The truth of it is that everyone who has experienced High-Volume shooting has a different opinion about it. In this month’s Worldwide Wing Shooter, I’ll try my best to break it down for you.
In the realm of dove shooting, a great day in Mexico might be a standard day in Uruguay, while a standard day in Uruguay, might be a below average day in some of the Argentine or Bolivian roosts. A day of high-volume shooting in my opinion, is this: that if you have a loaded gun in your hands that you can shoot at a reasonable target somewhere in your shooting window. All day, every minute. That is high volume, meaning the only break you take is a break that you want to take.
There’s non-stop action for high-volume dove hunting in Bolivia.
In Cordoba, Argentina, the capitol of High-Volume wingshooting, the record for most doves in a single day is supposedly around 15,000. Yes, you read that right, it’s an astronomical number. My disclaimer: at the risk of angering the outfitters of Cordoba, I don’t believe it. It’s not that I don’t believe the numbers of doves are there, because they are. There are roosts and outfitters in Cordoba that have that kind of shooting. My problem with 15,000 is what is considered a dead bird. Is a feather a dead bird? Or a bird that hits the ground? There is just no way to substantiate the claim. I do believe though that the doves are there for that kind of shooting. On top of that if you do the math, it seems almost impossible.
A day of high-volume shooting is a great way to work on weaknesses in your shooting. Maybe you’ve had problems with a certain shot, a left to right crosser. Or a certain overhead angle, my recommendation is to shoot that left right crosser or problem bird until you’ve got it down. Then pick out another problem presentation and shoot it until you’ve got it down.
Click here to watch high-volume dove hunting video at the Posta del Norte Lodge in Argentina.
Also be sure to take progressively longer shots. Overhead or crossers, try working your shots out to a distance. Start close and work your way out to farther and farther birds. By the end of a three day shoot you should be hitting birds you would have never have tried to shoot on opening day here is the states. The enormous amount of birds in some of the huge roosts of South America allow you to pick and choose, not just take what comes.
Some doves taken by hunters in the high-volume hunting area around Tamaulipas, Mexico.
The flyways and direction the birds take is remarkably consistent, allowing a shooter to truly dial in on those sporty fifty yard crossers. It always amazes me that the birds tend to fly the same routes, and speeds. Granted that there are always going to be a few odd birds, that don’t follow that prescribed route. The majority of the flights follow a similar route, which after an hour or more at the same stand you may have shot all the variable presentations or flyways that are presented from that blind. If you find yourself shooting the same three to four presentations and hitting each well, don’t be afraid to ask the outfitter to change your location to give you a different presentation. This will give you new presentations to work on and keep the shooting challenging.
The Entre Rios Lodge in Argentina is a luxury destination for high-volume wingshooting.
In my opinion High-Volume dove shooting is one of the best and quickest ways to improve your shooting overall. Nowhere in the shooting world can you shoot as much, as quickly and instinctively as you can at one of the major roosts of Argentina or Bolivia. Try to look at high-volume shooting as an opportunity to improve your overall shooting with the added bonus of non-stop fun.
The lodges of South America that offer truly High-Volume shooting have the guest experience down to a fine art. Most reputable lodges offer gourmet food, fine bedding and newly remodeled interiors. The drinks are included, the food in is included, but the shells….never are. There are High-Volume lodges that are the definition of luxury, with a cost that reflects amenities that make it a luxury lodge. There are also lodges that may not be considered luxurious, but can definitely be considered comfortable, while still having the short drives and High-Volume shooting you would expect in South America.
Price almost always correlates directly with the level of accommodation, as an outfitter that has been in business for five or more years, has the shooting. Cordoba for example is an incredibly competitive market, where no outfitter can afford to skimp on bath soap, let alone the shooting.
So you can have the best of both worlds: High-Volume wingshooting and luxury accommodations. It all sounds good to me.