My name is Kyle Muntean and I am the newest addition to the Trek team bringing with me an eager and energetic passion for the outdoors. After a brief introduction to the office side of things, I was off on the first adventure. La Finca Lodge in San Fernando Mexico was the destination where we would be targeting the infamous dipping and diving White-Winged Dove hosting some of Trek’s finest. Accompanied by Trek’s VP Joe Patterson, we flew in to Brownsville, TX on Sunday afternoon greeted by a representative from La Finca. After an easy and safe transfer across the border, we arrived at La Finca greeted by outfitter Steve McCain Jr. along with many of the lodge employees. Shortly after our introductions, the group of Trek clients arrived eager to grab one of the welcome margaritas whipped up by barman Fernando. It wasn’t long after finding out I was the new guy, everyone seemed curious about my story and how I landed a job with Trek. After formally meeting everyone, we enjoyed a great dinner and a few cocktails then most retired to bed for an early morning dove hunt.
Alarm went off and it was time! Shot out of my bed eyes wide open; ready to experience what Trek is all about. After a nice morning coffee and breakfast with the group we were all excited to get out to the field and bust some feathers. After about a 40-minute drive, we arrived to the spot scouted the day before where everyone got situated with their bird boy. Next thing I knew there was thousands of dove darting in all directions and it sounded like WWIII. Being from Chicago and moving to Southern Illinois to attend college were I have been on quite a few dove hunts, I thought I had been on some good dove hunt but nothing like this. There was more dove than I have ever seen before in all my combined lifelong hunts. As the shoot went on the dove were progressively flying over our heads more and more in large flocks. After a few hours of shooting, the flight started to die down as white-wings hunts traditionally do. Shortly there after it was about time to start packing up and head back to the lodge. Everyone was pleasantly happy with the turn out of the first hunt and the number of doves in the area. It’s pretty amazing to have numbers of doves like this so close to the U.S. as La Finca Lodge is just a two-hour drive from the Brownsville, TX which logistically, makes it incredibly easy to get to.
Returning to the lodge after the first hunt we really got to see what La Finca was all about. As we stepped out of the vehicles Fernando greeted us with margaritas, Nachos, and quesadillas. If there is a better bartender out there, I can’t wait to meet him, as Fernando was very attentive keeping glasses filled and making some incredible libations. The group kicked back enjoying the pool while Steve showed Joe and I the upgrades he did during the off-season. Let me tell you there is plenty of room to relax and enjoy the amenities after a good hunt. With two lounge areas in the main part of the lodge complete with large flat screens, you can enjoy football games, play poker, or shoot pool. What would a lodge be without a large bar complete with top shelf liquor as La Finca certainly has this! Steve also purchased two new dining tables made from granite with his Wide Open Outfitters logo engraved in the middle. As we walked out to the pool area Steve described how he remolded the patio and upgraded the hot tub getting it ready for the cooler combo season. He also showed us the newest addition to the lodge; two new staterooms by the pool area bringing the total number of rooms to 14 all with private baths and A/C. One of the best investments Steve has made is purchasing 50 brand new Beretta A400’s (Xtrema & Xplor) in both 20ga and 12ga. I personally enjoyed shooting the 20ga, which is something I haven’t had the pleasure of shooting dove with before, but I tell you I am sticking with it from now on. What a challenging experience.
Hunt after hunt we continued to have consistent numbers each day. We never hunted the same area twice and every hunt was different from the next. The scouts were always putting us on the birds
characterizing what I would say was never a dull moment. These scouts new what the birds were going to be doing just about all times of the day. As for the shooting, you could easily shoot 15 boxes per hunt and even 20-25 if you wanted. Joe even mentioned there were 10x more birds than he ever thought and was very impressed with just how consistent the shooting was. We hunted were mostly sorghum fields, but we also hunted in some brush and wooded areas the doves used to rest which ended up being good challenge for the group. Overall we had a great group of shooters so they didn’t have a problem putting the numbers on the board. After each hunt we would go back to the lodge and it would be the same welcome greeting of food and margaritas. We were not food deprived on this trip; we would eat a big breakfast, huge lunch, and an even bigger dinner. It’s not a trip you want to start a diet on before going. Some of the meals we enjoyed included rib eye steak, pork chops, fajitas, and some traditional Mexican dishes. On the last night we enjoyed fresh dove wrapped in bacon with jalapeno and cream cheese and it was fantastic.
Throughout the trip we got to drive around San Fernando and a few other towns either heading out to the fields or coming back from them. There was never a time where I felt unsafe or wary about my surroundings. Kids were playing in the streets, people shopping, and enjoying many of the local restaurants. The Federal Policia and military were apparent; doing normal patrols and Steve educated me on how big of a difference this has made in/around San Fernando. Everything went very well, even crossing the border, whether it was coming in or leaving it was a very simple process that didn’t take long at all. We are really looking forward to returning in November for the duck and wild quail combination trip. It is said to be a phenomenal hunt! My first Trek trip was a great experience and my eyes are certainly wide open now! I look forward to meeting more of our clients and helping Trek continue the success enjoyed since 1973.