ARGENTINA EQUIPMENT LIST
What follows is a general guideline, and each hunter should adapt it to fit his own needs. No list will ever be all encompassing, so please think about your needs.
- GUNS: They can be imported quite easily. We have the import forms. The guns are inspected on arrival. You pay a fee of around $90 US, submit the required forms and that is it. You MUST keep the forms and return them to the authorities on your departure. OR- you can usually rent shotguns and rifles for fees of from $25 to ^0 per day, plus ammo. Guns vary widely, so ask for specifics.
- Argentina has incorporated a new mandatory on-line method of payment for their Reciprocity/Immigration fee. The citizens of United States, Canada and Australia must PRE-PAY these fees on-line prior to traveling to Argentina. This was done in retaliation to the new US requirement that Argentine citizens coming here, must first travel to the Buenos Aires US embassy— and be interrogated there and then must fill out a form and pay the same fee. Argentina retaliated, although they did not force us to go to the Argentine embassy- just made us pay the same fee!
How to pay the Reciprocity Rate?
- The traveler must log on to www.migraciones.gov.ar and click on “Pay your reciprocity rates”
- Click on continue and you will be directed to Provincia Pagos
- Click on “Pay Immigration rates”
- Click on “sign-up” under the Log In section
- Complete the form with the corresponding personal and credit card information. The information provided by the traveler and the income code is sent to the DNM online.
- Print the payment receipt
- Upon arrival Argentine territory, go to the DNM Office and presents the printed ticket
- The ticket is scanned by the NMD staff; the data are validated and you are allowed to enter the country
US citizens pay $160. You then have 10 years’ worth of permission for multiple entries into Argentina
SAVE THE FORMS!
Passengers arriving in Argentina without being able to show the fee was pre-paid will NOT be able to enter Argentina and will have to return home!!
- Passport- Make Sure It Is Current through Your Return Date with Time To Spare- 6 Months.
- US CUSTOMS Form 4457- Declaration On Firearms, Cameras And Valuables. Obtain From US Customs Well In Advance Of Departure-This Is A Mandatory Document For Getting Your Guns Into Argentina And Getting Them Back Into The US!!!! MANDATORY!!!
- Drivers License, Credit Cards Etc.
- Sufficient cash for non-included expenses as per write-up of hunt- roughly $1200, plus additional funds for tips and extra animals. They require cash for extra animals-or you can make a deposit with us and we hold it against your hunt for you. Do not leave cash lying around in your room-never! Lock in your gun case or ask the lodge to safeguard it. If you prefer you can make a deposit with us of any large amounts-we can wire it to them at conclusion of your hunt.
- Any weapon adequate for elk will work fine for red stag, puma etc. Suggested calibers are 7mm/08, .270, 30-06 and up to and including .7mags, .300 mags, even a .338 mag. Most stag shots will be at 50 to 200 yards, so a good 2X7, 3X9 or similar scope is suggested. Sight it dead on for 200 yards. If you intend to hunt water buffalo-they are dangerous-seriously so. Just like cape buffalo you rarely have a problem, but if they come for you it is to the finish. Therefore we think .338 Mag is the minimum-Butch saw several take up to 9 shots with .416- and never even saw them flinch!! So .375 Mag, 416 Mag; etc. Use only premium bullets. Sight in for dead on at 100 yards- shots can be from too close to 200 yards.
- Ear Plugs: hunters get tired and snore! Ear plugs insure a good night’s sleep and also protect your ears when checking your scope on arrival. I permanently keep several sets in my shaving kit. Also, stags will keep you up with their roaring! Truly!
- A Camera- with extra battery and plenty of film- do not plan on buying it where you are going. I like a compact 35mm with the most telephoto I can find and the ability to set it down and walk over to the trophy and have it shoot on a timer automatically. I also suggest a video cam- compact DISC; 8MM or Hi 8 or digital. The new digital is interesting since you can freeze frame and print off a picture. Video of live animals always gets lots of comments from my friends.
- Bipod or Shooting Sticks. I take both. Underwood makes a nice stick- Harris a nice bipod. Get the sticks you can shoot from the standing position. For Argentina often you will need to stand to shoot over brush-so sticks must be tall enough to allow shooting from a standing position. I like a monopod by Stoney point-use it to steady my binocs; to film off of; as a walking stick; to push nasty brush out of the way and to shoot critters from! HINT: Only use a quarter twist to lock or unlock the extensions- otherwise you can break it!
- I suggest a Quality Binocular in 8 to 12 power. I like 10 myself. I like Zeiss; Steiner(great buys); Swarovski; Leupold and similar. Be weight conscious. I highly recommend the binocular behind the shoulder harnesses to take strain off your neck. Bino-Buddy is one. Avoid excessively large objective lenses- I prefer 40MM. To the big 50’s.
- A Spotting Scope by one of the same binocular manufacturers is useful, but may not always be necessary. If you are going light then do not bring it. I have not bothered with one-but several times it would have been handy-however if you are watching weight-don’t bother. Buy a lightweight in any event (30 to 38 ounces)- I prefer something with a top power of 30 or better.
- A Canteen capable of holding 1 quart of water. I like the army surplus style that are flexible rubber and you can roll them like a tube of toothpaste to avoid the sloshing noises.
- A Rifle Sling– We like the non-slip neoprene slings a lot. My favorite is by Vero Verilini.
HUNTING PACK: Normally you do two red stag hunts a day, morning from about 7AM to around 10 or 11AM (don’t worry that is plenty of time and stags quiet down by then making them tough to locate.); and then again from around 3:30 to 8 PM. So don’t take a big pack with you-not needed. I do suggest the following be place in a SMALL QUIET fanny or back pack:
- a flashlight with an extra set of batteries and extra bulb. I like one which uses two C cells (God save me from those mini type metal flashlights- they have proven too easy to bust when twisting them on and off- I have a drawer full- selling them cheap!) The C cells last long and give good light for the weight. I like a plastic waterproof light. The new LED’s are good. Or a small couple ounce headlight works too.
- bandaids and bandages;
- A supply of your necessary daily medications;
- a quality compass or GPS- just in case guide is hurt.
- chap stick for lips and sun tan lotion
- Toilet paper
- Surveyors flagging tape
- A leatherman tool for pulling out splinters, briars, etc.
- If you wear them-a supply of contact lens stuff and a spare pair;
- A spare pair of eyeglasses;
- Pair of light leather gloves;
A FANNY PACK (adequate for Argentina- provided it has straps so you can attach your rolled up jacket!) or back pack of quiet and waterproof material such as suede or fleece or wool to carry all of the above. You don’t need much here- even the knife is not needed as guide will have one. If you get a full backpack–get one with a quality padded hip belt that puts the weight on your hips. I have several big ones that I use as my carry-on piece of luggage. Then I reload into my fanny pack for the hunt. All my optical, survival and camera goods, shaving kit; plus a change of underwear and socks– goes in there when I am traveling. It is never out of my sight!
HARD METAL OR QUALITY HARD PLASTIC GUN CASE FOR AIRLINE TRAVEL WITH
LOCKS. I recently went to a Browning travel Vault- hard plastic-nearly indestructible- but it is heavy. But I do like it- it has wheels. I can pack lots of extra stuff in it too. I remove one of the two foam pads, then put my gun in a padded soft case inside the hard case and pack knives etc. in there. NO BULLETS IN THE GUN CASE– they go in your duffel.
CLOTHING: In general on Red Stag hunts in March and April expect early temperatures to be cool- perhaps 35-45 -so a light jacket or sweater in the AM. Afternoons can be 70 to 90 degrees. NOTE: They can do a wash for you normally-so ask on arrival.
- Socks- bring at least 4 pairs. No need for wool here- its warm-socks that breathe are best.
- Gloves– One pair of light leather shooting gloves for brambles. If you are dove shooting bring at least three pairs!
- Underwear: I like the cool-max skivvies- 2-3 sets.
- Pants- I like camo jeans or cotton camo pants down there. Two pair. There are enough brambles and sharp stuff to need a pair of pants tough enough to deflect at least a majority of that stuff. Try to keep to fairly quiet materials—stalks can be in close quarters! A pair of camo bird pants with leather (not noisy canvas) fronts for leg protection would work. Forget using chamois, flannel, light cotton-your legs will get chewed up.
- Coat– I take a light Gore-Tex camo suede parka which I can layer underneath with sweaters or sweatshirts. Usually I only wear the jacket an hour or so in AM. Make sure the parka has a soft outside material that will not make rustling and rubbing noises when you walk or crawl. Almost quiet is not good enough! I like the suede type fabrics or the new MT 050 fabric. Fleece coats eat and hold too many burrs for my taste as an outer garment. Also be sure your back pack or fanny pack is equipped with straps large enough to hold your coat behind you if it gets warm or you are exerting yourself. Test it to make sure it will fit and stay put on your pack, even when crawling! And make sure all the stitching on the pack is solid.
- Hats: Take two- breathable caps- if one gets sweaty switch. I like a baseball cap or a Stetson/Aussie type-sun is hot and can burn you. Camo colors- no blaze orange-not required and you will rarely ever see anyone but your guide!
- Sweater: I like the camo colored wind stopper wool zip or button open style that lets it breathe. If you can’t open it up to vent it will wear you out with excess heat and energy drain. Or as a substitute take a camo sweat shirt with foam or fleece lining, to use as either an outer or under garment. It gives me much flexibility in clothing selection for a day.
- Shirts: I have grown to love fleece in a shirt. Very lightweight fleece though- or lightweight cotton camo. Bring two or three-it breathes well, has good heat retention under another layer, and is comfortable as well. I especially like the micro fleece in a LIGHT weight shirt; cotton camo is fine as temperatures are mild-equivalent to September in Northern US. You should bring some long sleeve camo t-shirts as it can get very warm!
- BOOTS: Lightweight boots that breathe. Sneakers will do for a backup. I have used 6” walking boots. Fine. There is almost no water, terrain in relatively flat, footing is good. Waterproof is nice just in case of rain, but very unlikely to be needed. Two pairs-I wear one on plane, pack other set in gun case. Try to equalize weight in gun case and duffel bag to save excess luggage charges.
DUFFEL BAGS: With new luggage restrictions I actually go the store with a scale- tough to find anything with wheels for under 7 pounds! LL Bean has a few. Again- buy good stuff-I have seen a duffel explode when a heavy bag is thrown on top of it by luggage carriers.
SLEEPING BAG– NONE. Bedding supplied. Maid service too. Laundry often can be arranged on request.
Moleskin for blisters with an antiseptic ointment;
Extra boot laces;
Slippers for night bathroom calls or for the shower;
An anti-diarrheal and maybe some Ex-Lax;
Aleve or aspirin;
Bathroom items- They do supply towels, soap etc. Each room sleeps two guys with your own bath and shower.
BRING ALONG A GREAT SENSE OF HUMOR- THIS IS NOT HOME!! THINGS HAPPEN-BE PATIENT!
BUT if the outfitter is not doing right by you- then face them and make them fix it, if they can. better that than staying unhappy and keeping your mouth shut and guaranteeing a poor hunt! We try hard to find quality outfitters, but things can go awry- so speak up firmly but nicely. They want you happy!!
If need be email or call us before leaving!! And if the scheduling does not suit you- discuss it with them-these folks are Some of the most willing people you will ever meet. You will really enjoy them-this is one awesome hunt! But it is rare to have any issues on our argentine hunts!
Get in reasonable shape– hike; bike; swim whatever. Just do it! Expect to walk 1 to 2 miles in the morning-same in the afternoon. If it gets to be too much-ask to be in a blind over a waterhole-and then bring your video- I saw over 300 animals one hot afternoon. I think blinds are best in late day. Low exertion overall!! I call it a 3 to 4 on a scale of 10.
Practice off hand snap shots; practice kneeling and sitting and practice shooting off the shooting sticks in the standing position!! If you wound an animal- you will have to pay for it—so practice and then practice some more!! I promise it will pay off!
Archers: practice and practice. We have had a number archers go down on this hunt, and i have taken stag myself with bow there. It appears best results are from blinds set up in travel corridors or around water holes. They will even build you a blind. You should try the spot and stalk-fun but tough to get close enough-just like elk hunting. In fact bring elk type equipment.
I am sure that no matter how many times I make out this list and review it, I will omit one thing you would have liked. So use your own common sense as well as relying on my list. And feel free to make suggestions- we want everyone as well prepared as possible.
FINAL THOUGHTS: We can arrange all kinds of sightseeing, tango shows, cruises, shopping tours, museums etc in Buenos Aires-just ask. Allow a couple days on the front end of your trip-you will find it worthwhile. We also suggest some superb 5 star hotels and restaurants. Argentine wine and beef is the best! There are superb bargains on leather type goods in BA- custom made leather jackets can be under $150! Shoes, soft boots, leather cases-all are bargains!