San Jacinto Wildlife Area Blind Clean-up/Workday Rescheduled for July 13th, 2019

San Jacinto Wildlife Area Staff would like to invite hunters to participate in a Volunteer Clean-up/Workday at the Wildlife Area on Saturday, July 13th, 2019.  Volunteers are to gather at the SJ Check Station parking lot at 7 am.  This will be the first of probably three work days before the season so at this point there are NO palm fronds are needed at this time.  (But start thinking about where to get them around September).

Work will be assigned at the start of the morning.  A mid-day BBQ pot luck lunch will be held for the volunteers.  Work will continue after the BBQ.

Also, during this workday Boy Scouts will be engaged in an Eagle project repairing the kiosk near the entrance to San Jacinto.  Anyone who has roofing expertise and/or tools that could assist the Boy Scouts is welcome.

Please be prepared for the following:

Trash removal from hunt sites

General clean-up of hunt areas

Bring work gloves, sturdy boots, mud boots, covered shoes, waders (All ponds are still holding water)

Be sure to bring plenty of bottled water as the weather will be HOT!  Also, mosquito repellant would be a good idea.

Direction to the San Jacinto Wildlife Area

From the 215 South freeway,

-Exit Ramona Expressway going east towards Lake Perris, go 7 miles to Davis road, turn left and go up Davis road 2 miles to the Wildlife Headquarters office.

From the 79

-Exit Ramona Expressway going west towards Lake Perris, go to Davis road, turn right and go up Davis road 2 miles to the Wildlife Headquarters office.

Questions?  Contact Tom Trakes (951) 236-3040.


California Fish and Game Commission Sets 2019/2020 Season Regulations

The California Fish and Game Commission, during their April 17th meeting in Santa Monica, California, adopted changes to the waterfowl season dates and regulations for the 2019/20 waterfowl season.

Regulations adopted for the Southern California Zone (which will cover San Jacinto Wildlife Area):
Seasons: Ducks and Geese: October 19, 2019 through January 31, 2020.
Special Youth Hunt Days: February 8 and February 9, 2020. (San Jacinto’s Annual Youth Hunt will be February 8th, 2020).

Limits: Ducks: Daily bag limit: 7. Which may consist of 7 mallards, of which only 2 can be female; 1 pintail; 2 canvasback; 2 redheads; 3 scaup. (Scaup may only be taken November 7th, 2019 through January 31st, 2020 – so be careful the first two and a half weeks of the season this year).

Geese: Daily bag limit: 23 of which 20 may be white geese and 3 may be dark geese.

Possession Limit Ducks and Geese: Triple the daily bag limit.

Black Brant (Although a “sea goose” I’ll add this because occasionally a few seem to show up at San Jacinto): November 9, 2019 – December 15, 2019. Daily bag limit: 2 per day. Possession limit triple the daily bag limit.

“Electronic” Spinning wing decoys (AKA – mojos) will be allowed from December 1st until the season ends (statewide) – non-motorized /wind-powered mojos are allowed all season. (NOTE – As far as I could find this was not mentioned in the season regulation changes at the Commission meeting so I’m listing the dates based on last season’s regulations (assuming no changes). This has been December 1st for as long as I can remember but check with the official regulations once they are posted on the DFW web site or the printed regulation books when they come out, probably in a couple of months but still well before the season).

Among the regulations that most affect San Jacinto hunters are, of course, the extended end date for the season. The federal framework allowed for the season to end on the last day in January and, due to overwhelming support from hunters who contacted DFW, the Commission adopted the extended season. This will end the season on Friday, January 31st but, in effect, for San Jacinto, it will mean only one more hunt day and the season ending there will be on a Wednesday, which would be January 29th. If you have a place you can hunt that is not on a state or federal refuge or wildlife area of course it means 5 more days for you to hunt but if you only hunt places like SJ it only results in one more day, but one more hunt day is 100 times better than not having the extra day. This extended season will also have the effect of pushing the annual Junior Hunt at San Jacinto (and everywhere else) back a week to Saturday, February 8th, which will likely mean a little better hunting for the juniors. Also, as a result of the extended season, Scaup, which have usually opened two weeks after the season opens will actually open 2 ½ weeks after the season opener, which will actually be the day after the third Wednesday of the season (opens November 7th, 2019, a Thursday) This means there will be 6 hunt days at SJ were Scaup are verboten (not allowed for the non-German speakers) instead of the usual 4 hunt days at the beginning of the season. Another change, one that Southern California hunters won’t be happy with is that this season the Pintail limit was dropped to 1 bird. Unfortunate for us in this part of the state as sometimes pintail are the most numerous bird harvested, even with last year’s 2 bird limit, especially down at Wister. Other than that, most other regulations stayed pretty consistent with last season’s regulations.

So, there you have it. The regulations are set, and San Jacinto Wildlife Area will soon be on the way to become ship shape for the 2019/2020 season. (Don’t forget to pitch in on the upcoming workday on July 13th and/or the subsequent work days if you’re able – Info will be posted here when I receive it). AND Mystic Lake is back and completely full which should go a long way to enhance the hunt results at good old SJ!

This above information is provided as a general guide only. Although they haven’t updated it to the newly adopted regulations when they do, probably in a month or two (still well before the season) please check the California Department of Fish and Wildlife website at:

…or printed regulation book (available probably not long after they update their web info at most license agent locations) for official information and/or for regulations in other waterfowl zones in the state.

Hopefully, we’ll get some weather this year up north early in the season to push the birds down to us and we can all look forward to another great season at San Jacinto Wildlife Area.

San Jacinto Wildlife Area Work day Scheduled for Saturday, May 11th CANCELED

The work day / clean up that was scheduled for the San Jacinto Wildlife Area this coming Saturday, May 11th has been CANCELED due to circumstances.  The new date for this work day is now set for Saturday, July 13th.  Mark your calendars and hopefully we’ll have details soon about the July 13th work day.  This post is just to get notice out there to any that were going to attend this Saturday so they are aware of the cancelation ASAP.

Quick Notice – Clean Up Day Set for San Jacinto Wildlife Area, Saturday, May 11th (details to come)

Just a heads up so people can get this on their calendar…Since it looks like the rains are finally over a Clean Up day is scheduled for San Jacinto Wildlife Area for Saturday, May 11th. I’ll post details when I get them…

San Jacinto’s 25th Annual Junior Waterfowl Hunt Event a Rousing Success, February 2nd, 2019

To start this off I want to say that there were so many great sponsors, volunteers, and so many that supported the Junior Hunt event with prizes, assistance, and the food they deserve another big thanks from all of us.

As the top-off to the season, the Junior Hunt is a great event and the Junior Hunters had some good waterfowl hunting and also came away with some great prizes at the lunch and giveaway at mid-day.

As is tradition, the Juniors and their adult accompanists were treated to a great breakfast of pancakes and sausage with coffee and hot chocolate.

After all the Juniors and their accompanying adults fueled up on breakfast, they headed out to the Wildlife Area to set up and wait for the starting horn to sound.  The hunting was pretty good this year and many waterfowl were brought into the check station.

(In case you missed it you can read the hunt results here…  )

At lunchtime, everyone retired to the Check Station workshop for lunch and the prize giveaway.    Lunch was great with the Juniors and their adults downing BBQed hamburgers and hotdogs and some fantastic cakes provided and decorated by Tom Trakes’ wife and daughter, Cindy and Bonnie.

This year’s Junior Hunt was dedicated to the memory of Richard Seville, one of the SJ regulars, that sadly passed away early in 2018.

This year Tom’s daughter has produced a video slideshow covering San Jacinto Wildlife Areas 25th Annual Junior Hunt Event.  Rather than run through a list of prizes and happenings at the event I’ll let the video do the talking this year.  As they say, a picture is worth a thousand words and there’s a bunch of them in the video.

(Video here:  )

After the raffle, many of the Junior Hunters went back to their blinds to finish out the day hunting.

The Junior Hunt was an outstanding event, as it usually is.  As I’ve said every year, and will repeat again as I fervently believe it, the Juniors are the future of our sport, so it is vital to keep them interested and involved in waterfowl hunting.  San Jacinto’s Annual Junior Waterfowl Hunt definitely goes a long way towards that goal every year.

Tom told me he’d like to thank, as well as I would myself, everyone who donated prizes, food, labor or anything else towards this event.  We all should also thank the San Jacinto crew for, as usual, going the extra mile to help make this event happen. We all appreciate all your hard work.

So, another Junior Waterfowl Hunt is in the books.  Check out the pictures below of the 85 Juniors Hunters that participated this year and the beautifully decorated cake Tom’s wife and daughter worked so hard on.  Also, don’t forget to view the wonderful video of the event that Tom’s daughter worked so hard on. (link above within the article).  This was a great event to celebrate the 25th annual waterfowl hunt and a great kickoff to the next 25 years, and beyond for the Junior Hunters.

Great lookin’ Cake!

The Junior Crew!

San Jacinto Wildlife Area – Free Hunter Education Course Offered, Saturday, April 27th

San Jacinto Wildlife Area will be hosting a free state-mandated Hunter’s Education course on Saturday, April 27th, 2019.  If you want to get a hunting license this is the class you need to take to get your license.

Tom Trakes, of San Jacinto Wildlife Area, advised that the students should assemble at the SJ check station by 6:30 am with the course beginning promptly thereafter.

The Class is free to all, no tuition or materials fee. Students must read the Hunter Education manual prior to attending this class and bring it along to the class. (Check a little further down for more about the manual).  The weather at San Jacinto in April varies but can be quite warm and it’s suggested that everyone attending would probably want to bring a good supply of bottled water.

Lunch will be at noon, food provided, sponsored by Quail Forever.

The class should last until about 5:00 pm and everyone successfully completing the course can then head out to their local DFW license agent (aka: sporting goods store, Walmart, DFW Office, etc.) and buy their hunting license.

Every person who wishes to take this course must register for the class. Before registering the student must obtain a Get Outdoors (GO ID) number.  Students must download, sign, and bring to the class with them a Student Consent Form.

To get a GO ID number, start here:

To register for the class and get your Student Consent Form, go to:

…and follow the instructions to register.

On the registration page, they request that you “Please read your manual before April 27th and be prepared for a 9 hour class…”. printed copies of the Hunter Education Manual are available at your local DFW office or, as soon as they get them, at San Jacinto Wildlife Area.  I checked with the DFW Los Alamitos Office and the manual is not available online as a pdf, however, I did obtain a printed copy and on the cover is a web address that takes you to a Hunter Education page.  If you scroll down that page a short way you will see a link to the “Official California Department of Fish and Wildlife hunter safety course”.  Click on that link and it takes you to the “Official California Hunter Safety Course Online” page.  At the very top of that page, right in the middle is a link that says “Study Guide” (there’s also another link to the same study guide further down the page). Click on either of those links and it will take you to an online version of the Hunter Education Manual.  I checked a few pages of this link as compared to the printed manual and it appears to follow the printed manual I obtained from the DFW Office fairly closely. If you can’t make it to a DFW office or to SJWA before the class to pick up a manual this is a substitute, although I believe the manual is slightly more detailed.  Here’s the link to the web address to find the online version of the manual:

Here’s a link to a page with a map and addresses for all the DFW Offices so you can find the one near you:

Direction to the San Jacinto Wildlife Area:

From the 215 South freeway:

-Exit Ramona Expressway going east towards Lake Perris, go 7 miles to Davis road, turn left and go up Davis road 2 miles to the Wildlife Headquarters office.

From the 79:

-Exit Ramona Expressway going west towards Lake Perris, go to Davis road, turn right and go up Davis road 2 miles to the Wildlife Headquarters office.

Any questions regarding this free Hunter’s Education course should call Tom Trakes at 951-236-3040.

2018/2019 Season Sunrise / Sunset Recap (ah…sort of)

Since the 2010/2011 season, SoCalHunt has posted an article with pictures of the sunrises and sunset experienced throughout the season.  This season due to a series of different incidents and circumstances I only got out one time, the Wednesday after the season opener.  I’ll not bore you with the details of why, it wasn’t all bad, I got a new grandson out of it, but it wasn’t all good either.  I’m posting this basically so anybody that follows the SoCalHunt blog won’t wonder why I didn’t post as I usually do.  I’m sure you already noticed the lack of Hunting Reports during the season just past.

Well, ‘nuff said about that.

As traditional for SoCalHunt at the end of every season, here are the (no) sunrises and (1) sunset for the 2018/2019 season just past, along with the daily (no) clouds we observed during each day.

Presented for your enjoyment:

(Click on the image for a full-sized picture)

10/24/18 Sunset. (BTW – those birds aren’t ducks, just a flock of blackbirds).

Yup…that’s it.  Sorry.  Hopefully, SoCalHunt will have a bunch of pictures to post next season, along with some hunt reports to go with them during the season.

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