As I am driving home from an amazing 24 hours at Castle Valley Outdoor Lodge in Utah, I eagerly await my return to this hidden gem. A three-hour drive from Salt Lake City, Castle Valley Outdoors is an Orvis endorsed lodge that sits on an impressive 12,000 acres with a variety of different types of shoots(including walk-up bird, prairie dog, coyote, you name it), and even a great pond to enjoy some fly-fishing. A self-proclaimed “Western” lodge, Castle Valley makes you feel at home from the second you arrive. Jim Fauver, the manager who has been running the lodge for more years that he can remember, works tirelessly to accommodate all types of hunters needs and desires, and does so with a constant smile on his face.
What makes Castle Valley truly unique is the willingness to work with anybody’s shooting schedule, regardless of the day of the week. With no set agenda, visitors have the option to choose what type of shoot they would like to do the night before and Jim will make sure the guys have everything set to go first thing in the morning. With the wide range of walk-ups offered, it doesn’t matter is you are more interested in just shooting lots of birds with very little walking required, or you want to really work for your birds and enjoy hiking up hills to find them, the sprawling property has something for everyone, regardless of your skill level.
And ladies, this is not just a man’s paradise, in fact, Jim has several groups of woman who return every year to be challenged. With the ability to accommodate up to 20 guests, Castle Valley maintains its cozy environment with a wonderful home cooked western meal every night and late night conversations with a great group of new friends around a nice fire.
With their season starting in September and running through to the end of March, Castle Valley is guaranteed to show you a great experience, regardless of the weather.
For more information visit: http://www.castlevalleyoutdoors.com/index.php or Contact Jim Fauver Directly: cell: 435 749 0508, Jim@CastleValleyOutdoors.com. And Good Shot Design at www.goodshotdesign.com
April 1, 2014
ARGENTINA HERE I COME!!!
On Thursday I leave for my long awaited 3 day girls dove shoot at Los Chanares, http://www.loschanares.com/, in Cordoba, Argentina. I will be shooting with some members of the GRITS (Girls Really Into Shooting) and friends. Elizabeth Lanier, (http://www.laniershootingsports.com/), the well respected shooting instructor who has the ability to generate enthusiasm and confidence in the most uncoordinated shot, will be there to help us all master the art of high volume shooting followed by her signature “YAHOOOOO”.
Cordoba is not the most accessible area from the US (transfer through Bueonos Aires or Panama) but it is well respected as the premier dove shooting area in Argentina. The beauty of Los Chanares is it is the only dove hunting lodge in Cordoba that has equal access to the world famous Macha dove roost. The heart of the roost includes a 9,000 acre expanse that runs directly through Los Chanares’ private property. Therefore this stretch of land is the most prized dove hunting property in Cordoba. With exclusive access we can enjoy high volume shooting just 5-10 minutes from the lodge.
The plan is to shoot in the morning, rest for a few hours in the middle of the day (maybe a massage or two), shoot in the afternoon and then it is a well earned cocktail time.
Soledad@flyways.com has been fabulous getting the group organized. Our package includes ground transportation, 6 dove hunts, professional guides, deluxe accommodation, all meals AND beverages (that may change after this group!), laundry, boot and gun cleaning and local taxes. Extras are the usual shells, licenses, gun entry permits, gratuities.
A FEW PRE PLANNING TIPS
- The weather in Cordoba is similar to Atlanta GA, but remember June-August is winter. Check the weather before you pack.
- US dollars are accepted in Cordoba as are checks with a 2.5% surcharge Credit cards are discouraged. BRING CASH.
- There is a reciprocity fee of $160 that needs to be paid prior to arrival. The easiest way is online at www.visatoargentina.com. Once you have this piece of paper it is effective for 10 years.
- Los Charnares has a collection of over 40 Beretta shotguns and semis. However, it is possible to bring your own but be prepared for the paperwork and preparations. Guns must be registered with US Customs and the airline. Paperwork to be completed at the US Customs office at the airport once the guns have been inspected. Argentina is also a bureaucratic process so carrying your own guns is only recommended if you have specially fitted guns.
- American Airlines does not interline guns with other airlines. This means you cannot travel with your firearms on American through Santiago, Chile or Lima since LAN operates the flight between Cordoba and Santiago/Lima Paperwork to be completed at the US Customs office at the airport once the guns have been inspected. Argentina is also a bureaucratic process so carrying your own guns is only recommended if you have specially fitted guns.
- No inoculations are required in the Cordoba area.
- Security can be an issue so it is advised to travel with companies, such as Flyways who will pickup and drop off at the Cordoba airport.
- I would highly recommend getting insurance for your shooting trips wherever in the world you are shooting. For Argentina I used The Best Hunting Shop http://www.besthuntingshop.com/. When shooting in England and Europe I use The English company, Guns on Pegs, has a fantastic insurance plan that I would highly recommend for any shoot, not only Argentina. http://www.gunsonpegs.com/shooting/buy/shooting_insurance.php. It is available to world residents. If for any reason you must cancel a shoot, rather than forgo your full payment, for a small amount you will be covered by their affiliation with Hiscox and Amlin, English insurance companies.
A LITTLE ABOUT THE DRESS CODE http://www.goodshotdesign.com/
Think camouflage coloring when packing any shooting clothes.
- Layering is the name of the game with temperatures moving from 40F to 70.
- .Lightweight rain wear. The John Field line http://www.goodshotdesign.com/ is excellent for this purpose – 100% waterproof, folds into an easy carry zippered bag and a variety of styles.
- Ankle height shoes or boots are recommended but I have been there after a heavy rainfall when it is very muddy and unpleasant. So I’m taking my Meindl boots, http://www.amazon.com/MEINDL-Burma-Mens-Brown-US8-5/dp/B002GMMVO8/ref=sr_1_5?ie=UTF8&qid=1396387473&sr=8-5&keywords=meindl+boots. They are the most comfortable, waterproof, warm everything boot.
- Don’t forget ear protection, sun glasses, recoil shoulder pads – Kevlar lined vests, Evo Shield shirts etc., side carrying patches for shells, leather shooting gloves (a must due to high volume). I also recommend a little roll of heavy duty tape, such as electric tape, to tape your loading thumb. It WILL become painful especially if using a semi automatic gun.
- Remember Argentina is 220 voltage. Most lodges have converters but be prepared.
I have decided not to take guns to minimize the hassle. So I’m off to pack. Will report back during/after the trip. Not sure of the wifi situation!!!
ME DESEO SUERTE
Shooting with the famous Alex Brant
Last Saturday, March 8, dawned a beautiful sunny and slightly warmer (45 degrees) day, the first for more than 3 months. John and I headed up to the beautiful Mashomack Club in Millbrook, NY http://mashomackclub.com/ for a day of wingshooting, a fund raiser organised by the Game Conservancy of the USA www.gcusa.org. After a delicious breakfast thanks to the Club the “Range Rover brigade” headed up to the blinds, assembled outside the outdoor “club” around the open fire after collecting boxes of cartridges and listened to Tyler give his safety instructions and starting blind numbers.
Although all the guns have been shooting for many years, these briefings are absolutely necessary and often vary from club to club, shoot to shoot. Shooting in pairs we headed off. The birds were flying high and fast and many experienced shots were overheard muttering excuses for not bringing down their target. But the skies were blue, there was no wind and for many participants the opportunity to be outside without a coat was glorious.
The dogs, as usual at Mashomack, were accurate, disciplined, and very happy to be kept so busy. Its always a pleasure to watch them at work and I am constantly amazed at their owners/trainers who have spent many patient hours training their dogs to watch, wait, listen for instruction, retrieve with a soft mouth and not harm the birds. Following the shoot we headed back to the clubhouse to fawn over the fabulous guns and accessories displayed by Connecticut Gun who had very kindly loaned their fabulous A-10 series to several participants (myself included). I was shooting a 20 over/under. It is so beautifully balanced and light (especially for a woman) it is hard not to enjoy the sport.
Arader Galleries had a wonderful selection of audubon prints for sale, displayed beautifully by the afternoon sunlight beaming over the snow and through the windows. What day of shooting isn’t complete without the cigar, port and stilton hours. Saturday was particularly special as it was warm enough to be outside in the sun. As the shooting season is drawing to a close, these moments are a special time to share stories of the season past and discuss plans for the forthcoming Fall season whether in the US or elsewhere. Wing shooting takes us to many different corners of the world, always stunning locations where we meet fascinating people. A fabulous lunch ensued with all 25 guests seated at a beautiful long table with port and cheese to follow.