Baja Looking Back/Shootout at the Duck Pond

Baja Bernie - 2-16-2007 at 04:11 PM

The Shootout at the Duck Pond

(Now known as Puerto Salina La Marina and the home several Six to Eight thousand square foot beach houses).

Not very many people remember that the Lagoon at La Salina used to be a stopover on the flyway from Canada south for many varieties of duck. They would stop here and replenish themselves after the long trip from Canada. In his book, “Arriba Baja”, Larry Stanton, describes the lagoon at La Salina as a “nice little pot hole.” This irritated me for a long time until I understood that he was not talking about the condition of the road. I guess he meant that it was a good little place to hunt the ducks!

The duck’s arrival was a great occasion for the hunters and the wannabes who had places in La Salina and Angel’s Camp. A few guys were extremely serious and even built duck blinds, but most of the guys were just having fun. It usually turned out to be a muy peligroso (very dangerous) place to be when several men from Angel’s Camp would converge on the south rim of the lagoon while their counterparts from La Salina would take their places on the north side. Both groups were well armed, their shotguns loaded with birdshot. Most of them also brought along a bottle of their favorite spirits to fortify themselves for the rigor’s of the hunt. Wild Turkey seemed to be the favorite with good old Jose Q a close second. This was definitely not a beer event! The fearless hunters rarely hit any of the ducks because by the time the birds arrived most of the guys were already seeing double and had a great deal of difficulty tracking the ducks. As a result of their positioning around the pond it usually turned out to be a reenactment of the war between the North and the South. It was a common occurrence for guys on both sides to take direct hits from stray duck loads. The shot would not kill but they sure could hurt. One year three men, -two from Angeles and one from La Salina, had to seek medical aide in Ensenada. Naturally, the hospital reported their injuries to the local police. When they did nothing but laugh and tell the guys to be careful, both sides decided to return to the duck hunt the next morning.

Little did they know that the cops had asked the Mexican Marines to put a stop to this annual mayhem. The next day the hunters surrounded the lagoon to continue the hunt (war) only to find themselves surrounded by the Mexican Marines.

They began disarming (remember it is against the law for us to have guns in Mexico) the valiant hunters. After losing his shotgun, one wise guy told his buddy not to worry he had more guns at his house. Unfortunately, the officer in charge of the Marines overheard this comment and in perfect English ordered the wise guy to accompany him to his home where they confiscated three handguns.

No one was arrested but this action put an end to the Annual La Salina Duck Hunt. No, none of the weapons were returned to their owners—they just disappeared!

FARASHA - 2-16-2007 at 04:37 PM

GOTCHA - this time !! Thanks Bernie - as usual!

DENNIS - 2-16-2007 at 04:39 PM

Reminds of my muy younger days. We used to wander back into Irvine Ranch to shoot duck. The area was so extensive that we rarely saw any sign of life that we wouldn't shoot at.
Occasionally we would see in the distance a vehicle so, we sat and watched it disappear. We only had to stay a safe distance from the Buffalo Ranch, a large herd, to be left alone.
Those were the days.

Bernie --------

Our memories seem to have taken similiar paths here. These are the ways it was. We have to feel good to have been there. We speak of our time.

Thanks again, Bernie......... Keep'em coming.


Baja Bernie - 2-17-2007 at 11:59 AM

Guess we can both say, 'been there, done that.'