Sierra Brava Dove Hunting Newsletter – September 2008

Words from the owner

Unbelievable! Since our last newsletter in February, things could not be better. We recently celebrated our 8th year of operations. We had an excellent April and May season where clients enjoyed some of the best flatland shooting in Cordoba. In June, we started hunting the Macha area and it is clear that 2008 will be the best year ever to date in terms of quality and volume of the hunting!

At the lodge, things are running very smoothly. We are now up to 20 people working at the lodge as we continually improve the quality of the food and accommodations. We recently hired a new lodge manager Eduardo Sartorelli who has 4 years of experience at 5-star hotels.

As we enter our busy September-December months, we expect all of our repeat clients to enjoy probably the best shooting they have experienced. And to our new clients coming during these months, prepare yourselves for the trip of a lifetime!

Shooting Update from Ezequiel Crea

In the last 5 years of scouting birds, there has never been as many birds as this year. This is especially true of our main shooting area – the Macha roost. As many of you know we mainly shoot the Macha roost area which is located only 15 minutes from the lodge. The birds typically migrate from this area from April to July, which is the Argentine harvest season. This year the birds arrived in late May (earlier than usual) and have already produced one hatching. All of our flyways are working perfectly and the variety and volume of the shooting has been off the charts! As an early indication of the volume of the birds, we have four new 4,000 club members in the last few months.

Featured Employee – Ezequiel Crea

Calm yet passionate about his work, Ezequiel “Zeke” Crea is one of the best guides in the business. Zeke, who is 28 years old, started in the business in the 90s working as a bird boy for the Hayes Brothers. Zeke proved to be an excellent bird boy and was promoted to scout. For the last five years he has been one of the most invaluable hunting guides in Cordoba. Zeke has covered the entire North of Cordoba and really understands the birds flying behavior. He also has an excellent rapport with the bird boys, who are known by our clients for being a fun yet hard working. Finally, he has a good working relationship with the other outfitters in the region which is important when it is necessary to share fields or shells.

Zeke lives in Jesus Maria with his wife and 7-year old son. He learned to speak English from the clients. His passion besides shooting is fishing. Zeke hopes to one day retire to the South of Argentina in Patagonia working as a fishing guide.

The Latest and Greatest Improvements

We have been quite busy at Sierra Brava trying to continually improve the quality of the operation. In April and May we were able to incorporate two new fields during the “flatland” hunting season. One of these fields was the site of the world record – over 10,000 doves shot in one day!

In the last six months, we purchased five new Beretta Urika II 20 gauge shotguns and recently ordered two Beretta Silver Pigeon 28 gauge over and unders. We also upgraded our fleet of vehicles as we purchased a new Toyota Hilux 4×4 and a new trailer for the field lunches. We incorporated 2 motorcycles for scouting and a newer van to transport the bird boys.

Frequently Asked Question

How does the farm rental process work?

Since we are known to have the best value in Cordoba, we need to keep the cost of farm rentals under control. At the same time, we recognize the importance of having world class fields. In fact despite being one of the smaller operations in Cordoba, we are known for having the best fields in the province. Our secret is basically a combination of hard work, connections and personal relationships.

The first logical source of farm rentals is clients of Juan Jose Sala’s father, who is the most prominent cardiologist in Cordoba. As many of you can imagine, if a man saves your life there is no problem “giving” his son a farm rental. The second source is constantly being on the lookout for fields and building personal relationships. A classic example is the field of Ordonez which is one of our best properties. After visiting the 88-year old owner on several occasions, a contract was very close to signing. To clinch the deal, Juan Jose sent his brother Javier another excellent physician to visit Mr. Ordonez. He gave him a free check-up and completely changed the medial drugs that were being prescribed. The owner started feeling much better and was so grateful he rented the field for five years instead of the normal one-year contract. Understanding the owners’ needs and building personal relationships helps us capture the best fields around and just as importantly at the right price!

Argentina Summer/Fall Dates

Some of the best shooting in Cordoba are during the warmer months of October-March. We have had strong interest for these dates especially the month of February. There are still some excellent dates available in January and March where you can enjoy the sunflower shooting. Finally, don’t forget about our incredible father/son deal in November and December where the father pays $1,440 and the son goes free.

I certainly hope you have enjoyed our newsletter. Thank you very much for your time and hope to see you soon!

Juan Jose Sala