Dan’s Argentina Red Stag Hunt

April 12, 2013

Dan and Kristen picked Argentina as their honeymoon destination, albeit almost a year after the wedding ! Kristen had always wanted to see Buenos Aires and Dan was hoping to hunt Argentina’s red stags during the rut, which the locals call “the roar”. This due to the sound they make when chasing the female “hinds” around. I’ve heard it described as more of a lion’s roar or as Dan said, a “pissed off beef bull”. Cool thing is their fall is going on down there during our spring. Bow hunting for red stags is on my bucket list so I am super excited to hear more about the trip when Dan gets back.

Now, I’ll let Dan tell the story in his own words…..

Just got back to Buenos Aires, we came back a couple days early because Kristen
was pretty bored at the estancia, (ranch). :)  Very desolate there – reminds me
of what I would think Africa could be like – low trees, lots of grass, many,
many animals.  She said if she had wireless she would be able to cope. People
were very nice and the food was outstanding.

Anyway, got to the ranch on Monday evening, heard a few stags roaring in the
distance. Hunted on Tuesday morning, saw and heard a ton of stags, (their roar
sounds like pissed off beef bull, maybe a bit more guttural), we made a few
stalks but couldn’t find a decent bull, busted antlers or too small. Think of
low, thick trees, 10-20 foot scattered trees and knee high grass. I am
vertically challenged but midget size would have the perfect line of sight to
hunt in these thickets.

I don’t think the guides had much confidence in bow hunters.  Heard later that
many hunters shake too much and miss the stag or hit it in the wrong place, etc.
One guy hunted for three days and couldn’t get off a shot. I told them I was
good out to 30 yards, 40 on a stretch.  Conner knows that I am dangerous to
pedestrians, cars and dogs at 50+ yards from a few of my practice sessions.

The afternoon was very windy and hot – we had scouted and worked on a blind
earlier that morning – it was on the way to a water hole, 30 yards out. That
afternoon we went into the thicket and listened to 2 or three stags roaring,
couldn’t get close and made our way to the blind.  Once we got there, the guide
climbed into the tree, and was standing there for only 10-15 minutes, next thing
he says is get ready, we have four stags coming in!  Pretty cool to see that
kind of antler mass coming towards you all at once.

He is watching them and tells me the 2nd stag is the best, but #4 was looking
pretty long to me.  It happened very quickly, wish I had a bit more time to
evaluate.  I put the 30 yard behind the 2nd stags shoulder and it zipped right
through. I saw the puff of dust where it hit and was pretty sure of good hit. I
found out later I was 4″ higher than I wanted. The guide watched him through
this binos and the stag dropped about 200 yards away.  Xavier was very excited.
First pass through shot they had ever had at the ranch.  Very very excited about
how quickly the stag went down.  I think they are used to east coast whitetail
hunters. :)
red stag
This stag is a decent trophy. From what I understand it would compare to a
300-310 class elk.  Decent but I saw bigger racks in their skinning shack.  I was told
that two weeks earlier, end of March, I would have had a better chance of a
larger trophy.  The crowns are very important, this was a seven by seven, 14
total points, biggest one my guide saw that year was a 18 point, more points and
mass in the crown.  This stag was 50% New Zealand stag and 50% Argentine stag.

That’s about it.  Back in the city tonight, off to Uruguay on a hover craft
tomorrow or Friday, back in the States on Sunday.

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