1. Beyond what I have already paid for the hunt what additional costs will I incur?
- Airfare & Potentially Argentina’s Banking Fees
- Airfare: We recommend that you reserve your hunt dates as quickly as possible after purchasing the hunt, and immediately book flights to obtain the best itineraries and prices.
- Argentina's Banking Fees for Personal Checks: The Argentina Banking System is unique. Rules have changed over the years regarding the acceptance of international checks. The banking fees are variable and sometimes potentially significant. A hunter using a check should expect to incur this fee while at the lodge. To avoid the banking fee, the best method of payment is cash (US currency is accepted). If you wish to avoid bringing large sums of cash and to avoid the banking fee, ask about our pre-payment options. If you wish to take advantage of the prepayment options, the transaction should be completed a minimum of 14 days prior to departure. Please note that a safe is available at all of our lodges.
- Gratuities for bird boys, hunt guides/coordinators, drivers, laundry services, gun cleaning and lodge staff. Massage services are extra. Please note that gratuities are strictly discretionary and typically reflect the level of service received. A high percentage of our hunters are normally generous and appreciative of the high level of service that they receive and tip a larger amount than what is outlined below:
- Each hunter individually tips his bird boy at the end of the week (as a guide typically in the range of $40-50/day)
- At the end of each week, as a rule of thumb, each hunter generally provides the outfitter with a discretionary gratuity in the range of $200 - $300 for the entire week to be dispersed among all staff, including drivers, other than bird boys
- Hunting licenses are $375 for the entire hunt week - note: it is acceptable if a hunter or group decides not to hunt all 5 days. However, all hunters will be charged for a minimum 5-day hunting license - $375.
- Gun rental (optional) $75/day. Hunters will only be charged for the days they actually rent the gun.
- Shells $15 per box *Please see question #4 and answer.
- Transportation to and from the Cordoba airport ($100 per person)
- If the hunting group has added additional individuals beyond the original number purchased there is a $750 per hunter charge for the entire hunt stay. If a non-hunter is part of the original group there will be a supplementary fee of $1,450 per non-hunter for the week. A non-hunter added to the original group is subject to the normal rate of $2,200 per non-hunter per hunter for the week. *Please see question #9 and answer.
- For special request hunts beyond the scheduled dove hunts there will be a prearranged agreement between outfitter and hunter(s). *Please see question # 8 and answer
2. How do I pay for my expenses at the end of the week?
Cash in US currency will always be accepted and should be used for gratuities for bird boys and other lodge staff. At this time, the outfitter is not set up to accept credit cards; however, credit cards are accepted through our non-refundable pre-prepayment option. Please see Question 1.a.ii for the status of Personal Checks.
3. Do I need to exchange US dollars for pesos?
No - US dollars are accepted throughout Argentina (100 or 20 dollar bills should be used).
4. There are some other outfitters in Argentina that claim they charge a little less than $14 per box of shells.
Maers & Goldman attempts to use only quality shells. Our experience with less expensive shells is that they are inferior and they do not work as well in autoloaders. Hunters come a considerable distance to hunt and for only a slight monetary difference, most have indicated that they prefer to keep hunting and enjoying themselves instead of being frustrated with unreliable shells that cause gun malfunctions and jams. Please note that the cost per box is subject to slight fluctuations due to lead and powder market conditions, government regulations, or taxes.
5. What kind of Shotguns are available for rental?
The guns we typically use for rental are Benelli 20 gauges. Due to the increases in registering foreign firearms and additional hassles upon arrival in Argentina there is little cost savings in bringing your own shotgun. However, if you have an unusual gun fit, a favorite type of gun or prefer to shoot a 28 gauge or smaller bore then you probably should consider bringing your own firearm. If you decide to bring your own firearm(s) it is highly recommended that, in addition to your FIREARM REGISTRATION FORM, you should also have in your possession a completed and "Certified" Customs Form 4457, CERTIFICATE OF REGISTRATION FOR PERSONAL EFFECTS TAKEN ABROAD & the REGISTRO NACIONAL de ARMAS y EXPLOSIVOS. We recommend that you bring 3 hand written copies of each form (NO photocopies!) and 3 blank copies of each Argentine form. If you are bringing a gun you should plan to clear customs in Cordoba (We STRONGLY suggest that you do not connect in Buenos Aires). Also, the following information should be provided no later than 45 days from departure - failure to provide this information within this time frame may result in your firearm not clearing customs in Cordoba. We need to know the Make, Model, Serial #, Gauge, Number of Barrels, and the address where the gun is registered. In the case of a semi-automatic shotgun, we will need a copy of the form obtained from the Argentine Consulate Office. Offices are located in Atlanta, Los Angeles, Washington, DC, New York City, Houston, and Chicago. Double Barrel guns are not required to obtain this form.
6. What is the best way to get to Cordoba?
There are many routes available, but if you are coming just to hunt doves we recommend that you attempt to make connections that will allow you to fly directly into Cordoba (COR) and clear customs. This is critical if you are bringing your own firearms. Cordoba airport and Customs' officials know the outfitters and are accustomed to dealing with hunters and firearm registrations. They are hunter friendly. There are reciprocal agreements with many airlines that will allow you to check your bags, guns, etc. at your initial departure and not have to deal with them again until you claim them at Cordoba. Some of these reciprocal agreements only exist for standard luggage and are not present for a checked firearm – for this reason, if you plan to travel with a firearm, you should ensure that the airline that you depart the US from is the same airline that lands in Cordoba. Unless you just want to visit Buenos Aires, we would recommend that you avoid customs and gun registration there. Maers & Goldman cannot be held responsible to assist any hunter attempting to bring guns into Argentina through Buenos Aires. The most popular connecting city is Santiago, Chile (SCL). If you are not bringing a gun and plan to rent, arriving into the Buenos Aires International Airport (EZE) and departing from EZE into Cordoba (COR) is also a popular route. Other connecting cities are Panama City, Panama and Lima, Peru. *Hunters should plan their travel to arrive in Cordoba on a Monday and depart on a Saturday. Hunters may leave prior to Saturday but are still subject to the 5-day license fee. It is recommended that hunters coordinate the schedule of their arrival and departure times. Pickup times on Monday begin at 2 AM and run until 8 PM. Departures from the lodge on Saturday begins at 4 AM and the last transportation service leaves at 11 AM.
7. How do I contact the Outfitter once I arrive at the Cordoba Airport?
The Cordoba airport is an extremely modest facility. Once you exit the plane, you will go to the immigration area. Once your Passport has been stamped you will exit the immigration station and enter the baggage claim area. Once you claim your luggage (often baggage handlers identify M&G clients and you will receive priority service with baggage handling and Customs) and clear the Customs area, you will be identified through the bag tags that you will be provided and greeted by the Outfitter's representative. You will then be transported to the lodge. Approximately 2-weeks prior to your departure 2 bag tags per hunter will be provided to the group leader. Approximately 1-week prior to departure, contact/emergency information will be provided to the group leader. This information will contain various contact information for outfitters/outfitter representatives in the Cordoba area.
8. Is it possible to hunt something other than doves during the scheduled hunt week?
Other wingshooting and big game opportunities are possible, but these hunts are strictly supplemental and need to be scheduled to precede or follow the scheduled dove hunting week (pigeon hunting is the only exception). Duck hunting and big game requires that you stay in a different lodge. The various opportunities, costs, and seasons are provided in the “RATES & HUNTING PACKAGE INFORMATION” window button on the website. These opportunities have limited availability so your interest in such hunting opportunities should be expressed early in the planning process.
9. What do I need to do if I want to add additional hunters beyond the original number purchased?
The first thing that needs to be done immediately after the purchase of a hunt is to contact the Outfitter's Booking Agent, BRIAN or KRISTY ESPY, in order to determine available open hunt weeks, and reserve your selection. The availability of additional slots beyond the original number purchased is dependent entirely on existing available slots at the time of contact and the receipt of fees required per additional person. All hunt bookings are reserved on a first come first served basis. In order to add additional hunters, a check should be made out to Whiddon Wingshooting and the phrase "add hunter(s) - Group Leader's Name" placed in the memo line. The check should be mailed to Brian & Kristy Espy, 124 Reid Cir, Deatsville, AL 36022.
10. Are there better times than others to shoot doves in Cordoba?
No, the birds are there all year long! You should have an opportunity at your calendar's convenience to shoot until your heart's content! A 10-yr average temperature chart should be consulted to assist you with your weather considerations. Please note that there is not a wet or dry season in Cordoba.
11. What communication capabilities are available at the lodge?
The lodges have satellite cable connection and Wi-Fi capabilities. Also, the outfitters have phones available if an unusual or emergency situation arises and a call needs to be made to the states. We have found that International Texting works well out in the field and the application "What'sApp" installed on your phone or tablet in airplane mode works best for verbal communication using the Wi-Fi in the lodge.
12. Do we need to bring electrical adaptors for our appliances?
Our La Volanta lodge is capable of handling both US and other types of electrical connections, but you should bring an adaptor if you are hunting out of any other location. However, we recommend that you bring an adaptor for international travel purposes while in the airport or other locations abroad away from the lodge. Please note that Chile and Argentina use different plugs so if you plan to connect through Santiago, Chile you should bring both adaptors. You may consider bringing a converter if the device that you plan to bring does not have a converter built into the plug (most electronic devices have this feature built in).
13. Does the Outfitter have a fully stocked bar?
We feature premium Argentine beer and outstanding red Malbec wines. Red liquors especially American/Canadian bourbons, whiskeys and blends are difficult to obtain in Argentina. Therefore, if that is your beverage of choice, we would recommend that you pick up your favorite brand at the Duty Free store located within the airport at your connecting flight prior to arrival into Argentina. In addition, based off of insurance requirements, safety considerations, convenience and courtesy to other staff or hunters, M&G reserves the right to restrict the use of alcohol in certain conditions or situations at the discretion of whomever is running the lodge.
14. Which lodge will my group and I be staying in?
Three primary lodging locations are used to accommodate dove hunting groups, there are 2 lodges located near the town of Arroyito (77 miles east of the Cordoba airport) and 1 lodge located near the town of Villa Dolores (127 miles south of the Cordoba airport). Maers & Goldman use discretion to determine the best lodging facility for your group to provide the best experience possible. Factors that determine the location are weather forecasts for the scheduled hunt week, group size and quality of the expected hunt based on bird scouting reports, other hunt opportunities planned to precede or follow the scheduled dove hunt, etc. At the time of scheduling, we will plan to send your group to a specific lodge; however, changes may be made up to the day arrival based on any of the factors listed above. Each group should know that we have your best interests in mind when making any last minute changes to the pre-determined plans and quality of the hunt, culinary delights or the overall experience will not be compromised.
15. Is there anything else to do during the hunt week outside of hunting?
This is a hunting trip, designed for hunters. We are not set up to accommodate general tourists. That said, we cater to the needs of hunters before, during and after the hunt but do not have the staff available to conduct general tours, etc.
16. If I have other questions about hunts, the lodge, travel, weather, etc. who do I contact?
The quickest and best way to get your initial questions answered is to first contact:
Brian or Kristy Espy at 334-569-9624 or 334-569-9724 or firstname.lastname@example.org
17. What are the essential items that I need to take on the trip?
- Ear & Eye protection
- Shoulder/recoil protection
- Sun block & insect repellent wipes (optional)
- Band-Aids, electrical tape, or (anything to prevent "Benelli Thumb")
- Shooting vest, shell pouch, or shooting coat
- Items 'd' & 'e' are not necessary if you allow your bird boy to load your shotgun
- Cap, visor, or some sort of head protection for sun
- Shooting gloves – we have found dark colored wet-weather golf gloves to be most effective
- Lightweight, comfortable boots
- Lightweight ("Under Armour" type) layered clothing for cool weather shooting
- Light rain gear just in case
18. Do I need to be able to speak Spanish?
No – the outfitters who run the lodge speak fluent English. However, if you want to enhance your trip abroad try communicating with the lodge and field staff in their native language. It will be fun and make the trip even more enjoyable. Laughter is the same in any language. Here are a few phrases and words to get you started. Keep in mind the single most important phrase you need to remember is: "Como se dice?" which means, “How do you say?” Then you can point to a tree or a table or any object and learn the word. Some other useful things to learn might be:
- Tengo sed "I'm thirsty"
- Tengo hambre "I'm hungry"
- Que hora es? "What time is it?"
- Necessito el cuarto de bano "I need a restroom"
- La paloma esta muerta! "Dead Dove!"
REMEMBER THAT THESE HUNTS ARE NOT TRANSFERABLE WITHOUT THE EXPRESS WRITTEN CONSENT OF THE OUTFITTER'S AGENT, BRIAN AND KRISTY ESPY. CONTACT BRIAN OR KRISTY ESPY FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION or 334-569-9624 or 334-569-9724.
Costs not included in in a particular package may be subject to minor changes (modifications) due to government requirements, restrictions or economic mandates.