Argentina Part Two: Waterfowling On A Different Level

We fired up the engines in the inky dark. A heavy chop blanketed the bay. We cinched our jackets tight against the wicked wind and faced the stern so we could breath. Then it was headlamps and knee deep muck, marching, lugging decoys and cut branches, to build a blind.

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As night gave way to the blue grey of morning ducks began buzzing the blind. Our set-up was perfect. With each pass the wind welcomed the birds into our spread. Coaxed by the expert calling of our local guides, Rosy Bills, Silver Teal, and Whistling ducks cupped their wings and dropped from the sky.

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The vastness of the wetland system we hunted was impressive and matched step for step by the hunting. Half a world from home, it had all the familiar elements that sparked my love of waterfowling many years ago stateside. Add to the mix a vast array of new bird species, and an incredible quantity of ducks, and it was truly unforgettable.

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But what stands out to me, as the weeks pass from my time in Argentina, was the people. The guides I shared a blind with and the locals who make the Santa Fe province their home made the trip. The guides are experts at their craft and work tirelessly every day. Everyone I met was quick with a smile or a joke and willing to put up with my awful Spanish. The hunting brought us, but it was the warmth of the people and their culture that will, hopefully, oneday, bring me back.

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