SoCalHunt San Jacinto Hunting Report 10/24/18

Today SoCalHunt kicked off the 2018/19 Waterfowl Season with a solo afternoon refill hunt. With the good bird counts for the opener on Saturday, I figured I would give it a shot hoping for at least a few birds in the air for the afternoon.

I got a later start than I wanted and as I drove up Davis Road towards the Check Station I saw several hunting parties driving in the opposite direction, leaving San Jacinto after their morning hunts.  I figured this was probably a good thing as it meant a lot of hunters were finishing up early.  When I walked up to the Check Station to check in and get my name on the refill list, I ended up about halfway down on the refill list page.  However, it wasn’t as bad as it sounded as many of the hunters ahead of me on the list had already refilled.  This left me 4th on the refill list so I already knew I was going out hunting today, without a doubt.  There were a few blinds available, but I figured I’d wait a little while and see if one of my favorites would check in.  It was only about 10 minutes later that one of them did become available, so I was off to the Wildlife Area to start my 2018/19 season.

As I unloaded my gear from my truck, I looked up to see a group of about 15 White Fronted Geese flying above, although they were way up there, like 500 yards high, but I figured that was a good sign to see them in the air.  When I arrived at my blind I set up and threw out my decoys and settled in to see what would transpire.  It was about 11:30 and I was already set up and hunting.  I scanned the sky hoping to see at least a few birds flying in the area.

The day was hot. I checked the weather app on my phone and it indicated it was in the mid-80s already.  There was just about no breeze, maybe an occasional puff of air was all, and the sun shone brightly in the cloudless skies.  Another typical early season “Blue Bird” day.

Unfortunately, the sky was devoid of waterfowl, although I did hear an occasional shot from a couple of areas way across the Wildlife Area, just not anything near me. While I waited and scanned the skies the usual complement of Coots and other non-targeted marsh critters kept things interesting.  One unusual visitor was a white Praying Mantis climbing up the side of my blind, searching for a meal.  I’d never seen a white one before but I’m not familiar enough with insects to know if that’s a rare thing.

As it turned out the Praying Mantis turned out to be the highlight of the day as not only didn’t I have a duck come into range, I didn’t even see any flying today.  So, as it was last season, it appears that SJ is again going to be a morning hunt only…at least for now.  Maybe if we get some weather things will get better for the refill hunters.  As the sun set, I picked up the decoys and the rest of my gear, including all 25 of my unfired shells, and headed for home.

(These birds in this photo aren’t ducks, just a flock of blackbirds)

I’m going to have to see if I can make a few mornings this season, hopefully the sweatline and/or the reservation draws will be kind to me.  But I’ll still try some afternoons as the season progresses and see if things improve.  Maybe I’ll see you out there some time.


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