By Jason Tremblay, DSC Northeast
As a parent, creating memories with our children that will outlive us, and potentially encourage their children to do the same, is priceless. The wonderful outfitters that support DSC Northeast with donations for our annual fundraising auction provided the opportunity to do just that!
Thanks to Eduardo Martinez, owner of SYC Sporting Adventure in the Cordoba area of Argentina, my son and I went on our first trip ever as just father and son to do a dove hunt in his world-class lodge with his incredible staff and chef. When I told my son that we would be going dove hunting in Argentina for his summer vacation, his excitement brought a smile that lit up the room. As a father, that image will be burned into my memory forever.
We talked and planned the trip for months, discussing what gear to bring and what to expect. The thrill of the hunt was building with each conversation. Dove are a pest in Argentina with a population in excess of 50 million that destroys crops and reduces their GDP, so it’s an experience that cannot be duplicated anywhere else in the world. Hunters should be prepared to be humbled on their first day, and ecstatic by their last day once the distance and lead required to successfully drop the birds becomes instinctual.
As for my son and me, we were tucked into some light cover on most days, armed with a 20-gauge shotgun, quarter-inch thick pads on the shoulder and gun gloves to protect the hands from the hot barrel. Why was the barrel hot? The non-stop action! The flights of the doves that we saw kept us in constant motion. Our bodies were a bit sore from being in a state of perpetual mobility. During the time that we spent in the field, we went through 4,150 rounds in 3 days! Luckily for us, the pads worked their magic leaving only slightly sore shoulders.
I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the exquisite taste of Argentinian beef coupled with their world-class Malbec wine, as we enjoyed a daily 3-course lunch and dinner. We usually kept our breakfast light as we were anxious to get out into the field. Imagine our surprise our first day in the field to see a makeshift fire pit along with a table and chairs as our host prepared our lunch! The experience of sitting fireside and being served our meal right there, complete with dessert, is unforgettable. A gourmet chef would have been envious.
Most important—and what is most memorable about this hunt—on the last day of our adventure, my son leaned into me and stated slightly above a whisper, “Dad, this was the best trip I’ve ever been on.” A life-time memory was created.