Having experienced firsthand the fabulous Guayascate Lodge, I continued my Argentinean sporting odyssey to La Porteñita, a working estancia not far from the dove fields of Guayascate. Situated at the top of a hill, this quaint lodge offered impressive views over the surrounding countryside. Lodge manager Esteban “Pato” Quinteros started off the day by leading a tour of the lodge, which has a relaxed yet genteel charm. Pato explained that La Porteñita was originally the vacation home of a wealthy Argentinean family before Hayes & Hayes Outfitters purchased the property in 1996. Since that time, La Porteñita has undergone a transformation, including some substantial remodeling, and now provides a luxurious base for dove shooters from around the world.
Our first night passed quickly, with a fabulous dinner of steak complemented by fine wine, followed by dreams of the dove shooting to follow. When morning arrived, we made our way to the dining room, where we visited with a group of close friends from Florida, larger-than-life characters returning to Argentina for an annual dove pilgrimage in its tenth year.
Soon we departed for the dove fields and were met by our birdboys, as Argentinean loaders are known. They already had constructed blinds and were waiting patiently with guns and shells—and fresh coffee—at the ready. With great professionalism and little fuss, we were each introduced to our man for the next two days. We shot without respite until lunchtime. The fields were alive with doves and we saw so many birds as to spoil a man for Southern dove shooting in the U.S., forever.
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