SoCalHunt San Jacinto Hunting Report 12/4/13

Today SoCalHunt was out at good old San Jacinto Wildlife Area for another unaccompanied afternoon refill hunt.

I arrived at the parking lot about 7:20 AM and it didn’t look too bad, with about a dozen or so trucks standing by in the lot.  I checked in on the refill list and was down at the bottom of the second page, which, judging by the parking lot, I though I’d be a little higher up on the list.  I’m guessing some of the refillers were out getting breakfast nearby.  After a short visit with Tom and Whitney, donating my toy to the toy drive box and a couple of bucks into the Junior Hunt “bucket”, I went back to my truck to inspect my eyelids for holes while awaiting a spot.

About 10:30 I awoke and walked up to the check station to see if there were any decent blinds available.  I was surprised to see that one of the blinds that I count in my top ten had just become available.  I figured that, being down on the bottom of the second page, this blind was probably going to be the best I was going to do so, when no one on the list ahead of me wanted the blind, I took it.

I headed out to the blind and was set up and hunting by 11:30.  I awaited the first duck to approach my blind…and waited…and waited…  There was absolutely no waterfowl flying that I could see and this was reflected by the almost total lack of calling and shots being fired throughout the refuge.

While I awaited an opportunity for a shot I observed the other wildlife in the area. There were, as usual, lots of birds flying around; just none of them were ducks.  There were several hawks in the area searching for a meal, there was a woodpecker working on a nearby tree, the usual redwing black birds in the nearby trees and an epic coot fight in progress in the pond.  I seriously thought this one coot was going to kill the other one as he got the advantage and held his opponent under water for quite a while.

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One of the Hawks

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The Woodpecker

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Red Wing Black Birds

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The Coot fight

About 12:30 I noticed a hen Ring Neck swimming in the far edge of my pond.  I was hoping something would spook her and cause her to fly towards my blind.  It didn’t happen and I continued to see her, and after a short time a second Ring Neck hen with her, throughout the afternoon swimming into the far corner of the pond and back out towards the other end.  About 1:00 I noticed a Blue Wing Teal drake doing the same thing and, just like the Ring Necks, I continued to see this bird off and on throughout the afternoon, later accompanied by two hen Blue Wings.

The only “action” was around 2:00 PM when an adjacent blind fired at something and seconds later a hen shoveler came flying over the nearby trees, well within range, but I wasn’t ready and she flew out of range before I could shoulder my gun.

Although there wasn’t much action, the scenery, as well as the afore mentioned wildlife, was a pleasure to behold. Mount San Jacinto was snowcapped and dark clouds in the area seemed to promise more of the white stuff to come.

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And, speaking of rain, it really started to cloud up about an hour before quitting time.  I even felt a couple drops of rain but it never did open up and the clouds started to clear.

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The clouds did hang in enough to make for a signature San Jacinto sunset, which, like I always say, was worth the price of admission, at least in my opinion.

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So not much “action” today, duck wise, but it was still nice to be out in the marsh seeing the wildlife and the scenery.

As the sun set behind the hills I picked up my gear and decoys and headed for home.  Hopefully, we’ll get some weather up north and we’ll get an influx of migrant birds and hunting will improve.  In any case I’ll be back soon to give it another try.


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