Archive for February, 2012

Successful Volunteer Blind Clean-up Day at San Jacinto Wildlife Area

Today SoCalHunt participated in San Jacinto Wildlife Area’s volunteer blind clean-up day.

I was part of about 18 volunteers assisting the San Jacinto staff in getting the refuge’s blinds cleaned up from the just ended waterfowl season. We met at the check station at 7 am and were sent out, plastic bags in hand, throughout the refuge to clean up all the spent shell, wads or other miscellaneous trash we could manage to find in and around the blinds.

The day started out slightly foggy and cool and as we dispersed out through the refuge we could see that many ducks were still using the refuge, in fact I believe there were probably more birds on San Jacinto today then there were at the end of the season. As the day progressed the sun broke out and it became a gorgeous day.

It was nice to once again get out into the wildlife area. As I mentioned already, many ducks were still in the area and the scenery, as usual, was wonderful. Wildflowers were already beginning to get a jump on spring and were beginning to display their colors across the landscape. This is a bonus that we usually don’t get to see during the waterfowl season, as the wildflowers are dormant that time of year. The ducks in the refuge were not quite as cautious as they were during the season and many flew by well within range, camera range of course, providing some nice views and a few nice photographs. If you need to brush up on bird ID on the wing it might be worth a visit to San Jacinto this time of year.

The San Jacinto Staff has begun to draw the water down on some of the ponds in preparation for working on the blinds, water control structures, planting of food for the birds and whatever else needs to be done to prepare for next season. The ponds I was assigned to work on were down slightly, maybe a foot or a little more, but still had plenty of water in them. The only pond I saw that looked like it was down substantially was the “G” pond, which is a fairly shallow pond in the first place.

I was assigned to clean up one of the blinds in the “E” ponds, one in the “A” ponds and two in the “B” pond. In addition to the usual collection of empty shells and wads I removed a couple of decrepit decoys, a broken folding chair, a pair of chest waders off an island blind (I wonder how the hunter got off the island?) and a duck call that wasn’t in too bad a shape.

After cleaning up my assigned area I made a few stops to observe and photograph on my way back out to the check station. There were many ducks in the ponds I passed on the way out. I saw buffleheads, green wing teal, pintails, cinnamon teal, gadwalls and, of course, the ever-present northern shovelers.

After the clean up the SJ Staff and the volunteers met at Casa Mexicana for a well-deserved lunch before we parted ways for the day.

The next event at San Jacinto will be a Hunter’s Safety class some time in April. Keep your eye on SoCalHunt for an announcement on that when the date is set.

San Jacinto Wildlife Area 2011/2012 Season Long Stats

With the ending of the 2011/2012 waterfowl season San Jacinto Wildlife Area turned in some impressive statistics for the season.

3848 adult and 297 junior hunters bagged a total of 2582 Northern Shovelers, 391 Wigeon, 17 Blue Wing Teal, 209 Bufflehead, 20 Canvasbacks, 1360 Cinnamon Teal, 913 Gadwall, 2013 Green Wing Teal, 403 Mallards, 9 Mergansers, 734 Pintail, 99 Redheads, 201 Ring Necks, 28 Scaup, 12 Wood Ducks, 4 Goldeneye, 1 Whistling Duck and 344 Ruddy Ducks. In addition there were 6 White Front Geese, 1 Aleutian Goose, 8 Snow Geese and 5 Ross’ Geese checked in this season. 359 Coot were also included in the bag for the 2011/2012 season. This came out to a total on the waterfowl of 9719 birds. The season average for 2011/2012 worked out to 2.34 waterfowl per hunter. Out of 1450 reservations 728 showed up on time to claim their spot (this was minus the reservation stats for 1/14/12 which were not provided). This worked out to 50.2% of reservation holders showing up on time for their reservations. The above numbers also included the stats for the Junior Waterfowl Hunt on February 4th.

Official Flyer for Volunteer Clean-up Day February 25th at San Jacinto Wildlife Area

Just as a follow-up to my prior post regarding San Jacinto Wildlife Area’s Volunteer Clean-up Day I’m posting the official flyer here for you to see.

(Click on the thumbnail for a full size view of the flyer).

Volunteer Blind Clean-up Day Set for February 25th at San Jacinto Wildlife Area

Volunteer Clean Up Day for the San Jacinto Wildlife Area

Saturday, February 25, 2012

The DFG Wildlife Area Staff would like to invite you to come participate in this year’s annual Volunteer Clean Up Day on Saturday, February 25, 2012. Volunteers are to assemble at 7 am at the Wildlife Area Headquarters office on Davis Road.

Work will be assigned at the start of the morning and we will meet for lunch at a local restaurant afterwards.
Please be prepared for the following;

Trash removal from hunt sites and general clean up of hunt areas, (Waterfowl and Upland Game).

Bring work gloves, sturdy boots, mud boots, covered shoes and waders, if available.

Be sure to bring bottled water.

2011 / 2012 Season Sunrise / Sunset Recap

One, or maybe I should say two, of my favorite times of day while hunting at San Jacinto Wildlife Area is sunrise and/or sunset. San Jacinto just seems to have some of the most spectacular beginning and ending to the hunt days there. This year, as usual, was no exception. Below, in order of appearance, are most of the sunrises or sunsets on the days we hunted San Jacinto this year. There are a few days, due to fog, where there was no real opportunity for a sunrise picture but the majority of our hunt days either dawned or set under beautiful skies. Presented for your enjoyment:

(Click on the image for a full sized picture)

10/22/11 – Sunset

10/29/11 – Sunrise

11/5/11 – Sunrise

11/9/11 – Sunrise

11/16/11 – Sunrise

11/23/11 – Sunset

11/30/11 – Sunrise

12/7/11 – Sunset

12/17/11 – Sunrise

12/21/11 – Sunset

12/24/11 – Sunrise

12/28/11 – Sunrise

12/31/11 – Sunset

1/11/12 – Sunrise

1/14/12 – Sunset

1/18/12 – Sunset

1/28/12 – Sunset

Hunt Results for San Jacinto Wildlife Area Junior Hunt, Saturday – 2/4/12

Saturday’s special San Jacinto Wildlife Area Annual Junior Waterfowl Hunt resulted in decent numbers for the Junior hunters in attendance. Tom Trakes, from San Jacinto Wildlife Area, reported that the waterfowl take for the Junior Hunt on Saturday, 2/4/12, was as follows:

84 junior hunters checked in with 10 Northern Shovelers, 1 Blue Wing Teal, 16 Bufflehead, 1 Canvasback, 22 Cinnamon Teal, 5 Gadwall, 37 Green Wing Teal, 11 Pintail, 1 Redhead, 1 Ring Neck and 13 Ruddy Ducks. There were no geese bagged at the Junior Hunt on Saturday. 13 coot were also checked in on Saturday. This worked out to an average of 1.56 waterfowl per junior hunter. Tom advised that out of 50 reservations issued 27 arrived on time.

For more details on the San Jacinto Wildlife Area Annual Junior Waterfowl Hunt check SoCalHunt’s report on the breakfast, lunch and raffle below at

San Jacinto Annual Junior Waterfowl Hunt Event – 2/4/12

Today SoCalHunt reported for duty at 0200 to San Jacinto Wildlife Area to volunteer for the annual San Jacinto Wildlife Area’s Junior Waterfowl Hunt Event. The heaters and grills were fired up and I was assigned to cook the sausages for the crowd’s breakfast. Everyone enjoyed a hearty breakfast of pancakes and sausages before heading out to the blinds for the morning’s shoot.

After the staff and volunteers got everyone off to the blinds I went to my truck to sack out for a short nap. After catching twenty winks we ran into the city of San Jacinto and picked up 20 large sandwiches, generously donated by Walmart, and hauled them back to the refuge for lunch.

Lunch consisted of the afore mentioned sandwiches (which were great) and chips. The sandwiches were enjoyed by the 82 junior hunters in attendance (20 more then last year!) and their accompanying adults and were quickly consumed.

Once the lunch was over a raffle was conducted and many great prizes were given out. They ran the gamut from gun cases, blind seats, decoys, calls, hunting DVDs, and numerous other hunting related gifts to fishing rods to a pheasant club hunt for a family of four to the big prize of the event, a six month old chocolate lab puppy. There was also a special drawing for the accompanying adults for two custom made knives. There were enough prizes that I believe that each junior hunter left with at least two prizes.

Once the lunch and raffle were over the junior hunters were assembled and a group picture was taken of all the participants. (I couldn’t get everyone in one shot so I posted two pictures below to get everyone in.)

After the picture many of the junior hunters headed back out to their blinds to finish their day of duck hunting. I will post the final results of today’s junior hunt as soon as Tom gets the numbers to me.

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