Archive for January, 2011

Hunt Results for San Jacinto Wildlife Area, Saturday 1/22/11 & Wednesday – 1/26/11 – And Junior Pheasant Hunt Results, Sunday 1/23/11 + an announcement!

The average harvest per hunter for waterfowl dropped slightly on Saturday, 1/22/11 at San Jacinto Wildlife Area. Tom Trakes, from San Jacinto, reported the following results for Saturday, 1/22/11:

104 adult hunters and 13 junior hunters harvested 32 Northern Shovelers, 1 Widgeon, 5 Bufflehead, 18 Cinnamon Teal, 35 Gadwall, 67 Green Wing Teal, 1 Mallard, 18 Pintail, 2 Ring Necks and 6 Ruddy Ducks. In addition on Saturday a lone Snow Goose and 5 coots were taken. This resulted in an average of 1.63 waterfowl per hunter. Tom advised that 18 of the 50 reservation cards sent out arrived on time.

Hunters had mush better success in the windy weather on Wednesday 1/26/11 with the average take going way up. Tom reported the following results for Wednesday, 1/26/11:

93 adult hunters and 5 junior hunter harvested 68 Northern Shovelers, 8 Widgeon, 1 Blue Wing Teal, 8 Bufflehead, 25 Cinnamon Teal, 53 Gadwall, 89 Green Wing Teal, 12 Mallards, 29 Pintail and 7 Ruddy Ducks. There were also 3 coots checked in on Wednesday. The average waterfowl per hunter came out to 3.09 birds per hunter. Tom said that out of the 50 reservation cards sent out only 12 showed up on time.

The annual Junior Pheasant Hunt at San Jacinto Wildlife Area, which was delayed due to the weather some time back, was conducted on Sunday, 1/23/11. Tom told me he didn’t have the exact numbers for the hunt but he was able to tell me that it was very successful. Tom said that 50 junior hunters came out for the event and that as far as he knew everybody got at least one pheasant and about 85% of the juniors got two birds.

Tom also told me that tomorrow’s hunt, Saturday 1/29/11, would finally be a drive-in hunt day. This will be the first time since the big rains that things have been dry enough to allow hunters to drive their own vehicles out on the refuge. Tom said that the road to the Walkers lot was still flooded and that anybody driving out on that road would need a high clearance 4×4 but the main road on the refuge is dry enough and hunters can drive out to their hunting sites once again.

San Jacinto is open for waterfowl hunting on Wednesdays and Saturdays only. At this point in the season it is now too late to get a reservation request card in the Sacramento but you can still 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. You can also show up for an afternoon refill hunt but the last refill is at 1 PM. For more information, contact the staff at San Jacinto at 951-928-0580.

SoCalHunt San Jacinto Hunt Report 1/26/11

This issue of the SoCalHunt hunting report from San Jacinto Wildlife Area was…just wow!

As usual I picked up my hunting partner and off we went to San Jacinto Wildlife Area for another try at the sweatline bucket. When we arrived we noticed that the group of hunters today seemed even smaller then last Wednesday.

The reservation line was the shortest I’ve seen it this year with maybe 15 or so reservation cardholders in line. Due to the short reservation line, they were quickly assigned their blinds and the sweatline bucket was brought out. In our names went amongst all the other sweatline slips. We were just stoked to hear our names called second out of the bucket. With the extremely short reservation line today that was almost like getting a mid-range reservation card. When we got to the check station counter we debated whether or not to try Red Barn 1 again since we did pretty good there last time. Instead, since we had such a low draw from the bucket, and only a few reservations had show up, some of the premium blinds, which are usually taken by the reservation cardholders, were still available. After a little discussion we decided to take one of these blinds.

We caught the San Jacinto shuttle, with Tim at the wheel (after getting everyone assigned to their sports), out to the “Y” in the road. We hoofed it in from there. Today we went sort of light without the cart with only our guns, ammo, blind bags, seats and one bag of decoys. When we got to the blind we set up and then had almost 40 minutes to wait for start time. As seems always to be the case, we were once again privileged to witness another beautiful San Jacinto sunrise.

At start time there was a conspicuous absence of birds in our area. We actually didn’t fire our first shots for about 20 minutes and then we blew that one. We only had a couple other opportunities, which we didn’t connect on, and we were beginning to think the day would be a bust (and kind of regretting not trying Red Barn 1 again) when, at about nine o’clock the wind suddenly started to blow. It started to blow at about 20+ and the ducks began to fly. Mystic Lake was quickly churned up into a muddy version of “Victory at Sea” making it uncomfortable for any birds trying to raft up on the lake.

We soon had a pair of pintail hens come in and we dropped both of them. This was quickly followed by a mallard hen and then a series of gadwall. We still missed a few but we connected on many of the ducks that came within range and, at about 3 pm, I dropped a real nice drake mallard to finish our day. We picked up our gear and hiked out to the road with our nicest strap of the year. Not quite two limits but close. We ended up with 4 gadwall, 3 pintail, 3 mallards and 1 shoveler for a total of 11 ducks, all nice big quality birds. It seemed like they weighed about 30 pounds as we walked out with them.

Tim picked us up for the ride in to the check station. Once back to the parking lot we packed our stuff in the truck and headed for home. Once again I have to commend the San Jacinto Staff for going above and beyond by shuttling hunters to and from the blinds. It’s a great service for the hunters and very much appreciated by all.

So, one more hunt day at San Jacinto, Saturday the 29th (unless you’re a junior hunter then you can participate in the junior hunt on February 5th). I don’t know if we’re going to make it out for sure so this might have been our last hurrah for the 2010/2011 season but if it was, what a way to go out.

So, we went from what started out as a pretty dismal day to probably one of the best hunts we’ve ever experienced at San Jacinto, all thanks to the magic of the wind. Anyway, there’ll be a few sore picking fingers tomorrow morning when we get to plucking all those birds.

Hunt Results for San Jacinto Wildlife Area, Wednesday – 1/19/11

Average waterfowl numbers picked up just slightly on Wednesday at San Jacinto Wildlife Area. Tom Trakes, from San Jacinto, reported the following results for Wednesday, 1/19/11:

103 adult hunters and no junior hunter harvested 62 Northern Shovelers, 5 Widgeon, 1 Blue Wing Teal, 5 Bufflehead, 1 Canvasback, 15 Cinnamon Teal, 21 Gadwall, 49 Green Wing Teal, 3 Mallards, 13 Pintail, 1 Redhead, 1 Ring Neck and 3 Ruddy Ducks. Also taken on Wednesday were 3 Snow Geese and 8 coots. This averaged out to 1.85 waterfowler per hunter. Tom said that out of the 50 reservation cards sent out 24 showed up on time.

San Jacinto is open for waterfowl hunting on Wednesdays and Saturdays only. At this point in the season it is now too late to get a reservation request card in the Sacramento but you can still 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. You can also show up for an afternoon refill hunt but the last refill is at 1 PM. For more information, contact the staff at San Jacinto at 951-928-0580.

SoCalHunt San Jacinto Hunt Report 1/19/11

Today is another hunt report from San Jacinto Wildlife Area. Today was a little different.

My hunting partner and I arrived at San Jacinto Wildlife Area once again to challenge the sweatline bucket. Today’s crowd seemed small compared to Saturday’s group.

Once the reservation holders were assigned their spots, Tim came out with the sweatline bucket and our names were dropped inside, along with all the other hopefuls. I lost count of where our names were pulled but I believe we were about the 17th draw. Once inside the check station we noticed that there was something new on the board. The San Jacinto Staff has created six new blind / hunting areas over at Mystic lake since it has made its reappearance. We decided to give one of these new hunting sites a try and chose one designated Red Barn 1. Anyone who has frequented San Jacinto for several years may remember the old red barn on the east side of Mystic Lake. The barn is long gone but this hunting area is adjacent to where it was, hence the name. Tom told us that there was no blind at this location but we could hunt anywhere to the left of the old water tank near the lake’s shoreline.

When we arrived at the shoreline we noticed that it was choked with tumbleweeds and brush and had very little open water. We decided to wade out a ways as, with this morning’s full moon, we could see the water opened up a ways out. We ended up a couple hundred yards out from shore, standing in waist deep water. Thankfully it was fairly warm this morning and we both have neoprene waders, the lightweight breathables I had a couple of years ago would have made standing in this water impossible. One other thing that made this mode of hunting possible was our Ducks & Bucks Cart Blind (reviewed earlier here at SoCalHunt). This allowed us to float all our gear out into the lake with us, giving us a comfortable place to keep guns, shells, blind bags, decoys and all our other stuff instead of having to leave most of our gear hundreds of yards away.

As is usual at San Jacinto, we were again treated to a beautiful sunrise.

Red Barn 1 is on the complete opposite side of Mystic Lake from the main part of the refuge. It provides some unique hunting opportunities and a completely different hunting experience from sitting in the usual hog wire blind on most of San Jacinto’s hunt sites. I felt that it was almost like hunting the timber in the Louisiana Delta area…almost…sort of. (Well, maybe as close as you’re going to get in this neck of the woods).

As soon as start time rolled around the birds began to fly. We missed a couple in the early morning light and then I connected with a nice shoveler hen. My partner quickly followed up on that by dropping a beautiful bull sprig. For the next several hours we had birds coming in and my partner cleaned up, dropping 5 spoonys and another gorgeous drake pintail for his combined 7-bird limit and 2 pintail limit. I, on the other hand, couldn’t hit the broad side of a red barn (pun intended) and blew every opportunity I had after the initial spoony. We finally called it a day about 11 am and headed in with a total of 8 ducks, 1 for me, 7 for my partner.

So it was a very enjoyable day and a unique hunting experience. One we may even attempt to repeat the next time around.

Hunt Results for San Jacinto Wildlife Area, Saturday – 1/15/11

Duck counts took a drop on Saturday at San Jacinto Wildlife Area. Tom Trakes, from San Jacinto, reported the following results for Saturday, 1/15/11:

137 adult hunters and 7 junior hunter harvested 107 Northern Shovelers, 7 Widgeon, 5 Bufflehead, 8 Cinnamon Teal, 10 Gadwall, 40 Green Wing Teal, 2 Mallards, 14 Pintail, 4 Redheads, 9 Ring Necks and 7 Ruddy Ducks. There were also 2 coot taken Saturday. The average harvest for each waterfowler was 1.49 birds. Tom advised 24 of the 50 reservation card holders arrived on time.

San Jacinto is open for waterfowl hunting on Wednesdays and Saturdays only. At this point in the season it is now too late to get a reservation request card in the Sacramento but you can still 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. You can also show up for an afternoon refill hunt but the last refill is at 1 PM. For more information, contact the staff at San Jacinto at 951-928-0580.

SoCalHunt San Jacinto Hunt Report 1/15/11

SoCalHunt again brings you a hunting report from San Jacinto Wildlife Area.

Once again my hunting partner and I headed out to San Jacinto Wildlife Area to try our luck in the sweatline bucket. When we arrived this morning there appeared to be a much larger percentage of the reservation holders waiting in line then there was Wednesday and a much larger crowd to give the sweatline a go.

As always, after the reservation holders were taken care of, Tim came out with the sweatline bucket and we threw our card in. Wednesday we were the second pick out of the bucket but, in contrast that that, we were second from last pick from the sweatline bucket today. When we went into the check station to pick our spot there wasn’t much left, one blind on the far north end of the refuge and the other was on the far south end. Since we had been to the northern end Wednesday we decided to see if the southern end head any greater promise and choose the Walker-12 blind, the furthest blind from the check station on that end of San Jacinto. The San Jacinto staff was, once again, shuttling hunters out in the DFG truck to the blinds but, since we were almost the last pick, and there was a line of hunters waiting to be shuttled out, and it was less then an hour to start time, we decided to walk out carrying minimal gear. We both took a folding seat, our shotguns and our 25-shell allotment and began the hike out. We arrived at our blind about 7 minutes after start time as hunters in the other blinds and the adjacent private duck club began to open up on the early flights of ducks. Upon our arrival at our blind we discovered that the blind was actually now sitting in the water due to the recent flooding because of the rains so we set our seats next to the blind in the shoreline brush.

As we sat and waited for a bird to come within range we were treated to another gorgeous San Jacinto sunrise.

Not long after we sat down a lone shoveler came in over the pond within range and I dropped him with my first shot of the day. The bird was nice enough to drift into shore right in front of our blind so neither of us had to wade in to get him. After that we had a few teal and several buffleheads race by low over our pond but we just couldn’t connect with these little fighter-jets as they swooped in low and fast. I finally knocked a bufflehead down but, only wounded, it began to dive and swim away. It seems that its almost impossible to kill a duck on the water and this bird was no exception. She finally ended up across the pond mixed in with a few ruddys that were over in that corner of the pond. I walked around the pond to see if I could still get the bird and ended up jumping a ruddy that appeared wounded. Since I don’t like leaving any wounded birds in the field I opted to do the ethical thing and take the wounded ruddy. After I collected the ruddy it appeared she had either been hatched with half a right wind or had an old injury that caused her to loose half her right wing and had healed over. Unfortunately I never did find the bufflehead I had knocked down. While I was busy looking for my bufflehead my partner had a couple of other buffleheads swing in near the blind and he dropped the drake. We saw several flights of ducks trade back and forth over us going to and from Mystic Lake and the private duck club behind us but none of them wanted to come down within range as they passed over us. We could see Mystic Lake from our blind and there appeared to be several hundred birds, at least, rafted up on the lake. I’m sure that all it would have taken today to make this an excellent day of hunting would have been a good stiff wind stirring up Mystic Lake’s surface. At about 10:45 we decided to call it a day and walked out with our three birds.

Being at the Walkers blinds meant that we had to walk at least to the turn in the road near pond 3 as the road going out to the Walkers blinds is completely submerged and they aren’t running the shuttle out to that end of the refuge. As we walked out to the road near pond 3 Aurelio came driving in from the A & B blinds area in DFG pickup shuttling hunters back to the check station. We happily jumped in the truck and in a few minutes we were back at the check station parking lot. For us it was another slow day, although we did hear more shooting throughout the refuge then we did Wednesday and we did see more birds in the air then Wednesday, albeit mostly out of range. Next Wednesday is another day. We’ll be going again.

Hunt Results for San Jacinto Wildlife Area, Wednesday – 1/12/11

Waterfowl counts on San Jacinto Wildlife Area improved some Wednesday (although you wouldn’t think so if you had read SoCalHunt’s hunt report for Wednesday, below). Some areas of the refuge shot well while other areas were slow. Tom Trakes, from San Jacinto, reported the following results for Wednesday, 1/12/11:

109 adult hunters and 1 junior hunter harvested 113 Northern Shovelers, 6 Widgeon, 8 Bufflehead, 6 Cinnamon Teal, 13 Gadwall, 88 Green Wing Teal, 3 Mallards, 36 Pintail, 1 Redhead, 2 Ring Neck and 9 Ruddy Ducks. In addition there were 3 Ross’s Geese and 5 coots taken. This resulted in an average of 2.66 waterfowl per hunter. Tom advised 21 out of 50 reservation cards arrived on time.

San Jacinto is open for waterfowl hunting on Wednesdays and Saturdays only. At this point in the season it is now too late to get a reservation request card in the Sacramento but you can still 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. You can also show up for an afternoon refill hunt but the last refill is at 1 PM. For more information, contact the staff at San Jacinto at 951-928-0580.

SoCalHunt San Jacinto Hunt Report 1/12/11

SoCalHunt has yet another hunting report from San Jacinto Wildlife Area.

This morning, at about 1:45 am my hunting partner and I were once again enroute to San Jacinto Wildlife Area. Today we were going to give the sweatline bucket a go. We arrived at about 3:10 am, just in time to miss Tom’s morning briefing for the hunters but in plenty of time to get our names in the bucket.

After the reservation holders were taken care of Tim came out with the sweatline bucket and our names went in with what appeared to be a smaller then usual crowd. We were delighted to hear our names called second out of the bucket and went inside the check station to pick our spot. There were several good blinds still available and when Tom told us that Durk would be shuttling hunters out in the DFG truck we decided to go for one of the further blinds since we wouldn’t have to walk it. As reported in the past couple weeks here at SoCalHunt Tom had said that they would not be able to shuttle people out until after sun-up but conditions have improved slightly and Tom said that, conditions and personnel permitting, they were going to try to shuttle hunters out to the blinds before start time for the rest of the season. Just another example of the staff at San Jacinto doing everything they can to help the hunters’ in every way they can.

We hopped aboard the tailgate of the DFG pickup and, since there were so many hunters going out, we held on to our Ducks & Bucks Cart Blind (see earlier gear review on the Ducks & Bucks Cart Blind here at So Cal Hunt) and towed it behind the truck. When we arrived at the parking area Durk dropped us off and wished us luck. We struck out to our blind and, upon arrival, began setting our decoys and arranging our equipment in the blind. It was fortunate we were able to ride out to our blind as we finished setting up just about 20 minutes before start time. We never would have made it had we been required to walk out to our blind. As the morning light slowly became brighter we were a little concerned to observe an absence of ducks flying, as we usually have in the last several weeks. Everyone waited until start time again this week and, when the shooting did start, several ducks got up and flew through our area. We missed a couple and then I connected on a nice hen redhead that swung through low over our decoys. A few minutes later my partner connected on a nice shoveler that ended up splashing down in the adjacent pond. He scoped the bird out with the binoculars and determined that it wasn’t going anywhere so we left it for now so as to make the most of the early morning flights. As the sun came up the ducks suddenly started flying less.

After the sun came up things slowed down and we went out and retrieved our birds. By about 8:00 am it was like someone turned off a switch and just about nothing, except seagulls, were flying. We stuck it out until noon but, other then a couple of teal the snuck in from behind us that we weren’t even quick enough to shoot at, no more birds came into range. There was an occasional breeze, which we hoped would change into a steady wind to chase some of the birds off Mystic Lake, but that never developed and the day ended up looking like a typical bluebird day in late October.

Just after noon we decided to pack up and head for home. We collected our redhead and spoony and packed the Ducks & Bucks Cart Blind and headed out.

As we came out of the ponds we saw Aurelio driving in with the DFG pickup to shuttle hunters back to the check station. We jumped in the truck and were soon back at the check station parking lot loading up our truck for the trip home. It was kind of a slow day, reminiscent of an early season hunt, with few birds flying. Perhaps the standing water all over the valley still has the birds dispersed, who knows? But, without a doubt, we would rather be at San Jacinto, hunting, then sitting at home on the couch. We’ll likely try again Saturday.

Hunt Results for San Jacinto Wildlife Area, Saturday – 1/8/11

Waterfowl counts on San Jacinto Wildlife Area have remained fairly steady over the past couple weeks. Tom Trakes, from San Jacinto, reported that the results for Saturday, 1/8/11 were as follows:

119 adult and 3 junior hunters bagged 110 Northern Shovelers, 12 Widgeon, 1 Blue Wing Teal, 1 Bufflehead, 4 Cinnamon Teal, 19 Gadwall, 38 Green Wing Teal, 14 Mallards, 16 Pintail, 1 Redhead, 7 Ring Neck and 7 Ruddy Ducks. There were also 2 coots taken on Saturday. This resulted in an average harvest of 1.93 waterfowl for each hunter. Tom advised that out of 50 reservation cards 18 showed up on time.

San Jacinto is open for waterfowl hunting on Wednesdays and Saturdays only. You can put in for reservations through the state reservation system (your card has to be to Fish and Game in Sacramento 17 days in advance to get in on the drawing – buy one day and five day reservation cards at your local license agent AKA: sporting goods store) 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. You can also show up for an afternoon refill hunt but the last refill is at 1 PM. For more information, contact the staff at San Jacinto at 951-928-0580.

Special Announcement for Wildlife Area Check Station Operations for 2011/2012 Season

(From a DFG notice posted at San Jacinto’s check station).

Beginning with the 2011/2012 waterfowl season, hunters will be required to purchase any needed season passes and stamps in advance from DFG license agents or license sales offices.

The DFG’s new Automated License Data System (ALDS) replaces the current paper-based licensing system. Under ALDS, licenses, stamps, permits, and passes will be printed instantly, on generic license stock, using point of sale equipment at DFG license sales offices and at approximately 1,400 license agent locations throughout the State and in bordering states. It is not feasible to have ALDS terminals installed at check stations.

The ALDS will give every DFG license agent the ability to sell all hunting license items, including these items. Additionally, for the 2011/2012 hunting season, licenses, stamps and passes, will be available for purchase online from the DFG website at www.dfg.ca.gov.

We advise hunters to pre-purchase all licenses, stamps, permits, two-day and season passes, before arriving at the Hunter Check Stations next season (2011/2012).

SoCalHunt San Jacinto Hunt Report 1/8/11

This report from San Jacinto is sort of a mini-report.

My hunting partner and I headed out to San Jacinto Wildlife Area for refill hunt. We did a refill so we could again take my partner’s daughter with us. Also, we had to cut it a little short, as he had to be back in town for a family event about 5 pm. This shows one of the real beauties of San Jacinto Wildlife Area as there’s virtually no place else you could go for a 4 hour “quickie” hunt and be back in town so soon.

When we got to the check station at about 9:45 am we signed in on the refill list and were surprised to see we were #14 on the refill. Since we had to leave early we needed to get out there in any blind fast or it wouldn’t be worth going out. As it was yet another walk-in day due to the recent rains, Tom had Aurelio go out in the DFG truck to shuttle in any hunters that were calling it a day that early and told him to call in as he picked up people so that he could refill the blinds as soon as possible. After a few minutes wait Tom’s phone rang and Aurelio reported to Tom that there were 3 hunting groups coming in and gave him the blind numbers. One of these blind was a good one and no one ahead of us on the refill list wanted it so we got our cards and headed to the truck to get our gear.

About the time we had all our stuff ready to go Aurelio arrived and dropped off the guys that were leaving and picked us up to take us out. The “San Jacinto Express Shuttle Service” is really the way to go!

In short order we were in our blind and hunting. We had just about 4 hours of hunting time before we would have to pull our gear and leave and we wanted to make the most of it. A short time later a couple shovelers came by and my partner dropped one. It came down in the neighboring pond still kicking and the chase was on. After a short pursuit (short in distance – long if you’re the one humping it through the mud) my buddy collected his bird. We were constantly seeing birds in the air but most did not come within range. Some did come very close to that imaginary line between a legitimate shot and skyscraping but we held off hoping for one more, slightly closer pass, which didn’t happen. While we were waiting for birds to come in some ding-dong in a light plane decided to buzz the valley at about 50 feet off the deck. You probably could have bagged him with #3 shot. He was way too low. I don’t know if this is some new sport or what as, although I didn’t report it in the last hunting report, we had another plane low over the valley on Wednesday.

The day was real hazy and was not conducive to the usual gorgeous San Jacinto photographs. Below is the best I could get today.

Anyway, back to hunting. Not too long after another couple of spoonys swung in and I dropped one. We had a couple more opportunities, which we didn’t score on, and, finally running out of time, we settled for our two shovelers and packed up the gear and departed.

So it was a short but sweet hunt of a little less then 4 hours but where else could you do that? And, what the heck, 4 hours of hunting is a lot better then no hours of hunting in my book.

Hunt Results for San Jacinto 1/1/11 & 1/5/11

Hunting results for San Jacinto Wildlife Area have remained pretty consistent over the past week. Due to a computer problem I was not able to get the results for last Saturday (1/1/11) until today.

Tom Trakes, from San Jacinto, reported that the results for Saturday, 1/1/11 were as follows:

106 adult and 17 junior hunters bagged 164 Northern Shovelers, 16 Widgeon, 6 Cinnamon Teal, 20 Gadwall, 13 Green Wing Teal, 11 Mallards, 7 Pintail, 1 Ring Neck and 11 Ruddy Ducks. There was also a lone Canada Goose taken along with 9 coots. This resulted in an average of 2.1 waterfowl per gun. Tom advised that out of 50 reservation cards 23 showed up on time.

Tom also reported that on Wednesday, 1/5/11 the results were as follows:

116 adult and 9 junior hunters harvested 150 Northern Shovelers, 7 Widgeon, 13 Bufflehead, 4 Cinnamon Teal, 13 Gadwall, 28 Green-wing Teal, 2 Mallards, 8 Pintail, 5 Ring Necks, 7 Ruddys and 1 Scaup. The average number of birds per hunter was 1.9. A total of 23 out of 50 reservation holders showed up on time for their reservations.

San Jacinto is open for waterfowl hunting on Wednesdays and Saturdays only. You can put in for reservations through the state reservation system (your card has to be to Fish and Game in Sacramento 17 days in advance to get in on the drawing – buy one day and five day reservation cards at your local license agent AKA: sporting goods store) 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. You can also show up for an afternoon refill hunt but the last refill is at 1 PM. For more information, contact the staff at San Jacinto at 951-928-0580.

SoCalHunt San Jacinto Hunt Report 1/5/11

Today is another SoCalHunt hunting report from San Jacinto.

My hunting partner and I headed out to San Jacinto Wildlife Area for yet another day of hunting. My partner has a friend, who has never duck hunted, who had a #15 reservation card for this morning. Couldn’t pass up a deal like that now, could we?

On the way in, Davis Road is still in bad shape but its drying out some so it was slightly better then a week ago. The key is to take it slow and steer around the major craters. We arrived at San Jacinto Wildlife Area at about 2:45 am and met my buddy’s friend. When we got to the check station counter we scored a good blind and off we went…for the mile plus walk.

On the way out we noticed that the road was in about the same condition as reported in our 12/29/10 report, except the areas which were covered with water were slightly larger and deeper.

We set up and waited for starting time. This is the first time in recent memory that no one shot early. Way to go San Jacinto Hunters!

Just after start time we got two shovelers in quick succession. After that it seemed to almost shut off for a while with just a bird here or there coming in. We didn’t manage to connect on any of these but then, about 9:45, the wind came up and birds started pouring in off Mystic Lake. Since I mentioned Mystic Lake, yes, it is back. Not as big as I’ve seen it at times in the past but still pretty good sized.

I believe Mystic was a great help in our hunt today as birds kept trading back and forth between the refuge and Mystic. Our novice duck hunter scored on a couple shovelers throughout the day and I believe we have another one addicted to the sport now. We shot until about 3:45 pm and decided to walk out then so we wouldn’t have to walk out in the dark. We ended up with 9 spoonys between the three of us and had a very enjoyable day.

Today was a little unusual as almost all the birds we saw, and all the birds taken were shovelers. We saw a total of 4 gadwalls, 2 widgeon (these were all out of range – the reason I carry, and recommend anyone going duck hunting carry, binoculars) and the only other ducks we saw besides the shovelers were a fair number of buffleheads and several teal. Anyway, it was another beautiful day at San Jacinto Wildlife Area and, as usual, the scenery was grand.

About two-thirds of the way on our walk in, Aurelio picked us up in the DFG truck and took us the rest of the way to the check station. The San Jacinto Staff runs a shuttle service out to and back from the blinds on most walk-in days, conditions permitting, however they can only do it during the daylight hours since it is too easy to loose the water covered road and get stuck in the dark. I’m sure any hunter who has been afforded this service by the San Jacinto staff is grateful as it is something that they do to make things easier for the hunters, it’s not something they are required to do. Just another example of the staff at San Jacinto going the “extra mile”.

Preliminary Hunt Results for San Jacinto 1/1/11 and Some Info

Due to a computer snafu Tom Trakes advised me that he probably wouldn’t be able to give me the bird count for Saturday 1/1/11 until Wednesday. I’ll be hunting Wednesday so that won’t be posted until at least late Wednesday afternoon. Tom said it appeared to him that hunters were shooting at about a 2-bird average pace Saturday.

Tom also advised me that because of the flooded conditions on the refuge that tomorrow’s hunt would be 100% walk-in. Tom said that after the sun comes out and they can see where they’re going that they might be able to shuttle some refills in and people finishing up their hunt out but no guarantees. On Saturdays hunt they got a vehicle stuck trying to shuttle hunters out to the blinds due to limited visibility in the dark and portions of the roads being underwater. Bottom line on tomorrow’s hunt, be prepared to hoof it. (For more info, and pictures, on then road conditions on the San Jacinto Wildlife Area check SoCalHunt’s hunting report for 12/29/10 below).

San Jacinto is open for waterfowl hunting on Wednesdays and Saturdays only. You can put in for reservations through the state reservation system (your card has to be to Fish and Game in Sacramento 17 days in advance to get in on the drawing – buy one day and five day reservation cards at your local license agent AKA: sporting goods store) 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. You can also show up for an afternoon refill hunt but the last refill is at 1 PM. For more information, contact the staff at San Jacinto at 951-928-0580.

Deadline Approaching to Mail Reservation Cards in for San Jacinto’s Junior Waterfowl Hunt

February 5th, 2011 is the date for San Jacinto Wildlife Area’s Junior Duck Hunt. This opportunity is open to hunters age 15 or under. A non-hunting adult must accompany the junior hunter(s) in the field. To apply for the junior hunt, use a one or five choice reservation application and mail to the DFG’s License and Revenue Branch as per instructions on the card. Remember the card has to be in to Sacramento at least 17 days prior to the drawing to be included. This means that the card has to be in Sacramento by January 19th, 2011. To be safe I would mail the card in to Sacramento by January 12th. Be sure to get you reservation card in on time so you won’t miss out.

A pancake breakfast will be available to start the day at 3 am and, at noon, there will be a barbecue lunch for all participants. In addition, after the barbeque, there will be a raffle with a bunch of hunting gear available for the juniors to win. Volunteer are needed for this event. For more info, or to volunteer or donate a prize, call the San Jacinto office at 951-928-0580.


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