On our journey through the Cordoba region we decided to stop in and join some clients for lunch at Montaraz, which offers some of the best pigeon shooting to be found in Argentina. We are both very fond of the “grey grouse” back home and felt it would be rude not to sample the goods. Shooting pigeons in Argentina is done in the same way as shooting them back in the UK, over decoys on a flight path. As with most types of pigeon shooting this normally takes place over crops and fields. Our hide had been cut out of a small section of scrub, overlooking a dusty cattle pen, which was full of Aberdeen Angus. It turns out they were one of Argentina’s best show herds.
I doubt I will look back on this morning with fond memories of how pretty the immediate location was (the backdrop was stunning with mountains in the background), but the shooting was entertaining. Not only did the pigeon offer good sport but trying to shoot them without angering one of the bulls with a spread of 6 shot was very challenging. Within a couple of hours we had both hit our quotas and it was time to retire for some lunch. I don’t think that the Argentine pigeon is as challenging or as sporting as our wild woodie but they are certainly more consistent and they offer a fun alternative to the doves.
Montaraz Lodge, which dates back to 1669, is a former Jesuit mission and retains its roots as a working estancia, making it one of the most traditional shooting lodges in Argentina. The estancia is built around a central courtyard, which is home to one of the country’s oldest vineyards. As you wander down the corridors of Montaraz you can feel the rich history oozing from its pores; this is certainly not a purpose-built shooting lodge. Up to ten guests are welcome at any one time. There are eight singles and one double bedroom, which have recently been converted. In the grounds there is a tennis court and a swimming pool making this a great destination for any couples wishing to make a trip to Argentina together.
Montaraz is a fascinating, very comfortable and relaxing place to stay. It is the perfect addition either before or after a trip to one of our dove shooting lodges in Cordoba.