SoCalHunt Hunting Report for 12/24/11

This Christmas Eve morning SoCalHunt was once again at San Jacinto Wildlife Area for the sweatline draw. This time I was doing a solo morning hunt (hopefully anyway, if the sweatline draw was kind) as everyone else I usually hunt with was working or had other obligations today. The crowd seemed a little lighter then usual and I was fortunate enough to be drawn early. I picked my spot and headed out to set up.

Once at the blind I set out the decoys, set up my gear in the blind and waited for start time. Today was pretty unique as I didn’t hear anyone shoot early, however that may have been because there wasn’t anything to shoot at. The sky was clear and the winds were calm and there were ducks here and there but not in the numbers you would expect at this point in the season. As the sun rose higher it didn’t reveal the numbers of birds I would have liked to have seen.

I had a couple of opportunities not long after start time but missed them both. About
7:30 am a shoveler hen came right into the decoys and I fired at her. She turned and flew away, seemingly untouched, but after flying about 100 yards she suddenly folded up and crashed in the pond. That made for a long retrieve, especially since I had to cross a real soft mud bank that normally wouldn’t be a problem if the birds would drop in, or just outside, the decoys instead of flying 100 yards first.

I put the spoony on the strap and then sat back and waited for more ducks to appear. While I was waiting a flock of geese began to circle over the fields to the south of the B & C ponds, looking like they wanted to land, which it appeared they finally did. I don’t know when they left or how they got out of there as I didn’t see them leave and, as far as I know, no one bagged a goose today. (sorry about the blurry close up picture but I was trying to get a shot with a long lens in low light.)

As the clocked ticked away I had one more chance when a drake shoveler landed just outside my decoys. I stood up and he jumped but I was off and missed him clean. I did see a few more birds but they wanted into the far corner of the pond I was on, an area where there is no blind, and as they came and went they didn’t present a shot to anyone in that pond. It did sound like the hunters in the area of the G pond or maybe Marsh y & z were getting some consistent shooting but that’s just a guess by the shots I was hearing throughout the day. At about 11:30 I decided to call it a day. I picked up and took my lone duck home.

Well, a little slow for me today, but at least I got an opportunity to get out and still be home in time for Christmas Eve. Merry Christmas to all!

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