Baja Brant

Gayne hits Bahia de las 11,000 Virgenes - The Bay of 11,000 Virgins - in Baja, Mexico with buddy Mark Buchanan and finds black brant hunting at its best. As for the virgins….
Blinds consist of a simple shoulder-high screen in front of the hunters and are constructed of native vegetation or camo netting. Mine was put together by my guide Sergio, who has several children and is thus not a virgin.
Once the blind is set the decoys are situated in precise patterns. Ok, they're just thrown out at random.
"Hey Sergio! Are the decoys virgins?" "I leave now."
"They're coming in hard n' heavy for those virgin decoys Mark!" "You probably should have gone back with Sergio, Gayne. You're starting to bug the hell outta me."
"Way to go Gayne! You're first black brant in Mexico!" "Guess I'm not a virgin brant hunter anymore!" "Shut up Gayne."
Mark's dog Carson with the first retrieve of the day. With a limit of 10 birds per hunter she'll only do this 19 more times in 2 hours.
Each season between 40,000 to 50,000 black brant from Alaska, Russia and the Yukon flood The Bay of 11,000 Virgins looking for…you guessed it…food.
What does Bollywood actress Aishwarya Rai have to do with black brant hunting? Nothing. Nothing at all.
"Come on Mark, smile. Say…" "If you say something about a virgin I swear I'm gonna chunk these birds at you." "Virg…cheese. Say cheese."
The trifecta of black brant bands: black, blue, and red.
"Who get the red band!" Sergio asked in excited, broken English. "I did. Why?" "It from Russia. Very rare." "Guess I did a good job then." "I hope it Mark that get. He not so to be annoying as you."
Journalist's trick: stage photos by throwing an already dead bird out for the dog to retrieve. The public won't know unless you tell them.
Sergio setting up a blind on day #2. "Anyone hunted this place before Sergio?" "No. Not right at here." "So, this place is virgin?" Sergio replied in Spanish. I'm not sure what he said but it sounded angry.
No joke: I have never seen so many birds or had so many shots than I did on this hunt.
I can't remember if Mark or I got this bird. Let's say it was me.
Let's say this bird was mine too.
"I wouldn't be so tired if that jerk Outdoor Life guy hadn't staged so many photos."
The last bird of the season fell to Mark.
Mark, annoyed at my continued virgin cracks, purposely made me look fat in this photo.
My thanks to Baja Hunting. Visit them at www.bajahunting.com

Gayne Young in waders is a sight to behold. But it's all for a good cause--some of the best brant hunting in the universe and a couple of laughs.