Archive for April, 2018

DFW Commission Sets 2018/19 Season Regulations

The California Fish and Game Commission, during their April 18 – 19 meeting in Ventura, California, adopted changes to the waterfowl season dates and regulations for the 2018/19 waterfowl season.

Regulations adopted for the Southern California Zone (which will cover San Jacinto Wildlife Area):

Seasons:
Ducks and Geese: October 20, 2018 through January 27, 2019.

Special Youth Hunt Days: February 2 and February 3, 2019. (San Jacinto’s Annual Youth Hunt will be February 2nd, 2019).

Limits:
Ducks: Daily bag limit: 7. Which may consist of 7 mallards, of which only 2 can be female; 2 pintail; 2 canvasback; 2 redheads; 3 scaup.  (Scaup may only be taken November 3rd, 2018 through January 27th, 2019 – so be careful the first two weeks of the season once again).

Geese: Daily bag limit: 23 of which 20 may be white geese and 3 may be dark geese.

Possession Limit Ducks and Geese: Triple the daily bag limit.

Black Brant (Although a “sea goose” I’ll add this because occasionally a few seem to show up at San Jacinto): November 9, 2018 – December 15, 2018.  Daily bag limit: 2 per day.  Possession limit triple the daily bag limit.  (NOTE – Brant were not mentioned in the season regulation changes at the Commission meeting so I’m listing the dates and limits based on last season’s regulations (assuming no change).  Check with the official regulations once they are posted on the DFW website or the printed regulation books when they come out, probably in a couple months but still well before the season).

“Electronic” Spinning wing decoys (AKA – mojos) will be allowed from November 30th until the season ends (statewide) – non-motorized / wind-powered mojos are allowed all season. (NOTE – This was also not mentioned in the season regulation changes at the Commission meeting so I’m listing the dates based on last season’s regulations (again assuming no changes). This has been November 30th for as long as I can remember but check with the official regulations once they are posted on the DFW website or the printed regulation books when they come out, probably in a couple months but still well before the season).

The regulations that most affect San Jacinto hunters are the fact that, once again, scaup cannot be taken the first two weeks of the season. Most other regulations stayed pretty consistent with last season’s regulations.  A good change for this season is the pintail limit being bumped back up to 2 birds again from the 1 bird limit of last season!

So, regulations are set, the bird counts should be coming out sometime in the next few months (hope for the best), and San Jacinto will soon be on the way to being in top shape for the upcoming season.  (Don’t forget to pitch in on the upcoming Blind Brush-Up days if you’re able – Info will be posted here when I receive it).

This above information is provided as a general guide only. Although they haven’t updated it to the newly adopted regulations, when they do in a month or two (still well before the season) please check the California Department of Fish and Wildlife website at:

https://www.wildlife.ca.gov/Regulations

…or printed regulation book (available probably not long after they update their web info at most license agent locations) for official information and/or for regulations in other waterfowl zones in the state.

Hopefully, we’ll get some rain this year and some weather up north to push the bird down to us and we can all look forward to a great season at San Jacinto Wildlife Area.

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Annual Hunter’s Education Class at San Jacinto’s Wildlife Area Well Attended / Light Turnout for the Volunteer Clean-Up Day, But the Job Got Done

Saturday, April 7th San Jacinto Wildlife Area held their Annual Hunter’s Education Class.  Tom Trakes, of San Jacinto Wildlife Area, reported that there were 52 new hunters in attendance to study for and take their Hunter’s Education test.  Their well-earned Hunter’s Education Certificate makes the students eligible to be fully licensed hunters in the State of California.  The class was a mix of youth and adults and they will all be joining us as part of our hunting community.

Valley Wide provided the tables and chairs for the event and the students were provided with a nice lunch of chicken, sandwiches, and chips at the noon break.

The class working hard

Lunch Time!

The Volunteer Clean-Up Day was also held at San Jacinto today and the turnout was pretty light for this event.  Less than 10 volunteers showed up to assist the San Jacinto staff in getting the refuge’s blinds cleaned up from the recently ended waterfowl season. Volunteers met at the check station at 7 am then scattered throughout the wildlife area, plastic bags in hand, to clean up all the spent shell, wads and other miscellaneous trash they could manage to find in and around the blinds.  Besides the usual spent shells and wads there were other things found like flashlights, batteries, a decoy keel with line and weight attached, half a wading pole, and even an old car wheel just to name a few.

 

SoCalHunt was in attendance for the Clean-up day and pitched in with my trusty shell stick to clean up around at least 8 of the area’s blinds today.  It was nice to see that most blinds I hit were in pretty clean condition so the clean-up wasn’t as labor intensive as it has been some other years.  This was a good thing as it allowed the small group of Volunteers to pretty much get the job done despite the light turnout.

 

As always at SJ there were other rewards.  There were a lot of ducks using the wildlife area.  I saw more waterfowl in the first 5 minutes I was there then I saw all last season.

 

And, of course, it isn’t all about ducks at San Jacinto, especially in the offseason, as there were a great variety of other birds utilizing the refuge too.  And, as always, the scenery was outstanding!

There was even a small bonus today as March Air Force Base was having an air show, so we got to see a few of the aircraft flying around the area for that, including a B-2 Stealth Bomber (Sorry didn’t have the camera ready when that one flew by).  I was able to snap a shot of a pair of FA-18 flying over though.

The next volunteer work day will likely be scheduled for some time in June and will be a Blind Brush-up day, to start preparing the blinds for the next waterfowl season in October.  When the date is set SoCalHunt will have it posted here so you can mark the date on your calendar.

 


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