An Educational and Hunting Trip in Argentina Feb. 2006

An Educational and Dove Hunting Trip in Argentina Feb. 2006 Pa has a limit of 12 Doves per day. So you can imagine that this is not where you will find me. I took my son Jamie and went to Argentina where there is no limit. We were accompanied by several friends from the area . We spent a week on this trip. We were able to see some of this finest Dove hunting areas in the world. There are millions of doves in this region of Argentina near Cordoba. Over the last two decades, Cordoba province has become synonymous with the phrase "High-volume dove hunting." The region has a delightful climate that allows grain crops such as corn, sorghum, wheat and peanuts to flourish most of the year. This enormous food supply is bordered and interspersed with density hillside roosting cover, and the combination of food source and roost has produced a population of Zenaida Auriculata estimated to be over 20 million birds -- Argentina doves that do not migrate, reproduce up to four times annually and provide literally year-round shooting. These birds have been estimated to consume up to one third of the grain crops in the area. Dove hunting in Argentina is an activity that must be experienced rather than explained. Dove and Pigeon are considered to be plague in the area, so there are no bag limits or seasons for hunting them. One can only imagine that when bird flu arrives in Argentina, how big and terrible will the bird flu distrupt this ecosystem. I perdict that bird flu will mutate first to humans in a form that is transmissable from human to humnan in this area of the world. I believe that the quantity of birds and their droppings will allow for the transfer of the disease quickly in Argentina. After seeing the vast numbers of wild birds and knowing that they will be present with a large presence durring the harvesting of grain, a cross contamination will likly result in this habitat. With such vast numbers of birds present, hunters regularly use two guns and a reloader to prevent barrel overheating, as they may go through 1,000 ( a thousand) rounds in a morning. Because of this last reason and the fact that they are considered a plague, the local authorities have not established any bag limits or special seasons for dove hunting. This trip to Argentina also provided us with information and ideas for on our ranchs and farms in the USA. Soils in Argentina can grow good crops with little fertilizer and have fewer pest and disease problems. Farm laborers work cheap, and chemical costs are low. This will make our farms less competitive. There is no doubt that Argentina has made great advances in ag production and will be real competition to crops that are grown on our farms. The lands around Cordoba that we visited are flat and very fertile with a long growing season. There will be low cost soil erosion controls needed. Easily making it a bread basket for the world. We can be competitive. We can must expand on our altnernative use for our American farmlands. We must increase the recreational oportunities for our farms to help them stay competitive. Our transportation infrastructure is much better in the United States. Most roads outside the major urban areas are poor quality dusty, potholed, and rough. Our farms have easier access to capital for growth and markets for sales and urban areas. Our markets are better and more established. Our dollars is also more stable than the Argentine Pesos. This gives us better funding advantages. I also suspect that American Ag extension agencies and colleges are better and more available to educate our rural population. Afterall, education is the real key to our future in successful farm management and operations.