Orvis is thrilled to partner with renowned food writer and James Beard Award winner Hank Shaw (see Hunter, Angler, Gardener, Cook) to offer a hosted, culinary-focused shooting adventure in Argentina. As a country, Argentina has long been heralded for its rich gastronomic culture, as well as its unparalleled bird shooting. This trip celebrates both, allowing guests the opportunity to eat, shoot, and explore Argentine food culture under the guidance of America's most beloved wild food expert.
The trip begins in Buenos Aires, where guests take in the historic beauty, world-class shopping, and storied culinary scene of South America's most cosmopolitan city. Guests convene for a set dinner at the city's premier parilla (steakhouse), and together the group explores a tasting menu that highlights the grilled meats and paired wines that have made Buenos Aires a gourmand's city. The next morning, the group departs for Entre Rios province and Los Ombues Lodge, where three days of mixed bag hunting follow. Doves, ducks, and perdí z (partridge) abound in the lush crop and wetland immediately surrounding the Lodge, and the capable guide team at Los Ombues facilitate a world-class wingshooting experience across the disciplines. Throughout the stay, host Hank Shaw selects harvested game and local ingredients to showcase at meals, providing tips and tricks on wild food gathering, care, and preparation. Noted Buenos Aires chefs will make cameo appearances to prepare and share meals fresh from the field, highlighting regional ingredients and curated menus that are sure to surprise and delight. Oenophiles will appreciate the curated wine pairings, as the Los Ombues wine stewards will make certain that the country's vineyards are well-represented.
After a final morning of shooting, the group will return to Buenos Aires to enjoy an afternoon in the city and a farewell, fine-dining experience. After a night's lodging, guests will depart for the international airport, or remain in-country for a longer adventure.
The Lodge at Los Ombues is an authentic Argentine estancia perched on a hill overlooking the Parana River delta. The lounge, dining room, and patio look out across a boundless wetland alive with waterfowl, and doves in number fly over the Lodge en route to and from the roost.
Los Ombues is nestled within 37,000 acres of prime bird hunting land in the rich floodplain of the Parana River. With an additional 120,000 adjacent acres under lease for shooting, the lodge was conceived and built with bird shooters in mind. Each detail of the facility reflects a passion for the sport and an understanding of what ensures a high-quality shooting experience. With 20 million eared doves roosting in the native woodlands on-property, myriad species of ducks inhabiting the Parana marshes, and perdíz (partridge) that rise over dogs in Los Ombues' rolling pastures, Los Ombues is truly a wingshooter's Valhalla. Los Ombues is the only lodge in Argentina where you can hunt ducks, doves, and perdíz on the same property, and drive times to and from the field are rarely more than a few minutes. Every bit of equipment–vehicles, boats, rental guns–is perfectly maintained for your use.
Los Ombues has nine spacious double rooms with private bathrooms, a mudroom for removing and drying boots and clothing, a gun cleaning room, a large dining room and living room with overstuffed chairs and sofas arranged around a fire place. The Lodge also features amenities for the traveling business-person such as international phone, wireless internet, and a computer for guest use. The Lodge boasts a state-of-the-art exercise facility with sauna and a hot tub located on the deck overlooking the pool.
For operating in the field, there are four 4x4 vehicles and eight johnboats that provide quick access to the marsh. Access to the hunting is prime: the drive to the farthest field from the lodge is 25 minutes. During the hunt, each guest will be allocated a field assistant who will count the doves that are shot, call and pick up ducks, and handle dogs in the perdíz field. For convenience and safety, each car, boat, and guide has a VHF two-way radio for immediate contact with the lodge.
Approximately 20 million Eared Doves inhabit the area surrounding Los Ombues. The birds are so numerous that local farmers and government biologists consider them agricultural pests, and no bag limits have been imposed on hunters and shooters. Dove shooting challenges all skill levels: beginners will enjoy the incredible number of birds while expert shooters have the opportunity to pick and choose their shots, opting to focus on the most challenging presentations. Non-stop dove hunting can be had throughout the day, but the early morning, late afternoon, and evening hours offer shooters the most consistent action. Skilled shooters should expect to shoot 2-4 cases of shells each day.
For shooters who enjoy diversity, a perdíz hunt is a hallmark of Argentina's elegant upland tradition. Perdíz thrive in the grain, sunflower, corn, and grass fields that surround the Lodge, and they make for a classic walk-up hunt over pointing dogs. The perdíz is a wonderful bird to hunt, somewhat similar to quail in terms of flush and flight, but typically rising in pairs or singles. All perdíz hunts feature Los Ombues' well-trained setters and pointers, many of which were bred specially for these fast and low-flying birds. Driving time from the lodge to the perdíz fields is approximately 5 to 15 minutes, though some hunts are literally a short walk from the lodge proper. Perdíz hunts normally take place after the morning duck hunt and the formal breakfast. The limit is 7 birds per day.
A duck hunting wonderland lies within a 10-minute boat ride from the Lodge. On an average day's shoot, guests can expect a mixed bag that may include Brown Pintail, White-Cheeked Pintail, Cinnamon Teal, Speckled Teal, Ringed Teal, Silver Teal, Southern Widgeon, Red Shoveler, Tree Ducks and the popular Rosy-Billed Pochard. The number of ducks and the quality of shooting is without parallel. Most of the hunts employ close-set decoy spreads for passing and landing shots within 30 – 60 feet. Blinds are set in potholes, marshy brushlands, and wooded points that are accessible by boat or truck. There is a 20-bird daily limit on waterfowl.
Hank Shaw is a former restaurant cook who--after 18 years as a political reporter for newspapers in New York, Virginia, Wisconsin, Minnesota, and California--made a full-time career of writing about food, fishing, foraging, and hunting. Hank has written four acclaimed cookbooks: Hunt, Gather, Cook: Finding the Forgotten Feast; Duck, Duck, Goose: Recipes and Techniques for Ducks and Geese, both Wild and Domesticated; Buck, Buck, Moose: Recipes and Techniques for Cooking Deer, Elk, Moose, Antelope and Other Antlered Things; and most recently Pheasant, Quail, Cottontail: Upland Birds and Small Game from Field to Feast. He was nominated for a James Beard Award for his blog Hunter, Angler, Gardener, Cook in 2009 and 2010, and won the award in 2013.
As a food writer, Hank's work has been published in Food & Wine, Petersen's Hunting, Garden & Gun, Organic Gardening, The Art of Eating, Field and Stream, Sactown and several other publications. He was profiled in the March 2009 issue of Field & Stream for his wild game cookery, and he has similarly been featured on TV shows such as Andrew Zimmern's "Bizarre Foods America,” Steve Rinella's "Meateater,” Mike Rowe's "Somebody's Gotta Do It” on CNN, and on Scott Leysath's "The Sporting Chef.” He is a passionate hunter, forager, angler, gardener, and consumer of local and seasonal foods. Hank makes his home in California, and travels extensively to write, cook, and explore the unique flavors of the world's wild places.
Day 1: July 25, 2020 - Buenos Aires
Guests typically arrive at the Buenos Aires international airport in the morning and will appreciate a day to rest and re-group in Buenos Aires. The choice is yours, but we recommend at least a day in the city. Buenos Aires is one of the most exciting cities in South America, and it's well worth spending a few days exploring it. With wide boulevards, excellent restaurants and lively nightlife that lasts until dawn, it's sometimes called the “Paris of Latin America.” Orvis is happy to help with hotel recommendations and airport transfer logistics.
On the evening of July 25, the group will convene for a dinner at Parilla Don Julio in Palermo Viejo. After meeting host Hank Shaw and Orvis host Reid Bryant, the group will be served a set meal that highlights the region's famed meats and wines.
Day 2: July 26, 2020 – Depart Buenos Aires and Travel to Los Ombues
Guests will convene at a pre-determined location in the city to depart via shuttle to Los Ombues Lodge, arriving in time to settle into the lodge, assemble gear, and enjoy a lunch. Following lunch, the group will take to the dove fields, shooting until dusk if desired, and returning to the Lodge for drinks and hors d'oeuvres that highlight local fare. A locavore dinner will follow, prepared and presented by the chefs from ALOS, a rising star on the BA restaurant landscape. This dinner will highlight regional ingredients and techniques, and will undoubtedly explore the tastes and textures of the field.
Day 3: July 27, 2020 – Mixed Bag at Los Ombues
An early wake-up, coffee, and light breakfast precede a departure for the marsh. By first light guests will be positioned in blinds and awaiting the first wave of ducks. Shooting can be fast and furious, and guests typically wrap up the morning shoot by 9AM or so, returning to the Lodge for a full breakfast. Following breakfast, guests head for the perdíz fields, and walk up these sporty birds behind pointing dogs. After a brisk morning in the uplands and wetlands, guests enjoy a full lunch and a siesta before heading to the dove fields for some late-afternoon shooting. With daylight fading and the fireside beckoning, guests will return to the Lodge for drinks and hors d'oeuvres, again followed by dinner.
Day 4: July 28, 2020 – Mixed Bag at Los Ombues
A repeat of Day 3, though featuring a mid-day cooking session with Hank Shaw. Celebrate the game harvested over the previous two days with some small plates to be shared pre-dinner and be inspired by the techniques and flavors that Hank employs. Again, more than ample shooting throughout the day, with time set aside for a massage or a quiet siesta.
Day 5: July 29, 2020 – Morning Shoot and Departure
Round out the stay with a final morning duck shoot, and a return to the Lodge to freshen up and pack. Enjoy a final lunch prepared by Chef Martin, followed by a return trip to the city, and delivery to the hotel of your choice. Following an afternoon of exploring or shopping, the group will convene to cap off the trip by exploring a tasting menu at Chef Pedro Bargero's Chila. Following a final glorious gastronomic adventure, the group will disband. Typical departure from BA to the states occurs late in the afternoon, so the morning of the 30th can be spent at leisure, or the stay can be extended for greater exploration of Argentina.
Pricing for this trip is $10,499 USD per shooter, $8499 USD per non-shooter.
Pricing is for single-occupancy.
Included: Two set dinners in Buenos Aires; ground transfer to Los Ombues; deluxe accommodations at Los Ombues with all meals, beer & wine & soft drinks included; guided mixed-bag shooting each day; free use of Jacuzzi, dry sauna, outdoor swimming pool, full gym, and in-house masseuse; Wi-Fi and Free phone calls to the U.S.; gun rental (Beretta ,Benelli, Browning, and Remington shotguns available).
Not Included: International Flights between the U.S. and Argentina, hotels and transfers in Buenos Aires, shells (12 or 20 gauge… please request 28 or 410 ga. well ahead of scheduled trip), gun permits if warranted; Lodge gratuities (the lodge manager will collect $130 US per person/per day to distribute to the lodge staff and field gun assistant. Masseuses should be provided with a $20 tip per session. No additional tipping is required and is not mandatory, though management can be tipped at the discretion of the guest), hunting licenses $150 US per person.
Transfers Transfers from Buenos Aires to Los Ombues are included in the trip price. Transfers between the international airport in Buenos Aires and hotels in Buenos Aires are not included. Assistance with these transfers can be arranged by Orvis and Los Ombues.
RESERVE YOUR SPACE NOW!! A minimum of 6 shooters are required to ensure the trip, and a 50% non-refundable deposit is required to secure each space. No refunds will be made for unused portions of a trip, including late arrival or early departure. Guide fees are not refundable if unused as outlined in the itinerary. Orvis reserves the right to modify an itinerary due to circumstances beyond our control. In the unlikely event that Orvis must cancel this trip as delineated in the overview, all payments received to date will be refunded, which constitutes a full settlement. Final payment will be due 90 days prior to departure.