Yet Another Successful Blind Brush-Up Day At San Jacinto Wildlife Area

Saturday, August 23rd, 0700, found a good number of volunteers waiting in the San Jacinto Wildlife Area’s check station parking lot to help out with this year’s volunteer blind brush-up day. Tom Trakes, from San Jacinto Wildlife Area reported that about 30 volunteers, hunters that utilize San Jacinto were on hand to receive their assignments and then headed out to the ponds to work on the blinds.

This work party was primarily to clean out the area’s blinds and the get them brushed up and camouflaged for the upcoming season. Several of the blinds were completely rebuilt by the volunteers. Most of the blinds were brushed up with palm fronds primarily provided by the volunteers.

Brush up8
Brush up 12
– Building a blind -

Due to the number of volunteers they were able to get a lot done in a short time. Tom reported that he will probably call for one more volunteer work day, probably some time in late September, to finish up some of the blinds and “fine tune” things for the season. Much of the flooding of the ponds has already started, which is a little earlier then usual, but with the water situation in the state this year its better to take it when its available.

Brush up 1
Brush up 7Brush up 6
– A couple of the completed blinds -

After the September “fine tuning” of the blinds the next thing on the calendar for San Jacinto Wildlife Area is opening day of the waterfowl season on Saturday, October 18th! Everything is looking great for the season ahead. The water is already flowing into the ponds and a lot of birds are already using the area.

Hope to see you out at good old SJ.

Second Volunteer Work Day / Blind Brush Up Day Saturday, August 23rd

The second blind brush up / Volunteer work day at San Jacinto Wildlife Area is coming up fast. Two weeks from tomorrow, on Saturday, August 23rd.

Tom Trakes, of San Jacinto Wildlife Area, advised that anyone coming out to volunteer should bring gloves, shovels and/or hoes, fencing/wire pliers and lots of water, since it is expected to be hot. Also sunscreen and mosquito repellent are suggested as good ideas. Volunteers are asked to gather at 6:30 AM at the SJ Check Station Parking Lot. The main focus of this work day will be brushing up /repair / building of the blinds throughout the wildlife area.

Hopefully we’ll have a good turnout as there is still a lot of work to do to get ready for the upcoming season. As always, when it comes to work days, the more the merrier (and the less work for each person). Also, if you have access to palm fronds please bring as much can for use in brushing the blinds. (see the flyer below for the proper type of palm fronds – don’t bring any with the thorns on them, our waders can’t take those).

A good turn out for the work day will help get things in “ship shape” at San Jacinto and we’ll all look forward to another great season of waterfowling.

If you have any questions contact Tom Trakes at the San Jacinto headquarters at (951) 236-3040.

SJ Brush Up 2014

Volunteer Work Party at San Jacinto Wildlife Area a Big Success!

This past Saturday, 7/26/14, about 25 volunteers, made up of hunters that utilize San Jacinto Wildlife Area, assembled to assist the SJ staff in getting the wildlife area ready for the fast approaching waterfowl season. Shortly after 7 am the volunteers divided into groups and dispersed throughout the wildlife area to take on their assignments.

Some of the volunteers
volunteers

The main goal of this work party was to clean out the numerous water control structures throughout San Jacinto and extracting tumbleweeds and brush and weeds blocking access to them.

Some of the volunteers hard at work
Workers2

Workers1

Now that the water control structures are cleared out the San Jacinto staff can start water flowing and begin the process of flooding the ponds for the waterfowl season. Some of the flooding was started Saturday as soon as the water control structures were cleared.

Traditionally, after a work party, many of the volunteers usually met at Casa Mexicana Restaurant for a well-deserved lunch break but Tom reported that on this Saturday most of the volunteers had other obligations to get to so they passed on lunch this time. This just goes to show the dedication of the hunters volunteering as they still showed up to work even though they had other things going that day.

Much was accomplished on this work party with a good turnout of volunteers from the hunting community. This work should help San Jacinto put on another successful waterfowl season for we Southern California hunters. As of this writing another work party day at San Jacinto is scheduled for Saturday, August 23rd. The August 23rd work party will be primarily a blind brush up day. This will probably be the final preparation to get San Jacinto ready for the 2014/2015 waterfowl season.

For information on the upcoming blind brush up day at San Jacinto Wildlife Area you can call the refuge office at 951-928-0580 or Tom Trakes 951-236-3040.

On a personal note I would like to extend my thanks to all the volunteers that came out and worked so hard. Unfortunately, the last couple years, I’ve been unable to attend the volunteer workdays as my work schedule has me working weekends right now. I truly appreciate the work that the volunteers do and I know the SJ staff appreciates it also.

Duck Numbers Up for the 2014/2015 Season!

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service reported that duck numbers were up significantly again over last year’s duck count. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service http://www.Flyways.us web site reported:

“Preliminary 2014 duck population and pond estimates from the annual Waterfowl Breeding Population and Habitat Survey are now available. The estimate of 49.2 million breeding ducks was 8% higher than last year’s estimate of 45.6 million, and 43% above the long-term average.”

Flyways.us reported that Mallards were up to approximately 10.9 million, which was 5% above the 2013 estimate of 10.372 million, and 42% above the long-term average of 7.7 million. Bluewing Teal numbers are approximately 8.542 million, which 10% above the 2013 estimate of 7.732 million and 75% above the long-term average of 4.9 million. Green-winged teal are up to 3.440 million, which was 13% above the 2013 estimate of 3.053 million and 69% above the long-term average of 2.0 million. The estimate for American wigeon is 3.117 million up 18% from the 2013 estimate of 2.664 million and 20% above the long-term average of 2.6 million. Estimated numbers of gadwall are 3.811 million which is 14% above the 2013 estimate of 3.351 million and 102% above the long-term average 1.9 million. Scaup (both greater and lesser) showed 4.611 million, which is 11% above the 2013 estimate and 8% below the long-term average of 5.0 million. Northern shoveler (our beloved spoonys) are estimated at 5.279 million which is 11% above the 2013 estimate of 4.751 million and 114% above the long-term average of 2.5 million. Redheads were 1.279 million which is 6% above the 2013 estimate of 1.202 million and 85% above the long-term average of 0.7 million. Canvasbacks showed 0.685 million which 13% lower then the 2013 estimate of 0.787 million and 18% above the long-term average of 0.6 million. Pintails were estimated at 3.220 million, which was 3% below the 2013 estimate of 3.335 million and 20% below the long-term average of 4.0 million.

So it looks like its could be shaping up to be a great season already. Now all we need here in Southern California is some severe weather up north at the right time to trigger the duck’s migration down to our area and some much needed rain / water around our neck-o-the-woods to attract and hold the birds.

As I type this its 107 days until the season opens down here in SoCal. It might be a good time to start getting the gear together and cleaned up and inventoried. Oh, and maybe think about buying a few more boxes of shells as it looks like we’re going to have more birds to shoot at this season. (Oh, and pray for some rain!!)

Dates Set for Upcoming Volunteer Blind Brush Up Days at San Jacinto Wildlife Area

Tom Trakes, from San Jacinto Wildlife Area, advised that they have scheduled two volunteer “blind brush up” work days for San Jacinto Wildlife Area. The dates are Saturday, July 26th and Saturday August 23rd.  Volunteers are asked to gather at 6:30 AM at the SJ Check Station Parking Lot. In addition to brushing up the blinds other activities will be cleaning out water control structures on the wildlife area’s duck ponds, building new blinds and/or repairing old blinds and generally cleaning up the blind areas (pulling out a plethora of tumbleweeds). Tom advised that anyone coming out to volunteer should bring gloves, shovels and/or hoes, fencing/wire pliers and lots of water, since it is expected to be hot. Also sunscreen and mosquito repellent are suggested as good ideas. After the work is done we will get together at Casa Mexicana Restaurant for a well-deserved lunch (each person responsible for their own bill).

Hopefully we’ll have a good turnout as on each date as there is lot of work to do to get ready for the upcoming season. As always, when it comes to work days, the more the merrier (and the less work for each person).  Also, if you have access to palm fronds please bring as much can for use in brushing the blinds. (see the flyer below for the proper type of palm fronds – don’t bring any with the thorns on them, our waders can’t take those).

A good turn out for these work days will help get things in “ship shape” at San Jacinto and we’ll all look forward to another great season of waterfowling.

If you have any questions contact Tom Trakes at the San Jacinto headquarters at (951) 236-3040.

SJ Brush Up 2014

Great Turnout for San Jacinto’s Annual Hunter’s Education Class

Saturday, May 31st was San Jacinto Wildlife Area’s Annual Hunter’s Education Class. Tom Trakes, of San Jacinto Wildlife Area, reported that 54 new hunters attended and everyone passed their Hunter’s Education test. This means that they are now eligible to be fully licensed hunters in the State of California. The students ranged in age from about 9 years old to over 60 years old and they will soon be joining the ranks of we hunters.

The hunter’s education students enjoyed a great lunch at the San Jacinto Headquarters at midday consisting of giant sub sandwiches, watermelon and various donated goodies from the participants.

The next activity for hunters will be a workday at San Jacinto Wildlife Area, probably in late July. This will be a general workday to clean out water control structures and plan and perhaps build or replace some blinds in the waterfowl area. There will then be at least one additional workday, likely in late August, to finish up what work is needed and to brush up the blinds. Keep your eye on SoCalHunt for announcements of the exact dates when these are set.

Here are a couple of pictures of the Hunter’s Education class in progress.


Students hard at work.

photo 1

Instructors imparting wisdom to those in attendance.

photo 4

Victory for Sportsman’s Catering at Wister! Lease Renewed for the Next Two Seasons!

If you’ve read SoCalHunt’s blog here any time in the last couple months you probably saw the post entitled “Sportsman’s Catering at Wister in Danger of Loosing Their Lease – Another Shot Against Hunting in California”.

Frank Bailey (the owner) has announced that he has received official notification that the lease would be renewed through October 16, 2016!

Frank posted the following statement on The Outdoors Forum:

“I just got home from work and there was a registered letter from the State informing me the lease would be renewed until October 13, 2016.

I want to thank everyone for all the assistance you have given to keep this tradition alive.

I know my State Assemblyperson, Manuel Perez and my State Senator, Ben Hueso had a hand in this.

And I want to thank them.’

I want to thank Imperial County Supervisor, Ryan Kelley for his support as well.

I also know CWA has been working in the background as well.

Thank you each and everyone!

If not before, I will see you in September for Dove Season or October for the Duck Opener!

Frank Bailey”

So, score one for the hunting community! Thanks to everyone who read the original post here, posts on TOF, or wherever you found out about it, and took action and contacted state officials to get this lease renewed. This is proof that our voices can be heard!



Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 50 other followers