San Jacinto Wildlife Area 2022 Dove Season Opener – Thursday, September 1st

The opening day of dove season in California is Thursday, September 1st. Tom Trakes, from San Jacinto Wildlife Area, has advised SoCalHunt to pass along that the entire wildlife area, including the waterfowl areas, will be opened for dove hunting the first four days of dove season. From the opener on Thursday, September 1st, through Sunday, September 4th, hunters will be permitted to hunt doves on both the upland area of San Jacinto and SJ’s duck hunting areas. After Sunday, for the remainder of the dove season, from September 5th until September 15th, dove hunting will only be permitted on the upland side of San Jacinto. There will be no dove hunting on the waterfowl side of SJ after September 4th.

Hunters trying SJ for dove need to remember to self-check-in and out at one of the three new prefab metal permit booths that were just installed at San Jacinto. There is one across Davis Road from the check station, another is in the dog training area which is closer to Ramona Expressway, and one way around on Bridge Street. The Bridge Street booth will come in handy for anyone wanting to hunt the Bridge Street area of SJWA. Now you won’t have to drive all the way up Davis Road to check in and then backtrack to Bridge Street and then, after hunting, drive back around to Davis Road again to check out. It can all be done right there at Bridge Street.

Tom also wanted SoCalHunt to remind everyone that due to Department of Fish and Wildlife regulations only non-toxic shot may be used to take any game anywhere in California. Lead shot has been banned on State Wildlife Areas for the last five years, however, the no-lead restriction went into effect three years ago statewide for ALL hunting. So, just remember, even if you don’t choose to hunt doves at San Jacinto WA, or any of the other DFW Wildlife Areas, you still need UNLEADED anywhere you hunt in California. DFW Wardens, as always, will be checking for lead shot and possession of even one round will result in you receiving a citation. So, be sure to check your hunting vest thoroughly to make sure an old round of lead shot from a few years ago, or from your last visit to the trap range, isn’t kicking around in one of your pockets. Also, don’t forget that your 2021/2022 hunting license expired at the end of June. Be sure you have your 2022/2023 hunting license, including your upland endorsement on your license.

The regulations covering doves is as follows, Mourning Dove and White-Winged Dove have a daily bag limit of 15 in combination, up to 10 of which may be white-winged dove. The possession limit is triple the daily bag limit. There are no limits on Spotted Dove and Ringed Turtle Dove, although these two varieties have the same season dates as Mourning Doves (September 1st -15th). Hunting for Eurasian Collared Dove is legal year-round and there are no limits on them. Note: There is no open hunting season on common ground-doves, ruddy ground-doves, and Inca doves.

As usual, the SJ Staff has planted some fields with dove-attracting crops on the Wildlife Area and they’ve been seeing a few dove around SJ so far this year. Of course, San Jacinto isn’t Niland or Brawley or any other traditional “hot-spot” dove hunting area and you’re unlikely to limit out in an hour, but you have a fair chance of bagging a couple birds a lot closer to home. SJ is a good place if you just have a few hours and would like to try to get a shot or two at the dove.

So, hopefully, there won’t be any end-of-August thunderstorms in the area that might drive the birds south, and if so, there should be at least a fair chance of bagging a few. If you want to try your luck at San Jacinto things are looking fair for opening day, Thursday, September 1st.

Also, don’t forget, another volunteer blind brush-up workday is coming up, Saturday, September, 10th. SoCalHunt will post information on the September 10th workday here soon. Keep an eye out for it. One advantage of going to the September 10th workday is that dove season is still on that weekend so you could give it a try in the afternoon after the workday is over.

Tom also asked me to ask everyone to keep a sharp eye out for palm fronds to utilize on the upcoming blind brush-up day. If you can get any of them any time before the workday you can make arrangements to drop them off at San Jacinto by calling Tom Trakes at the San Jacinto headquarters at (951) 236-3040, or the San Jacinto staff at (951) 928-0580. Of course, if you’re going to come out for the workday you could bring them along with you then too, or even drop some off if you come out to try your luck at dove hunting SJ in September.

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