This historic lodge facility was originally constructed as a Jesuit mission in 1669, and it has been occupied continuously for over three hundred years. The lodge buildings are an architectural treasure, and within the living, accommodations have been completely refurbished with discerning shooting guests in mind. The lodge can accommodate up to ten hunters in a total of eight single rooms, and one double bedroom— each with a private bathroom. There are a number of amenities at La Torcaza including a swimming pool, tennis court, riding stables and horses, and an on-call masseuse.
The Pigeon year, much like with doves, has a couple of different phases, as the birds react to seasonal changes in weather and availability to food and water. As with any wild hunt, these factors can vary, and as such, may affect the timing of the different seasons.
While dove hunting generally focuses between the hills and the crop fields, throughout the entire year, pigeons have a limited season, basically from April to early October. Even within this shortened season there can be some variation on the hunting, both in locations and styles.
As the pigeons react to these changes of season, and weather, our guides do as well. At David Denies we are prepared for these natural changes, and for this reason, we are in continuous geographical growth to provide comfort in daily logistics as well as the quality and quantity of pigeons you will enjoy during your hunt.
The head guides are seasoned, professional hunters who take the birds’ movements into consideration and decide on the best possible hunting locations, prioritizing the quality and quantity of birds. The decision also takes into consideration the length of driving required to reach the field, but always with the mission of providing you with the best possible hunting experience.
Early season offers great bird numbers, as a long-closed season has birds frequenting green pastures and woodlots, still eating the last of the late fall buds and greens, as well as concentration on some of the recently harvested crop fields.
The first “best” time to hunt pigeons comes soon after this, with the first frosts. Frosty mornings cause the green forage to whither and it brings the birds together on the alfalfa fields. Unlike doves, which consume primarily grain, pigeons require higher protein content in their feed, and our vast alfalfa fields fill that bill. This usually occurs in late May to early June.
At times when winter hits a bit early, May can be an incredible time with pigeons focused on these fields, as they become very “decoy friendly,” bombing and going into the decoys spread in flocks from many directions. May through July also offer one of our most exciting, and exclusive shooting scenarios, hunting pigeons in the olive groves.
There are few places in the world where wild pigeons exist in such abundance that they’re considered a premier species for the hunters. Fortunately, Córdoba is one of these places and at La Torcaza Lodge the program is focused on providing the very best decoyed pigeon hunting in the world. Within a 50 square mile radius of the lodge lie fields and roosts annually inhabited by over 5,000,000 pigeons. The lodge enjoys over 45 nearby shooting fields, with short scenic drives through the beautiful countryside.
More like a “dry-land” duck hunt than a dove hunt, pigeons offer incredible sport on fast-flying birds, as they both “buzz” the decoys and drop into the spread, you can expect some very challenging passing shots as well. Super wary, pigeons need to be given the utmost respect once you are in the blind. They will not tolerate movement and will shy off from the blind if the hunters do not remain well hidden. Our blinds are made from natural cover and are large and comfortable enough to make hunters as successful as possible.
Large, strong birds, pigeons can take more than you would expect to anchor them with your shot. Most of our hunters opt for 20 gauge shotguns, but 12ga are available, and 28ga offer a great challenge as well.
These birds are large and fast-flying, which makes calculating their speed a bit deceptive, and so offer incredible sport both while decoying and pass shooting.
Someone wise once said you can shoot doves, but you hunt for pigeons. It’s not to say you won’t shoot a bunch of shells, you will. But when you’re at La Torcaza in Córdoba, it’s best to approach pigeons as you would a waterfowl hunt. Take advantage of your blind to ensure birds are focused on decoys and not on you. ln the blind, stay low and out of view. Pigeons have great eyesight and can spot unusual movement hundreds of yards away. Shoot quickly and, hit or miss, reload, and hide once again. Great pigeon shoots often happen over a short period of time, so getting down and ready will help make the most of the next opportunity.
Two types of wild pigeons can be found in Argentina and Uruguay, the Spot-Winged and the Picazuro. These are not the domestic pigeons found in rural barns and on city statues but fly and decoy more akin to a wild duck. Wild pigeons are tough, and their large wing surface areas make them fast and agile fliers.
The morning will begin with a wake-up call around 8.00am, 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 together in a very comfortable Mercedes Sprinter van. Drives vary depending on the time of the season but range from five to thirty-five minutes.
In the field, you will be joined by a professional guide, who will set up the decoys and help get you situated in your blind. You will hunt 2 guns to a blind, and your guide will be nearby, identifying birds, providing you with shotshells, refreshments, and overseeing your hunt.
Shooting over decoys starts shortly after arrival in your blind and continues until about Noon. You will then return to the lodge and be treated to an incredible traditional Asado lunch featuring Argentina’s wonderful beef and our exclusive wine. You will have some time to relax, or enjoy a siesta. Hunters will again depart for their afternoon hunt around 2 to 2:30 pm.
Evening hunts last until 5 or 6 pm, after which you will return to the lodge, where you will be met with cocktails and appetizers as well as a delicious dinner, and time to relax and discuss the day’s hunt!
Species you may encounter at La Torcaza Lodge
The largest of Argentina’s pigeon species, the Picazuro is frequently seen in a range of habitats from agricultural regions, to savannas and light woodlands. Large with a purple-and-gray scaly body and a silvery patch at the side of the neck. In flight it has distinctive black flight feathers and pale gray wingbars. The song is a low and monotonous “wuu-pupuh, wuu-pupuh”.
A hard flying, gregarious bird, the Picazuro pigeon offers incredible, fast paced sport for the wingshooting. Ultra wary birds, they demand the hunter be well hidden and patient in order to successfully harvest these birds.
Smaller than the Picazuro Pigeon, these birds are often found in small groups. They are wide spread across much of Argentina and Uruguay, offering a worthy target for traveling bird hunters.
Flocks of Spot-winged pigeon will decoy in together, much like waterfowl flocks. Once the first shot rings out, the flock will very quickly change direction, with all birds flying erratically off in different directions with incredible speed. Much like their Picazuro cousins, these birds are very wary and they require you to actively “hunt” them, remaining hidden until the last moment when they are in range for the shot.
Many of our guests find that 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.
Our kitchens come to life through the use of fresh and regionally representative 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.
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, in our lodges, it consists of choices going from local free-range eggs benedict to organic and healthy foods – we change the options daily to keep things fresh.
With an artisan’s touch, influenced by the earthiness of the surrounding and landscape that can be enjoyed in our beautiful design house dining-room lodges and outdoor lunch experiences chefs prepare every dish by scratch to be served at a minute’s notice. Freshness is paramount and flavors the key.
All our beef comes from Aberdeen Angus and Hereford steers. It’s grass-fed cattle from our Pampas. We carefully select our suppliers, this guarantees the high quality, flavor, and tenderness of our meat., which you will enjoy cooked on the fire and in several different ways on our lodges and field. 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.
Season 2023 – May to September
Rates fluctuate between $695 – $850 per person per night. These rates are flexible based upon the month of the season, number of hunters in the group, and lodge availability— please CONTACT US for an accurate quote.
* Non-hunters: $450 per person per night.
* Hunting Licenses: $70 per person per day
* Gun Rental: $115 per person p/day