Friday, April 18, 2008

Why not hunt Mexico?

I figured I would spend a little time on the topic of why not Mexico?

I will start and say I love Mexico. There is no anti-Mexican bent to what I have to say about hunting the place. I grew up knowing Mexico as I wish to remember it, a beautiful country with an amazing culture. The Sauza's (Sauza Tequila) have been part of the extended family for decades. There is no better way to see the Tequila producing region of Mexico than thru the eyes of the people that brought modern agriculture to Mexico, Don Javier and Nina Sauza. I grew up with their son Don Eladio Sauza as my Uncle. The Sauza'a and Eladio are are dead now, sadly. I spent summers in Los Cabos, and my family vacationed at haciendas in Tequila, Guadalajara, and most importantly Acapulco. That place was magic. The movie Night of the Iguana with Rock Hudson was filmed at their home in Acapulco, if you want to take a look at Villa Sauza.

Despite my affection for Mexico, I am not going back. At least not to hunt, and for now not even to visit. It is very dangerous. Last time I was there 15 year old 'soldiers' pointed machine guns at me on 3 occasions within a week. I encountered PROFEPA, which is a Mexican federal game agency on all but one hunt. The only reason they did not give me trouble is that I spoke Spanish to them, so they considered me a 'good Gringo' and went to screw with the next guy.

Another big note: Kidnapping in Mexico is considered an industry. Do not just hop into a cab, unless you are certain they are a regular cab, and be sure the door opens from the inside before both of you get in. Do not go to an ATM or a bank alone. Do not flash a big roll. Do not go get plastered and stumble home. Do not give money to the little groups of street children, they follow you to identify you as a mark. These are some of the bandits favorite setups to pick off tourists. The Mexicans say you can always tell a thief, he dresses like a cop during the day.

Dove hunting in Mexico is more expensive, like $1000 a day before shells. The shells are about $14 a box. The good news is that you will not shoot that much. I am a good shot and my best day in Mexico was 180 birds. My best single hunt in Argentina is 1,007 doves in about 3 hours, no kidding.

Add to this that the Mexicans do not like Americans much right now. They are pissed because we want to close the Border, so they are raping the shit out of it. Now that being said, they have nicer swimming pools with swim up bars and hot tubs. It is a small bit of satisfaction, because you are going to get the shits. Overall the Mexicans have hospitality worked out because there is normally an American running the show, to help the Mexicans understand our spoiled asses. Here is a picture of the swim up bar at Don Quixote, I would float my butt up to it and eat lunch. That part was nice.

Below is a hot tub that 10 big men can all sit in at once and not feel the least bit insecure.

Don Turner is the gringo running the outfitter I used when I went white wing hunting in the area around Lake Guerrero, near the village of Abasolo, east of Monterrey, Mexico. I cannot say enough bad things about this experience, but I will try. My opinion is he is not trust worthy. When he wasn't, and this is me guessing, stuffed full of Bolivian marching it was first thing in the morning, which was about 1 p.m. for him. The outfit is Hacienda Don Quixote, (i have not included this as a link, in case someone would go to him by mistake). I ran into a guy that makes the nice shooting shirts he sells, and the maker said Don stole the last two orders, and will not come back across the border as there are so many folks anxious for his return.

It has a nice pool, decent food, lots of waiters, a huge hut tub. The problem is that Don is as busy trying to take advantage of the Mexicans as he is the hunters. A couple of hunts I hunted with a Mexican that introduced himself as 'Pepe'. This is unheard of, 99.5% of Mexicans do not hunt. (Gun ownership is basically illegal unless you are very rich). He was head of the Mexican department of fish and game. Don was kissing up night and day to make up for something while trying to appear to not be making money. This is the only time PROFEPA did not show up. My guess is that he had not been paying the police, and Pepe had showed up to find out why. I was very nice to Pepe, and helped him work on his left to right shot. Pepe was very interested in what I paid for the trip, and license fees.

The other problem we have all heard of is that if you violate one of the Mexican laws, you go to Mexican jail, until the bail (ransom) is paid or you die. A fellow from my hometown carried a box of shotgun shells across the Border into Mexico and it cost him $50,000. He did not have $50,000 to begin with, so his family had to come thru.

Despite what Don and other outfitters will tell you, there is a strict limit of 40 doves per day in Mexico. Violate this law and you get a fine payable on the spot in U.S. Dollars, or see the comment about Mexican jails.

Soooo...I do not recommend it.

1 comment:

Pat said...

I liked Don Quixote until I went there one too many times. The owner was not as visible as in prior years so getting them cook doves was nearly impossible. We were at Don Quixote for opening weekend. After being promised left handed shotguns and then being given some bullshit reason why it was not there, we ask why they had no guacamole - yep no guac in Mexico. Seems the avacados were not ready. They had only known we were coming for 12 weeks but no one was ready for us. The rooms in past years had been nice, but the last year we got the shitty little converted shed. That was our last trip to Don Quixote.