Archive for November, 2014

Hunt Results for San Jacinto Wildlife Area, Saturday – 11/29/14

The per hunter average number of ducks taken at San Jacinto Wildlife Area dropped almost a full bird per person on Saturday compared to Wednesday’s numbers on another day with unseasonable warm temperatures. Shovelers were again the number one bird taken with Widgeon taking over second place today. Tom Trakes, from San Jacinto Wildlife Area, reported that the results for Saturday, 11/29/14 were as follows:

159 adult and 12 junior hunters bagged 93 Northern Shovelers, 11 Cinnamon Teal, 33 Gadwall, 40 Widgeon, 27 Green Wing Teal, 4 Mallards, 5 Pintail, 3 Redhead, 1 Canvasbacks, 1 Ring Neck, 5 Scaup, 4 Bufflehead, 3 Common Mergansers and 20 Ruddy Ducks. There were no geese bagged at San Jacinto on Saturday. 2 coots were also brought in on Saturday. This worked out to an average take of 1.46 ducks per hunter, or, adding in the coots, 1.47 waterfowl per hunter. Tom advised that out of 52 reservations 30 showed up on time.

Don’t forget to bring a buck or two or ten, whatever you can spare if you’re able, and put some in the box in the check station for the Junior Waterfowl Hunt. These donations go towards running the event, the food and some of the prizes for the junior hunters. The juniors are the future of our sport and the junior hunt is a great way to get them enthused about the sport.

Also, don’t forget that San Jacinto Wildlife Area is having its annual Toy Drive for the Bryant Park Head Start Preschool. If you’re able please bring a new, unwrapped toy for the kids. Details here:

https://socalhunt.wordpress.com/2014/11/05/san-jacinto-wildlife-area-annual-toy-drive-has-begun

San Jacinto is open for waterfowl hunting on Wednesdays and Saturdays only. You can put in for reservations on-line through the DFW Automated License Data System (ALDS). Your reservation request has to be to the ALDS system 17 days in advance to get in on the drawing or you can 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. The ALDS can be accessed through the DFW web site at the below link –

https://www.ca.wildlifelicense.com/InternetSales

Don’t forget that all licenses and 1 day, 2 day or season passes must be purchased at a DFW Office or a license agent before your arrive at the refuge. These can be purchased on-line via the ALDS system also, however, you will have to wait for the DFG to mail you’re the actual licenses and passes which can take up to 15 days. If you purchase your license and passes in person at a DFW office or license agent you 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, Wednesday – 11/26/14

The per hunter average of ducks taken at San Jacinto Wildlife Area dropped slightly on Wednesday, in contrast to Saturday’s count, on clear hot day with temps in the mid 80’s. Green Wing Teal slid back into first place for number of birds taken with Shovelers dropping back into second place again today. Tom Trakes, from San Jacinto Wildlife Area, reported that the results for Wednesday, 11/26/14 were as follows:

149 adult and 22 junior hunters bagged 121 Northern Shovelers, 14 Cinnamon Teal, 64 Gadwall, 32 Widgeon, 128 Green Wing Teal, 8 Mallards, 10 Pintail, 8 Redheads, 1 Canvasbacks, 5 Ring Necks, 1 Scaup, 1 Goldeneye, 5 Bufflehead, 1 Blue Wing Teal and 11 Ruddy Ducks. No Geese were checked in at San Jacinto on Wednesday. 13 coots were also bagged on Wednesday. This figured out as an average bag of 2.40 ducks per hunter, or, including the coots, 2.47 waterfowl per hunter. Tom advised that out of 52 reservations 30 showed up on time.

Don’t forget to bring a buck or two or ten, whatever you can spare if you’re able, and put some in the box in the check station for the Junior Waterfowl Hunt. These donations go towards running the event, the food and some of the prizes for the junior hunters. The juniors are the future of our sport and the junior hunt is a great way to get them enthused about the sport. Also, don’t forget that San Jacinto Wildlife Area is having its annual Toy Drive for the Bryant Park Head Start Preschool. If you’re able please bring a new, unwrapped toy for the kids. Details here:

https://socalhunt.wordpress.com/2014/11/05/san-jacinto-wildlife-area-annual-toy-drive-has-begun

San Jacinto is open for waterfowl hunting on Wednesdays and Saturdays only. You can put in for reservations on-line through the DFW Automated License Data System (ALDS). Your reservation request has to be to the ALDS system 17 days in advance to get in on the drawing or you can 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. The ALDS can be accessed through the DFW web site at the below link –

https://www.ca.wildlifelicense.com/InternetSales

Don’t forget that all licenses and 1 day, 2 day or season passes must be purchased at a DFW Office or a license agent before your arrive at the refuge. These can be purchased on-line via the ALDS system also, however, you will have to wait for the DFG to mail you’re the actual licenses and passes which can take up to 15 days. If you purchase your license and passes in person at a DFW office or license agent you 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 – 11/22/14

The average number of ducks bagged at San Jacinto Wildlife Area dropped back down quite a bit on Saturday compared to Wednesday’s count on day that started out a little foggy but quickly cleared off with comfortable temperatures. Shovelers took over first place for number of birds bagged and Green Wing Teal dropped into second place today. Tom Trakes, from San Jacinto Wildlife Area, reported that the results for Saturday, 11/22/14 were as follows:

157 adult and 10 junior hunters bagged 148 Northern Shovelers, 12 Cinnamon Teal, 76 Gadwall, 44 Widgeon, 105 Green Wing Teal, 23 Mallards, 29 Pintail, 13 Redhead, 1 Canvasbacks, 7 Ring Necks, 1 Scaup, 1 Wood Duck, 4 Bufflehead, 14 Ruddy Ducks and 1 duck listed as “other”. There was also a lone Aleutian Goose taken at San Jacinto on Saturday. 16 coots were also checked in on Saturday. This worked out to an average take of 2.87 ducks per hunter, or, adding in the goose and coots, 2.97 waterfowl per hunter. Tom advised that out of 52 reservations 29 showed up on time.

Don’t forget to bring a buck or two or ten, whatever you can spare if you’re able, and put some in the box in the check station for the Junior Waterfowl Hunt. These donations go towards running the event, the food and some of the prizes for the junior hunters. The juniors are the future of our sport and the junior hunt is a great way to get them enthused about the sport.

Also, don’t forget that San Jacinto Wildlife Area is having its annual Toy Drive for the Bryant Park Head Start Preschool. If you’re able please bring a new, unwrapped toy for the kids. Details here:

https://socalhunt.wordpress.com/2014/11/05/san-jacinto-wildlife-area-annual-toy-drive-has-begun

San Jacinto is open for waterfowl hunting on Wednesdays and Saturdays only. You can put in for reservations on-line through the DFW Automated License Data System (ALDS). Your reservation request has to be to the ALDS system 17 days in advance to get in on the drawing or you can 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. The ALDS can be accessed through the DFW web site at the below link –

https://www.ca.wildlifelicense.com/InternetSales

Don’t forget that all licenses and 1 day, 2 day or season passes must be purchased at a DFW Office or a license agent before your arrive at the refuge. These can be purchased on-line via the ALDS system also, however, you will have to wait for the DFG to mail you’re the actual licenses and passes which can take up to 15 days. If you purchase your license and passes in person at a DFW office or license agent you 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 11/19/14

SoCalHunt was back at San Jacinto Wildlife Area today, once more, to give the sweat line computer a chance this morning. So far we’ve gotten out once, just barely, snagging the last available morning sweat line spot. The other time we tried we were shut out.

I had again made arrangements to meet up with one of my regular hunting partners and we had hopes of getting out early since Saturday’s count was pretty good at good old SJ. It was also kind of important that we get on in the morning, as my buddy couldn’t stay the whole day so when we signed up on the sweat line list we crossed our fingers.

Alas it was not to be today. When the sweat line list was printed and taped up to the check station window we were disappointed to see we were 39th on the list. It was obvious we weren’t going to get on in the morning so my friend said his goodbyes and headed for home. I, however, had the day available and chose to stick it out and see what I might get.

As I knew I’d have to wait a while I headed out to Harry’s Café for a steak and eggs breakfast to sooth the pain of not getting on and, after that satisfying meal, it was back to the check station lot for a nap. As I drove up Davis Road the scenery looked especially nice with the clouds in the sky today. Maybe an omen of good things to come?

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Around 8:30 I woke up and went up to the check station to wait. It didn’t take long for hunters to start checking in their morning birds. There were a lot of real nice straps coming up to the check station with many limits and near limits being checked in. One hunter even brought two snow geese up to the table, the first geese at SJ this year.

About 9:00 a decent blind came in and no one above me on the list wanted it. I was a little hesitant as I had hunted that blind once before this season and got skunked, although, if you’ve read my prior hunting reports this season, you know that I’ve been skunked for the season so far. I decided, since I was hunting alone again, to go ahead and take the blind since it’s an easy blind to access with a very short walk from the parking area. It has been, in years past, a good hunting spot and I have, in fact, shot limits out of it before.

So out I went onto the wildlife area towards my blind. I was set up and hunting by 9:45. Not long after occupying the blind a widgeon came in and circled the blind just out of range. I thought the bird would make one more closing circle but it apparently saw something it didn’t like and it pealed off any headed away, not offering a shot. A short time after that a small flight of shovelers came towards the blind. They were too high, except for a drake that came in much lower then the rest. I tried for the drake but, as seems to be my tradition, I missed the relatively easy first shot of the day.

The conditions were very pleasant at SJ today with mild temperatures and skies filled, off and on throughout the day, with beautiful cloud formations. (Several pictures below, since I couldn’t decide on just one as “the best”).

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As always there were other visitors to my pond. The ever-present coots, who seem to be fighting amongst themselves continually, there were some ibis feeding on the shoreline of the pond and I even had a shrike come by to take a look at the area.

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Ibis

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Shrike

A while later I noticed some ducks swimming in the pond, getting closer to my blind. One of them came around the corner of the tules behind me and I stood to make the bird fly. It turned out to be a ring nick and, being a diver, instead of jumping straight up like a puddle duck would do, she started her takeoff run towards the stand of tules. I fired just as she made the corner of the tules and missed her as she took to the air, her low flight blocked by the reeds.

Now I’ll admit I was starting to get a little frustrated. This was my fourth hunt and I had yet to bag a bird. The worst start I’ve ever had in any season. I sat down to reflect and figured what the heck, at least I’m out here in the marsh. Things could be worse. I’ll eventually get something.

After a bit of reflection I decided to stretch my legs and walk around the small island my blind was sitting on. As I rounded the blind I saw a ring neck drake sitting on the island to the rear of my blind. I don’t know where he came from or how long he’d been there but, apparently, sitting quietly for a while allowed him to swim up to the island without his detecting me. When he saw me he jumped up and did his takeoff run across the water. I was able to drop him just as he lifted off and I finally had my first duck in the bag for the 2014/15 season!

With perhaps an hour to go I suddenly heard a duck landing in the water behind my blind. I peered around the corner of the blind and saw a hen ring neck sitting in the water not 5 feet from where the drake I had taken earlier had been sitting on the island. I stood and the hen jumped and did an identical takeoff run as the drake, with the same results. Two ring necks in the bag!

About a half hour later a pair of ring necks flew into the area. The blind adjacent to me fired at the birds as they passed their location, but they missed, and the pair headed straight for my blind at just about the perfect distance for a shot. I folded the drake with one shot but knew, by the angle they came in, that he would fall near the tules so I held off trying for a double so I could see where he landed and make sure he wouldn’t swim away. Fortunately he hit the water just beyond the tules and wasn’t going anywhere after splashdown. The hen circled, almost giving me a second chance for a shot, but she was just out of range. She continued down the pond and the neighboring blind was able to make good on their shot this time and down she went.

So, no further ducks came in range for the remaining half hour but I was pretty happy at that point. I’d finally broken the skunk and had three nice birds of the strap to take home today.

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As the sun set I again packed up my gear and headed for home, much happier this time then the previous three hunts. It’s always nice to be out on San Jacinto but it’s also nice to bring home a few birds now and then.

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Next week I’ll have to skip due to a family obligation but I’m hoping to be back at SJ in two weeks with both my regular hunting partners for another try at the sweat line. Maybe the forth time will be the charm on that too? We can only hope.

Hunt Results for San Jacinto Wildlife Area, Wednesday – 11/19/14

The average take of ducks at San Jacinto Wildlife Area’s went up significantly on Wednesday over Saturday’s results on another very pleasant cool and partly cloudy day. Green Wing Teal took over first place for most birds taken and Widgeon dropped back to second place today with Shovelers in third place just a few birds behind the Widgeon. Tom Trakes, from San Jacinto Wildlife Area, reported that the results for Wednesday, 11/19/14 were as follows:

145 adult and no junior hunters bagged 103 Northern Shovelers, 40 Cinnamon Teal, 48 Gadwall, 107 Widgeon, 174 Green Wing Teal, 26 Mallards, 60 Pintail, 16 Redhead, 1 Canvasbacks, 26 Ring Necks, 15 Bufflehead, 17 Scaup, 1 Goldeneye and 9 Ruddy Ducks. There were 3 Snow Geese bagged at San Jacinto on Wednesday. There were also 4 coots taken on Wednesday. This worked out to an average take of 4.37 ducks per hunter, or, adding in the geese and coots, 4.41 waterfowl per hunter. Tom advised that out of 52 reservations 28 showed up on time.

Don’t forget to bring a buck or two or ten, whatever you can spare if you’re able, and put some in the box in the check station for the Junior Waterfowl Hunt. These donations go towards running the event, the food and some of the prizes for the junior hunters. The juniors are the future of our sport and the junior hunt is a great way to get them enthused about the sport.

Also, don’t forget that San Jacinto Wildlife Area is having its annual Toy Drive for the Bryant Park Head Start Preschool. If you’re able please bring a new, unwrapped toy for the kids. Details here:

https://socalhunt.wordpress.com/2014/11/05/san-jacinto-wildlife-area-annual-toy-drive-has-begun/

San Jacinto is open for waterfowl hunting on Wednesdays and Saturdays only. You can put in for reservations on-line through the DFW Automated License Data System (ALDS). Your reservation request has to be to the ALDS system 17 days in advance to get in on the drawing or you can 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. The ALDS can be accessed through the DFW web site at the below link –

https://www.ca.wildlifelicense.com/InternetSales

Don’t forget that all licenses and 1 day, 2 day or season passes must be purchased at a DFW Office or a license agent before your arrive at the refuge. These can be purchased on-line via the ALDS system also, however, you will have to wait for the DFG to mail you’re the actual licenses and passes which can take up to 15 days. If you purchase your license and passes in person at a DFW office or license agent you 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.

San Jacinto Wildlife Refuge announces the 21st Annual Junior Waterfowl Hunt – January 31st, 2015

Tom Trakes, from San Jacinto Wildlife Area advised that their 21st Annual Junior Waterfowl Hunt has been set for the Wildlife Area. The date for the hunt is January 31st, 2015. This is a great event and gives the junior hunters a crack at some quality hunting after the regular season closes. This year’s hunt will honor our Military Men and Women. An Honor Guard will present the Colors to start off the event. There is great pancake breakfast provided by the San Jacinto Staff and volunteers prior to the hunt and a great BBQ lunch afterwards with lots of raffle prizes for the junior hunters. Juniors can apply for the hunt by going to the DFW reservation system at:

https://nrm.dfg.ca.gov/DFGSpecialHunts/default.aspx

Anyone who wants to donate prizes for the raffle or volunteer to assist at the breakfast and/or lunch, or just donate some cash towards the cause should contact Tom Trakes at (951)-236-3020.

Jr Hunt 2015 flyer

Hunt Results for San Jacinto Wildlife Area, Saturday – 11/15/14

The average take of ducks at San Jacinto Wildlife Area’s went up again on Saturday over Wednesday’s results on a very pleasant cool and cloudy day. Widgeon took over first place for most birds taken and Green Wing Teal dropped back to second place today. Tom Trakes, from San Jacinto Wildlife Area, reported that the results for Saturday, 11/15/14 were as follows:

137 adult and 9 junior hunters bagged 75 Northern Shovelers, 24 Cinnamon Teal, 48 Gadwall, 97 Widgeon, 81 Green Wing Teal, 29 Mallards, 16 Pintail, 7 Redhead, 2 Canvasbacks, 42 Ring Necks, 15 Bufflehead, 13 Scaup, 1 Common Merganser and 7 Ruddy Ducks. Again no geese were bagged at San Jacinto on Saturday. 6 coots were checked in on Saturday. This worked out to an average take of 3.13 ducks per hunter, or, adding in the coots, 3.17 waterfowl per hunter. Tom advised that out of 52 reservations 33 showed up on time.

Don’t forget to bring a buck or two or ten, whatever you can spare if you’re able, and put some in the box in the check station for the Junior Waterfowl Hunt. These donations go towards running the event, the food and some of the prizes for the junior hunters. The juniors are the future of our sport and the junior hunt is a great way to get them enthused about the sport.

Also, don’t forget that San Jacinto Wildlife Area is having its annual Toy Drive for the Bryant Park Head Start Preschool. If you’re able please bring a new, unwrapped toy for the kids. Details here:

https://socalhunt.wordpress.com/2014/11/05/san-jacinto-wildlife-area-annual-toy-drive-has-begun/

San Jacinto is open for waterfowl hunting on Wednesdays and Saturdays only. You can put in for reservations on-line through the DFW Automated License Data System (ALDS). Your reservation request has to be to the ALDS system 17 days in advance to get in on the drawing or you can 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. The ALDS can be accessed through the DFW web site at the below link –

https://www.ca.wildlifelicense.com/InternetSales

Don’t forget that all licenses and 1 day, 2 day or season passes must be purchased at a DFW Office or a license agent before your arrive at the refuge. These can be purchased on-line via the ALDS system also, however, you will have to wait for the DFG to mail you’re the actual licenses and passes which can take up to 15 days. If you purchase your license and passes in person at a DFW office or license agent you 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 11/12/14

SoCalHunt was back today, once again, for a solo afternoon refill hunt at San Jacinto Wildlife Area.

I had some obligations in the morning and didn’t arrive at San Jacinto until just after noon. As I drove up Davis Road I was hoping that this wouldn’t be a wasted trip and, when the check station parking lot came into view, it looked good with only 4 or 5 trucks in the lot. This would be an approximately 4-hour hunt, which shows one of the values of a season pass. You might not want to use a $20.78 day pass for a 4-hour hunt but if you have a season pass, bought and paid for, it doesn’t cost you any more to fit in a “quickie” afternoon hunt.

I walked up to the check station, toy in hand for the toy drive box, and checked out the blind map on the wall. There were several blinds available, some pretty good ones too, with no wait. The one blind I was really hoping for had just refilled so that was off the table but the blind right next to it was available so I took it. After checking in and getting my card I headed out to my blind.

The blind I took wasn’t really a “blind” but an island with natural cover. The natural cover consisted of some light tule reeds so more cover would be needed. I’ve hunted this spot before so I knew that would be the case. I had with me, as I always do, my Ducks & Bucks Cart Blind (you can check out my review on the Ducks & Bucks Cart Blind here: https://socalhunt.wordpress.com/2010/12/08/gear-review-–-ducks-bucks-cart-blind/ ) and I used it to build part of my blind today. I felt I couldn’t use it in its blind configuration though, as that would be twice as tall as the surrounding tules, so I laid it on its side and with a couple of camo covers completed my blind. The day was partly cloudy but was clearing fast with just a little breeze here and there. What was really nice, for the first time this season, the temperature was comfortable.

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I then sat down and began the wait for any incoming waterfowl. Every once in a while I could hear blinds in the area opening fire and an occasional flight of ducks could be seen in the distance, although none came anywhere close to in range. As always, there were other visitors to the pond, with a lot of Redwing Blackbirds in the area today.

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If you read my last hunt report from last Wednesday you know that my usual duck gun is at the gunsmith for repair. Due to that, today I had my old Remington 870 out in the blind. It’s a great old gun and is more then 50 years old but has accounted for many a duck in its time. The only drawback of the old girl is that she can only handle 2 ¾ inch shells. This wasn’t really a problem back in the day, when we could use lead shot, but since we’ve had to use non-toxic shot (steel) 3 inch or even 3 ½ inch shells are now preferred to get that extra measure of knockdown power with the lighter steel shot. The plan for today was to only take real close shots, due to the 2 ¾ inch shells’ limitations. If I kept the shots close the venerable old shotgun could still handle the chore.

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The ironic thing about taking the old 870 along is that as I drove out towards SJ the gunsmith called saying my regular duck gun was ready to be picked up. I almost turned around to get the gun but figured I was already past the point of no return, and besides that I didn’t have any 3 ½ inch shells with me anyway, so I’d give the 870 some much deserved marsh time today.

About 3 pm I caught sight of a teal as it rocketed in from behind me, just 10 feet off the water’s surface. It was too late to shoulder the gun and I figured that one was gone but to my surprise the little duck looped around a big stand of tules to my right and headed in towards me again over my right shoulder. I stood to fire at the teal and twisted to my right to get lined up for the shot I gracefully tripped over my own feet and completely blew the shot, executing another perfect “catch and release” on the bird.

Well, a few more ducks were seen, but none even close to in range and as the sun set behind the Bernasconi Hills I wrapped up another hunt day at SJ. I did happen to see the hunter that took the neighboring blind (the one I wanted to get) at the parking area and he told me he didn’t even shoulder his gun.

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Well, its still early in the season but it seems that San Jacinto is still mostly a morning shoot so far this season. Anyway, the plan for next week is to hit San Jacinto with both my usual hunting partners next Wednesday for a morning hunt…if the sweat line draw is kind to us. Maybe we’ll see you out there.

Hunt Results for San Jacinto Wildlife Area, Wednesday – 11/12/14

San Jacinto Wildlife Area’s per hunter average rose again on Wednesday over Saturday’s numbers on a day with comfortable temperatures and partly cloudy skies, which cleared off in the afternoon. Green Wing Teal retained first place for most birds taken with Widgeon taking second place today. Tom Trakes, from San Jacinto Wildlife Area, reported that the results for Wednesday, 11/12/14 were as follows:

127 adult and no junior hunters bagged 20 Northern Shovelers, 12 Cinnamon Teal, 30 Gadwall, 59 Widgeon, 86 Green Wing Teal, 6 Mallards, 1 Pintail, 11 Redhead, 24 Ring Necks, 19 Bufflehead, 17 Scaup, 1 Common Merganser and 23 Ruddy Ducks. No geese were taken at San Jacinto on Wednesday. There were also 4 coots taken on Wednesday. This worked out to an average take of 2.43 ducks per hunter, or, adding in the coots, 2.46 waterfowl per hunter. Tom advised that out of 52 reservations 29 showed up on time.

Don’t forget to bring a buck or two or ten, whatever you can spare if you’re able, and put some in the box in the check station for the Junior Waterfowl Hunt. These donations go towards running the event, the food and some of the prizes for the junior hunters. The juniors are the future of our sport and the junior hunt is a great way to get them enthused about the sport.

Also, don’t forget that San Jacinto Wildlife Area is having its annual Toy Drive for the Bryant Park Head Start Preschool. If you’re able please bring a new, unwrapped toy for the kids. Details here:

https://socalhunt.wordpress.com/2014/11/05/san-jacinto-wildlife-area-annual-toy-drive-has-begun/

San Jacinto is open for waterfowl hunting on Wednesdays and Saturdays only. You can put in for reservations on-line through the DFW Automated License Data System (ALDS). Your reservation request has to be to the ALDS system 17 days in advance to get in on the drawing or you can 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. The ALDS can be accessed through the DFW web site at the below link –

https://www.ca.wildlifelicense.com/InternetSales

Don’t forget that all licenses and 1 day, 2 day or season passes must be purchased at a DFW Office or a license agent before your arrive at the refuge. These can be purchased on-line via the ALDS system also, however, you will have to wait for the DFG to mail you’re the actual licenses and passes which can take up to 15 days. If you purchase your license and passes in person at a DFW office or license agent you 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 – 11/8/14

The average duck bag at San Jacinto Wildlife Area rose a bit on Saturday over Wednesday’s totals on another hot bluebird day with temperatures topping out near 90 degrees. Green Wing Teal moved back into first place for most birds taken and Ring Necks were close behind in second place with Shovelers only one bird behind the Ring Necks for third place. Tom Trakes, from San Jacinto Wildlife Area, reported that the results for Saturday, 11/8/14 were as follows:

139 adult and 10 junior hunters bagged 44 Northern Shovelers, 30 Cinnamon Teal, 17 Gadwall, 40 Widgeon, 50 Green Wing Teal, 3 Mallards, 10 Pintails, 6 Redhead, 1 Canvasback, 45 Ring Necks, 18 Bufflehead, 5 Scaup and 7 Ruddy Ducks. Once again no geese were bagged at San Jacinto on Saturday. 15 coots also brought up to the check station on Saturday. This worked out to an average take of 1.85 ducks per hunter, or, adding in the coots, 1.95 waterfowl per hunter. Tom advised that out of 52 reservations 34 showed up on time.

Don’t forget to bring a buck or two or ten, whatever you can spare if you’re able, and put some in the box in the check station for the Junior Waterfowl Hunt. These donations go towards running the event, the food and some of the prizes for the junior hunters. The juniors are the future of our sport and the junior hunt is a great way to get them enthused about the sport.

Also, don’t forget that San Jacinto Wildlife Area is having its annual Toy Drive for the Bryant Park Head Start Preschool. If you’re able please bring a new, unwrapped toy for the kids. Details here:

https://socalhunt.wordpress.com/2014/11/05/san-jacinto-wildlife-area-annual-toy-drive-has-begun/

San Jacinto is open for waterfowl hunting on Wednesdays and Saturdays only. You can put in for reservations on-line through the DFW Automated License Data System (ALDS). Your reservation request has to be to the ALDS system 17 days in advance to get in on the drawing or you can 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. The ALDS can be accessed through the DFW web site at the below link –

https://www.ca.wildlifelicense.com/InternetSales

Don’t forget that all licenses and 1 day, 2 day or season passes must be purchased at a DFW Office or a license agent before your arrive at the refuge. These can be purchased on-line via the ALDS system also, however, you will have to wait for the DFG to mail you’re the actual licenses and passes which can take up to 15 days. If you purchase your license and passes in person at a DFW office or license agent you 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.

San Jacinto Annual Junior Pheasant Hunt for 11/9/14 CANCELED!

Due to unforeseen circumstances the staff at San Jacinto Wildlife Area was forced to cancel this weekend’s upcoming Junior Pheasant Hunt.

Info from Scott Sewell, Wildlife Habitat Supervisor of SJ and Wister:

“Good morning all,

Unfortunately due to a situation beyond our control, the Department scheduled Pheasant hunts this weekend at San Jacinto Wildlife Area and Imperial Wildlife Area (Wister) will be cancelled. The Department’s coordinator is actively trying to resolve the issue and we will be focusing our efforts for a larger hunt on our Decembers calendar which will include the cancelled participants from this weekend. Thank you.

Scott Sewell
Wildlife Habitat Supervisor II
Department of Fish and Wildlife”

At this point the Junior Pheasant Hunt scheduled for 12/14/14 is still on.

Any Questions? Please call- San Jacinto Wildlife Area Office (951) 928-0580 or Tom Trakes (951) 236-3040.

Hunt Results for San Jacinto Wildlife Area, Wednesday – 11/5/14

The birds per hunter average at San Jacinto Wildlife Area rose marginally on Wednesday over Saturday’s count on a day that started out cold and quickly got hot with a slight breeze after the sun came up. Shovelers took over first place for most birds taken and Green Wing Teal claimed the second spot. Tom Trakes, from San Jacinto Wildlife Area, reported that the results for Wednesday, 11/5/14 were as follows:

122 adult and 2 junior hunters bagged 41 Northern Shovelers, 16 Cinnamon Teal, 14 Gadwall, 22 Widgeon, 24 Green Wing Teal, 4 Mallards, 5 Redhead, 22 Ring Necks, 10 Bufflehead, 1 Scaup, 2 Wood Ducks and 10 Ruddy Ducks. No geese were taken at San Jacinto on Wednesday. There were also 19 coots bagged on Wednesday. This resulted in an average of 1.38 ducks per hunter, or, with the coots included, 1.53 waterfowl per hunter. Tom advised that out of 52 reservations 28 showed up on time.

Don’t forget to bring a buck or two or ten, whatever you can spare if you’re able, and put some in the box in the check station for the Junior Waterfowl Hunt. These donations go towards running the event, the food and some of the prizes for the junior hunters. The juniors are the future of our sport and the junior hunt is a great way to get them enthused about the sport.

Also, don’t forget that San Jacinto Wildlife Area is having its annual Toy Drive for the Bryant Park Head Start Preschool. If you’re able please bring a new, unwrapped toy for the kids. Details here:

https://socalhunt.wordpress.com/2014/11/05/san-jacinto-wildlife-area-annual-toy-drive-has-begun/

San Jacinto is open for waterfowl hunting on Wednesdays and Saturdays only. You can put in for reservations on-line through the DFW Automated License Data System (ALDS). Your reservation request has to be to the ALDS system 17 days in advance to get in on the drawing or you can 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. The ALDS can be accessed through the DFW web site at the below link –

https://www.ca.wildlifelicense.com/InternetSales

Don’t forget that all licenses and 1 day, 2 day or season passes must be purchased at a DFW Office or a license agent before your arrive at the refuge. These can be purchased on-line via the ALDS system also, however, you will have to wait for the DFG to mail you’re the actual licenses and passes which can take up to 15 days. If you purchase your license and passes in person at a DFW office or license agent you 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.

San Jacinto Wildlife Area Annual Toy Drive Has Begun!

The staff at San Jacinto Wildlife Area has begun their Annual Toy Drive! Tom Trakes, Wildlife Habitat Supervisor, at San Jacinto Wildlife Area, advised SoCalHunt that this year’s Toy Drive will once again benefit the Bryant Park Head Start Preschool.

We, at Socalhunt, encourage all hunters that show up to hunt at San Jacinto in the next several weeks bring along a new, unwrapped toy to donate to the kids. This is a chance to show the general public that hunters have a heart. The toys for the Head Start Preschool are intended for 4 to 5 year old boys and girls.

Donations for the Bryant Park Head Start Program will be accepted until December 17th, with the San Jacinto Staff, along with Santa, delivering them on the 19th.
Please take this opportunity to show that hunters really care and donate to the San Jacinto Annual Toy Drive and support this noble effort.

For further details please contact Tom at (951)-236-3040 or the San Jacinto Wildlife Area Office at (951)-928-0580. Toys can be donated at the San Jacinto Wildlife Area Office at 17050 Davis Road, Lakeview, CA 92567.

Thank you for your support!

Screen shot 2014-11-05 at 3.59.48 PM

SoCalHunt San Jacinto Hunting Report 11/5/14

SoCalHunt was back at San Jacinto Wildlife Area today to, once again, give the sweat line a try to get out on a long overdue morning hunt.

I had made arrangements to meet one of my regular hunting partners out at SJ and, as luck would have it, we arrived at almost exactly the same time. We walked up to the check station and settled in to wait for Tom to come out and give his “Morning Speech”. Once Tom made all the morning announcements and pronouncements the reservation holders quickly formed their line and the new sweat line sign up sheet was brought out. I signed us up and crossed my fingers that the random number generator on the computer would be kind to us.

At 3:30 the sign-up sheet went into the check station and in short order the sweat line draw results were posted on the check station window. We were a little disappointed to find we were a little more then halfway down on the sweat line draw list. Far enough down that we might not get a spot but far enough towards the top that there was a chance anyway.

Finally our number was announced and we went inside the check station to see what blinds, or should I say blind, was left. We were the last sweat line number to get a morning blind, which meant, of course, we had to take the one blind that was left. Although it traditionally isn’t a great blind at least we were getting out in the morning as the afternoons, so far this season, have been almost totally dead as far as any action. Hopes were high that we might get a couple on the initial fly off at start time.

Also, being last, we had about an hour before start time to get in our blind and get set up. We got out to the parking area, which, fortunately isn’t far from this blind, and quickly got our gear and guns out to the blind. We decided, since this blind is isolated in its own pond, and we had about 10 minutes until start time, to skip setting any decoys out this morning. On a pleasant note the blind we occupied was very clean with not even a stray shotgun shell around. Kudos to the prior hunters for doing the right thing and keeping the place clean.

We arranged our gear, loaded our shotgun and hunkered down to wait for start time. At 5:40 the alarm on my cell phone went off and, at almost the same instant Shane blew the starting horn indicating it was game on! I’d like to note here that no one on the wildlife area or the adjacent clubs shot early this morning, proof that it can be done.

The shooting seemed to start off slow but seemed to pick up over the next few minutes. Almost immediately a larger duck flew within range and, as tradition seems to dictate, I missed the first duck of the day. A lot of coots were flying in the early morning light and we had to be careful not to mistake them for ducks. We also had a few teal jet by quickly, there and gone before we could raise our shotguns.

About 45 minutes into the hunt day my partner spotted a duck out of the corner of his eye and quickly swung on it. The bird crumpled and fell but hit the water swimming, headed right for a patch of tules. My buddy ran down the dike and was able to administer the finishing shot with one round. He then waded out to claim his prize. He waded back in and returned to the blind carrying a big beautiful hen mallard!

IMG_2452

Not long after that we witnessed something that I hadn’t seen since the end of the 2012 / 2013 season, sunrise over Mount San Jacinto. (As you may remember, if you follow SoCalHunt, due to work I didn’t get any morning hunts in last season). That was nice to see for a change and I plan on doing a few more this season.

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Not long after my partner settled back in the blind another pair of teal flew over and I fired. Neither bird was hit and I attempted a second shot…nothing. I checked my shotgun and discovered that the trigger was somehow locked back and hadn’t reset for the next shot. I tried cycling the action but the trigger was still locked. I finally had to, after carefully unloading the gun, knock the pins out of the receiver and pull the action out. I was able to free the trigger and re-assemble the gun and was back in action. This shows how important it is to be familiar with your shotgun so problems like this in the field won’t end your day.

As it turned out, although my gun was back in action there was no more action to be had. We saw an occasional duck at great distances but no more legal targets came into range. Of course, as always, there were other fowl flying in the area, and we were visited by some, as we waited and hoped for some ducks to come into range.

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Ibis

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Marsh Hawk

So, as the sun climbed in the sky, and the temperature climbed with it, we decided to call it a day. Although between us we had one bird in the bag we could have had 3 or 4 and even a slow day beats not getting out on the marsh. Beside, for my hunting buddy, collecting a large mallard for dinner was well worth it too.

IMG_2487

As we headed home we made plans to meet again in a couple weeks when we both can do another morning hunt. In addition, I planned to make a stop on the way home. At the local gunsmith, to get my shotgun checked out so I don’t have a problem on the next hunt. If I get it back in time I might try a refill next week, we’ll have to wait and see.

Or I could just use my old duck gun…hummmm.

San Jacinto Annual Junior Pheasant Hunts – 11/9/14 & 12/14/13

This year there are two Junior Pheasant hunts set for San Jacinto Wildlife Area. The dates are Sunday, November 9th and Sunday, December 14th, 2014.

Junior hunters, with their adult companions, will check in at 6:30 am at the San Jacinto Check Station. These hunts are opened to junior hunting license holders only and an adult parent or guardian must accompany them. Junior Hunters need to apply for these hunts through the DFW Special Hunt Reservation System. Go to:

https://nrm.dfg.ca.gov/DFGSpecialHunts/view/publicScreens/ViewHunts.aspx

Then:
Select Hunt Category: Apprentice Hunts
Select Species: Pheasant
Select Hunt Type: Jr. Only Apprentice Pen-raised
Select Maximum Hunt Party Size: All Availble
Click on – Display These Hunts
The SJ Junior Pheasant hunts should be the 4th one down. Follow the instructions from there.

Quail Unlimited will provide lunch for both days.

Any Questions? Please call- San Jacinto Wildlife Area Office (951) 928-0580 or Tom Trakes (951) 236-3040.

Check the official flyer on the Junior Pheasant Hunts for further.

Screen shot 2014-11-04 at 10.05.37 AM

Hunt Results for San Jacinto Wildlife Area, Saturday – 11/1/14

The per hunter duck average at San Jacinto Wildlife Area rose just slightly on Saturday over last Wednesday’s numbers on a day punctuated by brisk and cloudy conditions. Green Wing Teal again took first place for most birds taken with Cinnamon Teal ending in the runner-up spot. Tom Trakes, from San Jacinto Wildlife Area, reported that the results for Saturday, 11/1/14 were as follows:

120 adult and 12 junior hunters bagged 23 Northern Shovelers, 35 Cinnamon Teal, 8 Gadwall, 11 Widgeon, 58 Green Wing Teal, 1 Mallard, 1 Pintail, 7 Redhead, 13 Ring Necks, 2 Bufflehead, 4 Scaup, and 8 Ruddy Ducks. Again there were no geese bagged at SJ on Saturday. 19 coots were also taken on Saturday. This resulted in a per hunter average take of 1.30 ducks, or, with the coots added in, 1.44 waterfowl per hunter. Tom advised that out of 52 reservation cards 31 showed up on time.

Don’t forget to bring a buck or two or ten, whatever you can spare if you’re able, and put some in the box in the check station for the Junior Waterfowl Hunt. These donations go towards running the event, the food and some of the prizes for the junior hunters. The juniors are the future of our sport and the junior hunt is a great way to get them enthused about the sport.

San Jacinto is open for waterfowl hunting on Wednesdays and Saturdays only. You can put in for reservations on-line through the DFW Automated License Data System (ALDS). Your reservation request has to be to the ALDS system 17 days in advance to get in on the drawing or you can 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. The ALDS can be accessed through the DFW web site at the below link –

https://www.ca.wildlifelicense.com/InternetSales

Don’t forget that all licenses and 1 day, 2 day or season passes must be purchased at a DFW Office or a license agent before your arrive at the refuge. These can be purchased on-line via the ALDS system also, however, you will have to wait for the DFG to mail you’re the actual licenses and passes which can take up to 15 days. If you purchase your license and passes in person at a DFW office or license agent you 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.


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