SoCalHunt San Jacinto Hunt Report 12/29/10

We have yet another SoCalHunt hunting report from San Jacinto.

My hunting partner and I headed out to San Jacinto Wildlife Area to do an afternoon refill hunt today. We opted to do the afternoon today because we wanted to take my partner’s 7-year-old daughter along with us today.

As reported here at SoCalHunt yesterday, Davis Road was in abysmal shape. My truck is not a 4×4 but I do have mud tires on it so we figured we could make it, especially when we saw a car coming out towards Ramona Expressway. As Tom told SoCalHunt yesterday, Davis Road resembled the surface of the moon with the amount of craters on it. We took it slow and finally made it to the check station. There were a large number of trucks in the parking lot, however this was not indicative of the amount of people waiting to refill. Being it was a walk-in day, everybody that was out hunting had their truck in the main lot. We went up to the check station and signed in. There were only about 4 or 5 other hunting parties waiting to refill. We waited about an hour for a hunter coming in from a good blind to check in and finally scored one of the premium blinds on the refuge.

Now the fun begins. As we walk over to the truck to get our guns and gear it starts to rain pretty hard. Since we were walking in, of course, we dumped most of our gear in the truck bed and took off with our Ducks & Bucks cart towards our assigned blind, probably about a mile and a half plus, with my partner’s daughter hitching a ride in the cart.

As we headed out the main road to the blinds I took a few pictures of conditions to supplement what Tom reported in yesterday’s conditions report here on SoCalHunt. Fortunately the internal roads at San Jacinto Wildlife Area are really good roads and there was no slippery mud to contend with. The problem, and the reason we couldn’t drive out today, is that there were several areas where the road is swamped with up to almost a foot of water. It might have still been possible to drive the roads but doing so would have just torn them up and I can see why the San Jacinto staff doesn’t want that to happen.

At the turnaround at Marsh A / Pond 1 the road was at least half covered with water.

At Marsh B the road was again covered with water.

At the turn at the far corner of Pond 3 there was water completely covering the road to just beyond the “V” in the road. (You can also see my partner towing his daughter in the cart in this picture while she holds her “camo” umbrella, LOL).

To get where we were going we took the right fork at the “V” and this was flooded from the “V” to about the dike between Marsh D and the G Blinds.

We finally got to our spot after an hour of walking and settled in. The weather was, as anyone in Southern California could tell you today, unsettled. It rained on and off, from very light to moderate rain, until almost quitting time.

The ducks weren’t flying as well as they have been in the past few weeks. This may have been because all the new water in the area has dispersed them far and wide, maybe a case of too much of a good thing. Not long after we arrived my partner had a hen mallard swing into the decoys on his side and dropped her. After a short while a hen spoony did the same and ended up on the strap also. I had only two opportunities all afternoon on my side and blew both chances. Just about 40 minutes before quitting time my partner dumped a double on a hen and drake ringneck.

Here and there we had a few shovelers swing in close for a look but they stayed out of range or we didn’t see them until they were on the way out, too late to do anything about it.

Just before quitting time we pulled our 8 decoys and packed the cart up for the walk out. We were one of the last parties to leave and when we arrived at the Marsh A turnaround we were very happy to see Durk in his Fish & Game truck coming out to check on us so we got a ride back to the check station for about the last ½ mile.

So, another enjoyable afternoon at San Jacinto with our own built in cheering section (my buddy’s daughter) along for the ride.

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