We’ve heard some wild-goose-chase stories about road trips to Baja California, but this one has nothing to do with chasing the perfect wave or certain horticultural products. No — and listen up here, you mesh-cap- and camo-vest-wearing members of the East Bay hunting and fishing community — Baja’s 2003-2004 bird hunting season is now under way. Before you fill the gun rack, be advised of a few things. Besides always being aware that a cry of “Duck!” has a dual meaning while bird hunting, responsible shooters should be aware of a few rule changes this year. Starting immediately, hunters will only be allowed hunting access in new “Unit for the Conservation of Wildlife Area” spaces. Also, all bird and fowl hunting permits must be processed through businesses that provide equipment, supplies, and trained hunting guides.
So load up on that bird shot and remember that while geese, pheasant, duck, and dove call the skies of Baja home, California quail is king in the land that Bay Area rocker Sammy Hagar choose to open his Cabo Wabo tequila resort. In layman’s terms, quail are easy in Baja. The birds have been known to regularly soar in coveys of 30-50, and sometimes if they are in an extra-friendly mood will fly in packs of 100. For more info: www.discoverbajacalifornia.com — A.J. Hayes
Take a swim in the Delta
Experts say the waters of SF Bay and the Sacramento Delta are at their warmest this time of year. Go ahead and believe them — the rest of us will put on our wetsuits for the fifth annual Delta Open Water Swim, happening Sunday at the Sugar Barge Resort on Bethel Island (1440 Sugar Barge Rd.). Water temperatures are expected to be around 72 degrees for the event, which features two-mile, one-mile, and half-mile races, with lifeguards monitoring all three courses. The $25 advance entry fee ($30 race day) includes a T-shirt, a swim cap (which must be worn by all contestants), and a post-race “training table brunch” of beer and soup. Carved glass trophies will be awarded to male and female winners in the open and masters categories. First race starts at 9 a.m. Info: 209-795-7832 or OnYourMarkEvents.com — Kelly Vance