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Big Game Adventures - Part I

After 4 incredible days of Wingshooting, the Kings, along with two huge friends of them, Toddy and Robby, decided to start a long trip leading to La Pampa, looking for Red Stag, Buffalos, antelopes, or whatever crosses before their bows and arrows.

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It was kind of a cloudy and dark day when my phone rang and, after a shy “time to wake up”, I jumped off the bed and took a quick shower. Clean and ready, I took all the necessary stuff that I needed for the field and went direct to the dining room. While I was getting closer, I noticed a shape coming from one of the tables used for breakfast and going back to the kitchen and, after walking a few meters, I opened the door separating the dining room from the reception and gave my good mornings to “Chabo”, who was with a huge smile – something weird on a dark and early Monday morning- and gently waiting for us with an incredible breakfast.

One after the other, the Kings, Robby and Toddy were all ready to have breakfast.

After this super energetic morning, we said thanks to Chabo and decided to put everything on the trucks; we all knew it was going to be a long but great day of hunting.

Before leaving the lodge, I talked to Julio and we decided that he was going to go first (with Tim and Robby) since he was the only one that knew the road, and I was going to go behind him with Royce, Jake and Todd, following him closer and paying attention, but of course with my GPS On, just in case, like once Lennon said: “Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans”

After 8 hours of driving and a quick stop on the gas station, we arrived to Ataliva Roca, La Pampa where Nicolas was waiting for us with a bowl of hot soup followed by a plate with stag raviolis, which I think is the best option to reload our energies from the long trip. We accompanied lunch with water and wine, and once we had eaten good and felt good, while Nicolas was organizing the afternoon hunt, we all went to the back of the house so the hunters can do a little practice with target shooting. Something I found funny was that there were two options: the classic circle towards which you shoot, or the favorite of everyone’s: a wild pig made of foam.

The match clock showed 4:15 pm when the entire group finally went out looking for the next big adventure.
They left all together by the main road 700 mts before getting to open field. There, everyone took different ways, each one following their own guide. Everyone were looking for a red stag, except for Tim, who was desperate to take his Water Buffalo home (of course, hunted with bow and arrow).

Even though they dind’t have many hours to hunt, everyone told me that while returning, they saw many animals, but the shots were not clear (remember that, with bow and arrow, the distances are limited).

That night we had stag meat with mashed sweet potato for dinner, always accompanied with the classic homemade wine from Nicolas’ family. Once the dinner was over, everyone went to the living room to relax and finish the day with a glass of whisky or just a beer. Julio and I went to bed earlier than our guests since we were a little bit tired after driving for 8 hours.

The second day was incredible. By the time we got together, we were told that Robby, who that morning decided to go out with a rifle, have already hunted a stag and an antelope. That was, according to what the guide said, an incredible shot, especially the stag’s one, because it was not on an easy position to be hunted. It was difficult for Robby to hide his huge smile while he was telling us about what he did that morning and the adrenaline he felt the moment before pulling the trigger.

That same morning I was with Jake and Franco (Jake’s guide) waiting for a stag to come closer and drink some water. Surprising for us, especially for Franco who was not expecting us to be lucky so fast, two beautiful male stags of about 13 or 14 inches appeared within 15 minutes. The tension was incredible. It was, for me, a spectacular moment, knowing that even taking a deep noisy breathes would alert them. You could notice the way they were standing, paying attention to any changes in the ambient, to anything they were not used to. That was giving me the felling that they knew we were there but it was difficult for them to see us. I could notice that Jake had chosen the big one (both of them were a pair of amazing stags) because he could have shooted the smaller one twice, but he didn’t want to. It is said that Patience is bitter, but its fruit is sweet, and so was the stag, because after 15 tens but nice minutes, the huge stag that Jake had between his eyes, was exposed, giving Jake one last chance to shot, because as we all know, it’s almost impossible to have a second chance with bow and arrow.

Suddenly, with our eyes on the stag, I heard the pulley’s sound stretching to the maximum. I thought to myself “I know our stag can hear that too, but since he can´t see us, he´s standing still, but paying a bit more of attention”. Finally, Jake lets his arrow go. Quickly and before the arrow gets to the target, the two male stags and the group of females that were coming and going, started to move, but before the biggest stag started moving, I could see with the sensor on my camera how the arrow hits it on the top of his body. Franco told us that it is not the best spot to hit it because there are no organs and it´s impossible that he bleed as much as we need to kill him, but there is always the possibility of an infection. Franco also suggested that we wait 20 minutes to go and get it, and so we did…

To be continued…

Juan Aguiló

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