Photos by Ben Peterson
If you dread packing away your gear after the seasons close in North America, consider heading south — way south, beyond the U.S. border. The birds keep going, and you should, too.
Though a sometimes forgotten waterfowling paradise, the eastern shore of Mexico’s Sea of Cortez — a 700-mile-long gulf formed by Baja California — offers hunting combinations found nowhere else on the planet. After booking through an agent such as Ramsey Russell of GetDucks.com (601-214-9737), you’ll hunt saltwater flats as well as freshwater ponds a stone’s throw from the sea.
It doesn’t seem like a place you’d find ducks, given the terrain of fishing villages punctuated by desert and prickly pear cactus. But they are there … by the many thousands. Pintails. Wigeon. Teal of all flavors including cinnamons. Even brant in giant flocks feeding on eel grass on the roll of the tide.
It’s a place where hunting occurs closer to the peak-breeding plumages of North American ducks than any other. Every trip to the blind nearly guarantees a glimpse of perfect crescent-moon bluewing, emerald-striped greenwing, and copper-black cinnamon drakes all flying together in the same flock. And you’ll cap off the day hunting black brant — the creaking honks of thousands of these ocean geese etching indelibly into your ears and brain.
It’s a special place to end the waterfowl season. The birds keep going … and you should, too.
Ben Peterson is photographer/videographer for Delta Waterfowl.
Duck hunting in the South is trending in the wrong direction and the downward spiral seems to be picking up speed. In appearance the work of many groups to protect breeding efforts in Canada should be positive. However, with much larger daily limits and the explosion of outfitters in Canada catering primarily to wealthy US hunters, the increased population is quickly eliminated before the migrate into the US. In addition the northern and mid-west states continue to short stop migrating waterfowl. The problem has been exasperated by the warming climate thus even after the season in the mid-west region the waterfowl fail to migrate. These factors are having a huge impact on the sport of duck hunting in the South which I fear will become only a memory.
Heard there’s no limit in Mexico. Have talked to and have heard of killing a hundred ducks a day, sounds like paradise.