Toxic Algae Found at San Jacinto Wildlife Area – Use Caution – Leave the Dog at Home

Tom Trakes of the San Jacinto Wildlife Area advised that water testing done at the Wildlife Area has shown elevated levels of toxic Algae in the ponds at SJWA and also on Mystic lake.  This algae can be dangerous and has the potential to harm people and kill animals.  Tom advised me that the algae tested within dangerous levels at the southeastern end of Mystic lake, near Bridge Street, and within Caution levels on the rest of Mystic Lake and just about all the ponds on SJWA. 

The most important message here, for now, is that hunters with dogs will probably want to leave their furry hunting partners at home if you’re hunting in the next few weeks.  Hunting will still be allowed on the majority of the Wildlife Area, but caution needs to be exercised.  Due to the elevated levels in the southeast end of Mystic Lake the three blinds nearest Bridge Street will be closed but the rest of the blinds at San Jacinto will still be opened.  Obviously you don’t want to drink any of the water from the ponds (like anybody would want to do that anyway).  Please refer to the photos of the caution and danger signs posted here for details. 

Water testing will be ongoing, and Tom expects that the problem will clear in a few weeks as the weather cools down a bit.  Tom will keep hunters advised at the morning briefing on each hunt day.  I’ll post updates here as Tom advises me.

Bottom line here is, keep your dog at home for the next couple of weeks.  Hopefully this will clear fast and we can get back to business as usual as far as hunting goes at SJWA.

So…2020 hits again.  I’m just waiting for the man-eating Piranha/Mallard hybrids to migrate down here to make the year complete.

Hunt Results for Kern National Wildlife Refuge, Wednesday – 10/28/20

The average bag of waterfowl for the Kern National Wildlife Refuge dropped off a little from opening day’s excellent average but remained very good.  Shovelers held on to first place for number of birds checked in with Gadwall taking over the second spot.  The Kern NWR Staff reported that the results for Wednesday, 10/28/20 were as follows:

60 adult hunters and 1 junior hunter checked in with 64 Shovelers, 3 Mallards, 29 Gadwall, 22 Widgeon, 20 Pintail, 25 Green Wing Teal, 5 Cinnamon Teal, 19 Redheads, 2 Canvasback, 9 Ring Necks, 1 Scaup (oops), 4 Bufflehead, 1 Surf Scooter, and 4 Ruddy Ducks. There were 4 Ross’ Geese and 1 Snow Goose taken at Kern on Wednesday.  1 Coot was bagged at Kern on Wednesday.  This figured out to an average bag of 3.41 ducks per gun or, with the Geese and Coot added in, 3.51 waterfowl per hunter. No info was given regarding the reservation cards issued or claimed.

Kern National Wildlife Refuge is open for waterfowl hunting on Wednesdays and Saturdays only. You can put in for reservations online 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.  Hunters with reservations must present their reservation at the Hunter Check Station on the Refuge 2 1/2 hours before local shoot time. Vacancies occurring from no-show reservation holders and from hunters leaving the area shall be filled according to the order established in the standby drawing which occurs 2 hours before shoot time, the day of the hunt, and is performed at the Refuge Hunter Check Station. The ALDS can be accessed through the DFW website at the below link – Additional information may be obtained by calling their Kern’s office at (661) 725-2767.

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 arrival at the refuge.  These can be purchased online via the ALDS system also, however, you will have to wait for the DFG to mail you 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.  As in past seasons, no licenses or passes will be sold at the check stations this season.

Hunt Results for the Wister Unit of the Imperial Wildlife Area, Wednesday – 10/28/20

Hunters continued harvesting a decent average at the Wister Unit of the Imperial Wildlife Area for Wednesday, only dropped off slightly from Sunday’s good average.  Green Wing Teal held onto first place for the most birds bagged with Cinnamon Teal retaining the second spot.  The Wister Staff reported that the results for Wednesday, 10/28/20 were as follows:

111 adult and 8 junior hunters bagged 20 Northern Shoveler, 7 Mallards, 14 Gadwall, 6 Widgeon, 38 Pintail, 85 Green Wing Teal, 42 Cinnamon Teal, 1 Canvasback, 6 Ring Necks, 1 Hooded Merganser, and 21 Ruddy Ducks.  Again, no Geese bagged at Wister on Wednesday.  In addition, 10 Coots were checked in on Wednesday.  This worked out to an average take of 2.05 ducks per person or, with the Coots added in, 2.13 waterfowl per hunter. Out of 104 reservation cards issued 40 hunters arrived on time to claim their spots.

Wister is open for waterfowl hunting on Wednesdays, Saturdays, and Sundays only. You can put in for reservations online 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 the night before at 10:30 pm, with sign-up for the drawing between 7:30 and 10:30 pm. The ALDS can be accessed through the DFW website 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 arrival at the refuge.  These can be purchased online 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 season.  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 Wister Staff at 760-359-0577.

(Note* – After indicating that Wister will be sending out their reports one time a week, sometime after the Sunday hunt, Wister sent the report on Wednesday’s hunt on Wednesday evening.  No matter how Wister provides these reports rest assured SoCalHunt will attempt to get the hunt results posted as soon as possible after they are received.)

Hunt Results for San Jacinto Wildlife Area, Wednesday – 10/28/20

Hunting results for Wednesday at San Jacinto Wildlife Area headed upward from the disappointing opening day average under clear skies and temperatures that just touched the 80s.  Cinnamon Teal held onto first place for number of birds checked in with Shovelers taking over the second spot.  Tom Trakes, from San Jacinto Wildlife Area, reported that the results for Wednesday, 10/28/20 were as follows:

 156 adult and 4 junior hunters bagged 72 Northern Shovelers, 9 Mallards, 13 Gadwall, 16 Widgeon, 10 Pintail, 32 Green Wing Teal, 144 Cinnamon Teal, 10 Redheads, 11 Ring Necks, 17 Bufflehead, 1 Wood Duck, and 14 Ruddy Ducks.  There was a single Snow Geese downed at San Jacinto on Wednesday.  There were also 62 Coots bagged on Wednesday.  This resulted in an average take of 2.18 ducks per gun or, with the Goose and Coots included, 2.58 waterfowl per hunter. Tom advised that out of 50 reservation cards issued 35 showed up on time to claim their spot.

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 arrival at the refuge.  These can be purchased online via the ALDS system also, however, you will have to wait for the DFG to mail you 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.  As in past seasons, no licenses or passes will be sold at the check stations this season.  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.

Hunt Results for the Wister Unit of the Imperial Wildlife Area, Saturday – 10/24/20 and Sunday – 10/25/20

The 2020/21 season opening waterfowl harvest average for the Wister Unit of the Imperial Wildlife Area came in with great averages for opening day, three times what last year’s opener produced.  For Saturday Green Wing Teal took first place for number of birds harvested with Cinnamon Teal holding the second place.  The Wister Staff reported that the results for Saturday, 10/24/20 were as follows:

327 adult and 33 junior hunters bagged 16 Northern Shovelers, 45 Mallards, 22 Gadwall, 25 Widgeon, 117 Pintail, 625 Green Wing Teal, 408 Cinnamon Teal, 4 Redheads, 19 Ring Necks, 4 Buffleheads, 6 Blue Wing Teal, 2 Surf Scooters, and 4 Ruddy Duck.  There were no Geese checked in at Wister on Saturday.  In addition, 28 Coots were brought in on Saturday.  This resulted in an average take of 3.60 ducks per gun or, with the Coots figured in, a 3.68 waterfowl average for each hunter. Out of 104 reservation cards issued 72 showed up on time for their spot.

The waterfowl take for the Wister Unit of the Imperial Wildlife Area for Sunday, dropped off just a bit from Saturday’s great season opening numbers but were still good averages.  Green Wing Teal were, once again, the most numerous bird taken with Cinnamon Teal holding on to the second position.  The Wister Staff reported that the results for Sunday, 10/25/20 were as follows:

152 adult and 4 junior hunters bagged 4 Northern Shoveler, 22 Mallards, 4 Gadwall, 7 Widgeon, 33 Pintail, 220 Green Wing Teal, 61 Cinnamon Teal, 7 Redhead, 6 Ring Necks, and 2 Ruddy Ducks.  There were no Geese checked in at Wister on Sunday.  There were also 14 coots included in the take on Sunday.  This resulted in a per hunter average of 2.35 ducks and, with the Coots included, 2.44 waterfowl per person. Out of 104 reservation cards issued 36 hunting parties arrived on time to claim their spots.

Wister is open for waterfowl hunting on Wednesdays, Saturdays, and Sundays only. You can put in for reservations online 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 the night before at 10:30 pm, with sign-up for the drawing between 7:30 and 10:30 pm. The ALDS can be accessed through the DFW website 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 arrival at the refuge.  These can be purchased online 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 season.  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 Wister Staff at 760-359-0577.

(Note* – As of this report it appears that Wister will be sending out their reports one time a week, sometimes after the Sunday hunt.  If this is how the reports come out Wednesday’s, Saturday’s, and Sunday’s hunt results will be posted as soon as they are received, sometime between late Sunday night and Tuesday.)

Hunt Results for Kern National Wildlife Refuge, Saturday – 10/24/20

The average take for the 2020/21 waterfowl season opener for the Kern National Wildlife Refuge showed excellent averages for the hunters partaking, although it was just slightly less than last year’s opener averages. Shovelers came in way out in front for first place for number of birds harvested with Green Wing Teal in the second spot with exactly half the birds checked in as Shovelers.  The Kern NWR Staff reported that the results for Saturday, 10/24/20 were as follows:

55 adult and 4 junior hunters checked in with 100 Shovelers, 6 Mallards, 25 Gadwall, 23 Widgeon, 19 Pintail, 50 Green Wing Teal, 9 Cinnamon Teal, 13 Redheads, 2 Canvasback, 4 Ring Necks, 1 Bufflehead, and 4 Ruddy Ducks. There was a lone Snow Goose bagged at Kern on Saturday.  No Coots were checked in at Kern on Saturday.  This worked out to an average take of 4.34 ducks per hunter or, with the Goose included, 4.36 waterfowl for each person. No info was given regarding the reservation cards issued or claimed.

Kern National Wildlife Refuge is open for waterfowl hunting on Wednesdays and Saturdays only. You can put in for reservations online 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.  Hunters with reservations must present their reservation at the Hunter Check Station on the Refuge 2 1/2 hours before local shoot time. Vacancies occurring from no-show reservation holders and from hunters leaving the area shall be filled according to the order established in the standby drawing which occurs 2 hours before shoot time, the day of the hunt, and is performed at the Refuge Hunter Check Station. The ALDS can be accessed through the DFW website at the below link – Additional information may be obtained by calling their Kern’s office at (661) 725-2767.

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 arrival at the refuge.  These can be purchased online via the ALDS system also, however, you will have to wait for the DFG to mail you 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.  As in past seasons, no licenses or passes will be sold at the check stations this season.

Hunt Results for San Jacinto Wildlife Area, Saturday – 10/24/20

Hunting results for opening day of the 2020/21 waterfowl season at San Jacinto Wildlife Area were fairly disappointing, with the average take almost half of what last years opener produced.  This mediocre average bird harvest was chalked up by the opening day hunters under partly cloudy skies and temperatures topping out in the neighborhood of 70 degrees.  Cinnamon Teal were the number one bird harvested for the opener with Ruddy Ducks coming in second for number of birds taken.  Tom Trakes, from San Jacinto Wildlife Area, reported that the results for Saturday, 10/24/20 were as follows:

 226 adult and 19 junior hunters bagged 36 Northern Shovelers, 35 Mallards, 12 Gadwall, 12 Widgeon, 8 Pintail, 21 Green Wing Teal, 194 Cinnamon Teal, 4 Redheads, 22 Ring Necks, 2 Bufflehead, 4 Wood Ducks, and 61 Ruddy Ducks.  There were no Geese bagged at San Jacinto on Saturday.  There were also 25 Coots checked in on Saturday.  This resulted in an average take of 1.68 ducks per hunter or, with the Coots figured in, 1.78 waterfowl per person. Tom advised that out of 50 reservation cards issued 34 showed up on time to claim their spot.

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 arrival at the refuge.  These can be purchased online via the ALDS system also, however, you will have to wait for the DFG to mail you 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.  As in past seasons, no licenses or passes will be sold at the check stations this season.  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.

Large Group of Volunteers Show Up for San Jacinto’s Volunteer Blind Clean Up / Work Day Saturday, October 3rd

About 40 volunteers were in attendance bright and early on Saturday, October 3rd at the SJWA check station parking lot for this year’s final volunteer clean-up/blind brush-up work day. After a short appropriately socially distanced meeting in the lot Tom sent the volunteers to their assignments to clean-up, repair, and brush-up several of the hunting area’s blinds.  One of the main goals of this work day was to clean out the excess growth on the dike leading to the Mobility Impaired blinds.  Several blinds were also repaired and brushed up with palm fronds

Tom and his crew at SJWA, (along with myself), would like to give a huge thank you to everyone that showed up and worked so hard to get things in ship-shape for the fast approaching waterfowl season. 

After the work day, some of the volunteers retired to Marcello’s Pizza Restaurant for a well-deserved lunch.

The volunteers on these work days are essential.  Even more so this year than usual due to COVID restrictions and the SJ staff’s small crew this year.  I know that everyone the utilizes the San Jacinto Wildlife Area appreciates the effort and the volunteers deserve a big “think you”.

Tom told me that they will soon have the plan finalized for the changes in check-in procedures, sweatline, and refill for this season due to the COVID restrictions.  As soon as SoCalHunt has the info it will be posted here.  Watch for it soon.

SJWA’s Pastor Jessie Passes – Services Upcoming

Pastor Jessie Martinez, Son in law of Tom Trakes, passes away September 25 from renal failure, diabetes, and congestive heart failure.  Many of we hunters at San Jacinto know Pastor Jessie, especially if you attended the Junior Waterfowl Hunt the last few years.  Pastor Jessie gave the invocation for the Junior Hunt lunch.  He also gave a dedication prayer in 2017 dedicating the waterfowl season to Brian Frazier, an SJWA regular, who was killed in the horrible Las Vegas mass shooting just weeks before. 

Another activity Jessie was always involved in was playing Santa Claus for the SJWA Bryant Park Preschool toy give away each year.  He’s the guy that gave out all the toys the San Jacinto hunters donated to the annual toy drive.  Jessie also played Santa at many Valley-Wide Recreation and Parks events.  Jessie thrilled thousands of children over the years portraying Santa Claus at both the Bryant Park Preschool event and several Valley-Wide events.

Jessie has been married to Tom’s daughter for 20 years. In 2013 they fostered a little boy Ayden and little Girl Riley for almost 3 years before the children were sent back to their dad. In 2016 the children came back into the system and went back to the Martinez’s.  In 2018 they were finally able to adopt them. Ayden is 11 and Riley is 9 years old.

Jessie worked for Valley-Wide Recreation and Parks for about 3 years. He was a part of Calvary Chapel of San Jacinto where he served as a youth leader and youth pastor for about 6 years.  He was ordained by Calvary Chapel of San Jacinto (which is now 412 church) in 2003.  He also started the Calvary Chapel of Duluth Minnesota and was there for 5 years. On his return to California, he started a small church at the Cross Fellowship and was the pastor there until his medical problems overtook him.  

Memorial services for Jessie will be held on Thursday, October 8th at 2 pm at 412 Church 1450 W 7th Street, San Jacinto.  All are welcome to attend.

Last-Minute Items Requested for SJWA’s Saturday, Oct. 3rd Brush Up Day.

Tom Trakes of the San Jacinto Wildlife has asked me to pass along the following for anyone planning on attending this Saturday’s, October 3rd, volunteer work day.  Tom advised that they need to clean up some overgrown walkways out to some of the blinds and they also need to do some carpentry work on the Mobility Impaired blinds.  To is asking that anyone that has pruners to bring them along and if a couple people have chain saws, (and know how to safely use them) they would be a great help also.  If a couple of the volunteers have carpentry skills Tom also requested that you bring along some of your carpentry tools as the two Mobility Impaired blinds at SJ need some repair also.

As always, palm fronds are still needed so if you. Can bring along a few of those that would be great also. 

Details on the Volunteer Workday can be found here (just so I don’t have to re-type everything). 

https://socalhunt.wordpress.com/2020/08/27/october-3rd-san-jacinto-wildlife-area-2nd-volunteer-clean-up-brush-up-work-day-in-preparation-for-duck-opener/

If you still have any questions you can contact Tom Trakes at the San Jacinto headquarters at (951) 236-3040, or the San Jacinto staff at (951) 928-0580.

Here’s hoping we have at least as good a turnout as last time so we can get the work done early before it gets really hot.  Don’t forget plenty of water, sunscreen, and mosquito repellant. 

California Department of Fish and Wildlife Releases 2020 Waterfowl Hunting Newsletter

The DFW has released an informational newsletter for the upcoming 2020/2021 Waterfowl season.  This newsletter will answer many questions about the upcoming 2920/2021 waterfowl season.  Some of the topics covered are Changes to Wildlife Area and Refuge Operations due to COVID-19 restrictions, adjustments to check-in times due to COVID-19 Guidelines, Temporary closures of DFW license sales offices, Veteran and Active Duty Military special hunt days, Junior Hunt days, a Hunter Checklist for your licensing requirements, and much more.

You can check it out at the link below.  You can read it online or print it up so you can have the info with you in the field if you want.  Hopefully, this will answer a lot of the questions hunters have about the upcoming season which promises to be, shall we say, “different”.  Check it out here…

https://nrm.dfg.ca.gov/FileHandler.ashx?DocumentID=70409&inline=1

DFW Releases Wildlife Area Operational Changes for COVID-19

The Department of Fish and Wildlife has released its general rules for operational changes at their Wildlife Areas due to COVID-19 restrictions.  I’ll provide a few “highlights” and then provide a link below so you can read the entire thing.

All staff and members of the public are required to wear masks and maintain a minimum of six feet distance from others while conducting check station business and participating in recreational programs, including hunting.

Most non-portable restrooms will be closed to the public. Portable restrooms will be provided.

Handwashing and/or hand sanitizer stations will be provided near all restrooms. Please bring your own supplies for use in areas where stations are not available.

Please plan to carry out your own trash – (NOTE FROM ME – YOU SHOULD BE DOING THIS ALREADY ANYWAY!!)

(sweatline) Lottery hours may be adjusted and coordinated to facilitate this change across all regional check stations.

Controls will be established in the check station area and parking lots to increase physical distancing among hunters and staff. Controls may include parking markers, directional signage, requiring hunters to remain in vehicles, plexiglass barriers, extended counter tops, ground markers, etc.

To allow for slower processing times, check-in for hunters holding reservations and for lottery or First Come First Served (FCFS) opportunities may begin earlier than usual. These times will be posted on the informational web page.

To minimize the number of hunters congregating around the check stations, lottery and FCFS check-in will begin at a set time as opposed to immediately after reservation-holders are checked in (e.g. 1.5 hours before shoot time).

Hunters will be asked to remain in their vehicles until called by staff to check in or check out by number.

Controls for hunter/visitor check-out will be in place to minimize contact between hunters and staff, which may include drop boxes for collecting permits and harvest report cards.

Staff inspecting harvested birds will wear masks and gloves and maintain appropriate distance from hunters.

Each hunter should carry and present their own bird strap to facilitate safe check-out procedures.

These measures may result in delayed posting of harvest results. (Meaning SoCalHunt’s hunt result reports may be later than usual this season).

And, for those of you who may want to utilize the Wister Campground…

CDFW will accept RV Camping applications, where applicable, for the 2020-2021 hunt season. However, a final decision about whether to allow RV camping has not yet been made. If the decision is made to cancel camping, applicants will be contacted in advance of the season.

RV Camping operations, if allowed, will be consistent with local, state, and federal public health guidelines.

There is much more in there, these are just some highlights.  I’d encourage you to pull up the info via the link below and check it for yourself.   There are still some things that the individual Wildlife Areas have to determine due to the unique configuration and operations of each Area and when more info is posted regarding operations of our three So. Cal. Hunting areas (San Jacinto, Wister, and Kern) SoCalHunt will pass it on as soon as possible.

Here’s the link to view the full message on the Wildlife Area COVID-19 Operational Changes…

https://wildlife.ca.gov/Lands/COVID-19

 

San Jacinto Wildlife Area 2020 Dove Season Opening Day Results

On Tuesday, September 1st, the San Jacinto Wildlife Area opening day of the 2020 dove season dawned sort of cool and slightly foggy.  By sundown 134 hunters had visited San Jacinto in pursuit of the little buff colored birds, resulting in a total of 171 dove harvested.  The average bag came out to 1.28 birds per hunter.  That was slightly down from last year’s average of 1.46.   Pretty typical for SJWA as it isn’t really known as a dove hot spot.  There were some hunters that left with a goose…egg, a few were able to harvest several, and some bagged 1 or 2 or so.  So, as usual for San Jacinto, it wasn’t wide open on the dove, but it wasn’t too bad.  It did give a big group of people a place close to home to give it at least a couple hours of effort and maybe scratch out a few birds.  Especially true for those that couldn’t put in a whole day or more to drive down to Niland or Brawley.

San Jacinto is opened for dove hunting until the end of the first half of the dove season on Tuesday, September 15th.  Thursday (September 3rd) is the last day the waterfowl side of SJ will be opened for dove hunting so, if you want to give the waterfowl side a try for dove hunting you only have tomorrow, Thursday, September 3rd to give it a try as I write this.  Also, don’t forget that it’s non-toxic (steel) shot only for all hunting everywhere again this year so don’t mistakenly bring along any lead shot shells.  That’s a big no-no.

Also, while I’ve got your attention, San Jacinto needs palm fronds to complete brushing up the waterfowl area’s blinds for the duck opener, which is Saturday, October 24th.    The next volunteer blind brush-up work day is set for Saturday, October 3rd.   Check the below link for info on the work day and/or for info regarding bringing in some palm fronds any time before the work day.

https://socalhunt.wordpress.com/2020/08/27/october-3rd-san-jacinto-wildlife-area-2nd-volunteer-clean-up-brush-up-work-day-in-preparation-for-duck-opener/

October 3rd is also pretty close to the duck season opener so volunteering to help out will give you an opportunity to do a little scouting for the duck opener.  By then conditions should be fairy close to what they’ll be on the opener.

If you have any questions about either subject or want to make arrangements to drop of some palm fronds contact Tom Trakes at (951) 236-3040 or the SJ Staff at (951) 928-0580.

 

 

Update on Kern NWR for the 2020/2021 Season

The California Waterfowl Association just published an update for Kern National Wildlife Refuge for the upcoming 2020/2021 Waterfowl Season.  According to the CWA, the water allocation for Kern was cut this year by 5,000 acre-feet to only 17,000 acre-feet.  CWA says this is 8,000 acre-feet less than Kern’s full allocation.  CWA says this will give Kern the ability to flood about 3,500 to 4,000 acres of the refuge when fully flooded in December.

CWA advised that Kern is estimating they will be able to handle 35 – 45 hunters for opening day.  Kern anticipates no changes to their hunt program from last season.

The California DFW (who runs the hunting program at Kern) is working on check station operations for COVID restrictions.  DFW will release these procedures on their website when they are approved.

You can read CWA’s report on Kern NWR here…

https://www.calwaterfowl.org/2020-21-waterfowl-season-update-kern-nwr/

 

“E-Stamp” Federal Duck Stamps Now Available

If you happen to be a procrastinator and remember you need to buy your federal duck stamp the night before opening day you can now purchase it much in the same way you can purchase your state hunting license.  Online as an “E-Stamp”.  I know that for several years now you could buy your federal duck stamp online, but you had to wait for the actual stamp to arrive in the mail before you could go hunting.  With the US Fish and Wildlife Service’s “E-Stamp” program, you can buy your federal duck stamp and immediately print the certificate and go out hunting.  That’s even better than California’s online hunting license because you can use it right away instead of waiting for it to show up in the mail like your hunting license.

Obviously, if you’re a procrastinator, this is ideal for you as you could actually buy your federal stamp just before you go to bed for opening day and you’d still be good to go in the morning.  The only minor complication in this program, for we California hunters, is that the California DFW hasn’t signed up for the federal duck stamp “E-Stamp” program.  HOWEVER, since a federal duck stamp is good in all 50 states you can purchase the “E-Stamp” from another state and it would still be good here.

The “E-Stamp” version of your federal duck stamp is only good for 45 days from the date of purchase or until your actual stamp shows up in the mail.  It is actually a “certificate”, not a stamp, that must be carried with your state license. They will still send you the actual stamp to use through the mail.  It is just to get you by until they send you the actual physical stamp through the mail.  From the USFWS web page… “As soon as you receive your physical stamp, you must sign it and use it for hunting.  Your “E-Stamp” certificate is no longer valid once you receive your physical stamp.  Regardless of whether you receive your physical stamp, after 45 days from the date of purchase, the “E-Stamp” certificate is no longer valid.  You must carry your current, signed federal duck stamp while hunting.”

The link below will take you to the US Fish and Wildlife Service’s web page containing info on the federal duck stamp “E-Stamp”.  Also, if you scroll down a bit on that page there are links to the 25 states participating in the program where you could purchase one.

https://www.fws.gov/birds/get-involved/duck-stamp/e-stamp.php

 

 

October 3rd – San Jacinto Wildlife Area 2nd Volunteer Clean Up / Brush Up Work Day in Preparation for Duck Opener

Tom Trakes, from San Jacinto Wildlife Area, advised that the second volunteer work day for the upcoming season at San Jacinto Wildlife Area will be Saturday, October 3rd.  This work day will be primarily for brushing up some of the area’s blinds which weren’t finished on the last work day, and possibly rebuild any blinds that need it for the coming season. Due to state COVID-19 policies masks will be worn and 6-foot physical distancing maintained along with working in small groups. Tom advised that volunteers should meet at the check station at 6:00 am and anyone coming out to volunteer should bring gloves, shovels and/or hoes, wire pliers, sunscreen, mosquito repellant, lots of water since it may be hot and, of course, a mask.

Also, if anyone has access to palm fronds, they still need more of these, all they can get.  When it comes to palm fronds, we can’t have too many so if you can bring some along, please do.

After the work is done, we will get together at a local restaurant (if opened) for a well-deserved lunch (each person responsible for their own bill).

In the meantime, if you have any palm fronds you want to donate you don’t have to save them for the workday.  You can call Tom or the SJ staff at the number below and make arrangements to drop them off before the workday.  Make sure the palm frond are either the type with no thorns or, if you want to strip the thorns off before you bring them in, that kind is ok too.

Hopefully, we’ll have as good turnout as the August work day (which was a record I believe) so we can get everything ship-shape at SJ for another waterfowl season.  As I always say, the more the merrier (and the less work for each person).

Remember this work day is only 3 weeks before the opener so this would be an excellent chance to do some scouting just before the season and to scope out what blind you might want to try to get for opening day.  Conditions should be fairly close to what you’ll see when the season opens so it would be worth coming out just for that.

If you have any questions contact Tom Trakes at the San Jacinto headquarters at (951) 236-3040, or the San Jacinto staff at (951) 928-0580.

 

CORRECTION – New Upland Game Area Map Available for San Jacinto Wildlife Area

The new map of the Upland Hunting Area at San Jacinto Wildlife Area that was published by SoCalHunt on August 19th contained a mistake, please disregard that map.  The area indicated as available for upland hunting that is in front of the Lake Perris dam should not have been indicated as part of the Upland Hunting Area.  A corrected map can be seen below and is also available for download on the SoCalHunt website Maps and Downloads Page.  Sorry for any confusion this may have caused.  If you know the area I think you’d figure out that probably isn’t a place you’d want to hunt anyway.  Just in case anyone looks at the original post for the map the corrected map is now in that post also.

This map (pictured below) is also available to download in .pdf format on SoCalHunt’s website Maps and Downloads Page at…

www.socalhunt.com/maps-and-downloads.html

…You’ll have to scroll about 2/3 of the way down the page to find it.  Click on the picture of the map and the .pdf will open, and you can download it from there.

Once again I hope this helps anyone going to SJWA after dove after Thursday, September 3rd to keep you on the legal Upland Hunting Areas of the Wildlife Area.  Sorry for the error on the first map.  Good Luck!

California Department of Fish and Wildlife Warns of Fraudulent License Sales

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife has put out a warning about unauthorized websites selling hunting and fishing licenses and tags.  Per the DFW so far the unauthorized website sales have been limited to charging excess fees, however, be aware you are giving some unknown website some of your sensitive information, and we all know where that can lead.  Also, the DFW warns that there is no guarantee the license and/or tags you receive will be valid.  The DFW advises that there are only four ways to be sure you’re getting a valid license.  #1 – the DFW’s automated license data system, #2 – over the phone through DFW’s authorized telephone sales agent at (800) 565-1458, #3 – through DFW’s license sales offices (although most are currently closed due to COVID-19 restrictions), and #4 – through an independent license sales agent, which most of us are familiar with like Big 5, Walmart, Turners, etc.  The DFW has links within their article on this to the ALDS, the license sales offices, and a search engine for their independent license sales agents.  Click below for the DFW article regarding the fraudulent license sales and to get the links to the legitimate license sales locations.

https://cdfgnews.wordpress.com/2020/08/20/cdfw-warns-of-continued-fraudulent-license-sales-operations/

Dove season is fast approaching so if you still haven’t got your license you need to get on it and get it done.  Just be sure you’re getting it from a legitimate source.

 

 

New Upland Game Area Map Available for San Jacinto Wildlife Area

With dove season fast approaching SoCalHunt has obtained from the SJWA Staff an updated map of the areas on San Jacinto Wildlife Area that are opened to Upland Game hunting.  As is usual, the first three days of dove season this year will find the ENTIRE Wildlife Area opened to dove hunting, including the waterfowl areas, however, after that if you’re going to chase dove on SJWA property the Waterfowl Areas will be closed to hunting and you can only chase the little buff birds in the designated Upland Areas.

This map (pictured below) is also available to download in .pdf format on SoCalHunt’s website Maps and Downloads Page at…

www.socalhunt.com/maps-and-downloads.html

…You’ll have to scroll about 2/3 of the way down the page to find it.  Click on the picture of the map and the .pdf will open, and you can download it from there.

Hope this helps anyone going to SJWA after dove after Thursday, September 3rd to keep you on the legal Upland Hunting Areas of the Wildlife Area.  Good Luck!

Record Crowd of Volunteers at San Jacinto’s Volunteer Blind Clean Up / Work Day Saturday, August 1st

About 50 volunteers, (a record number!), showed up bright and early on Saturday, August 1st at the San Jacinto Wildlife Area check station parking for this year’s first volunteer clean-up/blind brush-up work day.  Due to expected hot temperatures Tom Trakes, of San Jacinto Wildlife Area, set the start time for this work day extra early, at 0530 to hopefully get things done before it really got warm.  Tom sent the volunteers out across the Wildlife Area to clean-up, repair, and brush-up several of the hunting area’s blinds.  In addition to the general clean-up and trash and shell pick up some of blinds required trimming of natural growth that was overgrown and cleaning out tumbleweeds and other plants that had taken over the inside of a few of the blinds. Several blinds were also repaired and brushed up with palm fronds either brought in by the volunteers or dropped off in the last several weeks at the SJ check station parking lot.

As always, Tom and his team at San Jacinto would like to give a huge thank you to everyone that came out and worked hard to start the process of getting things ready for the upcoming waterfowl season.

There will be at least one more blind brush-up/work day to finish getting things prepared for the coming waterfowl hunting season. The next one will be scheduled probably the first or second Saturday in September (date to be announced).  Watch here for details and the date of the work day when the date is finalized.  The September work day will concentrate on finishing brushing up the blinds, so palm fronds are needed.  If you can get a hold of any palm fronds any time before the work day you can drop them off at San Jacinto. Just call Tom at 951-236-3040, or the San Jacinto staff at (951) 928-0580, and they’ll make arrangements for so you can drop them off.  Please make sure you don’t bring in the type of palm fronds with the thorns on their stalks unless you’re willing to strip off the thorns first. Those things wreak havoc with waders if the thorns aren’t removed.

This year, as never before, the volunteers on these work days are essential.  Due to COVID restrictions and the fact that the SJ staff is short-handed this year, (just Tom and two staff members), it more important than ever to have another great turnout to make sure everything gets ready for the opener.   Watch SoCalHunt for the “official” announcement and details of the next blind brush-up/workday.

 

 


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