SoCalHunt San Jacinto Hunting Report 1/7/15

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

The weather had done a complete 180 from last Wednesday’s rain/snow and cold temperatures with calm, partly cloudy skies and temperatures predicted to run up to near 80 degrees. With the weather mimicking late October first-week-of-the-season weather I was hoping the birds wouldn’t be acting like they had at the start of the season.

I started out a little later then usual and I was hoping there wouldn’t be too many on the refill list ahead of me. As I drove down Davis Road, right at 10 am, and approached the check station, there appeared to be nearly 20 trucks in the parking lot. I wasn’t real optimistic about getting a good spot and even though there might be a chance of getting shut out if a lot of the morning hunters decided to hold out and stay in their blinds.

I walked into the check station, signed up on the refill list and was surprised to see I was 16th on the list. I looked up at the blind map in the check station and noticed one of my favorites didn’t have a magnet on it. I asked Whitney if that blind was really available and she said it was. I was very surprised to have walked into the check station and immediately walk out with one of the blinds I hoped to get without even having to wait!

I drove out to the parking area, pulled on my waders and drug my Ducks & Bucks cart over the dike and into the water. A short wade took me to the island blind and I was set up and hunting just a little after 11 am. It was another beautiful day at SJ with the ever-changing clouds that are often present there, which do so much to enhance the scenery.

IMG_3096

IMG_3161

IMG_3152

IMG_3172

There was still some snow on the adjacent mountains from last week’s storm.

IMG_3107

I sat back to wait for the ducks to come pouring in and it wasn’t too long until it became apparent that the expected flood of waterfowl might actually end up being a trickle today. As I waited for the ducks I enjoyed the scenery and the variety of other wildlife that always visits the ponds at San Jacinto. There was several hawks in the area today that seemed to be harassing the local coots and ibises. There was also a little ruddy duck that decided to preen herself about 15 feet in front of my blind.

IMG_3134
Hawk (sorry, don’t know the exact species on this one)

IMG_3118
Coots and Ibis

IMG_3147
Ruddy Duck preening

I didn’t see any ducks flying for several hours and the few shots from nearby blinds that I heard while setting up had quit about the time I settled into my blind. Every once in a while a distant shot was heard but it appeared that for some reason the birds had decided to quit flying in my area of the wildlife area. About 3:30 the neighboring blind opened up on something and I turned to look in their direction. I saw a group of 4 teal rocketing towards my blind and I stood up just in time to turn 180 degrees and swing my shotgun at the ducks. I fired a round and one of the teal folded and skipped across the water as it splashed down. As I had to turn 180 to shoot at the birds I was unable to swing any further to try for a double but at least I had a bird down. For me, pretty unusual, dropping a duck with my first shot of the day.

Well, to condense the rest of the story, that was the only ducks that I saw today and the only shot I got. I had a nice drake green wing on the strap and, (which sounds even better), I was 100% today, one shot, one kill.

IMG_3186

Today was very slow hunting, or shooting if you will, but the scenery today was worth the trip by its self, the bird I bagged almost being a bonus in a way. As I once again packed up my gear and headed for the truck the sun set on another beautiful day at San Jacinto. Plans are to try the sweat line again next Wednesday, the last opportunity I’ll have for a morning hunt this season. Maybe I’ll see you there?

IMG_3224

IMG_3204

IMG_3248


Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 197 other followers

Archives


%d bloggers like this: