El Tobar Camp

Welcome to El Tobar Camp, where the art of traditional duck hunting is reborn in its purest form. Nestled along the shores of El Frontal dam in Tucumán province, Argentina, this shelter transports you to a time of hunting authenticity. The main attraction of El Tobar is that it enables hunters to hunt entirely within our property limits, allowing us to manage our resources carefully. 

Our barn-like lodge evokes the sport’s timeless spirit, and every aspect of your experience, from the hunt to our accommodations, echoes the legacy of traditional duck hunting. Tailored for small parties of up to six hunters, El Tobar Camp not only promises remarkable hunting but also ensures privacy. While you cherish each moment of the hunt, you’ll also embrace the genuine ambiance of a hunting lodge that feels like a true home.

Why Choose El Tobar Camp?

Modern duck hunts, with a nod to tradition

Most of us who hunt and shoot have had our thoughts on the outdoors formed by experience, and by the history that we have read; and if you are of a certain age, you have read Hemingway and Capstick and Roark and dreamed about spending nights in a safari camp. Or, if you are a dedicated waterfowl hunter you have read Buckingham and Macquarie and dreamed about duck shooting the way it was in those days, returning after a hunt to throw logs on a fire in a place where you can enjoy a warm drink after a day in windy marshes. 

At El Tobar Camp we have relied on those images to construct a duck camp we have all dreamed of, a stilted paradise of a duck camp built above the nearby waters; a wood-heated gem with fine accommodations and hunting that is this season and every season- the way it used to be.

El Tobar Camp is the perfect blend between rustic tradition and modern comfort. The barn-like exterior evokes a timeless spirit, while the interior’s woodwork captures the essence of traditional duck hunting. Its minimalist decor, combined with modern facilities, delivers the perfect balance between simplicity and comfort.

Welcoming you to the lodge’s heart is an expansive open-plan dining and living area, accompanied by an adjacent bar—a haven for relaxation and evenings filled with laughter and stories. The elegant dining room presents carefully curated, delightful menus for every meal during your stay. The lodge features four large en-suite bedrooms, each with two queen-sized beds, vaulted ceilings, a hobbit stove, and high-quality amenities.

As the day winds down, a serene outdoor hot tub and fire pit invite relaxation beneath the stars. These spaces often become the focal point of lodge life, offering an escape from the busy shooting days.

    • Capacity: 6 hunters
    • Accommodations: 4 rooms (2 double and 2 single) with queen-size beds and en-suite bathrooms.
    • Open bar with a special selection of the best Argentine wines.
    • A gourmet dining experience each day, with delicious menu options including local Argentinian beef as well as wild game and fine wines, locally sourced fruits and vegetables, traditional Asado, and more.
    • The outside deck is home to a central fire pit, which offers the perfect spot for afternoon and evening relaxation with amazing views of the landscape.
    • The gift shop offers local artwork and crafts, logo wear, and accessories.
    • Maid and laundry service.
    • Masseuse.
    • Professional hunting guides.
    • Gun rental, with a selection of fine 12, and 20-gauge shotguns, available in semi-automatic. 

Opening season (June)

    • The best variety of duck species. High probability to take all of the huntable duck species that inhabit our area. Although we may see more teal than any other duck species, this is the best time to look for a good mixed bag of South American ducks. We have 13 species of ducks in our area, with the cinnamon teal being the only species we share with the U.S., so most ducks will be new to first-time visitors.
    • Our ponds are full of water. After the heavy rains that take place during March to May (our autumn) the water level of the ponds and potholes are at their peak. The hunting scenery, in and around the ponds, is a bright green color with grass on the banks, as the hard frosts have not come yet.
    • Less hunting pressure. As Argentinians generally don’t hunt waterfowl, the only pressure comes from hunters from abroad who travel to Argentina in search of ducks. At the beginning of the season, the ducks haven’t heard a shot for a long period of time.

Winter season (July to August)

    • Big flocks of Rosies. Best opportunity to hunt big flocks of Rosy-Billed Pochards, over the decoys, on their migration to the north of the country. These are the largest flocks of ducks that migrate in South America, going from northern Patagonia to the south of Brazil. During June and July, we can see them in our area, migrating north in great numbers.
    • Duck hunting weather. From late May till late August is when the lowest temperature occurs in our area, therefore the ponds’ water level starts to go down and the reeds and grass start changing color from green to brown. Some evenings you can go hunting with just a sweater, while the morning hunts are going to be colder.
    • The ducks are in full plumage. With the coming of the winter and the lower temperatures, the ducks experience a change in their plumage. The Rosy’s beak is bright pink and their plumage is bright. You can see the true beauty of the other ducks’ species as well, with the colorful breeding plumage at its peak.

To get to El Tobar Camp there are daily direct flights from many U.S. or European cities to Buenos Aires (Ezeiza Intl. Airport – EZE). From EZE hunters will need to make a connection to TUC airport (2 hr. flight) or transfer to the Domestic airport Jorge Newbery – AEP (40’ to 1 hr drive), and connect there to TUC. 

The driving time from Tucumán Airport to the lodge is 2 hours. Once at the lodge, you are conveniently close to terrific duck fields with drives no more than 35 minutes. 

Location

El Tobar Camp is located in Tucumán province, in northern Argentina, 68 miles (110 km) south of the Tucumán Airport. The driving time from Tucumán Airport to the lodge is 2 hours by paved road.

Nicknamed ‘’The Garden of the Republic’’, the province of Tucumán is one of the most productive agricultural areas in the country. In addition, the proximity to the biggest water mirror in the province and its diverse wetland ecosystem make an ideal scenario for duck hunting, attracting a wide and consistent diversity of duck species.

The Hunting

What to expect on the field

The hunting program takes place mostly along the shores of El Frontal dam, nestled on the border between Tucumán and Santiago del Estero provinces. This reservoir spans over 125,000 hectares and is nourished by four rivers (Salí, Gastona, Medina, and Marapa) that originate in Tucumán’s hills. When these rivers overflow, they create diverse wetlands and streams where our hunts unfold.

This strategic location allows us to enjoy year-round access to water, ensuring a consistent native wild duck population, and allowing us to regulate harvest and pressure for optimal hunting. We combine natural lagoons with artificial ponds, allowing us to hunt only moments from the lodge, while expertly managing resources.

The focus of our program is to provide an exceptional, traditional, duck hunting experience. You will be hunting morning and afternoon sessions, in a variety of locations, throughout your visit. Blinds are well placed and scouted, providing the best possible opportunities for a number of South American duck species. Depending upon location, hunters will be placed in double dry blinds, or large dry, sunken “buckets” which are basically individual pit blinds, or on platform-pallet blinds. 

You will hunt well-maintained, species-specific, decoy sets, and motion decoys. Your guide will be close by, offering bird identification help, calling, and any support you require during your hunt.

The morning will begin with a wakeup call, approximately an hour before departure time. Breakfast will be served shortly thereafter, with everything from waffles to Eggs Benedict, all made to order. Hunters will depart the lodge well before sunrise. Drives vary depending on water conditions but range from five to thirty minutes. Shooting over decoys starts at first light and continues until 10 a.m. or after. You will return to the lodge for lunch, and come down to relax or enjoy a siesta.

Hunters will again depart for their afternoon duck hunt around 3 p.m. Evening hunts last until dark, after which you will return to the lodge, where you will be met with cocktails and appetizers as well as a delicious dinner, before retiring for the evening.

YELLOW-BILLED PINTAIL – PATO MAICERO Anas Georgica (39 cm)

The Yellow-billed Pintail has a brown head and neck. Their bills are yellow with a black tip and black stripe down the middle. The tail is brownish and pointed. The upper wing is grayish-brown, and the secondaries are blackish-green. The rest of the body is buffish-brown, with varying-sized black spots. The species is sometimes confused with Speckled Teal but can be differentiated by yellow stripes on the bill and its larger size. Females hide their nests in vegetation close to water and lay 4 to 10 eggs in a clutch.

FULVOUS WHISTLING DUCK – SIRI COLORADO – Dendrocygna Bicolor  (38 cm)

The Fulvous whistling duck is one of the most widespread waterfowl species in the world. It breeds across tropical regions such as Central and South America and north to the Gulf Coast of the U.S. Although they are common, they are also considered wary. They are largely resident, apart from local movements, but vagrancy has occurred to southern Europe. Habitat includes freshwater lakes, paddy fields, and reservoirs with plentiful vegetation, where they feed nocturnally on seeds and other plant parts. Fulvous Whistling-Ducks have long grey bills and long heads and legs. The head and underparts are buffs, and the wings are dark grey and black. Tail and wing patches are chestnut, and there is a white crescent on the upper tail, which is visible in flight. All plumages are similar, except for juveniles with less contrasted flank and tail coloration. This species is gregarious and forms large flocks at favored sites. As the name implies, these are noisy birds with a clear whistling “kee-wee-ooo” call.

WHITE CHEEKED PINTAIL – PATO GARGANTILLA – Anas Bahamensis (35 cm)

The White Cheeked Pintail or Bahama Pintail (Anas bahamensis) is a dabbling duck of the Caribbean, South America, and the Galápagos Islands. This is the court jester of South American ducks, with a bright, showy costume. Their overall color is cinnamon, but the body features a creamy white trim that extends from low on the throat to the base of a red bill, all edged in turquoise iridescence. The wings are blackish, with a green speculum that contrasts with the red bill. White White-cheeked pintails are dabblers, feeding on aquatic plants and small invertebrates. Nesting occurs on the ground under vegetation and near water. They are found in waters with a degree of salinity: such as brackish lakes, estuaries, and mangrove swamps.

WHITE-FACED WHISTLING DUCK – SIRI PAMPA – Dendrocygna Viduata (38 cm)

The White-faced Whistling Duck (Dendrocygna viduata) is a whistling duck that breeds in sub-Saharan Africa and much of South America. This species is gregarious and, at favored sites, flocks of a thousand or more birds show at dawn and are an impressive sight. As the name implies, these are noisy birds with a clear three-note whistle. These ducks have long grey bills, long heads, and longish legs. They have white faces and crowns, and black rear heads. The back and wings are dark brown to black, and the underparts are black—although the flanks have fine white barring. The neck is chestnut. All plumages are similar, except juveniles have a much less contrasting head pattern. Habitat consists of freshwater lakes or reservoirs, with plentiful vegetation where this duck feeds on seeds and other plant food. These abundant ducks are largely resident, apart from localized movements of up to 100 km or more.

SPECKLED TEAL – PATO BARCINO – Anas Flavirostris (33 cm)

Similar to other teals, Speckled Teals belong to the diverse genus Anas. More precisely, they are one of the “true” teals of subgenus Nettion. Their DNA sequence is similar to the Green-winged Teal—although the two species share a little outward resemblance. Apart from its relationship with red-and-green-headed teals, Speckled Teals closely resemble Indian Ocean Teals. But their uni-colored underside and namesake bill are unique.

CINNAMON TEAL – PATO COLORADO – Anas Cyanoptera  (33 cm)

The Cinnamon Teal is a small reddish dabbling duck found in the marshes and ponds of western North and South America. Adult males have a cinnamon-red head, a brown back, red eyes, and a dark bill. Adult females have mottled brown bodies, a pale brown head, brown eyes, and a grey bill. They are similar in appearance to female Blue-winged Teals; however, their overall color is richer, and the lore spot, eye line, and eye ring are less distinct. Their bill is also longer and flatter. Male juveniles resemble female Cinnamon or Blue-winged teals, but their eyes are red. These dabbling ducks survive on plants, although their diet may include mollusks and aquatic insects. 

ROSY-BILLED POCHARDPATO PICAZO – Netta Peposaca  (47 cm)

The Rosy-billed Pochard comes from the species peposaca—derived from a Guaraní word for “showy wings.” The wings feature a broad white stripe that is only visible when stretched out. Male ducks have a distinctive red bill, while the females are slate-colored. Though classified as a diving duck, this pochard feeds more like a dabbling duck. The Rosy-bill is genetically linked to the Canvasback and the females of both species are virtually identical. The drakes are adorned in shades of black and white, with a flaming red bill featuring a fleshy knob at the base. The Rosy-billed Pochard is endemic to South America. The population in southern Argentina migrates northward during the austral winter, reaching Brazil and southern Bolivia. It is a vagrant to the Falkland Islands.

Hunting Equipment

David Denies provides hunters with high-quality loaner hunting equipment.

Many of our guests find renting guns from the lodge they are visiting to be an easier solution than applying for consular permits and traveling with their own shotguns. It’s easy to rent a gun from the lodge. We have a good selection of guns that are appropriate for the destination at each lodge. Just browse the gun rack until you find a gun that you like. Then, the lodge manager or your guide will note the specific number of the rental gun. That gun will be yours for the duration of your stay. However, you are welcome to change guns along the way and try something different if you wish. You are only charged for one rental so you can switch guns if you wish. We want you to shoot a gun you are comfortable and effective with! You will settle up for the rental at the end of your stay when you are charged for shells and other expenses.

Here is a listing of the guns we have at the lodge presently:

    • Beretta A400 Semi-automatic 12 Guage
    • Benelli Montefeltro Semi-automatic 20 Guage

Culinary Experience

At David Denies, our goal is to deliver a true taste of Argentina.

Our kitchens come to life through the use of fresh, locally sourced meats and produce. By combining these elements, we create delicious flavors and varied textures that harbor hidden stories and package traditions on each plate. A top-notch team of experienced national and international chefs, trained in both classic and avant-garde culinary techniques will prepare your meals, with an artisan’s touch.

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day – in our lodges, it consists of choices going from local free-range eggs benedict, fresh-baked bread and pastries, and organic & healthy foods – we change the options daily to keep things fresh. 

Dinner menus, influenced by the earthiness of the surrounding landscape, will be enjoyed in our beautifully designed dining room and each day you will enjoy an outdoor lunch experience, where chefs prepare every dish from scratch to be served at a minute’s notice. Freshness is paramount and the flavor is key.

Our famed Argentine beef comes from Aberdeen Angus and Hereford steers, grass-fed, from our Pampas. We carefully select our suppliers, guaranteeing the highest quality, flavor, and tenderness of our meat. All of our inspired lunch and dinner menus are paired with some of Argentina’s—and the world’s—best wines; Bodega Catena Zapata. 

In addition to our focus on fresh food with organic origins, we also celebrate our Argentine heritage with a wine partnership that brings truly world-class wines to our lodges. Our wide selection of finest wines, the best Argentine malbec from our region in Mendoza and a large variety of other grape selections, are served by a prepared team. We feel that the food we present and the wines we serve should mirror the sporting opportunities we offer—and be the very best available. While our vast country offers many options for traditional activities such as riding, hunting, eating good meats, and drinking good wines, we have chosen to blend fine food and outdoor activity at an even higher level.

Rates

Season 2024 – June to August

* Prices are in US$ and per person

Rates fluctuate between $1000 and $1350 per person per night, based on shared occupancy & shared blind. Single Rooms are available by request and subject to availability. These rates are flexible based on the month of the season, the number of hunters in the group, and lodge availability — please CONTACT US for an accurate quote.

* Non-hunters: $450 per person per night.

* Gun Rental: $130 per person p/day

Included

Not included

Combine your Trip

Double down on your sporting adventures and experience all The KauTapen Group has to offer by combining your stay with another of our hunting or fishing lodges.

Our research and experience tell us that over 50% of bird hunters are also actively interested in big game hunting, while over 60% are captivated by fishing. If you are a part of that majority, and are interested in adding variety to your sporting life, look no further than Red Stag Patagonia and Nervous Waters Fly Fishing. All three brands are proud members of The Kautapen Group – a single team of dedicated professionals focused on maintaining the highest standard of service and elevating your sporting experiences.

Interested in adding more hunting or fishing to your trip?

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