The territories of La Pampa and Patagonia were under indian control until 1879, when the Argentine army finally occupied these vast lands in what was know as the ‘Desert Campaign Thinly populated and with thousands of square mies of caldén forests almost devoid of big game animals, La Pampa was an ideal habitat for exotic game introduction.
In 1910 a wealthy landowner named Pedro Luro imported from Europe red deer and wild boar for his ‘San Huberto’ estancia near Santa Rosa.
Nowadays ‘San Huberto‘ is a State park (www.parqueluro.gov.ar) and its red deer herd is the main attraction.
Fortunately for hunters Mr. Luro imported the best European blood from several game preserves in the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Two distinct blood lines were introduced, one from the Carpathian Mountains and the other from the Carinthia region in the Austrian Alps. Shortly after World War I, ‘San Huberto’s’ fences came down and in a matter of a few years red deer rapidly settled most of La Pampa.
In the past 25 years game ranches have introduced new blood lines from Eastem Europe and New Zealand achieving excellent results. Most red deer herds, however, are not actively managed and none the less La Pampa has been able to produce some of the best trophies in the world.
The combination of good genetics, gentle weather and ample food supply has certainly contributed to the province’s reputation as a premier red stag destination.
A head from La Pampa with a 237.05 CIC (Conseil International de la Chasse / lnternational Council for Game and Wildlife Conservation) score led the Argentine trophy book for 21 years. In 1991 a trophy from Lanín National Park in Neuquén province scored 242.65 points (369 points on the SCI book) and reigned for a decade as Argentina’s top red stag.
The #1 spot was claimed once again by La Pampa in 2002 when Spanish hunter Rafael Malo shot a massive 28 pointer. This stag scored 262.3 CIC points making hin the #8 stag in the world according to the CIC record book and the #1 on the SCI South American record book with a score of 421 points.