Archive for January, 2013

Hunt Results for San Jacinto Wildlife Area, Saturday – 1/26/13

Saturday’s season finale waterfowl average dropped again over last Wednesday’s average loosing another bird off the average. Shovelers finished out the season as the number one bird taken Saturday with Gadwalls taking a distant second place. Tom Trakes, from San Jacinto Wildlife Area, reported that the waterfowl take for Saturday, 1/26/13, was as follows:

148 adult and 15 junior hunters checked in with 106 Northern Shovelers, 1 Wigeon, 13 Bufflehead, 10 Cinnamon Teal, 25 Gadwall, 22 Green Wing Teal, 1 Mallard, 13 Pintail, and 18 Ruddy Ducks. Again there were no geese taken at San Jacinto on Saturday. 10 coot were also bagged on Saturday. This worked out to an average of 1.34 waterfowl per hunter. Tom advised that out of 50 reservations issued 21 showed up on time.

So that’s it for the regular waterfowl season for 2012 / 2013. If you are a junior hunter, or you have a junior hunter in the family, there’s one more chance for them to waterfowl hunt this season at San Jacinto’s Annual Junior Waterfowl hunt, next Saturday, February 2nd. For more information, contact the staff at San Jacinto at 951-928-0580.

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SoCalHunt San Jacinto Hunting Report 1/23/13

SoCalHunt, once again, headed back today to San Jacinto Wildlife Area to wind up the season with a solo afternoon refill hunt. Because it was the last Wednesday of the season I figured there might be a few extra hunters wanting to refill today so I left earlier then usual, hoping to get a good spot on the refill list.

When I arrived at good old SJ it was apparent that my prediction was true as there were more trucks in the check station lot then usual. When I signed in I was down on the bottom of the second page, further down the list then I thought I’d be. Well, good thing I came in early. At least it looked like I might still have a chance to get out. After signing in it was apparent that I wouldn’t be going out for a while so back to the truck for a nap.

About 10:00 I went back to the check station to see about the progress on the refill list and it looked like only a few refills had gone out. As I waited for a spot hunters would trickle in from the refuge and check in their birds and hunters on the refill list would go out to refill the blinds. It seemed that, probably because of it being the last Wednesday, the morning hunters were sticking it out and not coming in.

I usually try to get out to the refuge by noon when I’m doing a refill and finally, about 12:45 a decent blind checked in. No one ahead of me on the refill list wanted this blind and I figured this was probably the best I was going to be able to do, especially with only an hour and 15 minutes to go to refill, so I grabbed it.

I headed out to my blind, set up and was hunting by 1:35. While I was setting up a hen spoony came right in to the blind but, being that I was out in the open setting my decoys, and nowhere near my shotgun, she veered off unharmed. Once I was set up I began the wait for the ducks to come pouring in. The skies were cloudy and the snow caped mountains were a little less snow capped then last week as there hadn’t been any precipitation lately. The clouds made interesting patterns in the sky over the mountains.

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About an hour later a nice drake Green Wing came in low towards the decoys. I stood up to shoot and the bird saw me and climbed for the clouds. I poked 3 holes in the clouds and the bird headed for parts unknown, untouched. Another successful catch and release…LOL.

As the hours ticked away an occasional bird would come into the area but most did not come within range. There were, of course, a couple that were in range, if I had seen them in time, but sometimes that’s the way it goes.

As the day wound down no other opportunities presented themselves and when quitting time rolled around I was minus 3 shells and plus no ducks. Again, that’s hunting sometimes. As they say, if you could get a limit every time it would be shooting not hunting. It was a unique day with the cloudy skies and its always nice to be out in the marsh.

So, with the cloudy skies, the sunset wasn’t as spectacular as it sometimes is but it was different.

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Since I can’t go this Saturday thus ends my 2012 / 2013 waterfowl season. Not as good as last season but I wouldn’t have missed any of it as this is what I love to do. And, as I type this, it’s 268 days 7 hours 32 minutes until opening day. Maybe I’ll see you there?

Hunt Results for San Jacinto Wildlife Area, Wednesday – 1/23/13

The pre hunter average take of waterfowl at San Jacinto Wildlife Area this Wednesday dropped a full bird from Saturday’s average under cloudy skys. Shovelers remained in first place for number of birds taken and Green Wing Teal took second place on Wednesday. Tom Trakes, from San Jacinto Wildlife Area, reported that the results for Wednesday, 1/23/13 were as follows:

142 adult and 4 junior hunters bagged 175 Northern Shovelers, 4 Bufflehead, 7 Cinnamon Teal, 50 Gadwall, 86 Green Wing Teal, 1 Mallard, 14 Pintail, 1 Redhead, 1 Goldeneye and 11 Ruddy Ducks. Again no geese were taken at San Jacinto on Wednesday. 7 coots were included in the count on Wednesday. This worked out to a per gun average of 2.45 waterfowl. Out of 50 reservations exactly half, 25, showed up on time.

San Jacinto is open for waterfowl hunting on Wednesdays and Saturdays only. At this point in the season it is now too late to put in for reservations on-line through the DFG Automated License Data System (ALDS). You can still 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.

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 may not get your pass in time to use it as they have to mail it to you which can take up to 15 days. At this point you need to purchase your license and passes in person at a DFG office or license agent so you will immediately get them without the wait for the mail. No licenses or passes will be sold at the check stations this year. 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 – 1/19/13

The per hunter average take of waterfowl at San Jacinto Wildlife Area for this Saturday went up again from Wednesday’s average take. Shovelers, again, were in first place for number of birds bagged with Green Wing Teal coming in at second place. Tom Trakes, from San Jacinto Wildlife Area, reported that the results for Saturday, 1/19/13 were as follows:

140 adult and 10 junior hunters bagged 283 Northern Shovelers, 3 Wigeon, 8 Bufflehead, 4 Cinnamon Teal, 40 Gadwall, 133 Green Wing Teal, 4 Mallards, 21 Pintail, 4 Redheads, and 14 Ruddy Ducks. No geese were harvested at San Jacinto on Saturday. 3 coots were checked in on Saturday. This resulted in a per hunter waterfowl average of 3.45 birds. There was no information provided about how many reservation holders showed up on time.

San Jacinto is open for waterfowl hunting on Wednesdays and Saturdays only. At this point in the season it is now too late to put in for reservations on-line through the DFG Automated License Data System (ALDS). You can still 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.

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 may not get your pass in time to use it as they have to mail it to you which can take up to 15 days. At this point you need to purchase your license and passes in person at a DFG office or license agent so you will immediately get them without the wait for the mail. No licenses or passes will be sold at the check stations this year. 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 1/16/13

SoCalHunt was back today at San Jacinto Wildlife Area for another solo afternoon refill hunt. I had planned to leave a little earlier but got delayed so I was a little dubious of my chances of even getting a spot to hunt.

When I arrived at the check station parking lot it appeared that there were only a few trucks standing by. When I signed in on the refill list I was pleasantly surprised to see I was only a little ways down on the second page. I was thinking that I would be on the third or forth page rolling in as late as I did. So, the waiting began. Fortunately I had a training manual I had to read for a class at work tomorrow so I got that out of the way.

It sounded like there was more shooting on the refuge today then I’ve heard in past weeks and I was anticipating a decent afternoon shoot.

It seemed today that the hunters out on the refuge were sticking it out today as only a few hunters trickled in to check in their birds. There were a few with limits, a few that had 3 or 4 birds and a few that had only 1 or even zero ducks. As I was down a little on the list, any blind that had scored more then two ducks was being snatched up by hunters that were ahead of me on the list.

I usually try to get out by noon when I’m doing a refill and about 11:45 a blind that usually does pretty good came in. The hunter that had occupied that blind came in with no birds and, of course, no one wanted to refill that blind. I decided that this might be my best bet, despite the poor morning shoot, and took a leap of faith, so to speak, and took the blind.

The wind was beginning to blow a little and I headed out to my blind to set up. I was set up and hunting by 12:30. The wind was blowing, but not really enough to affect things and the sun shone brightly on the snow capped mountains.

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About ten minutes after I occupied the blind a sponny flew directly over about 30 yards up. I decided to try something different today and I actually connected with my first shot, splashing the bird about 25 yards out. He was swimming and I had to wait for him to clear some decoys before I could deliver the finishing shot. Once again, as in my last hunt, I initially thought that I had a hen in hand but on closer inspection it turned out to be a young drake.

After I put that bird on the strap I settled in to wait for the next opportunity. There was several birds flying in the area and I had several in range in short order, sort of. What I mean is, hunting solo, I got caught by the old looking-right-when-the-birds-come-in-from-the-left and vice-versa several times. There were several times I had birds within range but didn’t see them in time. I also missed a few that I did see in time. As I waited the wind increased, which usually helps get the birds moving. It wasn’t until about 4:00 that I bagged my second duck. A beautiful little Green Wing Teal drake came swooping in to the decoys with the landing gear down and I dropped him with one shot. Then, about 4:30 it seemed like someone turned on the duck spigot and there seemed to be birds all over the place for about 15 minutes. A nice mature Shoveler drake came in at about 25 yards and I nailed him, splashing him in the pond about 15 yards out from the blind. I had a couple other opportunities but didn’t connect and ended the day with 3 ducks, 2 drake Shovelers and a drake Green Wing.

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So, as the season winds down, I have one more opportunity to get out there and bag some birds next Wednesday. Hopefully I’ll make it out there. So, as the sun sets on another hunt day I’ll look forward to one more try at the ducks.

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Hunt Results for San Jacinto Wildlife Area, Wednesday – 1/16/13

San Jacinto Wildlife Area’s average waterfowl take for this Wednesday went back up some over Saturday’s average, matching last Wednesday’s average take exactly. Shovelers regained first place for number of birds taken with Green Wing Teal slipping back to second place on Wednesday. Tom Trakes, from San Jacinto Wildlife Area, reported that the results for Wednesday, 1/16/13 were as follows:

133 adult and 5 junior hunters bagged 150 Northern Shovelers, 3 Wigeon, 6 Bufflehead, 2 Cinnamon Teal, 37 Gadwall, 138 Green Wing Teal, 6 Mallards, 37 Pintail, 5 Redhead, 1 Ring Neck and 14 Ruddy Ducks. There were no geese bagged at San Jacinto on Wednesday. 3 coots were also added to the count on Wednesday. This worked out to a per gun average of 2.91 waterfowl. There was no information provided on the number of reservations that showed up on time.

San Jacinto is open for waterfowl hunting on Wednesdays and Saturdays only. At this point in the season it is now too late to put in for reservations on-line through the DFG Automated License Data System (ALDS). You can still 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.

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 may not get your pass in time to use it as they have to mail it to you which can take up to 15 days. At this point you need to purchase your license and passes in person at a DFG office or license agent so you will immediately get them without the wait for the mail. No licenses or passes will be sold at the check stations this year. 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.

2013 California Game Warden Stamp Now Available

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife announces the 2013 edition of the Warden Stamp is now available.
The new Warden Stamp, for 2013 is now available for purchase in person from any CDFW regional or licensing offices or by filling out and sending in the CDFW Warden Stamp form with a check or credit card info to your closest CDFW office. You can also e-mail the completed form, if you prefer, as an attachment to an e-mail to:

lrb@wildlife.ca.gov

You may also purchase Warden Stamps via the CDFW online license services (ALDS) at:

www.dfg.ca.gov/licensing/ols/

The addresses for the DFG offices are found on page two of the Warden Stamp pdf form. The form can be found at:

http://www.dfg.ca.gov/wardenstamp/

(Click on “order by mail/e-mail (PDF)” below the picture of the stamp.)

The Game Warden Stamp isn’t really a “stamp” for your license, such as your federal duck stamp is, as the name might lead you to believe, but rather it’s a roughly 4” x 4” decal.

The new 2013 version has a gold background and a silhouette of a duck landing on it. (see picture below)

2013-warden-stamp_gold-final-print

The 2010 version (which is still available, if you like that design better) is a green shield with an elk silhouette on it. The 2011 version (which is also still available, if you like that design better) is a light blue background with a silhouette of a trout or salmon on it. The new 2012 version (which is also still available, if you like that design better) has a dark brown background and a silhouette of a California quail on it. (see pictures below). If you like them all you could buy one, or more, of each if you want to.

2012WardenStampDecal

2011 Warden Stamp

2010 Warden Stamp

The stamps are $5 each and the funds go into a special account. The money is used to provide our Game Wardens with additional equipment, training and new programs, such as new communications and surveillance devices, protective equipment, training in specialized areas, new law enforcement programs such as the DFG’s K-9 Program and to assist them in their duties.

Due to State budget cuts, non-hunting / fishing politicians feel that the DFG is a “painless” way to cut back on the budget by giving the DFG less to do more with.

Quoting the DFG web site on the Warden stamp:
“Game Wardens are responsible for protecting more than 1,000 native fish and wildlife species, 6,300 native plant species and 360 threatened or endangered species California’s 159,000 square miles of land (414 square miles per warden) 1,100 miles of coastline, 30,000 miles of rivers and streams, 4,800 lakes and reservoirs and 80 major rivers. Game Wardens patrol on foot, by plane, boat, all-terrain vehicles, snow mobiles, and even on horseback There is one game warden for every 200,000 constituents.

Game Wardens work hard to educate those they encounter in the outdoors, as well as school children in the classroom, about the importance of resource conservation, pollution prevention, and the importance of a healthy natural environment. These men and women dedicate their lives to ensuring our resources are here for future generations. You do not have to be an outdoor enthusiast to help, just someone who cares about protecting California’s wildlife populations and conserving the habitats in which they live.” In recent years, CDFW’s budget has been significantly reduced due to the state’s economic downturn. These reductions have overwhelmed CDFW’s Law Enforcement Division. Recognizing the dire situation, an advocacy group proposed the idea of selling a “Game Warden Stamp” to raise additional funds to support Game Wardens critical work on behalf of California’s natural resources.

Game Wardens are responsible for protecting more than 1,000 native fish and wildlife species, 6,300 native plant species and 360 threatened or endangered species. California’s 159,000 square miles of land (414 square miles per warden), 1,100 miles of coastline, 30,000 miles of rivers and streams, 4,800 lakes and reservoirs and 80 major rivers. Game Wardens patrol on foot, by plane, boat, all-terrain vehicles, snow mobiles, and even on horseback. There is one game warden for every 200,000 constituents.

Game Wardens work hard to educate those they encounter in the outdoors, as well as school children in the classroom, about the importance of resource conservation, pollution prevention, and the importance of a healthy natural environment. These men and women dedicate their lives to ensuring our resources are here for future generations. You do not have to be an outdoor enthusiast to help, just someone who cares about protecting California’s wildlife populations and conserving the habitats in which they live.”

Now – back to me…
The important point here, in my opinion, is getting the money to the “boots on the ground”. If your $5 (or more, if you can afford it) results in some equipment, training or what have you that helps catch a poacher in your area the payoff may be more game or more fish for you and yours to legally harvest. And, the bottom line is, that’s what’s important. As for the “stamp”, stick it on your truck, ammo box or tackle box, stick it in a drawer, throw it away if you want, do whatever you want with it. The important thing is to help give our Fish and Game Wardens the tools they need to protect our hunting and fishing heritage.

Now, excuse while I pull up the ALDS on my computer and order this year’s warden stamps.


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