Archive for September, 2020

California Department of Fish and Wildlife Releases 2020 Waterfowl Hunting Newsletter

The DFW has released an informational newsletter for the upcoming 2020/2021 Waterfowl season.  This newsletter will answer many questions about the upcoming 2920/2021 waterfowl season.  Some of the topics covered are Changes to Wildlife Area and Refuge Operations due to COVID-19 restrictions, adjustments to check-in times due to COVID-19 Guidelines, Temporary closures of DFW license sales offices, Veteran and Active Duty Military special hunt days, Junior Hunt days, a Hunter Checklist for your licensing requirements, and much more.

You can check it out at the link below.  You can read it online or print it up so you can have the info with you in the field if you want.  Hopefully, this will answer a lot of the questions hunters have about the upcoming season which promises to be, shall we say, “different”.  Check it out here…

DFW Releases Wildlife Area Operational Changes for COVID-19

The Department of Fish and Wildlife has released its general rules for operational changes at their Wildlife Areas due to COVID-19 restrictions.  I’ll provide a few “highlights” and then provide a link below so you can read the entire thing.

All staff and members of the public are required to wear masks and maintain a minimum of six feet distance from others while conducting check station business and participating in recreational programs, including hunting.

Most non-portable restrooms will be closed to the public. Portable restrooms will be provided.

Handwashing and/or hand sanitizer stations will be provided near all restrooms. Please bring your own supplies for use in areas where stations are not available.

Please plan to carry out your own trash – (NOTE FROM ME – YOU SHOULD BE DOING THIS ALREADY ANYWAY!!)

(sweatline) Lottery hours may be adjusted and coordinated to facilitate this change across all regional check stations.

Controls will be established in the check station area and parking lots to increase physical distancing among hunters and staff. Controls may include parking markers, directional signage, requiring hunters to remain in vehicles, plexiglass barriers, extended counter tops, ground markers, etc.

To allow for slower processing times, check-in for hunters holding reservations and for lottery or First Come First Served (FCFS) opportunities may begin earlier than usual. These times will be posted on the informational web page.

To minimize the number of hunters congregating around the check stations, lottery and FCFS check-in will begin at a set time as opposed to immediately after reservation-holders are checked in (e.g. 1.5 hours before shoot time).

Hunters will be asked to remain in their vehicles until called by staff to check in or check out by number.

Controls for hunter/visitor check-out will be in place to minimize contact between hunters and staff, which may include drop boxes for collecting permits and harvest report cards.

Staff inspecting harvested birds will wear masks and gloves and maintain appropriate distance from hunters.

Each hunter should carry and present their own bird strap to facilitate safe check-out procedures.

These measures may result in delayed posting of harvest results. (Meaning SoCalHunt’s hunt result reports may be later than usual this season).

And, for those of you who may want to utilize the Wister Campground…

CDFW will accept RV Camping applications, where applicable, for the 2020-2021 hunt season. However, a final decision about whether to allow RV camping has not yet been made. If the decision is made to cancel camping, applicants will be contacted in advance of the season.

RV Camping operations, if allowed, will be consistent with local, state, and federal public health guidelines.

There is much more in there, these are just some highlights.  I’d encourage you to pull up the info via the link below and check it for yourself.   There are still some things that the individual Wildlife Areas have to determine due to the unique configuration and operations of each Area and when more info is posted regarding operations of our three So. Cal. Hunting areas (San Jacinto, Wister, and Kern) SoCalHunt will pass it on as soon as possible.

Here’s the link to view the full message on the Wildlife Area COVID-19 Operational Changes…


San Jacinto Wildlife Area 2020 Dove Season Opening Day Results

On Tuesday, September 1st, the San Jacinto Wildlife Area opening day of the 2020 dove season dawned sort of cool and slightly foggy.  By sundown 134 hunters had visited San Jacinto in pursuit of the little buff colored birds, resulting in a total of 171 dove harvested.  The average bag came out to 1.28 birds per hunter.  That was slightly down from last year’s average of 1.46.   Pretty typical for SJWA as it isn’t really known as a dove hot spot.  There were some hunters that left with a goose…egg, a few were able to harvest several, and some bagged 1 or 2 or so.  So, as usual for San Jacinto, it wasn’t wide open on the dove, but it wasn’t too bad.  It did give a big group of people a place close to home to give it at least a couple hours of effort and maybe scratch out a few birds.  Especially true for those that couldn’t put in a whole day or more to drive down to Niland or Brawley.

San Jacinto is opened for dove hunting until the end of the first half of the dove season on Tuesday, September 15th.  Thursday (September 3rd) is the last day the waterfowl side of SJ will be opened for dove hunting so, if you want to give the waterfowl side a try for dove hunting you only have tomorrow, Thursday, September 3rd to give it a try as I write this.  Also, don’t forget that it’s non-toxic (steel) shot only for all hunting everywhere again this year so don’t mistakenly bring along any lead shot shells.  That’s a big no-no.

Also, while I’ve got your attention, San Jacinto needs palm fronds to complete brushing up the waterfowl area’s blinds for the duck opener, which is Saturday, October 24th.    The next volunteer blind brush-up work day is set for Saturday, October 3rd.   Check the below link for info on the work day and/or for info regarding bringing in some palm fronds any time before the work day.

October 3rd is also pretty close to the duck season opener so volunteering to help out will give you an opportunity to do a little scouting for the duck opener.  By then conditions should be fairy close to what they’ll be on the opener.

If you have any questions about either subject or want to make arrangements to drop of some palm fronds contact Tom Trakes at (951) 236-3040 or the SJ Staff at (951) 928-0580.



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