Archive for December, 2014

SoCalHunt San Jacinto Hunting Report 12/31/14

After last week’s total skunk, not even seeing a duck, SoCalHunt was back at San Jacinto Wildlife Area to, hopefully, make an improvement on that last dismal (duck wise) hunting trip. I was in attendance today with both my usual hunting partners taking our chances on the sweat line again.

The weather had been rain on and off on Tuesday and when I got up around 12:45 to head out to pick up one of my hunting partners the wind was blowing pretty good but the streets were mostly dry. Our other hunting partner would meet us at SJ, as he was coming from the other direction, and since he could only hunt the morning he would have to leave before we would want to. As we drove down Ramona Expressway towards Davis Road we were met with gusty winds and a light snow hitting the windshield.

As I mentioned before one in our party could only hunt a short time in the morning so we were all crossing our fingers more then usual when we signed up on the sweat line list. At 3:30 the list went in and a few minutes later came back…38th on the sweat line. Well, one of us wouldn’t be hunting today and we all took off for an early breakfast. We waited around until all the blinds were taken and then signed up on the refill list so we could come back and get a blind later in the morning.

Usually we’d wait a short time and then hit Harry’s Café when they opened but today we left right away, in the other direction, towards Hemet, to partake at Denny’s since our buddy had to head off to work nearby. After breakfast our friend headed to work and we drove back to San Jacinto as the cloudy skies began to clear with the wind.

Once back at SJ we sacked out in the truck for a couple hours. A short time later, as we noticed a few morning hunters begin to trickle in, we walked up to the check station to wait for a good blind to come in. We waited around for a while and around 11 AM decided to take a blind that was in the middle of the wildlife area but had produced good in the past.

As we walked out to our blind my partner and I noticed a drake shoveler sitting on our pond near the blind. My partner quickly uncased his gun and loaded up just in time, and just in range to drop the young drake spoony. Not bad, just arriving at the blind and we already have a bird on the strap.

We unloaded our Ducks & Bucks cart and my partner and I went about setting decoys and setting up our blind. The wind was blowing about 15 to 20 and we had hopes that this would keep the birds moving today. Once set up, we settled in to wait for the birds.

It was another beautiful day with the blustery day blowing the clouds around as the skies cleared from last night’s storm.

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The surrounding mountains held snow from last night’s storm.

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A short time later a flight of several shovelers curved into the pond and over our blind. We both did another perfect “catch and release” of the ducks, blowing holes in the sky but not touching a feather, apparently. We repeated this a couple times with groups of both spoonies and teal. Long about 2 PM a group of 7 shovelers circled the pond and sat down just out of range outside our decoys. The birds appeared to be swimming in our direction, slowly, so we hunkered down, hoping they would swim into range. After about 20 minutes a flight of several teal came straight at our blind and being they were well within range we opened up on them. The little ducks scattered but nothing dropped from the group and the shovelers nearby in the pond exited stage right.

Maybe 20 minutes later a lone teal headed towards our blind and as I stood to shoot he pulled up like a missile, headed for the stratosphere. I fired and was able to knock him down with the third shot. He helicoptered down and on splashdown began to swim for the tules. I quickly loaded another shell and was able to stop his dash for the tules with one more shot. My partner ran out and quickly retrieved the bird. A nice drake green wing teal.

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We had a few more groups of birds and a couple singles fly by but they were either out of range or we didn’t see them in time and about 3:30 PM or a little after it seemed that the birds quit flying. We decided, since it was still pretty cold, that we would start to pick up but we’d keep the shotguns handy just in case. From our blind we could see 4 of the parking areas in that end of the wildlife area and it appeared that most of the hunters had left already, maybe wanting to get home early to prepare for New Year’s Eve activities. We figured that this would mean that there wouldn’t be enough activity to keep the birds moving and, apparently, we were right. We didn’t see any more ducks flying in our area while we picked up.

So, as the sun set we headed back to the truck a little early and headed for home.

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Well, 2 birds in the bag is better then a sharp stick in the eye and we did have a few opportunities, even though we didn’t connect on them. All in all a pretty enjoyable day, albeit a little cold today. Better then sweating it out in 80-degree weather in my opinion anyway. Hopefully I’ll be back next week for a refill. We’ll see how it goes. By the way – Happy New Year to all!

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Hunt Results for San Jacinto Wildlife Area, Wednesday – 12/31/14

The per hunter duck average at San Jacinto Wildlife Area slid back slightly on Wednesday over Saturday’s average on a New Year’s Eve day with cold, near freezing, temperatures clearing skies and gusty winds. Green Wing Teal and Shoverles swapped places again for most birds taken with Shovelers taking back first place and Green Wing Teal slipping back to second position today. Tom Trakes, from San Jacinto Wildlife Area, reported that the results for Wednesday, 12/31/14 were as follows:

145 adult and 6 junior hunters bagged 133 Northern Shovelers, 37 Gadwall, 7 Widgeon, 95 Green Wing Teal, 4 Mallards, 6 Pintail, 2 Ring Necks, 4 Redheads, 3 Canvasback, 1 Scaup, 16 Bufflehead, 11 Cinnamon Teal, 1 Goldeneye, 1 Merganser, and 26 Ruddy Ducks. There was a lone Canada Goose taken at San Jacinto on Wednesday. 7 coots were bagged at San Jacinto on Wednesday. This worked out to an average take of 2.30 ducks per hunter, or, with the goose and coots add in, 2.35 waterfowl per hunter. Tom advised that out of 52 reservations 25 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.

Hunt Results for San Jacinto Wildlife Area, Saturday – 12/27/14

The per hunter duck average at San Jacinto Wildlife Area went up on Saturday over Wednesday’s average on a blustery day with cool temperatures. Green Wing Teal retained first place for number of birds taken with Shovelers staying in second position today. Tom Trakes, from San Jacinto Wildlife Area, reported that the results for Saturday, 12/27/14 were as follows:

136 adult and 11 junior hunters bagged 129 Northern Shovelers, 45 Gadwall, 12 Widgeon, 134 Green Wing Teal, 5 Mallards, 3 Pintail, 1 Ring Neck, 1 Redhead, 1 Canvasback, 1 Scaup, 13 Bufflehead, 5 Cinnamon Teal, and 17 Ruddy Ducks. There were no geese taken at San Jacinto on Saturday. 4 coots were checked in at San Jacinto on Saturday. This worked out to an average take of 2.50 ducks per hunter, or, with the coots add in, 2.53 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.

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 12/24/14

After a longer break between hunts then planned, SoCalHunt was back to San Jacinto Wildlife Area for a refill hunt, with the caveat that I had to leave early to make it home for Christmas Eve events. I had to work last night so I couldn’t make it for the sweat line draw. Being that I had to be home earlier then normal it would only leave me 4 or 5 hours of hunting, but, that’s 4 or 5 more hours of hunting then I’d get staying home.

I was anxious to get back at it. Two weeks ago I had to work an extra shift so I couldn’t hunt that week, then, last week, I was on the way for a sweat line try when I got caught in the mudslide on the 91 freeway. (You may have seen that on the news or read about it). Fortunately there was no injuries to me or damage to my truck but because of the slide I was delayed and didn’t make the draw and figured, due to the torrential rain, someone was telling me to skip it. An early steak and egg breakfast at Norm’s was the bright spot last week.

Anyway, today I woke pretty early because I figured I’d have to get there pretty early to get low enough on the refill list to get a spot before I wouldn’t have enough hunt time left to make it worth going out. I figured it would probably be a slow hunt as mid-day isn’t the best time but as I always say, you can’t kill them sitting on the couch.

I arrived just after 7 AM and was pleased to see only 4 or 5 trucks in the check station lot. When I went into the check station to sign up I was happy to see I was up near the top of the list. I figured that it was probably a case of not many people being able to stay for an afternoon hunt due to Christmas Eve activities. So, the wait for a hunting spot began.

Not many hunters checked in early though and the wait lasted longer that I would have liked. A couple good straps were brought in to the check station but those blinds were snapped up by people ahead of me on the refill list. Most hunters checking in only had a couple birds, and some had nothing to show for their efforts. Since I’d had to pack up about 2 PM, when 10:15 AM rolled around it was time to either call it a day and head for home or pick one of the not so good blinds that were opened and give it a try. I chose to do the latter.

I picked my spot and after Shane checked my license and season pass I was on the way to my hunting spot. Once I got out to the blind, got the decoys placed and set up the blind it was 11 AM, leaving me about 3 hours to hunt. I, of course, got my camera out and began to take some pictures as, if nothing else, it was a beautiful day with interesting, and constantly changing, cloud formations.

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As I waited for a duck or two to fly by there was several “visitors” to the pond, as there usually is. There were a couple of hawks, and, as usual, a large assortment of coots, ruddy ducks and a few grebes.

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Ruddy Duck

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Eared Grebe

Well, to make a long story short there wasn’t a duck in the area today. At least while I was there. I didn’t see one duck, not counting the ruddy ducks (which if you don’t know are an undesirable species and most hunters won’t take these – which is probably why they’re so numerous). Hence when 2 PM rolled around I packed up my gear and headed for home without even shouldering the shotgun. An unsuccessful hunt, if you only go by waterfowl taken, but, in my opinion still a success as it was a peaceful day out on the marsh with some nice pictures to show for it nevertheless.

The plan for next week is to try the sweat line draw again. Hopefully we’ll have a little more luck, duck-wise, but good or bad, baring anything unforeseen we’ll be there.

Hunt Results for San Jacinto Wildlife Area, Wednesday – 12/24/14

The average bag of ducks at San Jacinto Wildlife Area ticked up slightly on this Christmas eve Wednesday over Saturday’s average on a partly cloudy, calm day with mild temperatures. Shovelers and Green Wing Teal swapped spots for most birds taken with Green Wings moving into first place and Shovelers sliding back to second position today. Tom Trakes, from San Jacinto Wildlife Area, reported that the results for Wednseday, 12/24/14 were as follows:

119 adult and 13 junior hunters bagged 73 Northern Shovelers, 17 Gadwall, 4 Widgeon, 96 Green Wing Teal, 3 Mallards, 5 Pintail, 2 Ring Necks, 4 Redhead, 1 Canvasback, 10 Bufflehead, 5 Cinnamon Teal, and 12 Ruddy Ducks. Again no geese were bagged at San Jacinto on Wednesday. There were 3 coots checked in at San Jacinto on Wednesday. This worked out to an average take of 1.76 ducks per hunter, or, with the coots add in, 1.78 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.

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 – 12/20/14

The per hunter average take of ducks at San Jacinto Wildlife Area dropped back a bit on Saturday over Wednesday’s average on a partly cloudy day with cool temperatures. As with the past couple hunt days Shovelers stayed in the number one spot for most birds bagged with Green Wing Teal once again in the second position today. Tom Trakes, from San Jacinto Wildlife Area, reported that the results for Saturday, 12/20/14 were as follows:

146 adult and 8 junior hunters bagged 105 Northern Shovelers, 21 Gadwall, 7 Widgeon, 76 Green Wing Teal, 1 Mallard, 7 Pintail, 1 Blue Wing Teal, 1 Scaup, 1 Ring Neck, 1 Redhead, 7 Bufflehead, 5 Cinnamon Teal, and 10 Ruddy Ducks. Once again there were no geese harvested at San Jacinto on Saturday. For the first time in my memory there were no coots taken at San Jacinto on Saturday. This worked out to an average take of 1.58 ducks per hunter, or, since there were no geese or coots to add in, it was also 1.58 waterfowl per hunter. Tom advised that out of 52 reservations 39 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.

Hunt Results for San Jacinto Wildlife Area, Wednesday – 12/17/14

The average bag of ducks at San Jacinto Wildlife Area crept up a bit again on Wednesday over Saturday’s average on a rainy day with cold temperatures and clearing skies in the afternoon. Shovelers retained the number one spot for most numerous bird taken and Green Wing Teal held on to second position again today. Tom Trakes, from San Jacinto Wildlife Area, reported that the results for Wednesday, 12/17/14 were as follows:

119 adult and 7 junior hunters bagged 125 Northern Shovelers, 22 Gadwall, 4 Widgeon, 59 Green Wing Teal, 3 Mallards, 1 Pintail, 2 Redheads, 3 Bufflehead, 9 Cinnamon Teal, 1 Goldeneye and 12 Ruddy Ducks. No geese were harvested at San Jacinto on Wednesday. There were 8 coots taken on Wednesday. This worked out to an average take of 1.91 ducks per hunter, or, adding in the coots, 1.98 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.

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 – 12/13/14

The average take of ducks at San Jacinto Wildlife Area rose just slightly on Saturday over Wednesday’s average on a day with mild temperatures and clear skies. Shovelers were once again the most numerous bird taken and Green Wing Teal held the second position again today. Tom Trakes, from San Jacinto Wildlife Area, reported that the results for Saturday, 12/13/14 were as follows:

142 adult and 21 junior hunters bagged 123 Northern Shovelers, 9 Gadwall, 6 Widgeon, 81 Green Wing Teal, 2 Mallards, 1 Canvasbacks, 14 Bufflehead, 4 Cinnamon Teal and 13 Ruddy Ducks. Again no geese brought down at San Jacinto on Saturday. 7 coots were bagged on Saturday. This worked out to an average take of 1.55 ducks per hunter, or, adding in the coots, 1.60 waterfowl per hunter. Tom advised that out of 52 reservations 27 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. There’s only one more hunt day to contribute! 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 – 12/10/14

San Jacinto Wildlife Area’s duck per hunter average ticked up just slightly on Wednesday over Saturday’s average on a day with mild temperatures and cloudy skies. Shovelers again were the number one bird taken with Green Wing Teal climbing back into the second position today. Tom Trakes, from San Jacinto Wildlife Area, reported that the results for Wednesday, 12/10/14 were as follows:

110 adult and 1 junior hunters bagged 53 Northern Shovelers, 17 Gadwall, 12 Widgeon, 26 Green Wing Teal, 2 Mallards, 1 Pintail, 3 Redheads, 3 Ring Necks, 2 Canvasbacks, 2 Scaup, 12 Bufflehead, 6 Cinnamon Teal, 6 Ruddy Ducks and 1 duck listed as “other”. There were no geese taken at San Jacinto on Wednesday. 4 coots were also brought in to the check station on Wednesday. This worked out to an average take of 1.31 ducks per hunter, or, adding in the coots, 1.34 waterfowl per hunter. Tom advised that out of 52 reservations 25 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. There are only two more hunt days to contribute! 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 – 12/6/14

The average take of ducks at San Jacinto Wildlife Area rose slightly to just over a bird per person on Saturday compared to Wednesday’s season low average on a day with cool temperatures and mostly clear skies. Shovelers took the number one spot again for number of birds takes with Widgeon taking over the second spot today. Tom Trakes, from San Jacinto Wildlife Area, reported that the results for Saturday, 12/6/14 were as follows:

137 adult and 14 junior hunters bagged 84 Northern Shovelers, 20 Gadwall, 24 Widgeon, 21 Green Wing Teal, 2 Mallards, 2 Pintail, 3 Redheads, 3 Ring Necks, 3 Scaup, 5 Bufflehead, 1 Goldeneye and 12 Ruddy Ducks. No geese were bagged at San Jacinto on Saturday. There were also 5 coots checked in on Saturday. This figured out to an average take of 1.19 ducks per hunter, or, adding in the coots, 1.23 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.

Hunt Results for San Jacinto Wildlife Area, Wednesday – 12/3/14

The per hunter average number of ducks taken at San Jacinto Wildlife Area dropped again to less then a bird per person on Wednesday compared to Saturday’s near bird and a half average on a day with cold temperatures and off and on rain most of the day. Shovelers, once again, took the number one spot for number of birds bagged with Gadwalls taking second spot today. Tom Trakes, from San Jacinto Wildlife Area, reported that the results for Wednesday, 12/3/14 were as follows:

146 adult and 2 junior hunters bagged 59 Northern Shovelers, 3 Cinnamon Teal, 23 Gadwall, 12 Widgeon, 11 Green Wing Teal, 5 Mallards, 3 Pintail, 6 Redheads, 3 Ring Necks, 2 Bufflehead, 1 Blue Wing Teal and 3 Ruddy Ducks. 2 Honkers were taken at San Jacinto on Wednesday. In addition 8 coots were also checked in on Wednesday. This figured out to an average take of 0.89 ducks per hunter, or, adding in the geese and coots, 0.95 waterfowl per hunter. Tom advised that out of 52 reservations 25 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 12/3/14

Today, once again, SoCalHunt headed back to San Jacinto Wildlife Area to try our luck at the sweat line computer. This morning I had my usual hunting partner along for what, hopefully, would be his first hunt of the season.

We had high hopes of a good hunt, as there had finally been some weather, it having been raining pretty good since yesterday. When we arrived it was raining lightly off and on and the skies appeared very dark, promising more rain to come for the day. Two weeks ago SJ had a great average take per hunter with over 4 birds per hunter being taken. Those numbers had been falling in the subsequent hunts since then but we had hopes that the weather meant some new migrants from up north had arrived.

We penned our names to the sweat line list and waited for 3:30 to roll around to see what the results would be. It looked like a lot of the reservation holders had come out today so it was important to get a low draw on the sweat line list. Shane took the list inside at precisely 3:30 and a couple minutes later was posting the results of the random computer drawing on the check station window. Number 8! We where good to go for a morning spot.

When our turn came at the check station desk we opted to take a blind, well, maybe in this case I should say a pond, which neither of us had hunted before. This pond was one of a very few at San Jacinto that doesn’t have a set blind and hunters that take it can hunt in a variety of spots within that pond. We had heard that some hunters had done well here in the last few weeks and figured we’d give it a try. We jumped in our truck and slowly drove down the slippery, muddy road to the hunting area.

We unloaded our gear and guns and began the trek to our hunting spot. We walked down the dike slipping and sliding in the mud as it caked up on the wheels of our decoy cart. This pond has a very high dike around it so once down inside the dike you are kind of isolated from other hunters in the vicinity. Once we got near the area we were going to hunt we concluded that it would be nearly impossible, due to the high dike on this pond and the slippery mud, to get the loaded cart down to our actual hunting spot. We pulled our gear out of the cart, left it on top of the dike covering it with a camo cover, and then proceeded to slip and slide and fall on our butts a couple times transporting the stuff to our “blind”.

We decided to use a large bush on the shoreline as our blind and my partner proceeded to set out the decoys as I set up the “blind”. It was about 20 minutes to start time when we were finally ready to go.

At 6:04 we heard the SJ start horn and it was game on. At least it was supposed to be. It was still very dark, due to the rain clouds, and we didn’t hear the first shot until about a minute or so after the start horn. At first there were only a few shots heard but more hunters started firing in the next few minutes. It was, however, a very slow rate of fire compared to most other start times we’ve experienced. In our pond it was really slow, as we didn’t see any ducks to shoot at for several minutes. We had a few teal zip in low that didn’t even give us a chance to shoulder our guns before they were gone and a couple flights of ruddies, doing their best to imitate the teal, swing by too but we didn’t even try for them.

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About a half hour after start time a hen shoveler came dropping out of the sky, landing gear down and wing cupped right in front of my partner. He was able to knock the bird down and collect his first duck of the season. Not long after that we had a couple more teal swing by low and I managed to get a shot off at one of the flights leaving the pond but to no effect. Maybe a half hour after my partner collected his spoony another one came over at extreme range and I tried a shot. I’ll admit that this bird was probably just outside of what I usually consider in range, which I realized after I shot, but perhaps I misjudged because of the dark cloudy skies. We all blow it once in a while I guess, even with the best of intentions.

A short while later another shoveler hen dropped in towards the decoys. I fired at the bird three times, hitting it with my final shot. My buddy also shot at the bird as I fired my third shot and she sailed over the dike behind us, obviously hit. My partner, being closer, jumped up to try to find the bird, coming back with it in short order. Even though she looked like she might be a swimmer by the way she went down he reported she was dead on the water when he found her. My partner said he though I had shot the duck even though he had fired about the same time as my third shot but that really doesn’t matter, we’ll call that one a team effort.

Not long after that the clouds began to clear a little and patches of blue shown through. We were treated to a nice rainbow and hoped that it would herald a “pot of gold” for us duck-wise. Well, it was a nice though but was not to be. The shooting on the wildlife area slowed down substantially to almost nothing and only an occasional bird was seen flying out of range. I had one more opportunity as a little hen bufflehead landed at the far end of our decoy spread. She was initially out of range but, after a few minutes, decided to leave and flew towards our blind. As she crossed in front of the blind I tried a shot but I was a little behind her and she escaped clean. So, after waiting around a while longer to see if things would pick back up we decided to call it a day, especially knowing that we had a lot of mud to clean up and a complete takedown, cleaning and lubricating of the shotguns to prevent them rusting due to the rain.

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So we picked up our decoy and gear, collected our two ducks, and bid good by to San Jacinto again planning to be back soon to give it another try. Maybe we’ll see you there next time.

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