SoCalHunt San Jacinto Hunting Report 11/27/13

Today SoCalHunt was present and accounted for at San Jacinto Wildlife Area for what turned out to be another afternoon refill hunt.

Today I had a little advantage.  My usual hunting partner had arrived at the check station for the non-reservation drawing, with hopes of getting a good blind out of the sweatline draw.  “Plan A” was that he’d get a good blind out of the bucket and I would join him in the blind when I arrived in the morning.  “Plan B” was that if my partner didn’t get a good blind out of the bucket he’d get us on the refill list, hopefully near the top, and we’d score a good blind for the afternoon.  Well, as luck, and the sweatline draw, would have it; we had to go with “Plan B”.  When I arrived I found that we were low on the refill list and went out to the parking lot to join up with my hunting partner. I found him sacked out in his truck and let him sleep for about an hour more until the first morning hunters appeared at the check station to surrender their blind.

We actually didn’t have to wait too long this morning for a good blind to check in and we were off to our spot just before 10 AM.  We were set up and hunting by about 10:30.  It was fairly cloudy in the morning and the wind was blowing at pretty good, which usually helps things at SJ.

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Not too long after we were set up a group of 5 shovelers swooped in low over our blind and we managed to send them away towards the next blind down the pond by blowing a few holes in the sky in their general vicinity (AKA: we missed).  A short time later another pair of spooneys came in over the decoys and I was able to nail the trailing drake.  So we had one in the bag and still plenty of time for more.

During the next couple of hours we had a couple more opportunities but weren’t able to connect.  Around 2 PM a lone shoveler hen came in to the decoys on my partner’s side, landing gear down, just like its supposed to happen, and my partner connected, splashing her about 25 yards out.  She was swimming and my partner tried to finish her on the water but she kept going and made it to a small clump of vegetation nearby.  My partner quickly waded out and found her tangled in the vegetation and administered the coup de gras.  As the day progressed the cloudy conditions gradually changed to a clear sky with just a cloud or two here and there.

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After a couple more missed opportunities about an hour before quitting time we had a lone shoveler drake come in to the decoys, feet down, right in the middle of our shooting zones.  My partner fired first and smacked the drake good and I fired a split second later, although my shot wasn’t needed. Just a case of both of us pulling the trigger at almost the same time.  My partner retrieved his bird and we now had three birds in the bag.

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We had another pair of spooneys start to work the decoys, and they were in range, but behind us, where it would have forced us to shoot in an awkward position if we had taken the shot at that point.  They circled out real wide, right over a neighboring blind and the hunters in that blind were able to drop one of the pair.

We had one more bird in range but it was a teal that had streaked in behind us with the wind and it was so quickly there and gone we didn’t even have a chance to shoulder our shotguns.

As the end of legal shooting time approached San Jacinto showed us another nice sunset under skies that were now almost completely clear.

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At the end of the day we had three nice shovelers between the two of us and we had also been given ample opportunity to at least double that count if we’d been shooting a little better today.  Today, at least in the area our blind was in, was a spoony day.  With the exception of the one teal that snuck in behind us we only saw and shot at shovelers today.

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Well, a pretty successful hunt for an afternoon refill.  We will be back soon to try again and you’ll see the results here on SoCalHunt when we do.


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