Found throughout La Pampa, the puma (felis concolor) is the only native cat that can be hunted legally in Argentina. Significantly larger than a leopard, a male puma can weigh up to 200 pounds (90 kg) but average weight is around 150 pounds (68 kg). Nose-to-tail length can go from 7 ½ feet to over 9 feet (2.3 to 2.75 m) in truly large animals. Despite the fact that pumas are very plentiful in La Pampa, they are so elusive and secretive that many hunters have never seen one in the wild.
One way to hunt puma is with the assistance of a good pack of dogs. It can take a few days until good tracks are found but usually this type of hunt has a very high success rate (>90%). Pumas can be hunted from blinds at night. Watering holes are good spots to wait for puma, especially in the summer months, but a fresh puma kill is probably the best spot to set up a blind.
Pumas are not particularly tough to bring down and any deer caliber will work fine. Shot placement is crucial since a wounded puma is a very serious matter. When hunting with hounds it’s important to choose a short and lightweight gun since normally there is a lot of walking involved. Handguns and short lever action rifles are ideal for this type of hunt.