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.


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.


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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