Archive for April, 2021

California Fish and Game Commission Sets 2021/22 Season Regulations

The California Fish and Game Commission, during their April 14th meeting, adopted changes to the waterfowl season dates and regulations for the 2021/22 waterfowl season. 

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

Seasons: Ducks and Geese: October 23, 2021 through January 31, 2022.

Special Youth Hunt Days: February 5 and February 6, 2022. (San Jacinto’s Annual Youth Hunt will be February 5th, 2022).

Special Veteran/Active Duty Military Hunt Days: February 12 and February 13, 2022 (San Jacinto’s Annual Vet/Active Duty Hunt will be February 12th, 2022)

Limits: Ducks: Daily bag limit: 7. Which may consist of 7 Mallards, of which only 2 can be female; 1 Pintail; 2 Canvasback; 2 Redheads; 2 Scaup.  (Scaup may only be taken November 7th, 2021 through January 31st, 2022 – so again, be careful the first two weeks of the season this year). 

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, 2021 – December 15, 2021.  Daily bag limit: 2 per day.  Possession limit triple the daily bag limit. 

“Electronic” Spinning wing decoys (AKA – mojos) will be allowed from December 1st until the season ends (statewide) – non-motorized /wind-powered mojos are allowed all season. (NOTE – Again, as far as I could find this was not mentioned in the season regulation changes at the Commission meeting so I’m listing the dates based on last season’s regulations (assuming no changes). This has been December 1st for as long as I can remember but check with the official regulations once they are posted on the DFW web site when they come out, probably in a couple of months but still well before the season).

Once again we have an extended end date for the season, to January 31st.  This season January 31st is on a Monday so the last actual hunt day at SJ will be January 29th.  The Brant seasons will be increased from 27 days to 37 days.  Not a real big concern for SJ hunters but there’s a very slim chance one will show up at SJ so it would behoove you to know what they look like.  Other than that, most other regulations stayed pretty consistent with last season’s regulations. 

So, there it is.  The regulations are set, and Tom and the entire SJWA Crew are working hard to get San Jacinto Wildlife Area in tip top shape for the upcoming 2021/2022 waterfowl season.  So far it looks like we won’t have any COVID-19 restrictions this year (fingers crossed – but who knows…this is California after all).  The SJ Staff should be able to get a couple more clean up/brush up days scheduled soon to assist in getting things ready for the season.  When the clean up/brush up work days get scheduled try to pitch in and help if you’re able – Info will be posted here on SoCalHunt when I receive it.  Also, it looks like at least some of Mystic Lake is still going to be there which is usually a big help to enhance the hunt results at San Jacinto!

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

Now, as with every year, all we need is to get some weather up north at the right time, hopefully early in the season, to drive the birds down to us and we can all look forward to another great season at San Jacinto Wildlife Area.

San Jacinto’s Volunteer Blind Clean Up Day, Saturday, March 27th, 2021, Much Accomplished

On Saturday, March 27th, about 15 volunteers were in attendance at the San Jacinto Wildlife Area check station parking lot bright and early at 0600.  Tom sent the volunteers out across the Wildlife Area with the mission to clean-up the hunting area’s blinds.  Much was accomplished and all the area’s blinds received a good cleaning.  Many spent shotgun shells were picked up, (the most common kind of trash in and around the blinds), along with other various trash.  Tom Trakes of San Jacinto Wildlife Area estimated they filled a dumpster about ¼ full of empty shells.

After working hard all morning the volunteer crew and the SJ staff retired to the El Comal Restaurant in Nuevo for a well-deserved lunch, (each person responsible for their own bill).

Once again, Tom and his team at San Jacinto would like to give a big thank you to everyone that came out and worked hard to start the process of getting things ready for the upcoming waterfowl season. 

There will probably be at least two more blind brush-up/work days to finish getting things in ship shape for the coming waterfowl hunting season. The next one will likely be scheduled around mid-July and the one after that in late August or early September (dates to be announced).  Watch SoCalHunt for info on these upcoming work days when the dates are announced.   

In preparation for these upcoming work days palm fronds are needed.  If you can get a hold of any palm fronds any time before the work days you can drop them off at San Jacinto. Just call Tom at 951-236-3040 and he’ll make arrangements for you to drop them off.  Please make sure you don’t bring in the type of palm fronds with the thorns on their stalks, unless you’re willing to strip off the thorns first. Those things wreak havoc with waders if the thorns aren’t removed.  Watch SoCalHunt for the “official” announcement and details of the next blind brush-up/workday.  Also, hopefully, SJWA will have a Hunter’s Education Class scheduled soon. Of course, this is pending state approval due to COVID restrictions but hopefully we’ll know soon.  Watch SoCalHunt for the announcement of the Hunter’s Ed Class (hopefully) soon.

Ok, now I’m going to climb onto my soapbox (and this is me personally talking, not SJWA or anybody affiliated with them).  Please…please try to pick up your empty shells, and any others’ shells you might find in and around your blind when you go hunting, along with any other miscellaneous trash.  The best way to keep our hunting privileges at SJWA, or any other place for that matter, is to keep the area as clean as possible.  I would hate to see any restrictions to our hunting privileges come about because some anti-hunting big wig from Sacramento sees a bunch of shells strewn about our hunting areas.  It would be kind of hard to deny that hunters left all that litter behind when most of it is shotgun shells.  A ¼ dumpster full of empty shells is quite a lot.  Ah, yeah, ‘nuff said about that.

Looking forward to seeing everybody that can make it to the next work day.  Watch SoCalHunt for the announcement when the date is set.

First Annual San Jacinto Wildlife Area Veterans/Active Duty Military Hunt, Saturday, February 13th, 2021, A Great Success

0300 Saturday, 13 February 2021.  41 Veteran and Active Duty Military personnel reported for duty at San Jacinto Wildlife Area for the first annual Veteran/Active Duty Military special hunt. 

After a quick breakfast of coffee, hot chocolate, and Crispy-Cream donuts the “troops” dispersed over San Jacinto Wildlife Area to await starting time.  Hunting was great this day and the Veterans/Active Military beat the wildlife area’s average take by more than two birds a person.  (Hunt results for the Veteran/Active Military Hunt can be found here… )

At lunch our Military heroes retired to the SJWA workshop area for a great lunch of tri-tip (provided by Robert Hartman and his daughter – whose son/brother is a Coast Guard member) and smoked beans (provided by John Ross).

All in all it was a great day and a great way to salute our Military Veterans and Active Duty Military heroes.  And, looking at the per hunter average that day it looks like the Vets and Active Duty folks proved what great shots they are!

San Jacinto’s 27th Annual Junior Waterfowl Hunt Event a Huge Success, February 6th, 2021

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

This past season’s Junior Waterfowl Hunt/Event was outstanding and the Junior Hunters in attendance had some pretty good waterfowl hunting but also made out with some great prizes at the lunch give-away at mid-day. 

Due to COVID restrictions this year the SJ Staff had to pass on the usual breakfast of pancakes and sausage.  They did, however, supply the Juniors with chocolate milk, coffee and sweet rolls to fuel the Juniors for their morning hunt.

Once all the Juniors and their accompanying adults grabbed their morning snack they headed out to the Wildlife Area to set up and wait for the blast of the starting horn.  The hunting was fair this year and some of the Juniors even scored limits this time.

(In case you missed it you can read the hunt results here… )

At lunchtime everyone gathered back at the Check Station workshop for lunch and the prize give-away.  Lunch was great, consisting of sandwiches (provided by the San Jacinto Walmart), Pulled pork (donated by John Ross of Dee’z Boy’z BBQ in Hemet), coffee, hot chocolate, sugar, and etc. (donated by Quail Forever) and bottled water (donated by sparklets). 

There was a lot support for this year’s Junior Hunt and all the Junior Hunters received two or three 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” shotguns, rifle and a German Shorthair puppy (donated by Chaz Prato).  I’m sure all the Juniors went away happy this year.

After the lunch and prize give away, most of the Junior Hunters went back to their blinds to finish out the day hunting. 

The Junior Hunt was an outstanding event 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 is a great way to keep them interested.  I know several adult hunters that still reminisce about their participation in the SJWA Junior Hunt.

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 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 for helping hand out the prizes at the Junior Hunt event.

Tom also asked me to extend a special thanks Bass Pro Shops.  Bass Pro made several donations and assisted with the shotgun raffle at their location prior to the event to raise money for prizes.  Also thanks to Sportsman’s Warehouse for assisting with the shotgun raffle at their location prior to the event to raise money for prizes. Also thanks to Toni Bever of Quail Forever for donating two shotguns for the raffle at Sportsman’s warehouse and Bass Pro Shops to raise money for prizes. A total of about $4000 was raised by the raffles that was used to purchase more prizes for the Juniors. 

So, there you have it, 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.

Hopefully I’ve mentioned everyone who donated items or volunteered to work the event. 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.

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