Hunt Results for the Sonny Bono Salton Sea National Wildlife Refuge, Wednesday – 1/18/23, Saturday – 1/21/23, and Sunday – 1/22/23

The waterfowl average take for the Sonny Bono Salton Sea National Wildlife Refuge for Wednesday headed upward as compared to Sunday’s average. Green Wing Teal took over the first spot for most birds bagged with Shovelers found in the second spot. The Wister Staff reported that the results for Sonny Bono for Wednesday, 1/18/23 were as follows:

14 adult and no junior hunters came away with 5 Northern Shovelers, 2 Pintail, and 22 Green Wing Teal. 2 Snow Geese and 1 Greater White Fronted Goose were bagged at Sonny Bono on Wednesday. No Coots were downed on Wednesday. This worked out to an average take of 2.07 ducks per person and, with the Geese added in to the count, a 2.29 per gun 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 24 arrived on time for their spot.

The waterfowl average harvest for the Sonny Bono Salton Sea National Wildlife Refuge for Saturday slipped back quite a bit as compared to Wednesday’s average. Green Wing Teal held on to the first spot for most birds taken with Shovelers holding on to the second spot. The Wister Staff reported that the results for Sonny Bono for Saturday, 1/21/23 were as follows:

17 adult hunters and 1 junior hunter checked in with 3 Northern Shovelers, 2 Gadwall, 1 Pintail, 11 Green Wing Teal, 1 Cinnamon Teal, 1 Blue Wing Teal, 1 Ring Neck, and 1 Bufflehead. 2 Snow Geese were also taken at Sonny Bono on Saturday. No Coots were bagged at Sonny Bono on Saturday. This worked out to an average bag of 1.17 Ducks per hunter or, with the Geese added into the count, 1.28 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 31 showed on time to get their spot.

The waterfowl average harvest for the Sonny Bono Salton Sea National Wildlife Refuge for Sunday nosedived as compared to Saturday’s averages. No birds were taken at Sonney Bono on Sunday. The Wister Staff reported that the results details for Sonny Bono for Sunday, 1/22/23 were as follows:

2 adult and no junior hunter failed to bag any waterfowl. Obviously this came out to an average take of 0.00 Ducks per person and, with no Geese and Coots to included in the total, 0.00 waterfowl per hunter. 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 15 hunters arrived on time to get their hunting spot.

Sonny Bono Salton Sea National Wildlife Refuge is open for waterfowl hunting on Wednesdays, Saturdays, and Sundays only. At this point in the season, except for the Veterans’ hunt, it is 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 “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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