Rancho Caracol

Laredo Morning Times 8/31/08

A new hunting season ushered in on the wings of a dove
Marty Malin

Nothing can be more humbling to a shotgun hunter than a dove season. Your barrel heats up as shotshell after shotshell falls to the ground and at quitin’ time you find yourself surrounded by hulls and empty boxes and more times than not, one or two birds short of a legal limit.

Dove are harder to consistently hit than clay targets because of the varying flight angles coupled with the fact that they possess the ability to change direction and speed. I can tell you from past experience as recently as last week, that if that scenario sounds familiar to you, in all likelihood you are not leading the gray ghosts of autumn quite enough. The old adage applies, “To hit a moving target and put it out of bizz, aim where it’s gonna’ be, never where it is.”

I opened the 2008-2009 whitewing dove season a fortnight ago in Mexico. I drove down to the Harlingen International Airport where I joined other gunners who had flown in from around the country. We all eventually boarded new comfortable 10 passenger Mercedes Vans for the three hour trip to Rancho Caracol near Lake Guerrero in Tamaulipas, Mexico. What a time we had. Fantastic food and accommodations combined with great shooting opportunities are a difficult combination to beat.

Opening day eve, while being fitted with a new Beretta 686 Silver Pigeon Grade over-and-under shotgun in the gun room, I met and spoke briefly with a past Texas Parks and Wildlife Commissioner, Walter Umphrey, who along with a group of thirty other individuals from the Beaumont area, were also being fitted for the morning opener.

On one morning hunt, a member in our party had 21 empty boxes lying on the ground next to him when it was time to board the van for refreshments and the ride back to Rancho Caracol. Upon our arrival, we were spoiled by the staff with drinks of our choice and hors d’oeuvres including bacon wrapped dove breast. That was followed by an enjoyable lunch, a short nap to recharge the batteries and a swim in a magnificent pool that every one of us who entertains would love to have in our backyard.

Millions of dollars have been spent by the Putegnat family of Brownsville, Texas, in acquiring 11,000 acres of land 150 miles south of the border and developing a hunting oasis second to none in Mexico. In fact, this Orvis endorsed recreational shooting destination is one of a select few with that designation found throughout the world.

These folks have thought of everything to not only make your stay a memorable experience but also the desire to return. This attention to detail results in nearly a 90% re-booking rate with 70% of their guests having the discrimating tastes of Texans. In fact, Dean Putegnat stands behind this bold statement, “If for any reason a guest felt he didn’t get his money’s worth, the next hunt is on me.”

What it all boils down to is this: if you enjoy wing shooting, fine food and beverage, relaxation in a semi-tropical setting, pampering, and the camaraderie with folks of a like mind, Rancho Caracol is the place to go, and best of all for Laredo hunters, it’s close to home.

Dove, quail and combination dove/quail hunts are available well into February of 2009. For more information go to www.ranchocaracol.com.

"The ranch lies in the heart of the best wild quail country in Mexico."
Dr. Ron Haaland, in Quail Unlimited Magazine
Toll free: 888-246-3164 : Outside U.S.: 956-542-3482 : Fax: 956-542-5765
Rancho Caracol : 2424 Village Drive : Brownsville, TX 78521