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.

Advertisements

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.


Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 119 other followers

Advertisements