The Essence of Life

The Essence of Life

Friday, July 13, 2012

In Uruguay...Once Again


The author and Ray Cato

Once again I am having the opportunity to hunt in Uruguay with JP Cacerias (jpdacosta@netgate.com.uy), and this afternoon my friend Ray Cato and I hunted perdiz (Nothura maculosa).

We had a most enjoyable afternoon, and besides watching some excellent dog work, we also got some birds and sent many more off with “two-gun” salutes.

The perdiz is the princess of the upland birds, and they occur in very high numbers in Uruguay, even this late in the hunting season, while the queen (at least in South America) is the much larger, but very similar in appearance, Martineta or Perdigão (Rhynchotus rufescens), but the later bird is protect in Uruguay and unhappily cannot be hunted.

Today I used a Stoeger/Boito/ERA 28-gauge side-by-side, and shot Spanish made ¾ ounces 7 ½ shells to shoot a 10 bird limit on perdiz, and for an inexpensive Brazilian made shotgun, it performed amazingly well. All birds that I hit fell hard, and the many that I missed were entirely my fault.

Hunting perdiz with a side-by-side 28 gauge shotgun is almost a soul searching experience, as this is what my father used to do. I probably will never come close to his 82% hit ratio, but just being able to enjoy the same bird with what is my opinion the best balanced gauge for upland hunting is a great reward.

By the way, JP Cacerias offers some of the greatest and most affordable upland bird hunting anywhere in the world, even if you include the airfare to come down to Uruguay. This trip was a last minute arrangement and I will only be here for three days, but the afternoon was so pleasant that it was worth coming.

The day could not have been prettier, and tomorrow morning we will go after doves and we will let you know how we did.

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