Estancia Santa Elena

SORIANO, URUGUAY

SUPER-HIGH-VOLUME DOVE SHOOTING, CLASSIC OLD-WORLD LUXURY
PERDIZ & DUCKS:  MAY – JULY

Estancia Santa Elena

The huge agricultural and ranching properties in southwestern Uruguay have long been home to astronomical numbers of eared doves—with numbers and shooting opportunities easily rivaling Argentina and Bolivia. Estancia Santa Elena is located right in the bullseye of this area, about a two-hour drive northwest of Montevideo near the Uruguay River, amid fields producing wheat, oats, maize, and soybeans. The area is ideal for gamebirds, with terrific populations of perdiz and ducks in addition to the doves.

The doves

Here, the dove population is non-migratory and provides high-volume gunning literally year-round. This is primarily classic dove hunting, with shooters positioned along large (some a dozen miles in circumference) roosts, catching eared doves exiting the roost for hours in the morning and returning to roost virtually all afternoon. Aggressive shooters can easily expend 40-60-80 boxes a day here in the summer’s lengthier days.

The perdiz

May through July, brings the daily option of following careful pointers and Brittanies in pursuit of South America’s finest flushing bird, the spotted tinamou. The wild, native tinamou, (perdiz), resemble a small partridge or large quail and are very abundant in this area. It is not unusual to flush 25 perdiz per hour in a morning. This is a classic gentleman’s sport, with stylish pointing and retrieving and easy walking in flat or rolling short grass pastures.

The ducks

A 30-minute drive west of Santa Elena places you among both resident and migratory ducks—the largest duck concentrations in Uruguay. Flocks dwell in shallow freshwater lagoons and river marshes where the blinds are fed legally May through August. Your guides situate you in the blinds, set out decoys, and retrieve the bag. These wetlands lie directly within the migratory path of the renowned rosy-billed pochard. Abundant local ducks include Brazilian teal, speckled teal, and brown pintail.

Non-shooting activities

Estancia Santa Elena is about a one-hour drive from Colonia del Sacramento and Carmelo, with wineries, sophisticated restaurants, casinos, and shopping in a historical colonial setting. Horseback riding is available, and a masseuse can soothe those who have aggressively lifted their guns. You may wish to plan a day in historic Montevideo—Uruguay’s capital, or Punta del Este—the “Riviera of South America” with its great beaches, sophisticated restaurants, spas, upscale shopping, casinos, and colorful nightlife.

Accommodations

This traditional European-style mansion, built in the 1920s, has been thoroughly refurbished, offering 10 bedrooms with private baths and expansive living and dining areas. The personalized service is amazing. You are met at the door upon your return from the field and assisted with your waders, guns, any other need. The estancia grounds include stables, a swimming pool, and a chapel. Exquisite meals that include local cuisine and game birds, are prepared by talented chefs, and field asados are provided upon request. A well-stocked bar and wines are included. Your host, Pancho Cardozo, will see to your every hunting and dining request.

Rates

$950 / NIGHT (subject to change) Dove, Ducks, Perdiz

Included are accommodations, all meals, open bar, land lease fees, all services of professional guides, and round-trip airport transfers. Not included are commercial air travel, gun rental at $70/day, shells at $15/box, Uruguay hunting license and tips.

PRIME TIME: May through mid-August

$650 / NIGHT (subject to change) Dove

Included are accommodations, all meals, open bar, land lease fees, all services of professional guides, and round-trip airport transfers. Not included are commercial air travel, gun rental at $70/day, shells at $15/box, Uruguay hunting license and tips.

PRIME TIME: Year-round

Travel

Eastern Airlines currently flies non-stop from Miami to Montevideo. COPA and LATAM also fly from the US to Montevideo Carrasco International Airport with stops in Panama City, Panama and Santiago, Chile respectively. Guests are met upon arrival in Montevideo and transferred via private vehicle about two hours to the estancia.

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