Hunting Giant Red Stags in Argentina with Ian Harford | Part 1
The land is particularly treacherous as the team need to climb great heights as well as traverse over difficult and often unknown terrain. Red stags are typically known for being challenging yet thoroughly exciting to hunt. Although difficult, the hunt is incredibly enjoyable with breathtaking views across the stunning backdrop of Cordoba, Argentina.
The Red stags at Rincon de Luna are truly magnificent with large sprawling antlers; they’ve been able to grow and develop this way because the hunt isn’t always easy in this challenging environment. They take cover, deep in the mountains using rocky crevasses and ravines to shield themselves from the potential threat of a hunter. They know these mountains intimately, and as soon as there’s any sign of danger, they disappear into a crack, crevasse or ravine and you’ll never see them again.
Day 1 –
The morning started as they usually do at Rincon de Luna, very early. Our plan was to head out on horseback, do the hard miles up into the mountains to gain some elevation and then use our position to scan the hillside around us in the hope of finding a stag.
“So it’s a little after 10am here and we’ve managed to make it up to pretty much the highest point in the hunting area. This morning there’s no wind, which is a bonus. We’ve managed to establish a few good vantage points from which we can sit and spot from. There’s an awful lot of ground here to cover and whether there’s enough cover for us to get in close, that remains to be seen.”
The horses here are very adept at tackling the rocky terrain and look after you as well as themselves. Yes, you’ve got to be a little patient with them from time to time because they sense when it’s dangerous and making them go that little bit faster could be risky.
Trekking into the mountains is hard enough, but when Mother Nature is throwing all of her arsenal against you, it really does take all your strength. In this environment you need to dig down deep, persevere and commit to the hunt.
“It’s been an incredibly tough day. We’ve put a lot of time, effort and energy into the mountain and we scanned lots of ridges, valleys and slopes but we just didn’t find the stag we were looking for.”
On his Red Stag hunt, Ian was looking for a particular type of stag. One that’s past breeding age or at the very end of his tenure. Something that’s perfect to take out of the herd and let the younger generation of stags come through and repopulate the gene pool.
However, today was not that day. After all those hours in the mountains, the sun started to set and it was time for Ian to start making his way back to the hunt lodge. Form the furthest vantage point on the estate, it can take four or five hours sometimes to return on horseback. Here is not a place you want to get caught out after dark.
To be continued…
Watch the full hunt here: Argentina Red Stag hunting adventure.
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