Successful Volunteer Work Day at San Jacinto Wildlife Area 9/24/11

SoCalHunt attended today’s blind brush-up volunteer workday at San Jacinto Wildlife Area. More then 20 volunteer hunters showed up to clean up and brush-up blinds in the wildlife area. Unfortunately Tom Trakes, Wildlife Habitat Supervisor, couldn’t attend today due to an unforeseen emergency but Fish and Wildlife Technician Dirk Holt stood in for Tom and divided the volunteers up into several groups and sent them off to their assigned tasks.

SoCalHunt went with a group assigned to work on a new blind for E-2. Dirk told us there was already a pile of brush on the blind site and we were given a small chainsaw to cut some more brush if needed. The new E-2 blind is located at the north end of the pond and should be easier to find and hunt from, as that end of the pond will be shallower. If you are familiar with the “E” ponds then you know the south end of them gets fairly deep, sometimes requiring a dog to retrieve birds. We utilized the brush already provided, cut some more from a deadfall nearby and also cut some tulies to add to the blind’s cover. We also had some palm fronds that one of our group had brought along to add to the blind. We also cannibalized some wire and wooden steaks from the old E-2 blind. The old blind was in very poor condition and falling apart. In the end we had a very nice blind with a combination of natural cover and palm fronds.



After we finished our blind we took a quick drive-around of the refuge to check what other work has been done lately by the San Jacinto Staff. In the “B” pond there were major changes made. The levee dividing B-1 through B-4 from B-5 has been taken down and, at this point, with the pond probably about half full, was almost entirely underwater.

The new pit blind in B-1 looked good and appeared to have just about the right amount of cover around it. There is now a nice, graveled, submerged walkway out to B-1.

The new graveled walkway out to B-2 looked good too…maybe too good as one of the volunteers tried to drive his truck out there to work on the blind and got his truck stuck….


Dirk was able to get the truck unstuck with the help of the refuge’s tractor. Once the pond fills this walkway will also be submerged making B-2 an island.

Over in the “C” pond C-2 was moved north of where it was and a nice graveled walkway leads out to it also. C-2 is no longer the handicap blind and C-3 is now the new handicap blind.

The new handicap blind, C-3, which was built during the last volunteer work day on August 13th, is now completed and looks good. It also has a nice graveled walkway out to it.

The other new pit blind, at Marsh W also look good and has nice cover around it.

After a quick drive-around of the refuge it appears that things are really shaping up and it should be a good productive season for all this year. Most of the ponds are at least half full and look to be on schedule to be filled up by the opener.

Thanks to all the volunteer hunters who worked today and at the last workday on August 13th. They are an important part of getting things ready for the upcoming season.

(Don’t forget, if you want to see full-sized pictures on SoCalHunt’s Blog just click on the picture).

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