Los Crestones Lodge

Season

May to July

Getting There

Buenos Aires, Argentina

The Hunting

From blinds & Walked up, over dogs

Target species

Duck, dove, perdiz & pigeon

A sophisticated and luxurious estancia situated on 60 hectares of pristine Argentine woodland preserve along the Salado River. Located in the Province of Buenos Aires, just a short 2-hour drive from the city, Los Crestones Lodge offers epic duck hunting over decoys combined with perdiz over dogs and spectacular dove shooting. Especially for those who appreciate shooting behind fine gun dogs, Los Crestones is special. Our staff has been training sporting dogs for years, especially for this program, and they are a joy to witness at work, in the field, and in the marshes. The Los Crestones lodge features 10 elegantly appointed bedrooms, each with King bed and private bath, and we can host up to a maximum of 8 hunters, as well as opportunities for non-hunting companions to join.

Why Choose Los Crestones Lodge?

Elevating mixed bag wingshooting sport to an art form

Los Crestones Lodge lies on a sophisticated and luxurious compound situated on 60 hectares of preserved natural woodlands. Its architecture and history merge with the beauty of its unique natural surroundings on the banks of the Salado River. The lodge offers comfort and a unique atmosphere given by the combination of design and functionality. The grand estancia features wide galleries with superlative views, a gourmet restaurant, and pool facilities. There is also a full spa: massages, sauna, hydro massage, skillful Scot, and fitness.  

The lodge accommodates a maximum of 8 hunters and 3 non-hunters. There are 10 spacious and elegantly appointed bedrooms that combine wood and leather in its simple atmosphere. Rooms are fully equipped with design furniture, brand new restrooms made of stone, ceramics, soft towels, cotton bed-linen, and amenities including delicious fragrances awaiting you to relax and enjoy your stay. All bedrooms have a private bathroom.

  • Capacity: 8 guns.
  • Accommodations: 10 single rooms with king beds, with a private bathroom. 
  • Comfortable sitting room, with fireplace, open bar, and recreation area with billiards, as well as outdoor seating areas and fire pit, all with superlative views of sunsets over the Salado River. 
  • Full spa, with sauna, jacuzzi, and masseuse. 
  • Pool facilities (in Season). 
  • WiFi Internet access and satellite TV.
  • A gourmet dining experience each day, with delicious menu options including Argentina’s famed beef and fine wines, locally sourced fruits and vegetables, Traditional Argentine Asado, and more.
  • Maid and laundry service. 
  • Professional hunting guides. 
  • Lots of options for non-hunters, including horseback riding, tennis, and biking. 
  • Gift shop offers local artwork and crafts, logo wear, and accessories. 
  • Gun rental, with a selection of fine over and under and semiautomatic shotguns, from Beretta, Benelli, and Fausti, as well as Griffin & Howe Custom Rifles for Big Game.
  • Waders provided at no extra charge.

Fall season (May & early June)

Like everywhere in the world of duck hunting, the early season means Teal…and here in Argentina, it means a LOT of them! In our area, you will see mostly Speckled and Silver Teal. Ringed and Brazilian Teal are also present during the early season, but as soon as it starts to get a little bit cold, they usually move north seeking a warmer climate. If you like small, fast-flying ducks, this is the time of the season for you to visit! At this time of the year, Yellow-billed Pintails will also begin to get “thick” in our area, and depending on weather, we start to see some flocks of Rosy-billed Pochards showing up as well. Perdiz hunting in the thick, heavy cover, typical of the early season, is always fun as it means explosive, surprise flushes. It can be more demanding for the dogs and guns, since walking the fields is more difficult with the tall grass, but the sport is always great. Bugs can be an issue depending on the temperatures and other factors, but they are not often a problem. After 1 or 2 frosty mornings they are usually gone for the season. If they are around, a bit of insect repellent will remedy the inconvenience. By the time duck and perdiz season open, our dove roosts have birds by the millions, so dove shooting is always excellent and early season afternoons are usually very pleasant weather for shooting. Depending on harvest timing on crops in the area, pigeon hunting over decoys or pass-shooting can provide a great sport for guests to enjoy. The month of May is one of the best times of the season for pursuing Blackbuck Antelope, one of the many hunting options that Los Crestones offers. The fields still have good cover for stalking and crawling into shooting range, and it is common at this time to find big, lone bucks and small groups of bachelor bucks, which are always easier to stalk than huge herds full of does. Axis deer hunting is always good at the time of year as well.

Winter season (Early June & July)

Mid to late season is big duck time! At this time of the year, Yellow-billed Pintail are plentiful and the big Rosy-billed Pochard migrations start to show up in our area. Teal are still present, especially the Speckled Teal. Weather will begin to get cooler and that will have the birds flying longer and stronger during the day, seeking out rich food sources. This is also the best time of the year to experience the big flocks of Rosys and Yellow-billed Pintails coming into the decoys, putting on a show as they commit to the spread with landing gear down and wings locked! Perdiz hunting over pointing dogs is at its finest during the winter. All the birds are fully grown now, so they fly strong and flush like rockets! The cover starts to get thinner, and that makes for easy walking allowing the dogs to show off as they work, putting on stylish, artistic points. There are not many things more enjoyable than walking the fields, on a cold breezy morning, behind a bird dog, and June and July are prime time for this. Doves fly strong all season long, weather is colder but the action never stops, and that keeps you warm. All the big game options we offer at Crestones can be done during the winter, with seasons open and great hunting. Wild Boar, hunting either from ground blinds over bait or on horseback, is especially good during the colder months.
Reaching Los Crestones is easy, the lodge is a convenient two-hour drive from Buenos Aires, via route N2 (104 miles), followed by about 5 miles on good roads through the stunning Argentina countryside. Helicopter charters from the airport to the lodge can also be arranged, as well as private plane charters to our closest landing strip (25-minute drive).

Location

Los Crestones Lodge is located in Castelli, province of Buenos Aires—on the banks of the Salado River. The traditional estancia is surrounded by 60 hectares of preserved natural woodlands, featuring four distinct landscapes:
  • The Countryside
    This productive agricultural area is home to livestock grounds and vast fields home to wheat, corn, sunflower, sorghum, and soybean operations throughout the season.
  • The Park
    Designed more than a century ago, and updated in 2000, this area brims with native and exotic species of both flora and fauna for you to explore. The arboretum is punctuated by fruit trees, a lagoon, and a botanical interpretive center.
  • The River
    The mighty Saldado River zigzags through the pampa and is home to an array of birds, including herons, cigueñas, flamingos, and spoonbills. Here, you’ll also encounter otters, capybara, and trout.
  • The Woodland
    A woodland of 50 hectares, this area includes native trees emblematic of the region, such as talas, Sombras de toro, ombúes, and saúcos y coronillos; birds including the Zorzales, Calandrias, and Picazurros; plus deer and the endangered butterfly, which we’ve adopted as our estancia symbol. During the summer, tours are available.

The Hunting

What to expect on the field

At Los Crestones Lodge the program is focused on providing the best all-around mixed bag wingshooting to be found in South America, with the heart of the program being the ability to hunt all of these species over a kennel of some of the best gun dogs in the country.

Most mornings will be spent duck hunting over decoys, joined by a professional guide and their retriever. The guide will get you situated in your blind, set the spread, call and identify the birds as they approach. You will be treated to some wonderful dog work, as the retrievers will bring all of your birds to hand. You will have opportunities at a number of South American duck species, including Yellow-billed Pintail, Speckled Teal, White-faced Whistling Duck, and the sought after Rosy-billed Pochard, to name a few.

For duck hunts, there will be two hunters to a guide, and hunts will take place from a variety of blinds, and scenarios, including platform-pallet blinds and large, sunken “bucket” blinds, as well as our newly designed, custom box blinds. At the conclusion of the duck hunt, hunters will return to the lodge for lunch and a siesta, before heading out again for their afternoon session.

Afternoon hunts will rotate between the pursuit of perdiz, the fast-paced action of dove shooting, or wild pigeon hunting over decoys. Perdiz hunts will have 2 hunters joined by one of our professional guides, and a brace of pointers, setters, or spaniels; searching the rich, local fields and pastures near the lodge for these hard flying upland birds.

Dove shoots take place around one of our nearby dove roosts, where blinds are strategically located to experience wonderful pass shooting, as massive flocks of fast-flying birds return from the fields each afternoon. Pigeon hunting, when available depending upon local harvests, offers great sport. They provide for fast-paced shooting as they “dip and dive” into the decoys’ spread, in local pastures and grain fields.

Our Standard Programs are based on 4 nights and 8 hunts, meaning that during your stay, you will have 4-morning hunts and 4-afternoon hunts. We normally arrange:

  • Mornings = 3 Ducks Hunts + 1 Perdiz Hunt
  • Afternoons = 1 Perdiz Hunt + 3 Dove Shoots.

* Note: There is a certain flexibility to change 1 or 2 hunts. If available during the season we can add a Pigeon hunt to the equation.

The morning will begin with a wake-up 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 ten to forty-five minutes. Shooting over decoys starts at first light and continues until 10 am or after.

You will return to the lodge for lunch, and some time to relax, or enjoy a siesta. Hunters will again depart for their afternoon hunt around 3 pm. 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.

DUCKS

  • 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 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. Wings are blackish, with a green speculum that contrasts with the red bill. 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 on waters with a degree of salinity: such as brackish lakes, estuaries, and mangrove swamps.

  • SILVER TEALS – PATO CAPUCCINO – Anas Versicolor (31 cm)

The Silver Teal’s range includes southern Bolivia, southern Brazil, Paraguay, Argentina, Chile, Uruguay, South Georgia, South Sandwich Islands, and the Falkland Islands. The southernmost birds migrate to southern Brazil in the winter. Silver Teals are generally placid ducks but are protective of eggs, their young, and females. They have a black cap that extends below the eyes, and a bluish bill with a yellow tip. They also have a green speculum with a white border.

  • 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.

  • SOUTHERN WIGEON – PATO OVERO – Anas Sibilatrix (45 cm)

The Chiloe Wigeon is one of three species of wigeon in the dabbling duck genus Anas. Unlike other wigeons, the sexes appear similar (although drakes are slightly brighter) and pairs are monogamous. This bird has a metallic green head and a gray bill with a black tip. Its breast is barred black-and-white and its sides are orange-brown. It has white cheeks, a white forehead, and white on its wings. These ducks are found in southern South America on freshwater lakes, marshes, lagoons, and slow-flowing rivers. They breed in the Falkland Islands, Argentina, Uruguay, and Chile, and migrate to southeastern Brazil for winter.

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

Similar to another teal, 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 POCHARD – PATO 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.

  • RINGED TEAL – PATO DE COLLAR Callonetta Leucophys (28 cm)

The Ringed Teal is a small duck found in South American forests. It is the only species of the genus Callonetta. Usually categorized with dabbling ducks (Anatinae), this species may be closer to shelducks and belong to the subfamily Tadorninae. The Maned Duck is believed to be a close relative. Males and females remain colorful throughout the year, lacking an eclipse plumage. The drake has a rich chestnut back, pale grey flanks, and a salmon-colored breast with black speckles. A black band runs from the top of its head down to the nape. Females have an olive-brownish back with the head blotched and striated in white, with penciled barring on a pale chest and belly. Both have dark tails, a contrasting pale rump, and a distinctive white patch on the wing. Bills are grey and legs and feet are pink in both sexes. Pairs easily bond. Their calls are a cat-like “meowing” in ducks, a lingering “peewoo” in drakes.

  • BLACK-HEADED DUCK – PATO CABEZA NEGRA Heteronetta Atricapilla (34 cm)

The Black-headed Duck of South America resembles a typical diving duck—the product of convergent evolution in the ancestors of the stiff tailed ducks. Males have blackheads and mantles and paler flanks and bellies. Females are pale brown overall. They inhabit swamps, lakes, and marshes, and dabble on water plants and insects. The females lay eggs in the nests of other birds, earning them the nickname “Cuckoo Duck.” Hosts include the Rosy-billed Pochard, as well as other ducks, coots, gulls, and birds of prey. After a 21-day incubation period, ducklings fledge after a few hours before leaving their brood mates and fending for themselves.

  • RED SHOVELER – PATO CUCHARA Anas Platalea (36 cm)

The Red Shoveler is found in southern South America, Argentina, southern Peru, southern Bolivia, Uruguay, Paraguay, the Falkland Islands, South Georgia, South Sandwich Islands, southern Brazil, and Chile. In winter the southernmost birds migrate north to Brazil and Peru. The Red Shoveler is cinnamon in color with dark spots and a green speculum. The head and neck are grayish. They have a large dark spatula-shaped bill.

  • 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 size 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 the water and lay 4 to 10 eggs in a clutch.

  • BRAZILIAN DUCK OR TEAL – PATO CUTIRI Amazonetta Brasilensis (35 cm)

The Brazilian Teal or Brazilian Duck is the only duck in the genus Amazonetta. It was formerly considered a perching duck. Today it is believed to belong to a clade of South American dabbling ducks, which includes the Crested Duck and the Bronze-winged Duck. The ducks are light brown. Drakes can be distinguished from females by their red beaks and legs, and the distinctive pale grey area on the side of the head and neck. Female limbs are much duller in color. Brazilian Teal live in pairs or in small groups of up to 20 birds. Both parents look after their hatchlings. They eat seeds, fruits, roots, and insects—while ducklings eat only insects. They can be found throughout eastern South America, from Uruguay to northern and eastern northern and eastern Argentina, Paraguay, central Venezuela, Brazil, northeastern Peru, Suriname, Guyana, French Guiana, eastern Bolivia, and eastern Colombia. Their preferred habitat consists of freshwater away from the coast, with dense vegetation nearby.

PERDIZ

Much has been written about this very sporting and tasty bird. Some of the highest concentrations of perdiz in Argentina are found within a short drive of the lodge.The short grass pasture, which is the perfect habitat for perdiz, are found in abundance nearby. These great birds are hunted much as other upland species, with guide and hunters walking abreast, following a good dog or two. The cover is short and the land is flat to gently rolling. Once a dog has established a point, the hunters move in to flush the bird, which is most often found as a single or sometimes a pair. After the shot, and hopefully a retrieve, the group carries on for more.

DOVES

The eared dove is the most prolific dove in South America, and it’s also become, over the last several decades, one of the most important sporting birds for well-traveled wingshooters. Los Crestones Lodge offers one of the largest roosts outside of Cordoba. In addition to our main roost we also have some smaller, transitional roosts, which can offer incredible shooting depending on time of season and status of the local harvest.

PIGEONS

In addition to the species listed above, this area is also host to several species of wild pigeons. Sometimes we have them in great numbers, flying with the doves, or their flight line may overlap that of the ducks. Sometimes they’re found flying alone, in which case we seek to decoy them on dry land. Know that if we have pigeons in the area, they are on our agenda.

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:

Gauge

Brand

Model

Quantity

.410

Beretta

686

1

28

Beretta

686

2

20

Beretta

686

1

20

Beretta

686 left handed

3

20

Fausti

Caldeon

2

20

FN

Superposed

1

12

Browning

525

1

12

Fausti

Caldeon

1

12

FN

Superposed

1

Gauge

Brand

Model

Quantity

20

Benelli

Montefeltro

2

20

Breda

Echo

6

20

Franchi

Affinity

3

12

Beretta

391

4

12

Beretta

A300

4

12

Benelli

Super Black Eagle

6

12

Benelli

Vinci

2

12

Franchi

Affinity

2

12

Browning

Maxxus

1

12

Breda

Xanthos

4

Caliber

Brand

Model

Type

Quantity

270 Win

Marlin

XL7

Bolt

1

243 Win

Tikka

T3 Lite

Bolt

1

30-06

Tikka

T3 Lite SS

Bolt

1

375 H&H

Mauser

1909 Custom

Bolt

1

300 WM

Griffin & Howe

Highlander

Bolt

1

30-30

Winchester

94

Lever

1

32-20

Winchester

92

Lever

1

44 Mag

Rossi

92

Lever

1

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 2023 – May to July

* Prices are in US$ and per person

Rates fluctuate between $1450 and $ 1695 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: $650 per person per night.

* Gun Rental: $115 per person p/day

Big Game: Only 30 min from the lodge is an area that holds the biggest herds of wild Blackbuck Antelope in the world, a bit farther away from the lodge you’ll find some of the best wild Axis deer hunting in the country. Full-day or half-day hunts for these animals are an easy extension to your Wingshooting adventure. Several of our guides at Los Crestones are experienced big game hunting guides, and know these private land areas well. They can organize a hunt and provide an accurate loaner rifle. They will also guide bowhunters,but we suggest you allow more time if you’d like to pursue either species with the bow.

* Axis Deer: $2,750

* Blackbuck Antelope: $1,750

* Wild Boar: $900 (Tusker Male Boar)

* Trophy Water Buffalo Bull: $4,750

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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