying birds feed in temporary roosts, and depending on the wind speed and direction; high flying birds are readily available.
Finally, from June to July, the morning is cold, but the evenings comfortable, with blue skies every day and a predominant south wind. A combination of low and high-flying birds are available, and shooting will commence over flatlands or hills depending on the conditions.
The daily hunting program at Pica Zuro Lodge generally starts at around 8.00am, with a hearty breakfast before a short drive to the shoot.
Once in the field, you will be assigned a pick-up boy, who will direct you to your hunting stand for the first shoot of the day and be on hand to provide you with your shells and refreshments. Once you get set up and ready to go, the hunting begins, and either one or two full-time, it can be that fast and furious, bird boys will assist you. The head guide on the shoot will also visit you from time and time and always be on hand to provide any tips on shooting and hunting if desired. Depending on the time of year, you will shoot until noon, when you’ll get treated to a tremendous Asado-style lunch, served in the shade of a comfortable safari tent, featuring Argentina’s excellent beef and superb wines.
Many shooters like to enjoy a nap after lunch, with afternoon hunting sessions re-commencing at around 2.00am or 2:30am, and continuing until late in the day. At Pica Zuro Lodge, 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. After hunting, there is time for showers and cocktails at the lodge before dinner.
To find out more about Dove Shooting In Argentina at Pica Zuro Lodge, visit our YouTube channel.
When you arrive at the swinging gate outside Pica Zuro and proceed up the winding drive, you’ll soon sense that the Lodge has had time to age and settle. Things look comfortable; Geese swim in the pond, and fan blinds swirl on the porch. There’s a feeling of old-world elegance that starts outdoors and extends throughout each room of the property. It’s a perfect background for Dove shooters and their guests to enjoy, unwind and revel in the perfect shooting holiday.
Photographs of Pica Zuro have never done it justice. Some significant old buildings are like that, and this is just that. The rooms are bigger, the ceilings higher, and the chairs softer than they seem in photos. A photo doesn’t capture the whisper of the fan blades overhead or the tinkling of ice in glasses.
Pica Zuro is a full-sized lodge that will accommodate as many as sixteen shooters in a total of nine bedrooms, each with private en-suites and baths. Shared accommodation is the norm, but many shooters enjoy the privacy of their own accommodation, and single rooms are popular, with a small surcharge. In addition to the well-appointed bedrooms, the Lodge also offers vast living and lounge areas, a pool, billiards table and an attractive bar area.
For those that need to keep in touch with home base, there is satellite television, internet access and, of course, telephone. The Lodge also offers maid and laundry service and an on-site masseuse.
After a full day shooting, you may want some quiet time or a place to laugh with friends while professional waiters bring drinks and snacks.
It also has many necessities and extras that you may or may not expect to find in a shooting lodge, including; a recreation room, gun cleaning table and facilities, telephone, and Internet access (WIFI).
At Pica Zuro, they take your dining experiences seriously, and they strive to make every meal as fantastic as every trip to the field. They offer a la carte dining to our shooting guests. Their kitchens come to life through the use of fresh and regionally representative meats and produce. Combining these elements creates delicious flavours and varied textures that harbour hidden stories and package traditions on each plate. A top-notch team of experienced national and international chefs, trained in both classic and avant-garde culinary techniques, execute your food.
Days start with a hearty breakfast composed of various homemade bread, jam, meadow honey, fresh fruit, natural yoghurts, cereals and eggs prepared any one of six ways, including porridge, French toast and the daily special.
Their legendary field lunches at Cordoba are all about Asado-style cooking. Lunch is served al fresco in the hunting area each day, featuring various meats, like grilled Dove breasts, short ribs, lamb and chicken.
The evening meal is a celebration of fine dining in a casual setting, and it is a chance for their house chefs to shine. Again, options are a la carte, so if you enjoy their famous beef and wish to enjoy a steak each evening, they’ll happily grill one to order. But if you’d like to be a bit more adventurous and want to try Risotto with calamari ink or grilled trout with tomato puree, then we encourage you to sample their speciality dishes.
Finally, there are the desserts, with each day bringing a new creation, from flan to local delights such ad dulce de leche, plus fruit, homemade ice creams, and pies.
Their lunch and dinner menus get paired with some of Argentina’s and the world’s best wines from Bodega Catena Zapata. They feel that the food they present and their wines should mirror the sporting opportunities on offer and be the very best available. Their wines boast many accolades from the wine community, and a Bodega Catena Zapata wine recently received a “number four in the world” icon ranking from Wine Advocate. These are truly great wines that hold a special place in their culture, and the Lodge is proud to serve them.
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 more subtle activities, the lodge offers a massage room for the ultimate relaxation, a swimming pool and a fire pit for those lazy evenings catching up with stories told and a drink in your hand.
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 Aries
After you have picked up your luggage and cleared customs, take a taxi to your hotel in Buenos Aires. (Not Included)
Overnight Accommodation: Buenos Aires Hotel (Twin room) B/B
In the morning take a taxi back to the airport for your connecting flights to Cordoba.
On arrival at Cordoba, our staff and transport will be waiting to transfer you to the shooting fields for lunch. After lunch, you will start shooting. Check-in and welcome drinks at the lodge will follow from the afternoon shooting session.
Overnight Accommodation: Pica Zuro Lodge (Twin Room) F/B
Over the next 4 days, the program generally starts at 8:00 AM with a hearty breakfast and a short drive to the shoot. 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. Depending on the time of the year, you will shoot till noon when you will be treated to an incredible barbeque lunch, shaded by a comfortable safari tent, tasting some of Argentina’s wonderful beef and superb wines. The afternoon begins at around 2 or 2:30 pm and continues until almost dark. There is no quitting time, good sense and tired shooters dictate when the day is through. After, you will return to the lodge for cocktails and an early dinner.
Overnight Accommodation: Pica Zuro 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.
On arrival in Buenos Aires, take a taxi to the International Airport.
Depart Buenos Aries
Average Customer Satisfaction Score 91%
"Outstanding. Exceeded my expectations. Maria, William, Chavez and Armando were most gracious, helpful and simply enjoyable to be around. I highly recommend Pica Zuro shooting trip. One of the best ever"
"Spectacular sportsmans paradise. Service exceptional. I will never forget this excellent time"
"Excellent! Friendliness and effort of all the staff was beyond expectations. I would love to get back in the future"
The season runs from All year.
Season: All year
Peak: October to April
Gun Licence (approx $70 pp per day)
Gun Hire (approx $95 pp per day)
Shells (approx $15 per box)
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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