John's Journal...


Chesapeake Bay vs. Argentina

EDITOR’S NOTE: The mourning begins on the last day of duck season, which is usually the end of January. Many months will pass before we once again don waders, gather up our decoys, load up our retrievers and head for our blinds. However, duck season doesn’t have to end. How would you like to be able to hunt ducks from March through August and take 40 ducks or more per day without drastically affecting the North American duck population? If this sounds like an unrealistic dream, it’s not, if you travel to Argentina. Argentina is the Valhalla for the duck hunter where you see thousands, possibly millions of ducks. This duck-hunting paradise is so good that you’ll have a difficult time believing what you’re about to read. Dennis Kendall, director of marketing for Mossberg of New Haven, Connecticut, invited me and two other outdoor writers, Wayne Van Zwoll and Lamar Underwood, to Argentina to test the newest of the Mossberg shotguns, the 930 model. A three-shot autoloader that cost less than $300, the guns were to be given the acid test. We drug them through the muddy rice fields and marshes and shot three to four boxes of shells every morning and every evening to test the durability of the 930 Mossberg Autoloader.

Question: Dennis, you’ve guided duck hunters on the eastern shore of Maryland where the duck-hunting tradition is as rich as the history of America. How does eastern shore duck hunting compare to Argentina duck hunting?

Click to enlargeKendall: The bag limits are more liberal in Argentina than on the eastern shore where we can take five to six ducks in Maryland for a day of hunting. In Argentina, we can take 20 to 30 ducks in the morning and 20 to 30 ducks in the afternoon. The sheer volume of shooting that a duck hunter gets in one day is almost unbelievable for a duck hunter from the eastern shore of Maryland. The Chesapeake Bay is considered one of the bastions of North American duck hunting. The tradition of duck hunting in Maryland is rich as it is anywhere else in the world. Comparing it to duck hunting in Argentina is not even a fair comparison. The sheer number of ducks that we saw in Argentina was overwhelming.

Question: Are the ducks you see in Argentina the same as the ducks you see in North America?

Kendall: No, they’re not, and this difference in ducks is what makes duck hunting in Argentina difficult for American waterfowlers to understand. We’re shooting different ducks in a different hemisphere that don’t receive anywhere near the hunting pressure that ducks have in North America. The limits are much-more liberal because the hunters are so few, and the ducks are so many. We do some see some green wing and some cinnamon teal that are like the ones we see in North America. We also see whistling ducks, rose-billed ducks and many other species that a North American will never see unless he comes to Argentina. Most of the waterfowl hunting in the areas we hunt is done by visitors from other countries. There’s very little waterfowl hunting by locals.

Click to enlargeQuestion: Compare a day of waterfowl hunting on Chesapeake Bay with a day of waterfowl hunting in Argentina.

Kendall: When you hunt the Chesapeake Bay, you have a six-bird bag limit. Many mornings your hunt is over within 1 hour or less. In Argentina, you can take 40 to 60 birds per hunter, per day. As far as the total bag limit’s concerned, there’s no comparison. A morning hunt will usually last from before daylight until 9:00 a.m. An afternoon hunt will last from 5:00 p.m. until black dark. Of course, having grown up on the Chesapeake Bay, there’s a certain tradition of duck hunting that I never want to trade, given the option between hunting the Chesapeake Bay and hunting in Argentina. They are two completely-different styles of waterfowl hunting.

Question: On the Chesapeake Bay, you may put out anywhere from 50 to 300 decoys. In Argentina, the guides put out not more than a dozen decoys. Were you surprised at how few decoys the Argentine duck guides used?

Kendall: Absolutely. The guides in Argentina will put 12 decoys in a tight cluster with one or two MOJO ducks and use mouth calls made from the brass of .20-gauge shotgun shells. This hunt was very-unique hunt and a great opportunity for us to see just how well the 930s and the Silver Reserves would perform in the rice fields and marshes under extreme shooting conditions. The guns met Click to enlargeand exceeded our expectations because in a day of shooting, we often put more rounds through these guns than most waterfowlers would shoot in an entire season.

For more information about Mossberg's products, you can visit the company’s website at To learn more about duck hunting in Argentina, please visit

Tomorrow: The Three-Day Test

Check back each day this week for more about "DUCK SEASON WITH MOSSBERG’S DENNIS KENDALL"

Day 1: The Extreme Test
Day 2: Chesapeake Bay vs. Argentina
Day 3: The Three-Day Test
Day 4: The Structure of the New Mossberg 930 Autoloader
Day 5: Reliability



Entry 350, Day 2