Archive for November, 2012

SoCalHunt San Jacinto Hunting Report 11/28/12

Today SoCalHunt was present and accounted for at San Jacinto Wildlife Area for another afternoon refill hunt.

My hunting partner and I arrived at the check station about 9:45 am and checked in on the refill list to await a spot. Today it seemed like the majority of the morning hunters were sticking it out as only a few trucks trickled into the check station parking lot from the refuge. We were low on the refill list but it seemed to be taking a lot longer to get on today then it usually does.

As we waited the hunters that were checking in appeared to have low numbers and most complained that it had been foggy this morning, which hampered them at start time and for a while after.

A nice little highlight we were privileged to observe at the check station as the hunters were checking in was one hunter bringing in a nice Canada Goose to the check station. This was the first Canada bagged at San Jacinto this season.

About noon we were still waiting for one of our preferred blinds to be vacated and we were still about four down on the refill list so we decided to try a blind next to one of the blinds we had hoped to get. We headed out and were set up and hunting about 12:45.

A possibility of rain had been predicted, which we had hoped would help the hunting, but as we began our hunt the sky was almost totally clear, albeit hazy.

We awaited the first duck to approach our blind…and waited…and waited… There was absolutely no waterfowl flying and this was reflected by the total lack of calling and shots being fired throughout the refuge.

As the day progressed clouds finally started to gather, although they didn’t really foretell any rain in near future.

About 3:00 pm, as the clouds congregated over the hills, we began to see some ducks moving. For about a half hour we saw several birds trading back and forth through the refuge, and the adjacent duck clubs, although most were at high altitude. We finally had a pair of pintail circle a couple times and they appeared to start in towards our blind but, probably just 10 yards short of being in range, they turned away and never offered us a shot. They ended up landing a couple hundred yards down the pond out of range of any of the blinds in the area. Not long after that a trio of Shovelers swooped in and, as the pair of sprig had done, broke off just a few yards short of being in range also. The spoonys landed about a hundred yards out from our blind and swam around for a while then swam behind some bulrush and disappeared. While they were swimming around in our view a merganser swam up to them and then swam towards our blind. The bird got to within about 35 yards of the blind and we considered taking her but neither of us wanted to eat a “fish duck” so we passed. My partner stood up out of the blind to see what she would do but the only reaction she had was to swim away quickly.

That was about it for the “action” today but it was still nice to be out in the marsh seeing the wildlife and the scenery. With the clouds in the sky we also got to see another beautiful SJ sunset, as always, worth the price of admission, at least in my opinion.

As the sun set behind the hills we picked up our gear and decoys and headed for home. Hopefully, with the weather up north that’s hitting now, we’ll get an influx of migrant birds and hunting will improve. We’ll be back soon to give it another try.

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San Jacinto Wildlife Area’s Annual Loma Linda Children’s Hospital Wagon Drive Has Begun

The staff at San Jacinto Wildlife Area has begun their Annual Wagon Drive to benefit Loma Linda Children’s Hospital! Tom Trakes, Wildlife Habitat Supervisor, at San Jacinto Wildlife Area advised SoCalHunt that they are once again collecting donations of Radio Flyer wagons for Loma Linda Children’s Hospital.

I would encourage any hunter (or hunters if some want to pitch in together) to donate a Radio Flyer Pathfinder Wagon (Model 2700). This is a chance to show the general public that hunters have a heart. There is a special need at Loma Linda for the Radio Flyer Pathfinder wagons. These wagons are helpful to the children in the hospital as they can be rolled around in them to the various areas of the hospital with their IV’s and other medication in tow. The wagons retail for around $80. Tom said that anyone, or any group of people that would like to pitch in together, can contact him to donate funds towards a wagon.

Also, donations of arts and crafts supplies (crayons, water colors, puzzles, etc.) are needed also.

In addition Loma Linda child life has a wish list on Amazon.com. You can go to:

http://www.amazon.com/registry/wishlist/1ZONWGO6OHNAF/ref=cm_wl_search_1

and purchase an item on Loma Linda’s wish list for them.

Donations for Loma Linda will be accepted until December 23rd, with the San Jacinto Staff delivering them to Loma Linda on the 24th.

Please take this opportunity to donate to the San Jacinto Annual Wagon Drive and support this noble effort.

For further details and/or to make arrangements to donate a wagon to Loma Linda, please contact Tom at (951)-236-3040 or the San Jacinto Wildlife Area Office at (951)-928-0580. Items can be donated at the San Jacinto Wildlife Area Office at 17050 Davis Road, Lakeview, CA 92567.

Thank you for your support!

Hunt Results for San Jacinto Wildlife Area, Wednesday – 11/28/12

The average waterfowl take at San Jacinto Wildlife Area for this Wednesday stayed pretty close to Saturday’s average take. As always seems to be the case Shovelers were the top bird taken with Gadwalls being the number two bird taken on Wednesday. Tom Trakes, from San Jacinto Wildlife Area, reported that the results for Wednesday, 11/28/12 were as follows:

113 adult and 1 junior hunter check in with 33 Northern Shovelers, 16 Wigeon, 7 Bufflehead, 3 Cinnamon Teal, 20 Gadwall, 2 Green Wing Teal, 4 Mallards, 4 Pintail, 6 Red Heads, 5 Ring Necks, 1 Scaup and 10 Ruddy Ducks. A lone Canada Goose was taken at San Jacinto on Wednesday. There were also 15 coots checked in on Wednesday. This averaged out to 1.11 waterfowl per hunter. Tom advised that out of 50 reservation cards 18 arrived on time to claim their spot.

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. 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 – 11/24/12

The waterfowl average per hunter at San Jacinto Wildlife Area for this Saturday rose slightly from Wednesday’s average. As seems to be the norm, Shovelers were the number one bird taken with Wigeon claiming the number two spot on Saturday. Tom Trakes, from San Jacinto Wildlife Area, reported that the results for Saturday, 11/24/12 were as follows:

137 adult and 5 junior hunters bagged 41 Northern Shovelers, 23 Wigeon, 1 Bufflehead, 3 Cinnamon Teal, 15 Gadwall, 11 Green Wing Teal, 4 Mallards, 1 Merganzer, 10 Pintail, 8 Redhead, 3 Ring Necks, and 5 Ruddy Ducks. There were zero geese taken at San Jacinto on Saturday. 2 coots were also bagged on Saturday. The per hunter waterfowl average worked out to 0.90 birds. Tom advised that out of 50 reservation cards 25 showed up 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. 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, Wednesday – 11/21/12

The bird per gun average at San Jacinto Wildlife Area for this Wednesday took a nosedive from Saturday’s average. Shovelers, as usual, were the number one bird taken and Green Wing Teal took over the number two spot on Wednesday. Tom Trakes, from San Jacinto Wildlife Area, reported that the results for Wednesday, 11/21/12 were as follows:

136 adult and 20 junior hunters bagged 14 Northern Shovelers, 8 Wigeon, 9 Bufflehead, 2 Canvasbacks, 6 Cinnamon Teal, 9 Gadwall, 11 Green Wing Teal, 6 Mallards, 5 Pintail, 6 Ring Necks, 2 Scaup and 7 Ruddy Ducks. Once again no geese were taken at San Jacinto on Wednesday. 18 coots were also bagged on Wednesday. The average waterfowl count per hunter came out to 0.66 birds. There was no information provided on how many reservation holders showed up 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. 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 San Jacinto Hunting Report 11/21/12

SoCalHunt was back again at San Jacinto Wildlife Area, this time for our first morning hunt of the season. We had managed to pull a good low reservation number and hopes were high for a good morning. We got in line with the other reservation holders and awaited our turn with good old Tom at the check station desk to pick our spot.

Once we had our blind we headed out to the refuge to set up for start time. As we drove out we ran into some fairly thick fog that actually made driving out to the blinds an exercise in caution. Even though I know the roads at SJ like the back of my hand the turns would emerge out of the fog abruptly which meant our speed had to be kept down slightly, although we had plenty of time due to the low reservation number.

We humped our gear out to our blind, of course, utilizing the Ducks and Bucks decoy cart, which floats, to get our stuff out to our island blind. Once we arrived we set about setting a small decoy spread and getting our gear arranged in our blind. As we busied ourselves with this task the fog started to lift and reveal a nice clear, starry sky. It always amazes me how many more stars you can see in an area like San Jacinto by just being a few miles from the city lights.

Once we were set up we waited for starting time. As we did, and as the light started to gather, we saw a couple of flights of birds, by their whistling I identified them as wigeon, swooping down into our pond and landing at the far end. As start time approached a wall of fog suddenly rolled in and visibility went from hundreds of yards down to about 25 yards or so. No one on the refuge shot early today and as starting time rolled around several shots rang out, although not as many as I expected to hear, likely because of the visibility problem the fog produced. We didn’t see a bird within range for several minutes and when we did see a couple they were here and gone before we could even shoulder our shotguns. The fog hung in for over an hour until the sun was well over the horizon before it began to burn off.

As the fog began to lift some we had one large duck, although I couldn’t identify the species due to the fog, come within range but we couldn’t connect on that one. As we sat in the blind, waiting for more opportunities, we had teal buzz by at low altitude several times, however, we either weren’t quick enough to get a shot off when we saw them loom out of the lifting fog or they were already on their way out before we did see them, (looking right when we should have looked left and vice-versa).

Finally probably about 8:30 or so, (I didn’t look at my watch), the fog lifted and we were able to actually see across our pond.

About 9:15 a lone gadwall hen came in towards the blind and pulled up sharply when she saw us stand to shoot. I was able to hit this bird with my first shot and she landed like a rock in the water not 10 yards from the blind. A short time later the blind in the pond behind us opened up on something and a mallard hen wrapped around the tree behind our blind and crossed our pond. We both fired at her as she crossed our pond and I downed her a good distance from the blind with my second shot. After I collected the mallard we had a few ducks come close to being in range but not quite so we didn’t have any more opportunities to bag any more birds. About 11:30 we called it a day and picked up or gear and headed in. So two good birds is better then a sharp stick in the eye but I think the fog handicapped us during what should have been to prime time of the morning.

Anyway, hopefully we’ll be back for another try next Wednesday.

Hunt Results for San Jacinto Wildlife Area, Saturday – 11/17/12

The per hunter bird average at San Jacinto Wildlife Area for this Saturday dropped some again from Wednesday’s average. Shovelers, once again, took the top spot for number of birds taken with Gadwalls taking over the number two spot on Saturday. Tom Trakes, from San Jacinto Wildlife Area, reported that the results for Saturday, 11/17/12 were as follows:

146 adult and 6 junior hunters bagged 42 Northern Shovelers, 15 Wigeon, 2 Bufflehead, 9 Cinnamon Teal, 33 Gadwall, 21 Green Wing Teal, 15 Mallards, 11 Pintail, 2 Redhead, 3 Ring Necks, 1 Surf Scooter and 13 Ruddy Ducks. There were no geese bagged at San Jacinto on Saturday. 17 coots were included in the count on Saturday. The average waterfowl count per hunter came out to 1.21 birds. Tom advised that out of 50 reservation cards 27 showed up 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. 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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