Hunt Results for San Jacinto Wildlife Area, Saturday – 11/22/14

The average number of ducks bagged at San Jacinto Wildlife Area dropped back down quite a bit on Saturday compared to Wednesday’s count on day that started out a little foggy but quickly cleared off with comfortable temperatures. Shovelers took over first place for number of birds bagged and Green Wing Teal dropped into second place today. Tom Trakes, from San Jacinto Wildlife Area, reported that the results for Saturday, 11/22/14 were as follows:

157 adult and 10 junior hunters bagged 148 Northern Shovelers, 12 Cinnamon Teal, 76 Gadwall, 44 Widgeon, 105 Green Wing Teal, 23 Mallards, 29 Pintail, 13 Redhead, 1 Canvasbacks, 7 Ring Necks, 1 Scaup, 1 Wood Duck, 4 Bufflehead, 14 Ruddy Ducks and 1 duck listed as “other”. There was also a lone Aleutian Goose taken at San Jacinto on Saturday. 16 coots were also checked in on Saturday. This worked out to an average take of 2.87 ducks per hunter, or, adding in the goose and coots, 2.97 waterfowl per hunter. Tom advised that out of 52 reservations 29 showed up on time.

Don’t forget to bring a buck or two or ten, whatever you can spare if you’re able, and put some in the box in the check station for the Junior Waterfowl Hunt. These donations go towards running the event, the food and some of the prizes for the junior hunters. The juniors are the future of our sport and the junior hunt is a great way to get them enthused about the sport.

Also, don’t forget that San Jacinto Wildlife Area is having its annual Toy Drive for the Bryant Park Head Start Preschool. If you’re able please bring a new, unwrapped toy for the kids. Details here:

http://socalhunt.wordpress.com/2014/11/05/san-jacinto-wildlife-area-annual-toy-drive-has-begun

San Jacinto is open for waterfowl hunting on Wednesdays and Saturdays only. You can put in for reservations on-line through the DFW Automated License Data System (ALDS). Your reservation request has to be to the ALDS system 17 days in advance to get in on the drawing or you can get in on the daily “sweatline” drawing for the remaining blinds after the reservations are taken care of. Reservation spots are given out starting at 3 AM and the “sweatline” drawing is done after that. The ALDS can be accessed through the DFW web site at the below link –

https://www.ca.wildlifelicense.com/InternetSales

Don’t forget that all licenses and 1 day, 2 day or season passes must be purchased at a DFW Office or a license agent before your arrive at the refuge. These can be purchased on-line via the ALDS system also, however, you will have to wait for the DFG to mail you’re the actual licenses and passes which can take up to 15 days. If you purchase your license and passes in person at a DFW office or license agent you immediately get them without the wait for the mail. No licenses or passes will be sold at the check stations this year. You can also show up for an afternoon refill hunt but the last refill is at 2 PM. For more information, contact the staff at San Jacinto at 951-928-0580.

SoCalHunt San Jacinto Hunting Report 11/19/14

SoCalHunt was back at San Jacinto Wildlife Area today, once more, to give the sweat line computer a chance this morning. So far we’ve gotten out once, just barely, snagging the last available morning sweat line spot. The other time we tried we were shut out.

I had again made arrangements to meet up with one of my regular hunting partners and we had hopes of getting out early since Saturday’s count was pretty good at good old SJ. It was also kind of important that we get on in the morning, as my buddy couldn’t stay the whole day so when we signed up on the sweat line list we crossed our fingers.

Alas it was not to be today. When the sweat line list was printed and taped up to the check station window we were disappointed to see we were 39th on the list. It was obvious we weren’t going to get on in the morning so my friend said his goodbyes and headed for home. I, however, had the day available and chose to stick it out and see what I might get.

As I knew I’d have to wait a while I headed out to Harry’s Café for a steak and eggs breakfast to sooth the pain of not getting on and, after that satisfying meal, it was back to the check station lot for a nap. As I drove up Davis Road the scenery looked especially nice with the clouds in the sky today. Maybe an omen of good things to come?

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Around 8:30 I woke up and went up to the check station to wait. It didn’t take long for hunters to start checking in their morning birds. There were a lot of real nice straps coming up to the check station with many limits and near limits being checked in. One hunter even brought two snow geese up to the table, the first geese at SJ this year.

About 9:00 a decent blind came in and no one above me on the list wanted it. I was a little hesitant as I had hunted that blind once before this season and got skunked, although, if you’ve read my prior hunting reports this season, you know that I’ve been skunked for the season so far. I decided, since I was hunting alone again, to go ahead and take the blind since it’s an easy blind to access with a very short walk from the parking area. It has been, in years past, a good hunting spot and I have, in fact, shot limits out of it before.

So out I went onto the wildlife area towards my blind. I was set up and hunting by 9:45. Not long after occupying the blind a widgeon came in and circled the blind just out of range. I thought the bird would make one more closing circle but it apparently saw something it didn’t like and it pealed off any headed away, not offering a shot. A short time after that a small flight of shovelers came towards the blind. They were too high, except for a drake that came in much lower then the rest. I tried for the drake but, as seems to be my tradition, I missed the relatively easy first shot of the day.

The conditions were very pleasant at SJ today with mild temperatures and skies filled, off and on throughout the day, with beautiful cloud formations. (Several pictures below, since I couldn’t decide on just one as “the best”).

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As always there were other visitors to my pond. The ever-present coots, who seem to be fighting amongst themselves continually, there were some ibis feeding on the shoreline of the pond and I even had a shrike come by to take a look at the area.

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Ibis

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Shrike

A while later I noticed some ducks swimming in the pond, getting closer to my blind. One of them came around the corner of the tules behind me and I stood to make the bird fly. It turned out to be a ring nick and, being a diver, instead of jumping straight up like a puddle duck would do, she started her takeoff run towards the stand of tules. I fired just as she made the corner of the tules and missed her as she took to the air, her low flight blocked by the reeds.

Now I’ll admit I was starting to get a little frustrated. This was my fourth hunt and I had yet to bag a bird. The worst start I’ve ever had in any season. I sat down to reflect and figured what the heck, at least I’m out here in the marsh. Things could be worse. I’ll eventually get something.

After a bit of reflection I decided to stretch my legs and walk around the small island my blind was sitting on. As I rounded the blind I saw a ring neck drake sitting on the island to the rear of my blind. I don’t know where he came from or how long he’d been there but, apparently, sitting quietly for a while allowed him to swim up to the island without his detecting me. When he saw me he jumped up and did his takeoff run across the water. I was able to drop him just as he lifted off and I finally had my first duck in the bag for the 2014/15 season!

With perhaps an hour to go I suddenly heard a duck landing in the water behind my blind. I peered around the corner of the blind and saw a hen ring neck sitting in the water not 5 feet from where the drake I had taken earlier had been sitting on the island. I stood and the hen jumped and did an identical takeoff run as the drake, with the same results. Two ring necks in the bag!

About a half hour later a pair of ring necks flew into the area. The blind adjacent to me fired at the birds as they passed their location, but they missed, and the pair headed straight for my blind at just about the perfect distance for a shot. I folded the drake with one shot but knew, by the angle they came in, that he would fall near the tules so I held off trying for a double so I could see where he landed and make sure he wouldn’t swim away. Fortunately he hit the water just beyond the tules and wasn’t going anywhere after splashdown. The hen circled, almost giving me a second chance for a shot, but she was just out of range. She continued down the pond and the neighboring blind was able to make good on their shot this time and down she went.

So, no further ducks came in range for the remaining half hour but I was pretty happy at that point. I’d finally broken the skunk and had three nice birds of the strap to take home today.

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As the sun set I again packed up my gear and headed for home, much happier this time then the previous three hunts. It’s always nice to be out on San Jacinto but it’s also nice to bring home a few birds now and then.

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Next week I’ll have to skip due to a family obligation but I’m hoping to be back at SJ in two weeks with both my regular hunting partners for another try at the sweat line. Maybe the forth time will be the charm on that too? We can only hope.

Hunt Results for San Jacinto Wildlife Area, Wednesday – 11/19/14

The average take of ducks at San Jacinto Wildlife Area’s went up significantly on Wednesday over Saturday’s results on another very pleasant cool and partly cloudy day. Green Wing Teal took over first place for most birds taken and Widgeon dropped back to second place today with Shovelers in third place just a few birds behind the Widgeon. Tom Trakes, from San Jacinto Wildlife Area, reported that the results for Wednesday, 11/19/14 were as follows:

145 adult and no junior hunters bagged 103 Northern Shovelers, 40 Cinnamon Teal, 48 Gadwall, 107 Widgeon, 174 Green Wing Teal, 26 Mallards, 60 Pintail, 16 Redhead, 1 Canvasbacks, 26 Ring Necks, 15 Bufflehead, 17 Scaup, 1 Goldeneye and 9 Ruddy Ducks. There were 3 Snow Geese bagged at San Jacinto on Wednesday. There were also 4 coots taken on Wednesday. This worked out to an average take of 4.37 ducks per hunter, or, adding in the geese and coots, 4.41 waterfowl per hunter. Tom advised that out of 52 reservations 28 showed up on time.

Don’t forget to bring a buck or two or ten, whatever you can spare if you’re able, and put some in the box in the check station for the Junior Waterfowl Hunt. These donations go towards running the event, the food and some of the prizes for the junior hunters. The juniors are the future of our sport and the junior hunt is a great way to get them enthused about the sport.

Also, don’t forget that San Jacinto Wildlife Area is having its annual Toy Drive for the Bryant Park Head Start Preschool. If you’re able please bring a new, unwrapped toy for the kids. Details here:

http://socalhunt.wordpress.com/2014/11/05/san-jacinto-wildlife-area-annual-toy-drive-has-begun/

San Jacinto is open for waterfowl hunting on Wednesdays and Saturdays only. You can put in for reservations on-line through the DFW Automated License Data System (ALDS). Your reservation request has to be to the ALDS system 17 days in advance to get in on the drawing or you can get in on the daily “sweatline” drawing for the remaining blinds after the reservations are taken care of. Reservation spots are given out starting at 3 AM and the “sweatline” drawing is done after that. The ALDS can be accessed through the DFW web site at the below link –

https://www.ca.wildlifelicense.com/InternetSales

Don’t forget that all licenses and 1 day, 2 day or season passes must be purchased at a DFW Office or a license agent before your arrive at the refuge. These can be purchased on-line via the ALDS system also, however, you will have to wait for the DFG to mail you’re the actual licenses and passes which can take up to 15 days. If you purchase your license and passes in person at a DFW office or license agent you immediately get them without the wait for the mail. No licenses or passes will be sold at the check stations this year. You can also show up for an afternoon refill hunt but the last refill is at 2 PM. For more information, contact the staff at San Jacinto at 951-928-0580.

San Jacinto Wildlife Refuge announces the 21st Annual Junior Waterfowl Hunt – January 31st, 2015

Tom Trakes, from San Jacinto Wildlife Area advised that their 21st Annual Junior Waterfowl Hunt has been set for the Wildlife Area. The date for the hunt is January 31st, 2015. This is a great event and gives the junior hunters a crack at some quality hunting after the regular season closes. This year’s hunt will honor our Military Men and Women. An Honor Guard will present the Colors to start off the event. There is great pancake breakfast provided by the San Jacinto Staff and volunteers prior to the hunt and a great BBQ lunch afterwards with lots of raffle prizes for the junior hunters. Juniors can apply for the hunt by going to the DFW reservation system at:

https://nrm.dfg.ca.gov/DFGSpecialHunts/default.aspx

Anyone who wants to donate prizes for the raffle or volunteer to assist at the breakfast and/or lunch, or just donate some cash towards the cause should contact Tom Trakes at (951)-236-3020.

Jr Hunt 2015 flyer

Hunt Results for San Jacinto Wildlife Area, Saturday – 11/15/14

The average take of ducks at San Jacinto Wildlife Area’s went up again on Saturday over Wednesday’s results on a very pleasant cool and cloudy day. Widgeon took over first place for most birds taken and Green Wing Teal dropped back to second place today. Tom Trakes, from San Jacinto Wildlife Area, reported that the results for Saturday, 11/15/14 were as follows:

137 adult and 9 junior hunters bagged 75 Northern Shovelers, 24 Cinnamon Teal, 48 Gadwall, 97 Widgeon, 81 Green Wing Teal, 29 Mallards, 16 Pintail, 7 Redhead, 2 Canvasbacks, 42 Ring Necks, 15 Bufflehead, 13 Scaup, 1 Common Merganser and 7 Ruddy Ducks. Again no geese were bagged at San Jacinto on Saturday. 6 coots were checked in on Saturday. This worked out to an average take of 3.13 ducks per hunter, or, adding in the coots, 3.17 waterfowl per hunter. Tom advised that out of 52 reservations 33 showed up on time.

Don’t forget to bring a buck or two or ten, whatever you can spare if you’re able, and put some in the box in the check station for the Junior Waterfowl Hunt. These donations go towards running the event, the food and some of the prizes for the junior hunters. The juniors are the future of our sport and the junior hunt is a great way to get them enthused about the sport.

Also, don’t forget that San Jacinto Wildlife Area is having its annual Toy Drive for the Bryant Park Head Start Preschool. If you’re able please bring a new, unwrapped toy for the kids. Details here:

http://socalhunt.wordpress.com/2014/11/05/san-jacinto-wildlife-area-annual-toy-drive-has-begun/

San Jacinto is open for waterfowl hunting on Wednesdays and Saturdays only. You can put in for reservations on-line through the DFW Automated License Data System (ALDS). Your reservation request has to be to the ALDS system 17 days in advance to get in on the drawing or you can get in on the daily “sweatline” drawing for the remaining blinds after the reservations are taken care of. Reservation spots are given out starting at 3 AM and the “sweatline” drawing is done after that. The ALDS can be accessed through the DFW web site at the below link –

https://www.ca.wildlifelicense.com/InternetSales

Don’t forget that all licenses and 1 day, 2 day or season passes must be purchased at a DFW Office or a license agent before your arrive at the refuge. These can be purchased on-line via the ALDS system also, however, you will have to wait for the DFG to mail you’re the actual licenses and passes which can take up to 15 days. If you purchase your license and passes in person at a DFW office or license agent you immediately get them without the wait for the mail. No licenses or passes will be sold at the check stations this year. You can also show up for an afternoon refill hunt but the last refill is at 2 PM. For more information, contact the staff at San Jacinto at 951-928-0580.

SoCalHunt San Jacinto Hunting Report 11/12/14

SoCalHunt was back today, once again, for a solo afternoon refill hunt at San Jacinto Wildlife Area.

I had some obligations in the morning and didn’t arrive at San Jacinto until just after noon. As I drove up Davis Road I was hoping that this wouldn’t be a wasted trip and, when the check station parking lot came into view, it looked good with only 4 or 5 trucks in the lot. This would be an approximately 4-hour hunt, which shows one of the values of a season pass. You might not want to use a $20.78 day pass for a 4-hour hunt but if you have a season pass, bought and paid for, it doesn’t cost you any more to fit in a “quickie” afternoon hunt.

I walked up to the check station, toy in hand for the toy drive box, and checked out the blind map on the wall. There were several blinds available, some pretty good ones too, with no wait. The one blind I was really hoping for had just refilled so that was off the table but the blind right next to it was available so I took it. After checking in and getting my card I headed out to my blind.

The blind I took wasn’t really a “blind” but an island with natural cover. The natural cover consisted of some light tule reeds so more cover would be needed. I’ve hunted this spot before so I knew that would be the case. I had with me, as I always do, my Ducks & Bucks Cart Blind (you can check out my review on the Ducks & Bucks Cart Blind here: http://socalhunt.wordpress.com/2010/12/08/gear-review-–-ducks-bucks-cart-blind/ ) and I used it to build part of my blind today. I felt I couldn’t use it in its blind configuration though, as that would be twice as tall as the surrounding tules, so I laid it on its side and with a couple of camo covers completed my blind. The day was partly cloudy but was clearing fast with just a little breeze here and there. What was really nice, for the first time this season, the temperature was comfortable.

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I then sat down and began the wait for any incoming waterfowl. Every once in a while I could hear blinds in the area opening fire and an occasional flight of ducks could be seen in the distance, although none came anywhere close to in range. As always, there were other visitors to the pond, with a lot of Redwing Blackbirds in the area today.

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If you read my last hunt report from last Wednesday you know that my usual duck gun is at the gunsmith for repair. Due to that, today I had my old Remington 870 out in the blind. It’s a great old gun and is more then 50 years old but has accounted for many a duck in its time. The only drawback of the old girl is that she can only handle 2 ¾ inch shells. This wasn’t really a problem back in the day, when we could use lead shot, but since we’ve had to use non-toxic shot (steel) 3 inch or even 3 ½ inch shells are now preferred to get that extra measure of knockdown power with the lighter steel shot. The plan for today was to only take real close shots, due to the 2 ¾ inch shells’ limitations. If I kept the shots close the venerable old shotgun could still handle the chore.

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The ironic thing about taking the old 870 along is that as I drove out towards SJ the gunsmith called saying my regular duck gun was ready to be picked up. I almost turned around to get the gun but figured I was already past the point of no return, and besides that I didn’t have any 3 ½ inch shells with me anyway, so I’d give the 870 some much deserved marsh time today.

About 3 pm I caught sight of a teal as it rocketed in from behind me, just 10 feet off the water’s surface. It was too late to shoulder the gun and I figured that one was gone but to my surprise the little duck looped around a big stand of tules to my right and headed in towards me again over my right shoulder. I stood to fire at the teal and twisted to my right to get lined up for the shot I gracefully tripped over my own feet and completely blew the shot, executing another perfect “catch and release” on the bird.

Well, a few more ducks were seen, but none even close to in range and as the sun set behind the Bernasconi Hills I wrapped up another hunt day at SJ. I did happen to see the hunter that took the neighboring blind (the one I wanted to get) at the parking area and he told me he didn’t even shoulder his gun.

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Well, its still early in the season but it seems that San Jacinto is still mostly a morning shoot so far this season. Anyway, the plan for next week is to hit San Jacinto with both my usual hunting partners next Wednesday for a morning hunt…if the sweat line draw is kind to us. Maybe we’ll see you out there.

Hunt Results for San Jacinto Wildlife Area, Wednesday – 11/12/14

San Jacinto Wildlife Area’s per hunter average rose again on Wednesday over Saturday’s numbers on a day with comfortable temperatures and partly cloudy skies, which cleared off in the afternoon. Green Wing Teal retained first place for most birds taken with Widgeon taking second place today. Tom Trakes, from San Jacinto Wildlife Area, reported that the results for Wednesday, 11/12/14 were as follows:

127 adult and no junior hunters bagged 20 Northern Shovelers, 12 Cinnamon Teal, 30 Gadwall, 59 Widgeon, 86 Green Wing Teal, 6 Mallards, 1 Pintail, 11 Redhead, 24 Ring Necks, 19 Bufflehead, 17 Scaup, 1 Common Merganser and 23 Ruddy Ducks. No geese were taken at San Jacinto on Wednesday. There were also 4 coots taken on Wednesday. This worked out to an average take of 2.43 ducks per hunter, or, adding in the coots, 2.46 waterfowl per hunter. Tom advised that out of 52 reservations 29 showed up on time.

Don’t forget to bring a buck or two or ten, whatever you can spare if you’re able, and put some in the box in the check station for the Junior Waterfowl Hunt. These donations go towards running the event, the food and some of the prizes for the junior hunters. The juniors are the future of our sport and the junior hunt is a great way to get them enthused about the sport.

Also, don’t forget that San Jacinto Wildlife Area is having its annual Toy Drive for the Bryant Park Head Start Preschool. If you’re able please bring a new, unwrapped toy for the kids. Details here:

http://socalhunt.wordpress.com/2014/11/05/san-jacinto-wildlife-area-annual-toy-drive-has-begun/

San Jacinto is open for waterfowl hunting on Wednesdays and Saturdays only. You can put in for reservations on-line through the DFW Automated License Data System (ALDS). Your reservation request has to be to the ALDS system 17 days in advance to get in on the drawing or you can get in on the daily “sweatline” drawing for the remaining blinds after the reservations are taken care of. Reservation spots are given out starting at 3 AM and the “sweatline” drawing is done after that. The ALDS can be accessed through the DFW web site at the below link –

https://www.ca.wildlifelicense.com/InternetSales

Don’t forget that all licenses and 1 day, 2 day or season passes must be purchased at a DFW Office or a license agent before your arrive at the refuge. These can be purchased on-line via the ALDS system also, however, you will have to wait for the DFG to mail you’re the actual licenses and passes which can take up to 15 days. If you purchase your license and passes in person at a DFW office or license agent you immediately get them without the wait for the mail. No licenses or passes will be sold at the check stations this year. You can also show up for an afternoon refill hunt but the last refill is at 2 PM. For more information, contact the staff at San Jacinto at 951-928-0580.



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