SoCalHunt San Jacinto Hunting Report 11/4/15

Today SoCalHunt had a plan. There was a part A and a part B. My usual hunting partner headed out to sign up for the sweatline drawing at San Jacinto. I was working a late shift Tuesday night and plan A was for my partner to get on via the sweatline draw and then I would head out as early as I could and join him in the blind. As we all know, as they say, the best laid plans of mice and men often go awry. Plan A didn’t work. My partner made it down for the drawing, despite being held over at his work on Tuesday night and getting virtually no sleep (what a trooper), but, unfortunately the sweatline draw wasn’t kind and he didn’t make it out for the morning shoot.

So, it was plan B. He got us an excellent spot on the refill list and then went out to his truck to sack out and get a little well deserved sleep. He sent me a text letting me know, so I didn’t have to leave as early, since we’d just be waiting for a good blind to check in.

I arrived at San Jacinto about 10 am and my buddy was up at the check station seeing what blinds might be available. The weather was a little chilly and it was partly cloudy with a light breeze building.  Conditions looked much more “ducky” then the clear and hot weather we’ve had at SJ lately.

I deposited my toy donation for the Bryant Park Head Start Preschool and joined my partner at the check station. He related that he had powwowed with Tom at the check station and was holding out for a blind that Tom suggested as a good one for an afternoon hunt. After about an hour and a few minutes that very blind checked in with full limits, consisting mostly of teal. We put our permits down for the refill and headed out to the blind.

When we arrived at the parking area for the blind I rolled out my Ducks & Bucks (newer models are now labeled Cartblind) decoy cart. Today was the first use of a new removable third wheel for the cart that my son had welded up to, hopefully, make it easier to roll the cart out to the pond by eliminating the necessity of supporting some of the cart’s weight on my shoulders. Basically it made the cart sort of a large, very free rolling wheelbarrow. Once at the side of the pond the third wheel is designed to be easily removed so that the cart could, as it was originally designed to, float out to our island blind. It worked like a charm and it was as easy to transport our approximate 100+ pounds of gear from the truck to the pond edge as walking out there with no cargo at all!

Once at our island blind we went to work setting up. My partner went out and set decoys while I set up and arranged our blind. As we did this we saw several birds moving around the area and head a shot or two here and there, already an improvement from my trip last Wednesday.

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Once set up was got down in our blind and waited for the ducks to present themselves. It wasn’t long before a flight of Cinnamon Teal zoomed in and we both opened up on them. One of the diminutive waterfowl tumbled from the sky and hit the water nearby with a large splash. We weren’t sure which one of us had scored the hit on the bird but it really didn’t matter, we called it a team effort. It was clear today was going to be different then my last afternoon trip as ducks were flying all over as we once again hunkered down in the blind.

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We repeated the above team effort, after a couple misses and a couple of looking left when we should have been looking right incidents, and soon had a second Cinnamon in the bag. The little rocket powered Teal had the disconcerting habit of coming in low and fast most of the time and making it very difficult to be ready for a shot before they were by us and on the way out of the pond. The sky, which started out partly cloudy, was now almost solid clouds and we were wondering if we might not get rained on today.

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As the afternoon progressed I began to practice “catch and release” hunting, shooting three holes in the sky and watching the birds fly away. While my partner was able to score on three more birds, two Cinnamons, one a beautiful drake, and a Shoveler hen.

As it got closer to quitting time the clouds seemed to break a little, not much but enough that it looked like we wouldn’t be getting drenched at least.

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As quitting time rolled around we picked up the gear and decoys and headed back to the trucks. A very satisfying hunt in the books, five birds total in the bag, and enough shooting to keep it very interesting today. Potentially we could have probably doubled our take of ducks but, well, you know how that goes some times.

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So, hopefully, SoCalHunt will be back next week for another try, although plans aren’t set in stone yet. Hopefully the birds will fly as good, or better then this hunt and we’ll have another report to share with you on SoCalHunt.

(P.S. – Sorry we don’t have our usual duck strap picture showing our hunt results today. For some unknown reason that picture didn’t come out).

 


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