SoCalHunt Hunting Report for 10/29/11

Once again this morning SoCalHunt ventured out to San Jacinto Wildlife Area to brave the sweatline. Instead of my usual hunting partner one of his friends accompanied me today. We arrived to observe that although the group of hunters in attendance was much smaller the last weeks opener there were still quite a few hoping to get out to hunt this morning. As usual, after the reservation holders were assigned blinds the slip with our names took the plunge into the sweatline bucket.

In contrast to last week, the sweatline draw was very kind to us as we were pleased to hear our names drawn first out of the bucket. We picked our spot and headed out to set up.

Once we were set up we settled back in the blind to await start time. As is, unfortunately, seemingly a habit of some hunters, someone decided to start 5 minutes early and several ducks we might have had a chance at sitting in our pond vacated the area.

While we were waiting for a duck to come into range we enjoyed what is also a habit at San Jacinto, a beautiful sunrise.

It was pretty slow and we didn’t have our first opportunity until almost exactly an hour after legal start time but I blew the shot. About an hour later a couple of teal swung through our area but we couldn’t connect on them either. A couple of times we had birds sneak by when we were looking right and they came in from the left or vice-versa. It was turning into a typical bluebird early season day and warming up fast and we had yet to down a bird.

While waiting for some action we observed some of the other wildlife in the area. If you liked coots we could have had all we wanted (no thanks). We saw ibis, stilts, pelicans and egrets in or near our pond. We even watched a group of about 25 or 30 speckled belly geese spiral down from the stratosphere (seemingly anyway) to apparently land in the fields between the “B” / “C” ponds and Marsh X to feed on the grain sprouting in that area. At least during slow periods there always something to watch at San Jacinto.

Around 9:30 a lone sponny hen landed outside our decoys and paddled around just out of range. We ducked low in the blind and waited. After a few minutes the bird got nervous about the shooting going on in the “F” pond to the east of us and took off heading straight for us. I was able to drop her as she tried to gain some altitude over us. After that we didn’t see another bird until about 11:30 when a couple of cinnamon teal came in towards our blind. The hen saw something she didn’t like and pealed off out of range but the drake kept coming and my partner dropped him with one well-placed shot.

About a half hour later with it getting hotter and with no more ducks seen in our vicinity we decided to call it a day. So we ended up with a bird each and another good day of hunting at San Jacinto. Hopefully I’ll be back Wednesday to try again.
(Click on pictures for a full size view).

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