SoCalHunt San Jacinto Hunting Report 10/29/14

As has been for the last couple years, SoCalHunt had to skip the opener due to work obligations. My usual hunting partner and I made an attempt to get out for a morning hunt last Wednesday, the first Wednesday of the season, but, long story short, we were too far down on the refill list and didn’t end up getting out. Rather then make a whole report on not going hunting I figured I’d just add it at the start of this one, (in case anyone was wondering why there hadn’t be a hunting report from SoCalHunt yet).

Having said that, today I ventured out to San Jacinto Wildlife Area for, hopefully, my delayed season kickoff with a solo afternoon refill hunt.

I got a later start then I wanted to and was thinking that this may be a quick round trip as usually, when I’ve been this late, the refill list is looooooong. As I approached the check station from Davis Road it appeared that there was only about 7 or 8 trucks parked in the lot. I though this looked promising and this feeling was confirmed when I went up to the check station and found I was signing up on the 7th spot of the refill list. Probably the lowest spot I’ve been on the list in quite a while, especially getting there this late.

I waited at the check station and in pretty quick succession several blinds checked in, as usual, some with near limits, some with just a bird or two and some with the dreaded proverbial black and white critter (skunk). It wasn’t long before the exact blind I was hoping for checked in, but unfortunately with no birds. Despite this I decided to take the blind and give it a shot as this hunter did say he had knocked down a couple birds but he’d lost them in the tules.

I headed out to the blind and was set up and hunting at exactly 12:02 which, coincidentally, was exactly six hours to quitting time at 6:02. I settled in and began to scan the sky for birds and enjoy the marsh. I didn’t expect much action as the prior Saturday’s bird count was one of the lowest in the last few years but, as I always say, you can’t kill them sitting on the couch.

As I waited I watched the local coots foraging in the shallows. An occasional frog could be heard croaking along the shores of the pond. I also had several visitors to the blind. A couple dragonflies rested on the branches that were part of the blind’s cover. There was also a damselfly that drifted by on a floating shotgun shell. One of the most disconcerting visitors was a wasp that kept buzzing my head every 10 to 15 minutes. Due to being in defense mode when he was around I didn’t attempt to get a picture of him.

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Coots

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Dragonfly 1

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Dragonfly 2

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Damselfly on a shell

About 3:00, I was sitting with the sun to my back and saw a small shadow zip across the pond in front of me. I looked over my shoulder and saw the tail end of a teal exiting the area. Those little rockets are good at slipping in and out of the area before you even see them.

As quitting time neared two widgeon appeared flying towards my blind. One of them pulled up sharply and was too high but the other went a little wide of the blind but still within range, although at the extreme outside of in range. I tried a shot but missed and the bird flew off towards an unoccupied area of the wildlife area.

A few minutes after that the alarm on my cell phone went off, indicating quitting time. So, as the sun slipped behind the hills I packed up my gear and headed for home. Although I didn’t get any birds I at least got a chance at one, which was actually more then I really expected today and, even if that didn’t happen, its always nice to be out on the marsh.

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Sunset

Hopefully my usual hunting buddy and I will be back next Wednesday for a shot at the sweat line. We’ll cross our fingers for a low draw on the computer so we can get in a long overdue morning hunt. Hope to see you out there at good old SJ.


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