Big Game Hunting in South America
South American features numerous big game hunting outfitters that can provide you and your crew an amazing wildlife experience. Within South America, you will many outfitters providing the opportunity to hunt several of the most popular species that attracts hunters from around the world such as red stag, axis deer, fallow deer, whitetail deer, dove, pigeon, and duck. South America is a top destination on many hunters’ bucket lists due to its warm climate when North America is cold and extended hunting season.
Selecting the Right Caliber Rifle
Based on your hunting goals and the type of hunting you do, some caliber choices will be more fitting than others. When deciding what caliber rifle to purchase, we must consider many factors like: What will you be hunting? What range will you be shooting from? Does recoil matter to you? How much available ammunition do you prefer in the chamber at a time? Top speed and size does not necessarily mean it is always “the best”. It is important to educate yourself and thoroughly prepare for the purchase to ensure the best function and safety.
For close range hunting of up to about 150 yards, the .30-30 is a classic that does not disappoint. .30 refers to the .30 caliber bullet, and 30 refers to 30 grains of smokeless powder. They were a top choice a hundred years ago and continue to be very popular today. .30-30 rifles are especially a great option for whitetail deer hunting. .30-30’s are not known for being the most powerful on the market, but they are still highly effective for hunting. Shots taken at around a 75 foot distance are likely to be much more accurate and effective than a shot fired at a 200 foot distance anyway. At 200 feet, a shoot and miss or a wounding is common, therefore many hunters prefer to wait for a shorter distance between them and their target before pulling the trigger since shot accuracy is more important than velocity. The .30-30 having less velocity has its advantages because this results in a light recoil which makes for quicker realignment and better accuracy. Also, 0.30-30 rifles tend to be lighter weight, so the hunter will have easier mobility and will not have the weight of their gun slowing them down. .30-30 rifles are usually on the lower end of the rifle price range, however quality is not compromised. People love these weapons as they are classic, reliable, and reasonably priced. Listed below are some popular Henry hunting rifle models that are available in .30-30:
- Brass Wildlife Edition
- Side Gate Lever Action Rifle
- Steel Lever Action .30-30 Side Gate
- Color Case Hardened Lever Action Side Gate
- Steel Wildlife Edition Side Gate
- All-Weather Lever Action Side Gate
- Brass Lever Action .30-30
- Lever Action X Model .30-30
The .45-70 is known as another great option for deer hunting and big game hunting in general. .45-70’s typically have a range of about 300 yards, which will be sufficient in most hunting situations but are usually suggested for killing medium size game. A .45-70’s bullets have a relatively low velocity so it will not destroy the meat if used to kill small game. However, .45-70 rifles still carry a good amount of power for their purpose and are very accurate and dependable weapons. Due to the steep trajectory of the bullets, the ideal setting for .45-70 rifles to be used in are areas that are wooded or have heavy brush for short range hunting. For big game hunting, people often suggest Marlin or Henry rifles. Here is a list of some 45-70 rifles that many consider the best on the market:
- Winchester Model 1886
- Rossi Rio Grande
.270 rifles are perfect for medium game such as deer, goat, and sheep hunting. They have a recoil that is on the lighter side and good shot placement. They have a range of 300 to 500 yards. This is suitable for what is considered to be long range hunting, so it is ideal for settings like open plains and fields. It is said that .270’s are the most popular big game hunting cartridges out there. Here are some of the best models of .270 rifles on the market:
- Browning X-Bolt Composite Stalker
- Winchester Model 70 Featherweight
- Savage Arms Axis II XP
- Ruger American Rifle Standard
- Tikka T3X SuperLite
- CZ 577 American
- Bergara B-14 Hunter
- Remington 700 CDL
- Mossberg Patriot Synthetic Combo
- Browning BLR Lightweight
- Bellini Lupo Rifle
6.5 Creedmoor rifles are relatively new as they were designed in 2007. They have a higher price point than some of the previously discussed options. They are best for medium game and are good for open field or plain use. It has a range of about 800 yards, which is on the high end for a hunting rifle.
Some of the best models include:
.300 win mag
.300 win mag’s are another very popular option for big game hunting. They are also used in the military and elite police.The range on these can be 300 yards or more. .300 win mag rifles are very powerful, yet precise weapons that can be used for moose, wild hogs, elk, and bighorn sheep long range hunting. Listed below are some top rated .300 win mag rifle models:
- Remington 700
- Winchester Model 70 Super Grade
- Weatherby Vanguard
- Browning X-Bolt
- Browning BAR Mark III
Selecting a Location and Time of Year for Your Hunt
There are different hunting months based on what you are seeking to hunt. South American big game hunting runs year round. You can hunt doves, pigeons, and dorado year round. Duck and perdiz are hunted May through August. Whitetail deer season is June through September. Water Buffalo, wild goat, axis deer, blackbuck, European mouflon, four horned sheep, wild sheep, and European wild boars can all be hunted March through November. Red stag and fallow deer season is March through July. There is never a bad time to book a hunting trip to South America. There is so much to explore that the hardest decision to make is selecting just one location. Argentina is in the top 3 most popular hunting destinations in the world, with the red stag being their most premium species. Because of this, if you are planning your hunting trip to Argentina, it may be a good idea to go during red stag season which is March through July. However, for this reason this might be the time it is most crowded. Also, you should keep in mind that March is Argentina’s wettest month so wherever you end up, make sure to check the weather ahead of time and come well prepared for long days outdoors.
After you have carefully selected and acquired a rifle, there are some accessories you should consider purchasing that will assist with the ease of use. Here are some rifle accessories that may be necessary to have:
- Rifle Sling
- Cheek Piece
- Bipod, Monopods, and Mounts
- Muzzle Break
- Shooting Sticks
- Sand Sock
- Scope Rings
- Gun Cases
Rifle slings are useful while hiking around with your gun. They are essentially a handle to make the gun easier to carry around. Cheek pieces give the hunter a place to rest their cheek to get improved eye alignment when looking through the scope. Monopods and Bipods are a stand that will prop up your weapon in a shooting position. Muzzle brakes reduce the recoil of fire. Shooting sticks are sticks that are stuck in the group in the shape of a V and their purpose is to provide support to the forearm of the rifle. Sand socks provide a soft interface under the front end of the rifle and provide extra stability when a bipod is in use. Optics allow the hunter to increase the range they are able to shoot with precision. They make it so you do not have to focus on the target, front sight, and rear sight at the same time. Scope rings protect the outside of the scope tube from damage. Gun cases are designed to protect the gun from humidity and dust. Having quality scope rings, and great optics and gun cases makes for secure transport on flights, which is necessary when venturing on an out of country hunting experience.
No matter where you visit or the big game trophy you are hunting, a trip to South America is sure to be a highly memorable experience of a lifetime. Planning and preparing for the hunt will take some time but it will all be worth it. By doing your own independent research and considering the credible suggestions made here, you can ensure that you will select the perfect rifle for you.
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