I’m always amazed at how easy the hunting is and how close the dove roost is − only 5 to 10 minutes from the lodge and the perdiz fields are 5 to 20 minutes away. The duck hunting is close as well, usually less than a 20 minute drive. Los Laureles is one of the few lodges in Argentina that has high quality mixed bag hunting literally at their door step.
I usually go for the standard package of 5 nights and 6 days of hunting (2 half days and 4 full days).
Los Laureles Lodge is named after indigenous trees of the region. The lodge sits on 5,000 deeded acres with a total of 40,000 acres available exclusively to their clients. Livestock grazing and farming are the dominant land uses and a good portion of the property borders the Parana River. Located about 50 miles from Parana, it’s a 5-hour drive from Buenos Aires or a short flight to Parana followed by a 1-hour drive. The 12,000 square-foot lodge accommodates 12 hunters in 6 double rooms each with a private bath. The 5-star lodge has a spacious lounge with a fireplace and bar, a dining area with an adjacent grill area and a swimming pool. May through August is the combination season (duck, dove, perdiz) and from September through April high-volume dove shooting is the order of the day.
The doves came in never-ending waves. There were singles, pairs and flocks of several hundred birds in the air continually. Riding a 10 to 15 mile per hour breeze made for challenging shooting. It’s doubtful that you will ever encounter so many doves in a single moment, hour or day anyplace else.
We went perdiz hunting. I told my hunting buddy Alan Sands to take the first shot as we headed toward the dog. As we approached, Candela crept forward then assumed the classic pose − head forward, back straight and tail rigid. The moment he reached the dog a single brown bombshell exploded from the short cover. Alan responded with a shotgun blast and the first perdiz of the trip was on the ground. Within seconds Candela was on the bird and headed back to our guide, Chile.
The ducks were moving between a marsh and an adjacent corn field that was flooded by the rising waters of the Parana River. A blind was set up along the fence line that bisected the marsh and the corn field and we put out two dozen decoys. I was still sleepy-eyed from an early wake-up call when Alan spotted a distant flock of ducks. The sight of the inbound birds sharpened my senses and suddenly I was wide awake! The Brazilian ducks made one pass then settled in with wings cupped only 25 yards above the spread. Alan said, "Now," and we rose together. I snapped the over/under to my shoulder, caught up with a target and pulled the trigger. Alan’s shot followed and two birds hit the water almost simultaneously!
A pair of Brazilian ducks coming into the decoys.
Los Laureles Lodge
Hunters relaxing after a successful hunt at Los Laureles Lodge.
Los Laureles Lodge is one of those places that always stays with you. You talk about it, think about it and want to return. I’m ready to go back there.
Gary Kramer is a photographer/writer based in Willows, California. Having traveled to 57 countries in search of fishing, hunting and photographic opportunities, he is among the most traveled outdoor journalists in the world. He has published five books, hundreds of articles and thousands of photos. You can visit his web site at http://www.garykramer.net.