Archive for January, 2019

Follow Up – Notes on Kern National Wildlife Refuge and the Shutdown

Now that the Government Shutdown is over, at least temporally, SoCalHunt has again reached out to the Kern National Wildlife Refuge regarding the publication of the hunt results since the shutdown went into effect.

We, as hunters, should be thankful that the hunting program at Kern NWR was allowed to continue despite the shutdown.

As you probably know, even though hunting continued, SoCalHunt didn’t receive any hunt results from Kern.  So far, since the shutdown ended, SoCalHunt hasn’t received any hunt result information from Kern from the point the shutdown started until the end of the season.  This is understandable since the season is over (except for the Junior Hunt day coming up this Saturday) it is not a priority to publish this information.  There are plenty of habitat management priorities to get up and running before the Kern Staff gets to this.  SoCalHunt did contact a member of the Kern Staff and was assured that they would publish this information after other priorities are taken care of.

This is the latest info SoCalHunt has from Kern NWR regarding the end of the Government Shutdown.  As soon as SoCalHunt gets Kern’s hunt results info you can be assured, it will be posted here ASAP.

Again, thanks for your patience regarding the missing info during the shutdown.  I’m sure the Kern NWR Staff appreciates your patience also.

 

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Hunt Results for the Wister Unit of the Imperial Wildlife Area, Sunday – 1/27/19

The waterfowl averages for the Wister Unit of the Imperial Wildlife Area took a downturn, as is usual for a Sunday, compared to Saturday’s averages.  Pintail popped up in the first position for number of birds taken and Shovelers held on to the second position.  The Wister Staff reported that the results for Sunday, 1/27/19 were as follows:

91 adult and 7 junior hunters checked in with 33 Shovelers, 1 Mallards, 4 Gadwall, 12 Widgeon, 36 Pintail, 30 Green Wing Teal, 19 Cinnamon Teal, 3 Redheads, 1 Ring Neck, and 4 Ruddy Ducks.  There were 2 Snow Geese and 7 Coots taken at Wister on Sunday.  This worked out to an average bag of 1.46 ducks per hunter or, with the Geese and Coots included in the figures, 1.55 waterfowl per gun. Out of 105 reservation cards issued only 19 showed up in time to claim their hunting spot.

So, the 2018/2019 regular waterfowl season is in the books. Junior hunters have two more chances at the ducks at Wister, next weekend, February 2nd and 3rd.  If you’re a junior hunter or you have a junior hunter in the family you can get in on the Junior Waterfowl hunt, next Saturday and Sunday, 2/2 & 2/3/19. If your junior hunter doesn’t have a reservation for the Junior Hunt weekend he or she can still get in on the sweatline drawing, just like any regular hunt day, by showing up at Wister to get in on the drawing by 10:30 PM the night before. Reservation spots are given out starting at 3 AM and the “sweat line” spots given out after that. For more information, contact the staff at Wister Staff at 760-359-0577.

 

Hunt Results for the Wister Unit of the Imperial Wildlife Area, Saturday – 1/26/19

The waterfowl averages for the Wister Unit of the Imperial Wildlife Area headed further upward compared to Wednesday’s averages.  Green Wing Teal appeared in the first position for number of birds bagged and Shovelers slid back into the second position.  The Wister Staff reported that the results for Saturday, 1/26/19 were as follows:

226 adult and 9 junior hunters checked in with 165 Shovelers, 11 Mallards, 85 Gadwall, 37 Widgeon, 149 Pintail, 185 Green Wing Teal, 108 Cinnamon Teal, 8 Redheads, 8 Ring Necks, 2 Scaup, 10 Bufflehead, 10 Blue Wing Teal, and 7 Ruddy Ducks.  Once again, there were no Geese or Coots taken at Wister on Saturday.  This worked out to an average bag of 3.34 ducks per person and, of course, with no Geese or Coots to include in the figures, 3.34 waterfowl per gun. Out of 105 reservation cards issued 39 showed up in time to claim their hunting spot.

Wister is open for waterfowl hunting on Wednesdays, Saturdays, and Sundays only.  At this point in the season it is now too late to put in for reservations on-line through the DFW Automated License Data System (ALDS).   You can still get in on the daily “sweat line” drawing for the remaining blinds by arriving at Wister to get in on the drawing by 10:30 PM the night before. Reservation spots are given out starting at 3 AM and the “sweat line” spots given out after that.

Don’t forget that all licenses and 1 day, 2 day or season passes must be purchased at a DFW Office or a license agent before your arrival at the refuge.  These can be purchased online via the ALDS system also, however, you will have to wait for the DFG to mail you’re the actual licenses and passes which can take up to 15 days.  If you purchase your license and passes in person at a DFW office or license agent, you immediately get them without the wait for the mail.  No licenses or passes will be sold at the check stations this season.  You can also show up for an afternoon refill hunt, but the last refill is at 2 PM. For more information, contact the staff at Wister Staff at 760-359-0577

Hunt Results for San Jacinto Wildlife Area, Saturday – 1/26/19

The average waterfowl take at the San Jacinto Wildlife Area slipped back a little as compared to Wednesday’s averages under partly cloudy skies with temperatures that climbed into the mid-70’s.  Shovelers held on to the number one spot for number of birds taken with Gadwall taking over the second spot.  Tom Trakes, from San Jacinto Wildlife Area, reported that the results for Saturday, 1/26/19 were as follows:

136 adult and 17 junior hunters bagged 77 Shovelers, 10 Mallards, 39 Gadwall, 7 Widgeon, 5 Pintail, 35 Green Wing Teal, 24 Cinnamon Teal, 5 Bufflehead, and 15 Ruddy Ducks. Again, no Geese were bagged at San Jacinto on Saturday.  23 Coots were checked in at San Jacinto on Saturday.  This worked out to an average harvest of 1.42 ducks per gun or, with the Coots included, 1.57 waterfowl for each person. Out of 52 reservation cards issued 28 arrived on time to claim their spot.

Well, that’s it for the 2018/2019 regular waterfowl season. Junior hunters have one more chance at those elusive waterfowl, next Saturday, February 2nd.  If you’re a junior hunter or you have a junior hunter in the family, here’s hoping you’ll take advantage of San Jacinto’s Annual Junior Waterfowl hunt, next Saturday, 2/2/19. Here’s hoping the Juniors have a great hunt!  If your junior hunter doesn’t have a reservation for the Junior Hunt he or she can still get in on the sweatline drawing, just like any regular hunt day, by showing up at SJ at 3 AM to get their name in on the sweatline drawing.  For more information, contact the staff at San Jacinto at 951-928-0580.

2019 California Game Warden Stamp Now Available

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife announces the 2019 edition of the Warden Stamp is now available.  As we all should know by now the Department of Fish and Game changed its name on January 1st, 2013 to the Department of Fish and Wildlife.  The DFW officially calls their Wardens “Wildlife Officers” now, and it even says so on the Warden Stamps since 2014, but most hunters and fisherpersons still call them “Wardens” and the DFW is still calling this the “Warden Stamp”.

The new Warden Stamp, for 2019 is now available for purchase online via the CDFW online license services (ALDS).  To purchase the new Warden Stamp, just follow the link below to purchase via the ALDS system.

Click on the below link to go to the Warden Stamp page and follow the instructions to buy it online:

https://www.wildlife.ca.gov/Warden-Stamp

The Game Warden Stamp isn’t really a “stamp” for your license, such as your federal duck stamp is, although the name might lead you to believe that, rather it’s a roughly 3” x 3” decal.

The 2019 version of the stamp is a dark blue background with a Warden’s badge and a drawing of two snow geese flying.  (see picture below)

 

The DFW still has their entire series of Warden Stamps available.  If you like a prior year’s design better than this year’s or would like to collect the entire series, they are all still available, from the first one in 2010 up through this year’s stamps.

The 2010 version is a green shield with a Warden’s badge and an elk silhouette on it.  The 2011 version is a light blue background with a Warden’s badge and a silhouette of a trout or salmon on it. The 2012 version has a dark brown background with a Warden’s badge and a silhouette of a California quail on it. The 2013 version has a gold background with a Warden’s badge and a silhouette of a duck landing on it. The 2014 version has a red background with a Warden’s badge and a silhouette of a lobster on it. The 2015 version of the stamp has a wood grain background with a Warden’s badge and the shadow of a bear on it. The 2016 version has a blue background with a Warden’s badge and the silhouettes of two bighorn sheep on it. The 2017 version of the stamp is a green background with a Warden’s badge and drawing of a sturgeon. The 2018 version of the stamp is an orange background with a Warden’s badge and a drawing of a Warden K9. (See pictures below). If you like them all you could buy one, or more, of each one if you want to.

2010 Warden Stamp

2011 Warden Stamp

2012WardenStampDecal

2013-warden-stamp_gold-final-print

2014 Warden Stamp_bid

2015WardenStampWeb_346

2016WardenStamp

warden-stamp-2017

 

The stamps are $5 each and the funds go into a special account. The money is used to provide our Game Wardens with additional equipment, training and new programs, such as new communications and surveillance devices, protective equipment, training in specialized areas, new law enforcement programs to assist them in their duties.

Due to State budget cuts, non-hunting / fishing politicians feel that the DFW is a “painless” way to cut back on the budget by giving the DFW less to do more with.

Quoting the DFW website on the Warden stamp:

“The Warden Stamp is a decal that can be proudly displayed on vehicles or other items. All funds raised from the sales of the stamp go to purchase:

  • New communications and surveillance devices
  • Protective equipment
  • Training in specialized areas
  • New law enforcement programs, such as the CDFW’s K-9 Program

The Warden Stamp Program was initiated in 2010 to address the need for better equipment and training for the state’s wildlife officers and to provide funding for special law enforcement programs.

Wildlife crimes are on the rise and becoming more complex to solve. With approximately 400 wildlife officers in the state patrolling 159,000 square miles of natural habitat, the job is extremely demanding.

Officers must perform a number of roles including catching poachers, eradicating illegal marijuana grows, responding to oil spills, providing public safety, educating the public and much more. Every day is a new challenge.

  • Wildlife officers protect more than 1,000 native fish and wildlife species, 6,300 native plant species and 360 threatened or endangered species.
  • Wildlife officers patrol about 400 square miles of land per officer.
  • Wildlife officers keep watch over 1,100 miles of coastline, 30,000 miles of rivers and streams, 4,800 lakes and reservoirs and 80 major rivers.
  • Wildlife officers patrol on foot, by plane, boat, all-terrain vehicles, snowmobiles, and even on horseback.
  • There is approximately one wildlife officer for every 100,000 Californians.

By purchasing this special stamp you can show your support for the important work wildlife officers do. Purchase online today!”

Now – back to me…

As I’ve said every year that I’ve written about the Warden Stamp, the important point here, in my opinion, is getting the money to the “boots on the ground”.  If your $5 (or more, if you can afford it) results in some equipment, training or what have you that helps catch a poacher in your area the payoff may be more game or more fish for you and yours to legally harvest.  And, the bottom line is, that’s what’s important.  As for the “stamp”, stick it on your truck, ammo box or tackle box, stick it in a drawer, throw it away if you want, do whatever you want with it.  The important thing is to help give our Wardens the tools they need to protect our hunting and fishing heritage.

Now, as I have done every year since 2010, excuse me while I pull up the ALDS on my computer and order this year’s Warden Stamps.

Hunt Results for the Wister Unit of the Imperial Wildlife Area, Wednesday – 1/23/19

The waterfowl averages for the Wister Unit of the Imperial Wildlife Area climbed back up, as usual, compared to Sunday’s low averages.  Pintail and Shovelers swapped places again with Shovelers jumping up in to first place for number of birds taken and Pintail sliding back to the second spot.  The Wister Staff reported that the results for Wednesday, 1/23/19 were as follows:

153 adult and 5 junior hunters checker in with 107 Shovelers, 34 Gadwall, 9 Widgeon, 84 Pintail, 64 Green Wing Teal, 42 Cinnamon Teal, 9 Redheads, 3 Ring Necks, 6 Bufflehead, 11 Blue Wing Teal, and 9 Ruddy Ducks.  Again, there were no Geese checked in at Wister on Wednesday.  Also, no Coots were collected at Wister on Wednesday.  This figured out to an average harvest of 2.39 ducks per hunter and, of course, with no Geese or Coots to add to the figures, 2.39 waterfowl per gun. Out of 105 reservation cards issued 31 showed up in time to claim their hunting spot.

Wister is open for waterfowl hunting on Wednesdays, Saturdays, and Sundays only.  At this point in the season it is now too late to put in for reservations on-line through the DFW Automated License Data System (ALDS).   You can still get in on the daily “sweat line” drawing for the remaining blinds by arriving at Wister to get in on the drawing by 10:30 PM the night before. Reservation spots are given out starting at 3 AM and the “sweat line” spots given out after that.

Don’t forget that all licenses and 1 day, 2 day or season passes must be purchased at a DFW Office or a license agent before your arrival at the refuge.  These can be purchased online via the ALDS system also, however, you will have to wait for the DFG to mail you’re the actual licenses and passes which can take up to 15 days.  If you purchase your license and passes in person at a DFW office or license agent, you immediately get them without the wait for the mail.  No licenses or passes will be sold at the check stations this season.  You can also show up for an afternoon refill hunt, but the last refill is at 2 PM. For more information, contact the staff at Wister Staff at 760-359-0577.

Hunt Results for San Jacinto Wildlife Area, Wednesday – 1/23/19

The average waterfowl bag at the San Jacinto Wildlife Area climbed back upward as compared to Saturday’s numbers under clear skies with temperatures that started just at freezing and climbed to just touch 70 degrees.  Shovelers were the number one bird taken and, if you didn’t count Coots, which would have been the number two bird, Green Wing Teal took over the second spot, but only by one bird over Gadwall.  Tom Trakes, from San Jacinto Wildlife Area, reported that the results for Wednesday, 1/23/19 were as follows:

121 adult and 5 junior hunters bagged 83 Shovelers, 2 Mallards, 30 Gadwall, 5 Widgeon, 5 Pintail, 31 Green Wing Teal, 22 Cinnamon Teal, 1 Ring Neck, 1 Blue Wing Teal, 8 Bufflehead, and 27 Ruddy Ducks. Once again, no Geese were checked in at San Jacinto on Wednesday.  45 Coots were also taken at San Jacinto on Wednesday.  This came out to an average bag of 1.71 ducks per hunter or, with the Coots worked in, 2.06 waterfowl for each person. Out of 52 reservation cards issued only 19 showed up on time to claim their spot.

San Jacinto is open for waterfowl hunting on Wednesdays and Saturdays only. At this point in the season, it is now too late to put in for reservations online through the DFW Automated License Data System (ALDS).   You can still get in on the daily “sweat line” drawing for the remaining blinds after the reservations are taken care of. Reservation spots are given out starting at 3 AM and the “sweat line” drawing is at 3:30 AM.

Don’t forget that all licenses and 1 day, 2 day or season passes must be purchased at a DFW Office or a license agent before your arrival at the refuge.  These can be purchased online via the ALDS system also, however, you will have to wait for the DFG to mail you the actual licenses and passes which can take up to 15 days.  If you purchase your license and passes in person at a DFW office or license agent, you immediately get them without the wait for the mail.  As in past seasons, no licenses or passes will be sold at the check stations this season.  You can also show up for an afternoon refill hunt, but the last refill is at 2 PM. For more information, contact the staff at San Jacinto at 951-928-0580.

 


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