A Big Game adventure with two amazing friends

This story started in between Connecticut and New York. We were in a hunting club with my dear friend Bob Serrano talking about his next trip to Argentina. Bob has come to Argentina more than probably 8 or 10 times in the last 15 years but I met him 9 years ago. We normally hunt doves with him; we have been hunting mostly in the northern area of Córdoba, in the flat lands of northern La Dormida.

Bob is a really good hunter and he enjoys a lot shooting the challenging birds, so the last time, when we were in Connecticut at this hunting camp, what we were doing was a competition of rifle shooting, pistol shooting, and some other things like canoeing, but I had to excuse myself because I knew I was going to end up inside the river.

So, when we were at that camp, we talked about doing some Big Hunt in Argentina. Bob is one of the most experienced persons I have ever met when it comes to shooting with bow and arrow. He has been in Africa several times, I don’t know exactly the number (I am not a numbers person) but I remember I saw his videos, and one time I saw a very special one hunting an elephant with a bow and arrow, which really surprised and impacted me as it is a great story. 

When I stayed at his house, he managed to make room for me on his men room with most of his mounted animals and I must admit it was very impressive too see all those animals, and being part of all that history surrounded by a piece of each one of his hunting.

So I talked to Bob and told him about the different options we have at Pointer for Big Hunting in Patagonia, San Luis, La Pampa and Córdoba. We went through different possibilities and so he decided he wanted to do Water Buffalo hunting as a challenge shooting it with bow and arrow.

We also decided to do it in a very challenging place like Rincon Lodge; the challenge was that, at this particular Lodge, there are no brushy areas needed for that kind of hunting so we knew we would just have some huge rocks to hide behind them.

After all that conversation, we started chatting by email, with all the information coming and going, until we could finally set up dates  and, at the end, we decided we would do some combination of Dove Hunting and Big Game Hunting. 

The good thing about hunting in Rincon Lodge is that it is only three hours away from our dove hunting lodges, one of the main reasons that made us choose this place, and also because of the challenge of being horse riding in the high mountains of Córdoba, looking for the best buffalo.

Ever since that day, we agreed I would join him and one of our main guides, Juan Aguiló, would do that too, in order to take some pictures. 

After six months of planning, we met at the airport in Córdoba. We drove him and three more people for dove hunt at La Loma Lodge. Bob came with Eddie, Richard and another Bob: Bob Young. We had a great time hunting together a lot of birds in the hills of Córdoba, smoking a lot of shells until four days after we were ready to go hunting to Rincon.

In the mid time, before he come hunting with us, we found out Bob Young wanted to get his very first Red Stag. He is on his mid fifties and he had never hunted abroad America and he wanted to do his first with us here in Argentina, so we were very pleased to take the two Bobs for Big Game hunting at Rincon.

We arrived in the late evening, ready to have some appetizers, drinks, and to stay at the fire place at the lodge, expecting to have a really nice and relaxing evening. 

The next day, I remember waking up in a beautiful sunny morning that had almost no wind at all and was a bit cold. It was amazing to walk outside, get close to the horses and feel their breath and their worm bodies even though the weather was mostly cold. I cannot express how nice was that feeling, knowing that I was about to go horse riding with my dear friend Bob Serrano and our guest Bob Young in such a paradise as Rincon is. 

It was a good day. At the beginning we approached to some animals but the buffalos were not in range for the bow and arrow hunting. At the same time, we were looking for animals for Bob Young. He wanted a good Red Stag and asked if he could do it with bow and arrow but if not, he would be very happy to do it with his rifle. 

After all morning long, and also afternoon long of horse riding and stalking for red stag, we finally saw a great trophy on the second day, so we left our horses and started walking probably for no more than 200 m. in one hour. It was really important to be patience and to have a good vision of the Stag, just to make the best shot.

The adrenaline of that moment was amazing; I was holding the camera and Bob lay down over this rock and he put his rifle over the top of one of his backpack and our guide Santiago was telling him to hold on. Everything was so smooth and quiet, he was whispering every single word, until bob said “I think I got it, I really do” so Santiago said “yes, you got it, shoot!” and as soon as Santiago said that, we heard right away the strong sound of his rifle, and the Red Stag made a little jump almost behind a rock and he would have disappeared in less than a minute so Santiago hurried up and reloaded Bob’s rifle for a second shot and in less than ten seconds they were ready to pull the trigger again so we heard another loud noise which was this second shot going straight to the point and we saw the animal falling down. The excitement Bob had at that time was just unbelievable. 

The feeling after that awesome shot, the feeling of looking at Bob’s eyes, looking at his excitement, was totally amazing. Santiago, Bob and I, the three of us hugged, jumped in the air and were really happy. We knew that we would have to walk to the animal, take some pictures, make some videos and wait for the guides to come and take the animal back.

For that day, it was it. It was a great day with a story to remember forever and I am looking forward to do it again.

Regarding Bob Serrano, that day he was with Juan and his guide. At the evening he got his dreamed Water Buffalo, which was not a surprise for me because, as I mentioned before, he is one of the best hunters I have ever met. He was very happy since he finally got another desired trophy that I assume is hanging on his walls, in the same room I spent my first night when I visited him a couple of years ago.

I am looking forward for my next meeting with the two Bobs in Connecticut, for some more beers, camaraderie and great fun.

Pablo Aguilo.

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