Hunt Results for the Sonny Bono Salton Sea National Wildlife Refuge, Wednesday – 1/4/23, Saturday – 1/7/23, and Sunday – 1/8/23

The average waterfowl take for the Sonny Bono Salton Sea National Wildlife Refuge for Wednesday dropped a little when only the duck were considered but rocketed way up when the geese were added in compared to Sunday’s average. Snow Geese took over the first spot for most birds taken with (a) Gadwall in the second spot. The Wister Staff reported that the results for Sonny Bono for Wednesday, 1/4/23 were as follows:

9 adult and no junior hunters bagged 1 Gadwall. 48 Snow Geese were downed at Sonny Bono on Wednesday. No Coots were checked in on Wednesday. This figured out to an average bag of 0.11 ducks per person and, with the Geese included, a 5.44 per hunter average. Reservations are done through the Wister Unit of the Imperial Wildlife Area and can be used for either Wister or Sonny Bono. Out of 105 reservation cards issued 23 came in on time for their spot.

The waterfowl average bag for the Sonny Bono Salton Sea National Wildlife Refuge for Saturday rose a little for the ducks but slipped back some when the geese were added in as compared to Wednesday’s average. Snow Geese were again in the first position for most birds taken with Shovelers found in the second spot. The Wister Staff reported that the results for Sonny Bono for Saturday, 1/7/23 were as follows:

21 adult hunters and 1 junior hunter came away with 5 Northern Shovelers, 1 Pintail, and 3 Green Wing Teal. 45 Snow Geese were also harvested at Sonny Bono on Saturday. No Coots were bagged at Sonny Bono on Saturday. This came out to an average take of 0.41 ducks per gun or, with the Geese added in, 2.45 waterfowl per person. Reservations are done through the Wister Unit of the Imperial Wildlife Area and can be used for either Wister or Sonny Bono. Out of 104 reservation cards issued 29 showed up on time to get their spots.

The waterfowl average harvest for the Sonny Bono Salton Sea National Wildlife Refuge for Sunday tanked all the way around as compared to Saturday’s averages. Snow Geese and Ross’ Geese (or I should say Goose in both cases) came in tied for the first position for most birds turned in with no other birds taken. The Wister Staff reported that the results for Sonny Bono for Sunday, 1/8/23 were as follows:

10 adult hunters and 1 junior hunter downed no ducks. A lone Snow Goose and a single Ross’ Goose were brought in on Sunday. There were no Coots checked in at Sonny Bono on Sunday. This worked out to an average bag of 0.00 on the ducks per person and, with the Geese figured into the total, 0.18 waterfowl per gun. Reservations are done through the Wister Unit of the Imperial Wildlife Area and can be used for either Wister or Sonny Bono. Out of 104 reservation cards issued 14 hunters made it on time to get their spot.

Sonny Bono Salton Sea National Wildlife Refuge is open for waterfowl hunting on Wednesdays, Saturdays, and Sundays only. If you would like a reservation for the Sonny Bono Salton Sea National Wildlife Refuge you have to request a Wister reservation through the California DFW Automated License Data System (ALDS) which can be used at Wister or Sonny Bono (check-in for your spot at Sonny Bono at the Wister Check station). Your reservation request has to be to the ALDS system 17 days in advance to get in on the drawing or you can get in on the daily “sweatline” drawing at Wister for the remaining blinds after the reservations are taken care of. Reservation spots are given out starting at 3 AM and the “sweatline” drawing is done the night before at 10:30 pm, with sign-up for the drawing between 7:30 and 10:30 pm. The ALDS can be accessed through the DFW website at the below link –

https://www.ca.wildlifelicense.com/InternetSales

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.

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