SoCalHunt San Jacinto Hunting Report 12/26/12

SoCalHunt was back again at San Jacinto Wildlife Area for another afternoon refill hunt. Today my usual hunting partner was in attendance with his daughter along to cheer us on.

Today we tried a different tactic and arrived much earlier then I usually do for a refill, just before 7 am, in hopes of getting a better spot on the refill list. This seemed to work today as we ended up on the top of the second page instead of down on the lower end of the third page as we have been the last couple times. Hopes were high for a good blind and the cloudy, rainy weather bode well for our hunt.

We waited for a good blind to check in but it seemed that more hunters then usual were sticking it out in the blinds, probably due to the weather conditions, in hopes it would start the ducks moving, providing them with a few more opportunities. As we waited the hunters that did trickle in from the refuge had anywhere from nothing to one or two birds to near limits.

Finally, about 11:30 a decent blind checked in and we opted to take it and give our luck a try. We headed out to our blind and set up and we were hunting by about 12:15. It appeared, at least at that time, that the rain was over for the day and the clouds were clearing.

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As the day wore on the clouds would thicken and then break up again. The clouds seemed to stack up against the mountains and darkened threatening to rain on us again. Although the skies never really opened up on us it did rain on us a couple times for just a few minutes but not enough to even break out the rain gear.

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The gathering clouds against the mountains highlighted the beautiful foliage surrounding our blind as the low sunlight brightly lit the trees, contrasting the colors against the dark clouds.

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The occasional rain also had the effect of creating a great looking rainbow behind our pond. If only the “pot of gold” myth were true!

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Anyway, back to the hunting. We had a couple of spoonys swing near our blind but they didn’t quite get into range. At one point, not too long after we started our hunt, a nice little drake bufflehead came into the decoys and my partner nailed him with one shot. As buffleheads tend to do when wounded the little drake hit the water and immediately dove. After a long “scuba dive” he popped up right in front of me and I administered the coup de grace and we had our first duck in the bag.

To make a long story short that was the only two shots we fired all afternoon. There was never another opportunity presented to us this afternoon and at quitting time we packed up our gear and our one bird and headed in.

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Although the hunting results left a lot to be desired the day was well worth spending in the marsh as the scenery was absolutely gorgeous and the sunset was even better then the usual outstanding San Jacinto sunset.

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So, once again the afternoon was a bust, bird wise, although we both agreed that we wouldn’t want to be anywhere else, after all, you can’t bag any sitting on the couch watching TV. It seems that the main migration still hasn’t arrived and even though we had a few good afternoon hunts last season, this year, at least so far, it seems that the morning is the way to go to consistently bag a few birds. Unfortunately, this year, due to a number of circumstances we’re pretty much going to have to stick to the afternoons. Hopefully the main migration will arrive soon, before the season is over.


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