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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