SoCalHunt San Jacinto Hunting Report 11/22/17

With reservation in hand, SoCalHunt was found, at 0300, in the reservation line at San Jacinto Wildlife Area.  Yes, it was almost at the end of the reservation line with a very high reservation number, but any reservation is better than even number one in the sweatline.   One of my usual hunting buddies met me there to tag along, although he was going to have to bail at about 7 am to make it to work, but that’s still better than not giving it a shot.  One of the advantages he has working near SJ.

Once we were at the check station we picked out spot and we were off to get things set up before legal shooting time.  The blind we picked wasn’t too far a walk and we were set up with about a half hour to spare before start time.

As the sunlight appeared and began to backlight San Jacinto Mountain we awaited the horn which would signal start time.

The horn sounded and so did the shooting throughout the wildlife area.  For us, for the first few minutes, no opportunities presented themselves but shortly some teal rocketed by and both of us executed our perfect catch and release hunting technique blowing holes in the sky and watching the diminutive ducks continue on their way.  The sun continued to brighten the sky and it was becoming easier to see potential targets.

About a half hour after start time two Ring Necks came in high over the blind, but still in range and we each picked the bird on our respective side and opened up on them.  My bird kept going, apparently not impressed with my shooting this morning, however my partner’s duck folded and splashed down about 40 yards out in the pond.  My partner waded out and came back with a nice hen Ring Neck.

We each had a couple more chances and we also let a couple ducks fly by as we just weren’t looking in the right direction as they approached and they got by us before we had a shot.  Finally, as the sun fully cleared the mountains and lit the Bernasconi Hills in morning light it was time for my partner to bug out and head for work.  He collected his gear and his Ring Neck and headed out to work.

I was going to stick it out for a while as I didn’t have to be anywhere today so I was hoping to finally get my season started.  There was still some shooting going on around the area but it had slowed down quite a bit.  As I waited for a duck or two to fly by an unusual little butterfly, no more than about a half inch long, visited the blind.  I’ve never seen a butterfly that small.

I stuck it out until noon but it was not to be today…again…as the only birds that came in range after my partner left was a group of three teal that swung in low over the tules at about 10 feet off the water and right over the blind, almost knocking my hat off.  There were there and gone before I could even pick up the shotgun.

I packed up and headed in to the check station to check out.  While I was there a couple of groups of hunters came in with some pretty good straps, I guess they just didn’t want to be where we were today, although, if I could have hit anything I should have had at least two birds for sure.

Today, although I got skunked, at least my partner was able to collect a bird before he had to leave for work and I did see more birds flying today than I have seen so far this season and I did fire the gun a few times.  I guess you could call that an improvement over not even picking up the shotgun.  The ducks, apparently, just didn’t want to be where I was today.  But, of course, I’ll be back soon to try it again.  Maybe I should bring those shells that actually have shot in them next time.


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