Archive for January, 2012

Hunt Results for San Jacinto Wildlife Area, Saturday – 1/28/12

Saturday’s season finale waterfowl average increased again over last Wednesday’s average with very windy conditions. Tom Trakes, from San Jacinto Wildlife Area, reported that the waterfowl take for Saturday, 1/28/12, was as follows:

132 adult and 8 junior hunters checked in with 34 Northern Shovelers, 16 Bufflehead, 17 Cinnamon Teal, 46 Gadwall, 158 Green Wing Teal, 3 Mallards, 57 Pintail, 3 Redheads, 2 Ring Necks and 15 Ruddy Ducks. There were no geese taken at San Jacinto on Saturday. 6 coot were also bagged on Saturday. This worked out to an average of 2.55 waterfowl per hunter. Tom advised that out of 50 reservations issued 26 showed up on time.

So that’s it for the regular waterfowl season for 2011/2012. If you are a junior hunter, or you have a junior hunter in the family, there’s one more chance for them to waterfowl hunt this season at San Jacinto’s Annual Junior Waterfowl hunt. For more information, contact the staff at San Jacinto at 951-928-0580.

SoCalHunt Hunting Report for 1/28/12

Today, being the last day of the season at San Jacinto Wildlife Area, (since they don’t hunt Sundays), SoCalHunt was back after a short break due to illness, for a last try at the ducks for the 2011/2012 season. Since none of my regular partners were available, and considering that my last afternoon refill hunt resulted in a limit, I decided to do another afternoon refill.

Being it was the season’s last day I did leave a couple hours earlier then I would usually leave for an afternoon hunt. I figured there would be a few more hunters trying to get in a last hurrah then on a normal Saturday, so the extra couple hours might help improve my spot on the refill list.

When I arrived at the check station it didn’t look too bad, as there didn’t appear to be as many vehicles in the parking lot as I had expected. I went up to the check station and signed in on the refill list, which revealed that my initial impression wasn’t accurate, I was down on the third page. I guess some of the folks on the list, and their pickups, were away getting breakfast. At the time I signed in on the refill list no one had checked back in from their blinds to leave yet, although it was still kind of early for that.

Over the next hour or so about six hunting parties checked in with results ranging from zero to three ducks. Although the wind was howling, which usually bodes well for hunting at good old SJ, no one so far was checking in with any impressive numbers. Over the next couple hours a few more hunters checked in, some from blinds that have usually produced decent numbers, with, again from zero to three ducks. One hunter did manage to come in with five birds and, of course, that blind was snapped up quickly by a pair of hunters near the top of the first page of the refill list.

As hunting sites were checked in, hunters waiting to refill would sign up for the surrendered blinds and head out. There were a few not so “hot” blinds that checked in that no one wanted to refill and I was beginning to think taking one of these would be my only option however, finally, a pretty good blind was checked in, although the hunter had only bagged one bird, and I grabbed it when no one ahead of me wanted to refill into that spot.

I headed out to my assigned spot and when I arrived I discovered one of the reasons I’m not so hot on the concrete culvert pit blinds that are at a few of the hunting sites at San Jacinto. My blind, which was on an island, had about 8 to 10 inches of water in it. Fortunately, even though the wind was blowing hard, it was a fairly warm day so having my feet submerged for the duration wasn’t too much of a problem today. If it had been really cold I might have been a little unhappier with that situation. Another problem this flooding presented is that there was no dry place in the blind to set my blind bag and camera case. Fortunately there was a good seat in the blind already (courtesy of the San Jacinto staff) so I used my regular seat to sit my blind bag on and hid my camera case in some of the brush surrounding the blind, but within reach. Now I just had to be careful not to drop anything in the water.

As I settled in things started out pretty slow and it was probably at least a half hour before my first opportunity presented its self. A nice drake pintail came in towards the blind and exited just as quick after my first three shots missed the mark. Not long after that a drake spoony came in and experienced the same reception, and the same results, as that first bull sprig. The wind was really ripping and I figured it would eventually push more birds around but it still seemed a little slow for the conditions.

At about 2:15 another drake pintail came straight in towards the blind with the wind. As I stood up to shoot the bird saw me and pulled up sharply and turned 180 degrees, right into the wind. The quick climb caused me to miss the first shot, but turning into the wind had the effect of stopping his momentum and I connected with the second shot and he splashed down about 40 yards from the blind. I quickly retrieved the bird and settled in to wait for another. A few more opportunities came by but I didn’t connect on them and then, out of the corner of my eye, I saw a drake gadwall riding the wind, passing low about 25 yards out from the blind. I swung quickly and knocked him down with one shot. Not long after that another nice pintail drake wrapped around the blind and I nailed him with a single shot also. So, I now had two nice drake pintails in the bag, which meant I had a limit, a limit of pintail of course, since the limit on them is two.

Now I had to be careful not to shoot another pintail, which, of course since I had a limit now, I had several opportunities to do so. Other then several pintails buzzing by the blind, which of course I couldn’t shoot, the only bird I could have legally shot was a little green wing teal that rocketed by about head high which I didn’t see in time. So at the end of the day I had three real nice birds, a great way to end the season.

Well, that’s it for another waterfowl season. The mostly sunny and usually warm weather this year was a great contrast compared to last season with all the rain and having to walk out to the blinds a large portion of the season. As the sun sets at the end of the final day I would like to extend thanks to Tom and his crew, Tim, Durk, Aurelio and Jesse for another great season at San Jacinto Wildlife Area. If all state employees cared as much as these guys and went the extra mile like they do there would be far less problems in this state.

Hunt Results for San Jacinto Wildlife Area, Wednesday – 1/25/12

The per-gun average waterfowl take for Wednesday ticked up slightly over Saturday’s take under sunny skies. Tom Trakes, from San Jacinto Wildlife Area, reported that the waterfowl take for Wednesday, 1/25/12, was as follows:

118 adult and 2 junior hunters checked in with 51 Northern Shovelers, 7 Bufflehead, 8 Cinnamon Teal, 38 Gadwall, 84 Green Wing Teal, 3 Mallards, 37 Pintail, 5 Redhead, and 7 Ruddy Ducks. There was a single White-front goose bagged on the refuge on Wednesday. 8 coot were also included in the count on Wednesday. This worked out to an average of 2.08 waterfowl per hunter. Tom advised that out of 50 reservations issued 20 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 put in for reservations on-line through the DFG Automated License Data System (ALDS). 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.

Don’t forget that all licenses and 1 day, 2 day or season passes must be purchased at a DFG Office or a license agent before your arrive at the refuge. These can be purchased on-line via the ALDS system also, however, you may not get your pass in time to use it as they have to mail it to you which can take up to 15 days. At this point you need to purchase your license and passes in person at a DFG office or license agent so you will immediately get them without the wait for the mail. No licenses or passes will be sold at the check stations this year. You can also show up for an afternoon refill hunt but the last refill is at 2 PM. For more information, contact the staff at San Jacinto at 951-928-0580.

January 22nd Junior Pheasant Hunt a Big Success

San Jacinto Wildlife Area’s junior pheasant hunt, conducted on Sunday, January 22nd, was a big success. Although there had been some threat of rain forecast earlier in the week, it didn’t materialize and the hunt went on without a hitch.

Tom Trakes, of San Jacinto Wildlife Area, reported that there were 58 junior hunters in the field for the hunt and they begged close to a two-bird average on the pheasants with 110 birds being checked in. Tom told me that some of the junior hunters were just out of their hunter’s safety course and newly licensed and this was their first hunt.

After the hunt Quail Unlimited hosted a nice lunch consisting of sandwiches, chips and soda that was enjoyed by all. A great day was had by all and a great way for some to begin their hunting career.

Hunt Results for San Jacinto Wildlife Area, Saturday – 1/21/12

Saturday’s per-gun average take of waterfowl went up marginally over Wednesday’s take under rainy conditions. Tom Trakes, from San Jacinto Wildlife Area, reported that the waterfowl count for Saturday, 1/21/12, was as follows:

153 adult and 11 junior hunters checked in with 48 Northern Shovelers, 2 Wigeon, 22 Bufflehead, 1 Canvasback, 13 Cinnamon Teal, 50 Gadwall, 101 Green Wing Teal, 10 Mallards, 1 Merganser, 40 Pintail, 1 Redhead, 1 Ring Neck, and 14 Ruddy Ducks. There were 2 White-front geese taken on the refuge on Saturday. 5 coot were also bagged on Saturday. This figured out to an average of 1.90 waterfowl per hunter. Tom advised that 22 of the 50 reservation holders arrived on time to claim their spots.

San Jacinto is open for waterfowl hunting on Wednesdays and Saturdays only. At this point in the season it is now too late to put in for reservations on-line through the DFG Automated License Data System (ALDS). 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.

Don’t forget that all licenses and 1 day, 2 day or season passes must be purchased at a DFG Office or a license agent before your arrive at the refuge. These can be purchased on-line via the ALDS system also, however, you may not get your pass in time to use it as they have to mail it to you which can take up to 15 days. At this point you need to purchase your license and passes in person at a DFG office or license agent so you will immediately get them without the wait for the mail. No licenses or passes will be sold at the check stations this year. You can also show up for an afternoon refill hunt but the last refill is at 2 PM. For more information, contact the staff at San Jacinto at 951-928-0580.

San Jacinto Wildlife Area Junior Waterfowl Hunt to be Held Saturday, February 4th.

Come join us at San Jacinto Wildlife Area for our 18th Annual Junior Waterfowl Hunt. Junior Hunters will need to apply for the drawing by using the State Waterfowl Reservation System.

This year we are dedicating our hunt to one of our Junior Hunters Israel Delatorre, whose life came to a tragic end in 2011.

San Jacinto Wildlife is still accepting donations for prizes up until the hunt.

If you would like to donate or have any questions please call Tom Trakes at (951) 927-1320.

Thank-you and we look forward to seeing you all on Feb 4th!

(Click on the below thumbnail to view the official flyer)

SoCalHunt Hunting Report for 1/18/12

SoCalHunt ventured back to San Jacinto Wildlife Area for another solo afternoon refill hunt. On Saturday I refilled and ended up firing two shots for one bird but, as I always say, you can’t bag any ducks sitting home on the couch so here I am again. I rolled into the parking lot about 9:40 and signed in on the refill list at the check station. Probably due to the season record low average Saturday there were only a handful of hunters waiting to refill today. About 10:30 a hunter checked out from one of the, usually, premium blinds (and one of my favorites) with no birds bagged. This was probably a lucky break for me (although not too lucky for the guy that didn’t bag any birds) as none of the hunters ahead of me on the refill list wanted the blind. I took the blind and was on the way out pretty early for my refill hunt.

I arrived at my blind at about 11:00 and started to set up. As an experiment today I went with a very small decoy set up and a new “experimental” jerk string tip up rig I made. While I was putting out my decoys I used my Ducks and Bucks cart, since it floats, to transport the decoys and, since it was legal shooting time, I took my shotgun with me. As I was putting out the last of the decoys a pair of teal swooped in and I grabbed the shotgun out of the Ducks and Bucks cart and fired a couple of shots. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to connect but it was a good sign of things to come. As I settled into the blind it was already getting warm and it was another bluebird day at San Jacinto.

Once I got settled into the blind the birds started coming. It was mostly teal, and the first several got by me without so much as a feather falling out of the sky. I was beginning to think that they forgot to put shot in the shells at the factory. I guess I need to put in some range time in the off-season. Anyway, I digress, as they say. After a while a green wing drake landed just outside the decoys on the west side of my blind and swam towards the blind. I stood up and the bird jumped and I quickly dropped him with one shot. A short time later I had an exact repetition on the east side of the blind and there was two green wing drakes in the bag. The next hour a few more teal came by and survived my mediocre shooting. I decided to exit the blind to utilize the nearest bush, if you get my drift, and as I went to leave the blind I noticed a drake shoveler sitting in the pond about 30 yards out in the corner of the pond. I grabbed the shotgun and he jumped to fly away and I splashed him in the corner of the pond.

As time went by the teal started to be mixed with an occasional shoveler or pintail. Most of the pintail stayed out of range with an occasional one coming close enough for a shot but they didn’t drop. A while later a group of five teal streaked in and I managed to drop one of the trailing hens. Maybe a half hour later I noticed yet another sponny swimming in the pond on the east side of the blind. I jumped up and so did the bird but one shot brought him down. As the sun lowered in the sky a few more pintail flew over, many of them landing in the far end of the pond. They seemed to like the end of the pond, out by the next blind, which was now empty as the hunter utilizing that blind had left at about 2:30. Finally a nice bull sprig swung in to inspect my tip up decoy and I knocked him down with a couple of shots. He hit the water swimming and the chase was on. I tried to stop him with a couple more shots on the water but, as most hunters probably know, it extremely hard to kill a bird on the water. Any time I got near the bird he would dive and swim away. The hunters in the blind across from me, which I was fast approaching as I chased the bird, saw my predicament and one hunter came to help. We were able to team up and approach the bird from two sides and he was able to grab it as it dove and tried to swim by him. I thanked the hunter for his assistance and headed back to my blind with a nice drake pintail. The sun was now behind the Bernasconi Hills to the west and legal shoot time was winding down. 12 minutes before quitting time a drake shoveler came over the blind and I was able to drop him but he also hit the water swimming and another chase ensued. I was finally able to get close enough to the bird to give him the coup de grace with a finishing shot on the water and that finished my full limit of seven ducks!

So I wouldn’t blow the last few minutes of legal shoot time for the adjacent blind I didn’t start to pick up until shoot time was over. It was, as it seems to almost always be, another gorgeous sunset and San Jacinto.

What a difference four days make. Last time I fired two shots for one bird this time…well I’m not going to admit how many shots I fired, but let’s just say the ammo companies like me…a lot. But it did result in a full limit of seven ducks. Where else can you leave home at 8:00 am, bag a full limit of nice ducks and be home by 8:00 pm, even with a stop for dinner on the way home? I’ll be back again soon, only a few more days left in the season.

Hunt Results for San Jacinto Wildlife Area, Wednesday – 1/18/12

The average waterfowl take went up somewhat Wednesday after Saturday’s season low average at San Jacinto Wildlife Area. Tom Trakes, from San Jacinto Wildlife Area, reported that the waterfowl count for Wednesday, 1/18/12, was as follows:

132 adult and 0 junior hunters checked in with 32 Northern Shovelers, 1 Bufflehead, 10 Cinnamon Teal, 28 Gadwall, 82 Green Wing Teal, 3 Mallards, 1 Merganser, 31 Pintail, 1 Scaup and 10 Ruddy Ducks. There were no geese bagged at San Jacinto on Wednesday. 17 coot were also checked in on Wednesday. This figured out to an average of 1.64 waterfowl per gun. Tom advised that 25 out of the 50 reservation holders 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 put in for reservations on-line through the DFG Automated License Data System (ALDS). 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.

Don’t forget that all licenses and 1 day, 2 day or season passes must be purchased at a DFG Office or a license agent before your arrive at the refuge. These can be purchased on-line via the ALDS system also, however, you may not get your pass in time to use it as they have to mail it to you which can take up to 15 days. At this point you need to purchase your license and passes in person at a DFG office or license agent so you will immediately get them without the wait for the mail. No licenses or passes will be sold at the check stations this year. You can also show up for an afternoon refill hunt but the last refill is at 2 PM. For more information, contact the staff at San Jacinto at 951-928-0580.

SoCalHunt Hunting Report for 1/14/12

Despite the low average numbers SoCalHunt was back at San Jacinto Wildlife Area to try another solo afternoon refill hunt (I just can’t stay away). I arrived at the check station and signed in on the refill list. There didn’t seem to be too many hunters waiting to refill but as the day progressed it appeared that a lot of the hunters that were out there from the morning were going to stick it out and not come in early.

Finally, about 11:30, I decided that I’d take one of the blinds that was available since it looked as if this would be about as good as I’d be able to do considering where I was on the refill list. The blind I chose has been, in the past, a pretty good blind so I figured that was as good a chance at bagging a bird or two as I was going to get.

I took off and arrived at my hunting site right at noon. As I unloaded my gear and gun the neighboring blind opened up on some ducks and missed and the three birds headed right for me. I had just uncased my shotgun but hadn’t loaded it yet and I scrambled to grab a couple shells out of my blind bag before the birds got to me. Unfortunately they were faster then I was and I couldn’t get the shells into the gun before they were out of range.

I finished setting up and settled in to wait for whatever might fly by. The sky was pretty cloudy, almost looking like it could rain, and it looked much more “ducky” then the hot bluebird weather we’ve had lately.

Right at 1:00 I noticed what appeared to be a teal swim into my end of the pond from behind some tules. I picked up my binoculars to try and confirm that it was a good duck and not just another ruddy and as I was looking at it the neighboring blind opened up on another bird and the teal jumped and flew. I dropped the binos and grabbed the shotgun and the teal headed out of the pond to the west. The bird suddenly made a turn towards my blind and came into range. I fired at it and hit it with the first shot, although it continued to fly, I fired at it again but missed and it turned away from me and then crashed in a cloud of dust in the field at the north end of the pond. I waded over and found the bird without too much trouble and collected a nice green wing teal drake. Finally after two skunks in a row I had a bird in the bag!

The only other possible opportunity I had came about an hour later when a spoony hen swam up behind my blind and jumped up to fly away. I actually heard her take off before I had seen her and by the time I was able to pick up the shotgun and turn around she was gone.

The rest of the day was watching coots and ruddy ducks swimming in the pond, watching the numerous other birds on the refuge, watching the changing clouds and, finally, another spectacular San Jacinto sunset.

Quitting time rolled around and I collected my lone teal and headed for home.

Well, things have been unusually slow, especially for this time of year. But, what are you going to do? You can’t hunt ducks in your back yard. We just need a little weather up north to change things but time is running out with only four more hunt days left in the next two weeks at San Jacinto. I’ll be back again before the season’s over. It’s a long wait until next October.

Hunt Results for San Jacinto Wildlife Area, Saturday – 1/14/12

Waterfowl numbers dropped again Saturday at San Jacinto Wildlife Area after going up slightly on Wednesday, resulting in a new season low average per hunter. Tom Trakes, from San Jacinto Wildlife Area, reported that the waterfowl count for Saturday, 1/14/12, was as follows:

148 adult and 14 junior hunters checked in with 27 Northern Shovelers, 1 Bufflehead, 10 Cinnamon Teal, 17 Gadwall, 60 Green Wing Teal, 3 Mallards, 1 Merganser, 35 Pintail, and 8 Ruddy Ducks. There was a lone White-front goose checked in at San Jacinto on Saturday. 16 coot also were included in the bag on Saturday. This worked out to the season’s lowest average so far of 1.10 waterfowl per hunter. No stats on the on time reservation holders were included in the report for Saturday.

San Jacinto is open for waterfowl hunting on Wednesdays and Saturdays only. At this point in the season it is now too late to put in for reservations on-line through the DFG Automated License Data System (ALDS). 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.

Don’t forget that all licenses and 1 day, 2 day or season passes must be purchased at a DFG Office or a license agent before your arrive at the refuge. These can be purchased on-line via the ALDS system also, however, you may not get your pass in time to use it as they have to mail it to you which can take up to 15 days. At this point you need to purchase your license and passes in person at a DFG office or license agent so you will immediately get them without the wait for the mail. No licenses or passes will be sold at the check stations this year. You can also show up for an afternoon refill hunt but the last refill is at 2 PM. For more information, contact the staff at San Jacinto at 951-928-0580.

San Jacinto Junior Pheasant Hunt Set for Sunday, January 22nd, 2012

Tom Trakes, from San Jacinto Wildlife Area, advised me that Sunday, January 22nd, will be the date for this season’s Junior Pheasant Hunt at San Jacinto Wildlife Area, weather permitting (he wanted me to be sure and note that). Juniors wishing to participate need to show up at the refuge check station between 6:30 and 7:00 am, with an accompanying adult. After the hunt there will be a lunch sponsored by Quail Unlimited.

If you need more information, contact the staff at San Jacinto at 951-928-0580.

SoCalHunt Hunting Report for 1/11/12

SoCalHunt was at San Jacinto Wildlife Area once again with our second reservation of the season. We had a reservation in the top third of the reservation numbers and felt fortunate to get one more reservation at good old “SJ”. Especially so, considering we’ve seen some people on some of the Internet forums complaining they have not drawn one reservation all season. We were pleased to see Warden Kyle Chang and his partner at the check station as we were sure that this would prevent the early shooting that seems to occur almost every hunt day. When our turn came at the counter we chose our blind and headed out to set up.

We only had until about 9 am this morning as my partner had to get home for a family obligation in the afternoon. As shoot time rolled around our prediction of no early shooting came true, however, we weren’t sure if it was because the Wardens were about or because there was nothing to shoot at. This was, in fact, the first time this season that we didn’t have at least a bird or two in or around our decoys just before shoot time. Things were slow in our area as the shooting started but it didn’t sound like anybody was shooting a lot, although there were shots heard every few minutes, mostly to the west of us, during the first hour or so. We had one bird come in range not long after start time but I wasn’t able to connect on that one.

Today’s sunrise was interesting as the skies were overcast but the clouds weren’t real thick. In the east the sky was bright red and, at the same time, in the west the setting full moon was visible through the thin clouds.

We had a couple more ducks come in range but didn’t make the shots. Just before we had to quit for the day we were watching and calling at a duck flying high down the center of the pond we were on and, while our attention was diverted by that bird, a drake green wing came swooping in not 20 yards out from the blind and exited before either of us could react and raise our shotguns.

A few minutes after nine we started to pick up under gray skies reflected on the glassy water of our pond. We had managed to fire only 5 shots between the two of us today.

Well, disappointing today. With a reservation we figured to at least bag a few before we had to leave. And, in a perfect world we should have had three birds between us but that’s the way it goes sometimes. We’ll be back to try again soon. We’d still rather be out there with a chance at getting some shooting, and hopefully some birds, then to set at home. No matter if its birds flying right and left or just one here and there one thing for sure, if you’re not out there, you can’t bag any sitting on your couch at home.

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

Average waterfowl numbers at San Jacinto Wildlife Area went up slightly Wednesday in comparison to Saturday’s season low average numbers. Tom Trakes, from San Jacinto Wildlife Area, reported that the waterfowl count for Wednesday, 1/11/12, was as follows:

124 adult and 1 junior hunters checked in with 59 Northern Shovelers, 1 Wigeon, 4 Bufflehead, 16 Cinnamon Teal, 19 Gadwall, 59 Green Wing Teal, 1 Mallard, 19 Pintail, 3 Redheads and 4 Ruddy Ducks. There were no geese bagged at San Jacinto on Wednesday. Also no coots were reported taken on Wednesday. This figured out as an average of 1.48 waterfowl per hunter. Tom advised that out of 50 reservation holders 23 arrived on time.

San Jacinto is open for waterfowl hunting on Wednesdays and Saturdays only. You can put in for reservations on-line through the DFG Automated License Data System (ALDS). Your reservation request has to be to the ALDS system 17 days in advance to get in on the drawing 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. The ALDS can be accessed through the DFG web site at the below link –

https://www.ca.wildlifelicense.com/InternetSales/

Don’t forget that all licenses and 1 day, 2 day or season passes must be purchased at a DFG Office or a license agent before your arrive at the refuge. These can be purchased on-line via the ALDS system also, however, you will have to wait for the DFG to mail you’re the actual licenses and passes which can take up to 15 days. If you purchase your license and passes in person at a DFG office or license agent you immediately get them without the wait for the mail. No licenses or passes will be sold at the check stations this year. You can also show up for an afternoon refill hunt but the last refill is at 2 PM. For more information, contact the staff at San Jacinto at 951-928-0580.

Hunt Results for San Jacinto Wildlife Area, Saturday – 1/7/12

The per hunter average waterfowl take at San Jacinto Wildlife Area took a big nosedive Saturday in comparison to Wednesday’s average. This resulted in, by far, the season’s lowest average take to this point. Tom Trakes, from San Jacinto Wildlife Area, reported that the waterfowl count for Saturday, 1/7/12, was as follows:

143 adult and 15 junior hunters checked in with 54 Northern Shovelers, 1 Wigeon, 1 Bufflehead, 1 Cinnamon Teal, 16 Gadwall, 64 Green Wing Teal, 4 Mallards, 42 Pintail, 1 Redhead, 2 Ring Necks and 8 Ruddy Ducks. There were no geese taken at San Jacinto on Saturday. No coots were checked in either on Saturday. This figured out as an average of only 1.23 waterfowl per hunter. Tom advised that out of 50 reservation holders 22 arrived on time.

San Jacinto is open for waterfowl hunting on Wednesdays and Saturdays only. You can put in for reservations on-line through the DFG Automated License Data System (ALDS). Your reservation request has to be to the ALDS system 17 days in advance to get in on the drawing 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. The ALDS can be accessed through the DFG web site at the below link –

https://www.ca.wildlifelicense.com/InternetSales/

Don’t forget that all licenses and 1 day, 2 day or season passes must be purchased at a DFG Office or a license agent before your arrive at the refuge. These can be purchased on-line via the ALDS system also, however, you will have to wait for the DFG to mail you’re the actual licenses and passes which can take up to 15 days. If you purchase your license and passes in person at a DFG office or license agent you immediately get them without the wait for the mail. No licenses or passes will be sold at the check stations this year. You can also show up for an afternoon refill hunt but the last refill is at 2 PM. For more information, contact the staff at San Jacinto at 951-928-0580.

2012 California Game Warden Stamp Now Available

The 2012 edition of the California Department of Fish and Game Warden Stamp is now available.

The new version of the Warden Stamp, for 2012, is now available for purchase in person from any DFG regional or licensing offices or by filling out and sending in the DFG Warden Stamp form with a check or credit card info to your closest DFG office. You can also e-mail the completed form, if you prefer, as an attachment to an e-mail to lrb@dfg.ca.gov. The addresses for the DFG offices are found on page two of the Warden Stamp pdf form. The form can be found at:

http://www.dfg.ca.gov/wardenstamp/

(Click on “order by mail/e-mail (PDF)” below the picture of the stamp.)

The Game Warden Stamp isn’t really a “stamp” for your license, such as your federal duck stamp is, as the name might lead you to believe, but rather it’s a roughly 4” x 4” decal.

The new 2012 version has a dark brown background and a silhouette of a California quail on it. (see picture below)

The 2010 version (which is still available, if you like that design better) is a green shield with an elk silhouette on it. The 2011 version (which is also still available, if you like that design better) is a light blue background with a silhouette of a trout or salmon on it. (see pictures below). If you like them all you could buy one, or more, of each if you want to.

The stamps are $5 each and the funds go into a special account. The money is used to provide our Game Wardens with additional equipment, training and new programs, such as new communications and surveillance devices, protective equipment, training in specialized areas, new law enforcement programs such as the DFG’s K-9 Program and to assist them in their duties.

Due to State budget cuts, non-hunting / fishing politicians feel that the DFG is a “painless” way to cut back on the budget by giving the DFG less to do more with.

Quoting the DFG web site on the Warden stamp:
“Game Wardens are responsible for protecting more than 1,000 native fish and wildlife species, 6,300 native plant species and 360 threatened or endangered species California’s 159,000 square miles of land (414 square miles per warden) 1,100 miles of coastline, 30,000 miles of rivers and streams, 4,800 lakes and reservoirs and 80 major rivers. Game Wardens patrol on foot, by plane, boat, all-terrain vehicles, snow mobiles, and even on horseback There is one game warden for every 200,000 constituents.

Game Wardens work hard to educate those they encounter in the outdoors, as well as school children in the classroom, about the importance of resource conservation, pollution prevention, and the importance of a healthy natural environment. These men and women dedicate their lives to ensuring our resources are here for future generations. You do not have to be an outdoor enthusiast to help, just someone who cares about protecting California’s wildlife populations and conserving the habitats in which they live.”

Now – back to me…
The important point here, in my opinion, is getting the money to the “boots on the ground”. If your $5 (or more, if you can afford it) results in some equipment, training or what have you that helps catch a poacher in your area the payoff may be more game or more fish for you and yours to legally harvest. And, the bottom line is, that’s what’s important. As for the “stamp”, stick it on your truck, ammo box or tackle box, stick it in a drawer, throw it away if you want, do whatever you want with it. The important thing is to help give our Fish and Game Wardens the tools they need to protect our hunting and fishing heritage.

Now, excuse me while I print up the pdf form and mail in for my 2012 Game Warden stamps.

Hunt Results for San Jacinto Wildlife Area, Wednesday – 1/4/12

Per hunter averages at San Jacinto Wildlife Area went up slightly Wednesday over Saturday’s average despite continuing near summer-like conditions. Tom Trakes, from San Jacinto Wildlife Area, reported that the waterfowl count for Wednesday, 1/4/12, was as follows:

124 adult and 6 junior hunters checked in with 82 Northern Shovelers, 3 Wigeon, 5 Buffleheads, 12 Cinnamon Teal, 40 Gadwall, 127 Green Wing Teal, 5 Mallards, 30 Pintail, 1 Redhead and 4 Ruddy Ducks. A lone Aleutian Goose was taken at San Jacinto on Wednesday. 9 coot were also bagged on Wednesday. This worked out to an average of 2.45 waterfowl per hunter. Tom advised that out of 50 reservation holders 25 showed up on time to claim their spots.

San Jacinto is open for waterfowl hunting on Wednesdays and Saturdays only. You can put in for reservations on-line through the DFG Automated License Data System (ALDS). Your reservation request has to be to the ALDS system 17 days in advance to get in on the drawing 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. The ALDS can be accessed through the DFG web site at the below link –

https://www.ca.wildlifelicense.com/InternetSales/

Don’t forget that all licenses and 1 day, 2 day or season passes must be purchased at a DFG Office or a license agent before your arrive at the refuge. These can be purchased on-line via the ALDS system also, however, you will have to wait for the DFG to mail you’re the actual licenses and passes which can take up to 15 days. If you purchase your license and passes in person at a DFG office or license agent you immediately get them without the wait for the mail. No licenses or passes will be sold at the check stations this year. You can also show up for an afternoon refill hunt but the last refill is at 2 PM. For more information, contact the staff at San Jacinto at 951-928-0580.

Deadline Approaching to Apply for Reservations for San Jacinto’s Junior Waterfowl Hunt

February 4th, 2012 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. Apply for the junior hunt through the DFG’s new Automated License Data System (ALDS). Access the ALDS at the following link:

https://www.ca.wildlifelicense.com/InternetSales/

Remember the application request has to be in to ALDS system at least 17 days prior to the hunt date to be included in the drawing. This means that the application has to be in to the ALDS system by January 18th, 2012. Be sure to get you reservation request in to the ALDS system on time so you won’t miss out. Juniors who don’t draw a reservation can still show up and have a good chance of getting out via the sweatline draw after the reservations are taken care of. The non-reservation draw will be held immediately after hunting spots are assigned to the reservation holders.

Remember, only junior hunters can apply for this drawing. An adult hunter cannot apply and pass the reservation on to a junior hunter.

A pancake breakfast will be available to start the day at 3 am and, at noon, there will be a lunch for all participants. In addition, after lunch, 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.

Hunt Results for San Jacinto Wildlife Area, Saturday – 12/31/11

The average waterfowl take for Saturday fell in comparison to last Wednesday’s average, at San Jacinto Wildlife Area, under a bluebird sky and near summer-like temperatures. Tom Trakes, from San Jacinto Wildlife Area, reported that the waterfowl count for Saturday, 12/31/11, was as follows:

135 adult and 12 junior hunters checked in with 81 Northern Shovelers, 3 Wigeon, 2 Buffleheads, 2 Canvasbacks, 13 Cinnamon Teal, 32 Gadwall, 148 Green Wing Teal, 8 Mallards, 24 Pintail, 5 Redheads, 1 Scaup and 2 Ruddy Ducks. No geese were bagged at San Jacinto on Saturday. 16 coot were included in the count on Saturday. This worked out to a per hunter average of 2.29 waterfowl. Tom advised that out of 50 reservation holders 23 arrived on time.

San Jacinto is open for waterfowl hunting on Wednesdays and Saturdays only. You can put in for reservations on-line through the DFG Automated License Data System (ALDS). Your reservation request has to be to the ALDS system 17 days in advance to get in on the drawing 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. The ALDS can be accessed through the DFG web site at the below link –

https://www.ca.wildlifelicense.com/InternetSales/

Don’t forget that all licenses and 1 day, 2 day or season passes must be purchased at a DFG Office or a license agent before your arrive at the refuge. These can be purchased on-line via the ALDS system also, however, you will have to wait for the DFG to mail you’re the actual licenses and passes which can take up to 15 days. If you purchase your license and passes in person at a DFG office or license agent you immediately get them without the wait for the mail. No licenses or passes will be sold at the check stations this year. You can also show up for an afternoon refill hunt but the last refill is at 2 PM. For more information, contact the staff at San Jacinto at 951-928-0580.


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