SoCalHunt San Jacinto Hunting Report 12/19/12

After a couple weeks hiatus due to an emergency home repair and a bout with the flu SoCalHunt was back at San Jacinto Wildlife Area for an afternoon refill hunt.

When we arrived at the check station parking lot there seemed to be an inordinate amount of trucks in the lot, causing us to be concerned about our chances of even getting a blind on the refuge. We checked in and put our names on the refill list and found that our fears were well founded as we where down on the third page of the refill list.

We waited for a while however every time a hunting party checked in with their birds someone above us on the list refilled the just vacated blind and headed out. We finally decided that we’d take what I would call a “marginal” blind, just to get out on the refuge, as it appeared that holding out for something better just wasn’t going to happen. I will say that some of the straps coming in looked pretty good, not limits but many of the hunters were bringing in 3 or 4 birds each.

We took off from the check station lot and headed for our assigned blind. When we arrived the conditions were clear, somewhat cold and calm. As we set the decoys the snowcapped mountains behind us reflected in the calm waters of our pond.

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We settled in to wait for some ducks to come by and for he first couple of hours absolutely nothing happened. At one point I heard the familiar whistle of wigeon and looked up to see a large flock of about 20 wigeon flying by, although well out of range both in distance and altitude.

As the day progressed the wind started to stir and we had hopes that this might get some birds moving. At one point I glanced up to see a hen gadwall exiting our pond at low altitude, at what I would consider the maximum distance for a shot. By the time I saw her she was already on the way out so I didn’t have a chance to even shoulder my shotgun. As our afternoon ticked away the wind got stronger, making our decoys bob and weave in the waves.

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Well, to make a long story short, that was about the action for us for the day. Although it was nice to get back out in the marsh after my absence, it would have been nicer to collect a few ducks for the dinner table. So, as the sun set we picked up and headed for home.

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Anyway, it appears the main migration from the north hasn’t happened yet although I do know the count for today was a little better over all (just not for us today). Hopefully the next time we hit good old SJ they’ll be a few more birds in the area.


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