Archive for February, 2018

San Jacinto’s 24th Annual Junior Waterfowl Hunt Event a Huge Success, February 3rd, 2018

(Don’t forget to check the photos at the bottom of this page – Click on the picture for a full-sized image)

Before we dive into this report I want to say that there were so many great sponsors and so many that supported the Junior Hunt event with prizes, assistance, and food that if I miss someone please forgive me and know that it wasn’t intentional.

With that out of the way…

SoCalHunt wasn’t able to attend this year’s San Jacinto Wildlife Area’s Junior Waterfowl Hunt Event.  It was an outstanding event and the Junior Hunters in attendance not only had some pretty good waterfowl hunting, beating the per gun average of the adults for most of the season, they also made out with some great prizes at the lunch raffle at mid-day.

Everyone was treated to a nice breakfast of pancakes and sausage with coffee and hot chocolate available also.  A big thanks goes out to Quail Forever who sponsored the breakfast.

Once all the Juniors and their accompanying adults ate their fill they headed out to the Wildlife Area to set up and wait for the starting horn to sound.  The hunting was pretty good this year and some of the Juniors even scored limits this time.  One Junior even downed two Canada Geese!

(In case you missed it you can read the hunt results here…  https://socalhunt.wordpress.com/2018/02/03/hunt-results-for-san-jacinto-wildlife-areas-24th-annual-junior-hunt-saturday-2-3-18/ )

When lunchtime rolled around everyone gathered back at the Check Station workshop for lunch and the raffle.    Lunch was a veritable feast consisting of Pizza (donated by George’s Pizza in Hemet), some amazing tri-tip (donated and cooked up by Paulo Linhardt and Paulo Veronese of Pipe Dream Plumbing), pork-butt sandwiches with special BBQ sauce (provided by D-Boys BBQ), sub sandwiches (provided by the San Jacinto Walmart), and some wonderful cakes provided and decorated by Tom Trakes’ wife and daughter, Cindy and Bonnie. Wow, I’m stuffed just reading this.

This year’s Junior Hunt was dedicated to the memory of Brian Fraser, one of the SJ regulars, that was tragically killed at the Las Vegas mass shooting on October 1st.  The program started off with Junior Hunters Lucas and Trina Rizzotto playing an amazing rendition of the National Anthem on saxophone and trombone.  Pastor Jessie gave the invocation.    After that, the event everyone was waiting for, the raffle was conducted.  There was so much support for this year’s Junior Hunt that all the Junior Hunters received four raffle prizes each!  The prizes ranged from gun cases, decoys, fishing rods, blind bags and other assorted hunting and outdoor gear.  Needless to say, all the junior hunters went away happy.  There were several “Grand Prizes” a pair of shotguns, a rifle (donated by Kyle Tibbits of Turners Outdoors), a layout blind, decoys, a one-year membership to WRSP (Wren’s Ranch Sportsmen’s Park – donated by Matt Johnson) and a plethora of other prizes.  I’m sure all the Juniors went away happy this year.

Jim Matthews of the Outdoor News Service had a special booth set up at the event showing the Juniors how to make their own quail calls and another booth where Dale from Cabaw Decoys made a spinning wing wind decoy for each of the Junior Hunters.  In addition, the California Waterfowl Association gave each Junior Hunter a free membership.

After the raffle, most of the Junior Hunters went back to their blinds to finish out the day hunting.  This year’s there was a special raffle to encourage the Juniors to go back out and finish up the day hunting.  Chaz Prato of Ludas Prato German Shorthair Pointers donated several prizes including a shotgun, layout blind, and decoys, to mentions just a few, and each junior earned points for the birds they brought in.  The prizes were awarded for the points earned.  A big thanks to Chaz for these donations and running this special raffle!

The Junior Hunt was an even more outstanding event than usual this year. As I’ve always said the Juniors are the future of our sport so it is vital to keep them interested and involved in waterfowl hunting.  San Jacinto’s Annual Junior Waterfowl Hunt definitely fills that bill every year.

Tom told me he’d like to thank, as well as I would myself, everyone who donated prizes, food, labor or anything else towards this event.  We all should also thank the San Jacinto crew, Josh, John, Carlos, Aurelio, Ryan, Scott and Lizzy for going the extra mile to help make this event happen we all appreciate all your hard work.  Also, thanks go to our local Game Wardens Rick, April, Dustin, and Walter for helping hand out the prizes at the Junior Hunt event.

Tom also asked me to extend a special thanks to Bob Minor from Bass Pro Shops.  Tom told me that this event might not even happen without Bob’s help and support.  Bass Pro made several donations, assisted with the shotgun raffle prior to the event to raise money for prizes, donated the shotguns for the Junior Hunt raffle (with co-sponsorship on the shotguns by Quail Forever) and sent Bass Pro Shop Pro Staffer Mike Bouman to assist at the event.

Tom also wanted me to give a special thanks to Valleywide Recreation for the tables, chairs, heaters, and griddles to cook the breakfast on.

Tom also wanted me to thank all the Hunters that came out to help cook the breakfast and assist with the event.

Once more, a big thanks to all the sponsors, Evan’s Gun World, Ramona Duck Club, SoCalHunt.com (of course), John Liechty, Mark Bower, Ghulana Yazdan, Wren’s Ranch, Ron Patrick, Taylor Macy, Jim Matthews Signature Calls, John Segoria, Edward Cortez, Gilbert Hernandez, Blue Collar Firearms, 411 Printing, H&H Construction, David Salem Photography, Valleywide Recreation, and Pipedream Plumbing.  (Hope I got them all!)

So, another Junior Waterfowl Hunt is in the books.  Check out the pictures below, which is only a small example of this great event.  Of course, due to space, I couldn’t post every picture but hopefully these will give you a really good idea of how this wonderful event for our Junior Hunters went down.

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San Jacinto Wildlife Area Blind Clean-up Day Set for March 10th, 2018

San Jacinto Wildlife Area Staff would like to invite hunters to participate in a Volunteer Clean Up Day of the Wildlife Area on Saturday, March 10th, 2018.  Volunteers are to gather at the SJ Check Station parking lot at 7 am.

Work will be assigned at the start of the morning.  Afterwards, we will meet at noon at a local Restaurant for a well-deserved lunch.  (Everyone responsible for their own check).

 

Please be prepared for the following:

Trash removal from hunt sites

General clean up of hunt areas

Bring work gloves, sturdy boots, mud boots, covered shoes, waders (All ponds are still holding water)

 

Be sure to bring plenty of bottled water as the weather may be warm. Also, you might want to bring some mosquito repellant.

Direction to the San Jacinto Wildlife Area

From the 215 South freeway,

-Exit Ramona Expressway going east towards Lake Perris, go 7 miles to Davis road, turn left and go up Davis road 2 miles to the Wildlife Headquarters office.

From the 79

-Exit Ramona Expressway going west towards Lake Perris, go to Davis road, turn right and go up Davis road 2 miles to the Wildlife Headquarters office.

Questions?  Contact Tom Trakes (951) 236-3040.

2017/2018 Season Sunrise / Sunset Recap (Plus Some Clouds)

Since the 2017/2018 season is now in the books SoCalHunt’s is, once again, keeping the tradition of posting an article, with photographs, of the sunrises and sunset we’ve had the privilege of witnessing during the hunting season.  This season, due to several reasons I won’t bore you with, I only managed to get out six times two mornings and four afternoons.  This is probably the first time I’ve bought a season pass that didn’t pay off as it takes eight outings before you start saving money over the day passes.  Anyway, this article isn’t about that so…

As traditional at the end of every season, here are the sunrises and sunsets for the season just past, along with the daily clouds we observed during each day.  Although the clouds were a little scarce this season due to the mild weather, there was some, and they were good.  Even though the season was slow the scenery at San Jacinto still makes it worth the visit. I’m sure that most people that hunt San Jacinto will agree that the usual at SJ is spectacular and that includes the cloud conditions at times.  Below, in date order, are the sunrises and sunsets, along with some of the cloud condition photos, on the days we hunted San Jacinto this season.

Presented for your enjoyment:

(Click on the image for a full-sized picture)

10/25/17 Sunset

11/1/17 Sunset (and some of clouds)

11/22/17 Sunrise

12/6/17 Sunset

12/13/17 Sunset

1/27/18 Sunrise (and some clouds)

Wister 2017/2018 Season Long Stats

The conclusion of the 2017/2018 season at the Wister Unit of the Imperial Wildlife Area revealed the following stats for the number of birds taken and the hunter averages.

4976 adult and 411 junior hunters (5387 hunters total) harvested a total of 445 Mallards, 926 Gadwall, 1017 Widgeon, 1229 Pintail, 1621 Green Wing Teal, 1425 Cinnamon Teal, 401 Northern Shovelers, 100 Redheads, 22 Canvasbacks, 135 Ring Necks, 25 Scaup, 145 Bufflehead, 4 Goldeneyes, 6 Wood Ducks, 33 Blue Wing Teal, 13 Mergansers, 1 Black Duck, 1 Whistling Duck, 1 Surf Scooter, and 140 Ruddy Ducks. In addition, there were 2 Canada Geese, 6 Ross’ Geese, 1206 Snow Geese and 2 White Front Geese harvested at Wister this season. 169 Coots were also checked in for the 2017/2018 season. This figured out to a total of 8906 Ducks and Geese or, with the Coots added in, 9075 waterfowl. The per hunter average take for 2017/2018 figured out to 1.65 Ducks and Geese per hunter or, with the Coots included, 1.68 waterfowl per hunter.

In comparison to last season there were 9 fewer adult hunters this season over last and there were 137 fewer junior hunters for a total of 146 fewer hunters accommodated in 2017/2018 season compared to the 2016/2017 season. (This includes the Junior Hunters from the Junior Hunt weekend). As for the birds, I’ll list them with a plus by the number or a minus by the number to indicate how many more or less of each type of bird was bagged this season over last.

There were -71 Mallards, +217 Gadwall, -207 Widgeon, -366 Pintail, -1930 Green Wing Teal, +153 Cinnamon Teal, -1004 Northern Shovelers, +2 Redheads, +12 Canvasbacks, +22 Ring Necks, -21 Scaup, +52 Bufflehead, -44 Goldeneyes, +5 Wood Ducks, -38 Blue Wing Teal, +7 Mergansers, +1 Whistling Duck (0 last season), +1 Surf Scooter (0 last season), +1 Black Duck (0 last season), and -77 Ruddy Ducks.

As for the Geese numbers, there were 0 Aleutian Geese (0 last season also), -6 Cackling Goose (0 this season), -19 Canada Geese, +2 Ross’ Geese, +702 Snow Geese and -18 White Front Geese.

There was also +33 Coots bagged this season. This was a total of -2629 Ducks and Geese taken and, with the Coots included, -2596 waterfowl taken this season compared to last season. The per hunter averages were -0.43 Ducks and Geese or, with the Coots included, -0.43 waterfowl this season over last season.

As you can see, as it was last season also, this shows a drop in almost all categories, with the bag of most birds down, some substantially, with just slightly fewer hunters this season compared to last also.  Hopefully, we’ll get some weather up north early next season to drive the birds south.  I’m sure, due to the overall poor season in Southern California, many birds survived that normally would not have which hopefully will result in a larger breeding population this year and in more birds migrating down next season.

 

Hunt Results for the Wister Unit of the Imperial Wildlife Area Junior Hunt Weekend, Saturday – 2/3/17, Sunday – 2/4/17

This year’s Junior Waterfowl Hunt at the Wister Unit of the Imperial Wildlife Area resulted in pretty good numbers for each of the Junior Hunters on Saturday. Snow Geese were the most numerous bird bagged with Green Wing Teal coming up in the second spot. The Wister Staff reported that the waterfowl take for the Junior Hunt on Saturday, 2/3/18, was as follows:

64 Junior Hunters checked in with 6 Mallards, 12 Gadwall, 8 Widgeon, 20 Pintail, 22 Green Wing Teal, 21 Cinnamon Teal, 9 Northern Shovelers, 1 Redhead, and 1 Blue Wing Teal. In addition, 38 Snow Geese were harvested by the Junior Hunters on Saturday. The Juniors didn’t check in any Coots on Saturday. This worked out to an average of 1.56 ducks per Junior Hunter or, with the Geese added in, 2.20 waterfowl per Junior Hunter. Out of 100 reservations issued, 20 showed up on time for their hunting spot.

The average take of waterfowl for Sunday, the second day of the Junior Hunt weekend, at the Wister Unit of the Imperial Wildlife Area, not unexpectedly, plummeted into the “poor numbers” compared to Saturday’s good shoot.  Mallards and Gadwalls came in tied for first spot for numbers harvested with Snow Geese, Widgeon, Shovelers and Ruddy Ducks all tied for the second position. The Wister Staff reported the waterfowl take for the Junior Hunt on Sunday, 2/4/18 were as follows:

20 Junior Hunters checked in with 3 Mallards, 3 Gadwall, 2 Pintail, 1 Green Wing Teal, 1 Cinnamon Teal, 2 Northern Shovelers and 2 Ruddy Ducks. There were also 2 Snow Geese taken at the Junior Hunt on Sunday. 2 Coots were also brought into the check station by the Juniors on Sunday. This figured out to an average of 0.70 ducks per Junior Hunter or, with the Geese and Coots included, 0.90 waterfowl per Junior Hunter. Out of 100 reservations issued, only 9 arrived on time for their spot.

So, that’s it for the 2017/2018 Waterfowl Season at the Wister Unit of the Imperial Wildlife Area. Another great season in the books and preparations will soon be underway for next season. Hope to see you out there.

 

San Jacinto Wildlife Area 2017/2018 Season Long Stats

The end of the 2017/2018 waterfowl season at San Jacinto Wildlife Area showed some interesting stats for the number of birds harvested and the per hunter averages.

3772 adult and 331 junior hunters (4130 hunters total) harvested a total of 1038 Northern Shovelers, 260 Mallards, 672 Gadwall, 539 Widgeon, 171 Pintail, 1251 Green Wing Teal, 1290 Cinnamon Teal, 118 Redheads, 14 Canvasbacks, 171 Ring Necks, 51 Scaup, 193 Bufflehead, 3 Goldeneye, 7 Wood Ducks, 2 Blue Wing Teal, 4 Mergansers, and 326 Ruddy Ducks. There were also 2 ducks listed as “other”.  There were also 1 Aleutian Goose, 1 Cackling Goose, 7 Canada Geese, 9 Snow Geese, and 5 White Front Geese taken on the wildlife area this season. 495 Coots were also taken for the 2017/2018 season. This worked out to a total of 6359 Ducks and Geese or, with the Coots included, 6854 waterfowl. The per gun average take for 2017/2018 season came out to 1.55 Ducks and Geese per hunter or, with the Coots added in, 1.67 waterfowl per hunter.

In comparison to last season there were 201 more adult hunters this season over last and there were 18 fewer junior hunters for a total of 183 more hunters accommodated in 2017/2018 season compared to the 2016/2017 season. (This includes the Junior Hunters from the Junior Hunt). As for the birds, I’ll list them with a plus by the number or a minus by the number to indicate how many more or less of each type of bird was bagged this season over last.

There were -399 Northern Shovelers, -15 Mallards, -5 Gadwall, +99 Widgeon, +55 Pintail, -596 Green Wing Teal, +680 Cinnamon Teal, -2 Redheads, -10 Canvasbacks, +159 Ring Necks, +8 Scaup, +35 Bufflehead, -9 Goldeneye, +3 Wood Ducks, -3 Blue Wing Teal, -8 Mergansers, and -107 Ruddy Ducks.

For the Geese numbers there were -9 Aleutian Geese, -1 Cackling Goose (0 this season), +3 Canada Geese, -1 Ross’ Goose (0 this season), +9 Snow Geese (0 last season), and +5 White Front Goose (0 last season).

There were also +12 coots taken this season. This was a total of -157 Ducks and Geese taken and, with the Coots included, -167 waterfowl taken this season compared to last season. The per hunter averages were -0.12 Ducks and Geese or, with the Coots included, -0.12 waterfowl this season over last season.

As happened last season, this shows a drop in almost every category, with the bag of most birds down, some substantially, however there were slightly more hunters this season also. Hopefully, we’ll get some rain to fill Mystic Lake (fingers crossed) and get some weather up north early in the season to drive the birds down here.  That, coupled with what should be an increased breeding population up north, (since a lot of birds never migrated down here for us to shoot), hopefully will be the formula for the numbers to rebound for the 2018/2019 season.

Hunt Results for San Jacinto Wildlife Area’s 24th Annual Junior Hunt, Saturday – 2/3/18

San Jacinto Wildlife Area’s 24th Annual Junior Waterfowl Hunt on Saturday, February 3rd, resulted in a good average bag for each of the Junior Hunters in attendance. The Juniors managed to beat the per gun average for most of the regular hunt days during the season.  Green Wing Teal were the number one bird checked in by the Junior Hunters with Cinnamon Teal coming in the second. Tom Trakes, from San Jacinto Wildlife Area, reported that the waterfowl harvest for the Junior Hunt on Saturday, 2/3/18, was as follows:

79 junior hunters checked in with 21 Northern Shovelers, 9 Mallards, 13 Gadwall, 2 Widgeon, 58 Green Wing Teal, 41 Cinnamon Teal, 1 Redhead, 1 Scaup, 5 Bufflehead, and 3 Ruddy Ducks. The Juniors also managed to harvest 2 Canada Geese at the Junior Hunt on Saturday. There were no Coots brought in to the check station on Saturday. This worked out to an average of 1.95 ducks per Junior Hunter or, with the Geese added in, 1.97 waterfowl per Junior Hunter. Tom advised that out of 52 reservations issued 20 showed up on time for their spot.

Since SoCalHunt couldn’t attend the Junior Hunt this year I’ll be posting a report on the breakfast, lunch and raffle as soon as Tom gets me the info on that.  As always, I’m sure it was a great event with lots of prizes and food for all that attended.  As soon as I have the info I’ll post it here.


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