Archive for the 'Announcements' Category

CDFW To Hold Online Public Outreach Meeting Regarding Southern California Wildlife Areas Thursday, Oct. 6, from 3 to 4 pm

From the DFW website post regarding the meeting:

“The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) will hold an online outreach meeting on Thursday, Oct. 6 to take comments and recommendations regarding hunting programs in Southern California wildlife areas, and to provide updates on habitat conditions and availability of water for wetlands during the drought. State wildlife areas to be discussed are the San Jacinto Wildlife Area in Riverside County, and the Imperial Wildlife Area and the Sonny Bono National Wildlife Refuge, both in Imperial County.
The meeting will be held on Thursday, Oct. 6, from 3 to 4 p.m. using Microsoft Teams(opens in new tab) https://teams.microsoft.com/dl/launcher/launcher.html?url=%2F_%23%2Fl%2Fmeetup-join%2F19%3Ameeting_YTRjZWZiMjctNmU0Zi00Njk2LWI3YWItN2VlNzlhZDQ3MTdj%40thread.v2%2F0%3Fcontext%3D%257b%2522Tid%2522%253a%25224b633c25-efbf-4006-9f15-07442ba7aa0b%2522%252c%2522Oid%2522%253a%2522121f743c-b0e0-4191-8e32-45b17101bb5e%2522%257d%26anon%3Dtrue&type=meetup-join&deeplinkId=d0595a98-4ff1-4acb-a134-d2e5bd60112e&directDl=true&msLaunch=true&enableMobilePage=true&suppressPrompt=true .

Members of the public can join the meeting.
CDFW annually provides an opportunity for licensed hunters to comment and make recommendations on public hunting programs, including anticipated habitat conditions in the hunting areas on Type A wildlife areas through public meetings and outreach.”

If you’d like to listen in or join the meeting, click the link above in the DFW article or here >>> Microsoft Teams – https://teams.microsoft.com/dl/launcher/launcher.html?url=%2F_%23%2Fl%2Fmeetup-join%2F19%3Ameeting_YTRjZWZiMjctNmU0Zi00Njk2LWI3YWItN2VlNzlhZDQ3MTdj%40thread.v2%2F0%3Fcontext%3D%257b%2522Tid%2522%253a%25224b633c25-efbf-4006-9f15-07442ba7aa0b%2522%252c%2522Oid%2522%253a%2522121f743c-b0e0-4191-8e32-45b17101bb5e%2522%257d%26anon%3Dtrue&type=meetup-join&deeplinkId=d0595a98-4ff1-4acb-a134-d2e5bd60112e&directDl=true&msLaunch=true&enableMobilePage=true&suppressPrompt=true .

Links below are to the two articles about this on the DFW website:

https://wildlife.ca.gov/Subscribe/c/469/ce/439977110/view/preview#lcpreview

https://wildlife.ca.gov/News/cdfw-to-hold-online-public-outreach-meeting-regarding-southern-california-wildlife-areas

Blind Clean-up Days Set for the Sonny Bono Salton Sea National Wildlife Refuge Sept. 19th and 23rd

It was brought to SoCaHunt’s attention that the Sonny Bono Salton Sea National Wildlife Refuge is having two blind clean-up days coming up soon and have put out a flyer asking for volunteers. If you’re not familiar with the Sonny Bono Refuge it is at the south end of Wister and, during hunting season, hunting there is accessed through Wister as part of their hunting program.

The clean-up days will be Monday, September 19th, and Friday, September 23rd. Volunteers will meet up at the Sonny Bono Salton Sea National Wildlife Refuge Office Parking Lot at 906 W. Sinclair Rd., Calipatria, CA by 6:30 am. Blind clean-up will be conducted until about 11 am. The SBSSNWR Staff is asking that anyone who wants to participate either email or call to be added to the list of volunteers and that volunteers be 10 years old or older. They will provide trash bags for the clean-up. As usual with clean-up days like this it will be hot so bring plenty of water along with mosquito repellant, and a pair of gloves probably would be handy too.

If you have any questions, you can email Rachel_noriega@fws.gov or call the Sonny Bono Refuge Office at 760-348-5278. Below is a Google Maps link to the location of the SBSSNWR Office:

https://www.google.com/maps/place/906+W+Sinclair+Rd,+Calipatria,+CA+92233/@33.1895809,-115.5976683,8718m/data=!3m1!1e3!4m5!3m4!1s0x80d0aae4ecb29a4b:0x5565b6900b0ef968!8m2!3d33.1772929!4d-115.6155834?hl=en

…Just click “directions” and put your home address in and Google Maps will give you directions.

Kern NWR 2022/23 Season Opener Will be Delayed Again

Ok, I think we all expected this but here’s the “official” announcement. Pretty much the same as last season. I’ll just quote the Kern NWR website again (nothing more to say)…

2022-2023 Waterfowl Season Update:

Due to extreme drought conditions, Kern National Wildlife Refuge was allocated significantly less water than a normal year. This reduction in water allocation will have a direct impact on the flooded habitat we can provide, and the hunt program. Given the current water allocation, Kern NWR will not be able to have enough wetland acreage flooded to have the hunt program begin on October 22, 2022, the Southern San Joaquin Valley Zone opener. Therefore, Kern NWR will delay the hunt opener until November 19, 2022.

This delay will give Kern NWR the time to flood the acres needed to support healthy waterfowl habitat and a waterfowl hunt program. If you have any questions, please contact our office at 1-800-344-WILD (1-800-344-9453) or go to the contact page on Kern’s USFW web page at…

https://www.fws.gov/contact-us

…and fill out the contact form.

US Fish and Wildlife Reports Nationwide Duck Numbers Down for the 2022/2023 Waterfowl Season

As you probably already know, if you’ve followed SoCalHunt for the past few years, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service canceled their 2020 and 2021 Waterfowl Population Survey, supposedly due to Covid. This year the USFWS reinstated the survey, and the results were just released.

Since 1955, The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Canadian Wildlife Service have reported the results of their joint breeding population and habitat survey. Total duck numbers for this year were down 12 percent compared to 2019’s count. Most species dropped to some degree with the exception of Blue Wing Teal and Redheads, with Scaup showing no increase or decrease. As for the long-term averages, out of the species surveyed 5 were down from their long-term averages, and 4 were above their long-term averages with Green Wing Teal right on their long-term average.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Report on Waterfowl Population Status, 2022 can be viewed at: https://www.fws.gov/sites/default/files/documents/waterfowl-population-status-report-2022.pdf

In the summary of this report, it states “In the traditional survey area, which includes strata 1–18, 20–50, and 75–77, the total duck population estimate (excluding scoters [Melanitta spp.], eiders [Somateria spp. and Polysticta spp.], long-tailed ducks [Clangula hyemalis], mergansers [Mergus spp. and Lophodytes cucullatus], and wood ducks [Aix sponsa]) was 34.2 ± 0.6 million birds. This estimate was 12% below the 2019 estimate of 38.9 ± 0.7 million, which was the last year a survey was conducted and 4% below the long-term average (1955–2019). Estimated mallard (Anas platyrhynchos) abundance was 7.2 ± 0.2 million, which was 23% below the 2019 estimate of 9.4 ± 0.3 million and 9% below the long-term average of 7.9 ± 0.04 million. In the traditional survey area the 2022 estimate for blue-winged teal (Spatula discors; 6.5 ± 0.3 million) was 19% above the 2019 estimate and 27% above the long-term average of 5.1 ± 0.04 million. Estimated abundance of gadwall (Mareca strepera; 2.7 ± 0.1 million) was 18% below the 2019 estimate and 30% above the long-term average of 2.0 ± 0.2 million. The 2022 northern shoveler (Spatula clypeata) estimate of 3.0 ± 0.2 million was 17% below the 2019 estimate iii of 3.6 ± 0.2 million and 15% above the long-term average of 2.6 ± 0.02 million. The estimated abundance of green-winged teal (Anas crecca) was 2.2 ± 0.2 million, which was 32% below the 2019 estimate of 3.2 ± 0.2 million and similar to the long-term average, while the canvasback (Aythya valisineria) estimate of 0.6±0.05 million was similar to the 2019 estimate and the long-term average. Estimated abundance of redheads (A. americana; 1.0 ± 0.1 million) was 35% higher than the 2019 estimate and 36% higher than the long-term average of 0.7 ± 0.01 million. Northern pintail (Anas acuta) abundance (1.8 ± 0.2 million) was 21% below the 2019 estimate of 2.3 ± 0.1 million and 54% below the long-term average of 3.9 ± 0.03 million. The abundance estimate for American wigeon (Mareca americana; 2.1±0.1 million) was 25% below the 2019 estimate and 19% below the long-term average of 2.6 ± 0.02 million. The combined estimate of lesser and greater scaup (A. afnis and A. marila; 3.6 ± 0.2 million) was similar to the 2019 estimate and 28% lower than the long-term average of 5.0 ± 0.04 million. A time series for assessing changes in green-winged teal, ring-necked duck (A. collaris), goldeneye (Bucephala clangula and B. islandica), merganser, and American black duck (A. rubripes) population status in the eastern survey area is provided by breeding waterfowl surveys conducted by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) and Canadian Wildlife Service (CWS) in Maine and eastern Canada. The estimate of goldeneyes was 0.7 ± 0.2 million, which was similar to the 2019 estimate and 1998–2019 average. Ring-necked ducks (0.6 ± 0.1 million) and green-winged teal (0.3 ± 0.07 million) were similar to their 2019 estimates and the long-term averages. The estimate of mergansers was 0.9 ± 0.1 million, which was 13% above the 2019 estimate and 19% above the long-term average. The 2022 estimate of American black ducks in the eastern survey area was 0.8 ± 0.09 million, which was similar to the 2019 estimate of 0.7 ± 0.07 million and the 1998–2019 average. The black duck estimate at the plot survey scale, which is used for management, was 0.57 ± 0.04 million. Eastern mallard population status is derived by integrating data from the eastern survey area and ground plot surveys conducted in the northeastern U.S. states of Virginia north to New Hampshire. The estimated abundance of mallards in 2022 was 1.2 ± 0.16 million, which was 15% above the 2019 estimate and similar to the long-term average.”

Below I’ll include a graphic on this survey that was put out by Ducks Unlimited as it’s probably a little easier to understand than lines and lines of numbers.

As of this report, it’s 63 days until the season opens here in Southern California. It’s a great time to start getting all your duck hunting gear ship-shape and maybe go shoot a few rounds of trap or skeet to tune up. Despite the lower duck numbers in the USFW survey the bigger factor for us down in this part of the state is to get the birds moving our way will be the weather. Hopefully, we’ll get the weather and the birds will migrate early, and we’ll have another great season at San Jacinto!

Lake Perris Draw Results Posted

Lake Perris posted the results of their drawing for their Wednesday waterfowl hunts for the coming season. They also added a Sunday hunt on opening weekend. Click the link to go to their hunting program page and, once there, click the link for “Award List for 2022-2023 Waterfowl Season”. Hope you got picked if you put in for a hunt.

https://www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=24697&fbclid=IwAR1qv7vt9_1HBOhfK9pRsNDxicHMqFFbbDwcwk9jFT5yiH0WPTShixSBEk8

San Jacinto Wildlife Area Volunteer Blind Brush-Up Workday set for Saturday, August 20, 2022

Tom Trakes, from San Jacinto Wildlife Area, advised that the first volunteer workday for the upcoming season at San Jacinto Wildlife Area has been scheduled. The date is Saturday, August 20th. The workdays will be primarily for building, repairing, and brushing-up blinds and cleaning up the general hunting areas around them. Tom advised that volunteers should meet at the check station at 6:30 AM and anyone coming out to volunteer should bring work gloves, sturdy boots or shoes, Shovels, wire cutters, pliers, etc, and waders if you have them. Some of the ponds may still be flooded. Also, obviously, the weather will be HOT so bring lots of water, sunscreen & mosquito repellent.

Tom is also requesting that anyone that has access to palm fronds and would like to get rid of them to drop them off at San Jacinto Wildlife Area any time. The palm fronds are needed to brush up the wildlife area’s blinds for the upcoming waterfowl hunting season as well as to have some on hand for repairs to the blinds throughout the season. Anyone who is trimming palm trees and wants to bring them around to San Jacinto to get rid of them or knows someone who is trimming palm trees and wants to save the fee the dump would charge them, give Tom a call at 951-236-3040 and he’ll make arrangements for someone to be there so you can drop them off. He also wanted me to remind people that they DO NOT want fronds that have the thorns on them. Don’t bring the wader-rippers but other, non-thorny palm fronds are welcome. The thorn-laden fronds are okay to use, however, if you’re willing to strip off the thorns prior to bringing them in.

After the work is done, we will get together at Marcello’s Pizza Restaurant in Nuevo for a well-deserved lunch. (Each person responsible for their own bill).

Hopefully, we’ll have a great turnout so we can get the blinds and hunting area prepped for another waterfowl season. SJ is very short-staffed right now and needs all the help they can get to get ready for the season. As I always say, the more the merrier (and the less work for each person).

A second volunteer blind brush-up day is tentatively set for Saturday, September 10th, 2022. Mark your calendar and watch for details here at SoCalHunt soon!

If you have any questions contact Tom Trakes at the San Jacinto headquarters at (951) 236-3040, or the San Jacinto staff at (951) 928-0580.

Date Set for Special Volunteer Workday at San Jacinto Wildlife Area – July 9th

Tom Trakes, from San Jacinto Wildlife Area, advised that they have scheduled a Special Volunteer Workday for the San Jacinto Wildlife Area. The date is Saturday, July 9th. This special workday is for the assembly and installation of three new prefab metal permit booths. These booths will replace the old, worn-out wooden permit booths on Davis Rd. (across from the check station), at the Dog Training Area, and a new one will be installed at Bridge Street. These booths are to honor a long-time regular, James Honeyfield, who passed away in 2021. James’ family has raised money to purchase these new permit booths for SJWA to honor James’ memory.

Volunteers are asked to gather at 6:00 AM at the SJ Check Station Parking Lot. Tom advised that anyone coming out to volunteer should bring gloves, and if you have a battery-powered drill/screwdriver that might come in handy also.

As always for this time of year, sunscreen and mosquito repellent are suggested as good ideas. SJWA staff will provide cold bottled water for this workday. After the work is done, we will get together at Marcello’s Pizza Restaurant for a well-deserved lunch (each person responsible for their own bill).

Hopefully, we’ll have a good turnout and the new permit booths will go up in short order, ready for the coming season. As always, when it comes to workdays, the more volunteers the better (meaning less work for each person).

Tom expects to have the usual Blind Brush-up Workdays scheduled soon, the first one likely in late July or early August. Watch SoCalHunt for the regular Blind Brush-up Workdays dates to be scheduled soon!

If you have any questions, contact Tom Trakes at the San Jacinto headquarters at (951) 236-3040.

Miracles Do Occur – Duck Hunting Returning to Perris Lake for 2022/23 season

After a 17-year hiatus, the Lake Perris State Recreation Area will be reopening waterfowl hunting every Wednesday during the 2022/23 Southern California Zone hunting season. Duck hunting was suspended indefinitely in 2005 due to the lake being drawn down for repair work on Perris Dam.

Although the major part of the work on the dam was completed in 2018, and they started to fill the lake, duck hunting was still not reinstated.

Today, (5/27/22), SoCalHunt received information that the Lake Perris State Recreation Area will once again be allowing duck hunting on the lake. Hunting will be by boat only. Hunting days are every Wednesday during the season. There will be no Saturday or Sunday duck hunting. Quitting time will be 12 noon each hunt day and all boats will be off the water by 1:00 PM. There will be 9 hunting sites, actually mooring buoys, which hunters will have to stay within 20 yards of. Whoever is operating the boat will need to have a California Boating Card under the following circumstances. At the start of the season if the boat has a motor 15 HP or larger anyone 45 years old and under needs the boating card. On January 1st, 2023, that changes, and anyone 50 or younger need the boating card if the motor on the boat is larger than 15 HP. If you’re over those ages at those times, or your boat motor is under 15 HP, you don’t need the boating card. NOTE – this is only required for the person operating the boat.

Hunters will be chosen by lottery ONLY. There will be no sweatline, no walk-ons, and no refills. A drawing for all hunting spots will be held on August 5th, 2022. Applications can be mailed or dropped off between July 1st and August 1st, 2022. There is a $7.50 application fee. This fee is for the entire season (which, because it’s only Wednesdays, is 14 days). Each applicant will be considered for all hunt days.

Hunting party size will be a maximum of between 2 to 4 hunters, determined by the size of the boat the hunters are utilizing. The minimum length of boats allowed on the Perris hunting program is 11 feet. 2 hunters are allowed if the boat is between 11 and 13 feet. If the boat is between 13 and 16 feet 3 hunters are allowed, and if the boat is over 16 feet, then 4 hunters are allowed. No float tubes, inflatables, kayaks, jet skis, or paddleboards will be allowed. Hunting fees per hunt day will be $50 for 1 hunter, $70 for 2 hunters, $90 for 3 hunters, and $110 for 4 hunters. Junior hunters and dogs are free.

So, anyway, great news! Perris Lake duck hunting again. I was beginning to think it would never happen again.

There are additional rules and requirements to be aware of for the drawing, the hunting, the boats required, and so forth but not being one to reinvent the wheel I’ll just refer you to the below links for further study. So, if you’ve got a boat you can use for duck hunting here is a nearby opportunity to utilize it the way it was meant to be used. Good luck and stay safe. Don’t forget the all-important life jackets. (Links to additional info and hunt application below)

Link to the general Lake Perris hunting page, which also includes info on their upland hunting program… https://www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=24697&fbclid=IwAR37AHmXRdvoFE0iZsnxRXEwWtQztNCCZf6dJQdvu7XMXSjuxlR7fxzMZrg

Link to the detailed information about the Lake Perris Duck Hunting program… https://www.parks.ca.gov/pages/651/files/Lake%20Perris%202022-2023%20Waterfowl%20Program%20Final.pdf

Link to the 2022/23 season application form for duck hunting at Lake Perris… https://www.parks.ca.gov/pages/651/files/Hunting%20Application%202022-23.pdf

Follow Up – Fish and Game Commission Takes No Action on Petition to Ban Hunting on Navigable Waterways in the Benicia, CA Area – So Far

The California Waterfowl Association reported that the Fish and Game Commission, during their April 21st meeting, basically took no action on the petition to ban hunting on the navigable waterways in the Benicia, CA Area. The Commission asked the California Department of Fish and Wildlife to report back to the Commission on the issue, likely at the Commission’s next meeting in mid-May.  You can check CWA’s report on this action by the Fish and Game Commission by clicking the below link…

https://calwaterfowl.org/news/benecia-waterfowl-hunting-ban?fbclid=IwAR08i1aidV406Qol6K3-vdjScblm5qz-phZHHlyct9029RnCKV8nj0n-Hco

So, this is still pending however with the unanimous rejection of the petition to ban bear hunting by the Commission and the fact that in the last 20 years efforts by other local residents or entities attempting to petition the F&G Commission or the DFW to ban waterfowl hunting on state-managed navigable waters, including Tomales Bay and Morro Bay have failed this one will hopefully suffer the same fate. Only time (and the Commission) will tell.

California Fish and Game Commission Sets 2022/23 Season Regulations

The California Fish and Game Commission, during their April 21st meeting, adopted changes to the waterfowl season dates and regulations for the 2022/23 waterfowl season.

Regulations adopted for the Southern California Zone (which will cover San Jacinto Wildlife Area):
Seasons: Ducks and Geese: October 22, 2022 through January 31, 2023.
Special Youth Hunt Days: February 4 and February 5, 2023. (San Jacinto’s Annual Youth Hunt will be on February 4th, 2023).
Special Veteran/Active Duty Military Hunt Days: February 11 and February 12, 2023 (San Jacinto’s Annual Vet/Active Duty Hunt will be February 11th, 2023)

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 from November 7th, 2022 through January 31st, 2023 – so again, be careful the first two weeks of the season).

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, 2022 – December 15, 2022. Daily bag limit: 2 per day. Possession limit is 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 website or the printed regulation books 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 Tuesday, so SJ’s last actual hunt day will be Saturday, January 28th. With that info, it appears that all the regulations for the 22/23 season stayed 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 ship shape for the upcoming 2022/2023 waterfowl season. 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 workdays get scheduled try to pitch in and help if you’re able – Info will be posted here on SoCalHunt when I receive it. Hopefully, at least some of Mystic Lake is still going to be there which usually helps enhance the bird numbers at San Jacinto!

The above information is provided as a general guide only. Although they haven’t updated the DFW website with 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:

https://www.wildlife.ca.gov/Regulations

Now, as it is with every season, 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.

March 12th – San Jacinto Wildlife Area Volunteer Clean-Up Work Day

Tom Trakes, from San Jacinto Wildlife Area, advised that the first volunteer work day for the upcoming season at San Jacinto Wildlife Area will be Saturday, March 12th. This work day will be primarily for cleaning up the blinds and the general hunting areas around them. Due to state COVID-19 policies masks will be used and we will adhere to social distancing, working in small groups. Tom advised that volunteers should meet at the check station at 6:30 AM and anyone coming out to volunteer should bring gloves, sunscreen, mosquito repellant, lots of water since it may be warm and, of course, a mask.

After the work is done, we will get together at a local restaurant for a well-deserved lunch (each person responsible for their own bill).

Hopefully, we’ll have a good turnout so we can get the blinds and hunting area cleaned up to get started on preparations for another waterfowl season. As I always say, the more the merrier (and the less work for each person).

If you have any questions contact Tom Trakes at the San Jacinto headquarters at (951) 236-3040, or the San Jacinto staff at (951) 928-0580.

Heads Up! Special Notice for regulations for the Upcoming San Jacinto Wildlife Area Junior Hunt

Tom Trakes wanted me to get the word out to all the Junior Hunters and their adults regarding the regulations that the SJ Staff have to go by for the upcoming Junior Waterfowl Hunt on Saturday, February 5th. Tom wanted to get the word out on this as they simply DO NOT want to have to turn away any Junior Hunter just because they (or their responsible adult) didn’t know.

There are some state and federal regulations that everyone needs to be aware of for Junior Hunters participating in the SJWA Junior Waterfowl hunt.

Participation in the Junior Hunt is limited to Junior Hunters that are under 18 years old on February 5th. This means that if a Junior Hunter’s 18th birthday is on Feb 5th or before they cannot participate in the Junior Hunt.

Any Junior Hunter that is 16 or over on February 5th need the following
in addition to their regular hunting license:

#1 – A California Waterfowl Validation.

#2 – A Federal Duck Stamp.

#3 – A California HIP (Harvest Information Program) Validation.

#4 – A Type “A” Area Pass.

If the Junior hunter will be 16 or over on February 5th and doesn’t have these four items in addition to their regular hunting license GET THEM NOW! Don’t wait! No passes or stamps are sold at the check station and BY LAW the Junior hunter that is 16 or over cannot participate in the hunt without them. Let’s not let anyone get disappointed and make sure everyone has all their ducks in a row (pun intended) so no one gets turned away.

Remember all Junior Hunters must have an adult (non-hunting of course) with them in the blind for the Junior Hunt, at least one adult per blind. If you don’t have a reservation, be sure you’re at the check station (17050 Davis Rd., Nuevo, CA 92567) at 3 AM to get in on the Sweatline Drawing.

Hopefully, this clarifies what the requirements are for the Junior Hunters to participate in the great event, and no one will be disappointed and turned away.

Good luck and great hunting!

Any questions on any of this contact Tom Trakes at 951-236-3040 for any clarification needed.

San Jacinto Wildlife Area 28th Annual Junior Waterfowl Hunt Set For Saturday, February 5

It’s all explained here…

Shotgun Raffle at Bass Pro Shops in Rancho Cucamonga to Benefit San Jacinto’s 28th Annual Junior Waterfowl Hunt

Once again, Bass Pro Shops in Rancho Cucamonga, along with Quail Forever are sponsoring a raffle to raise money to purchase prizes for San Jacinto’s 28th Annual Junior Waterfowl hunt, which will be held on Saturday, February 5th, 2022. Raffle tickets are available at Bass Pro Shops in Rancho Cucamonga (see below for a Google Maps link to Bass Pros Shop’s location):

https://www.google.com/maps/place/Bass+Pro+Shops/@34.1128172,-117.5291929,17z/data=!3m1!4b1!4m5!3m4!1s0x80c34a185980b999:0x55a12fc2ca27c64a!8m2!3d34.1128128!4d-117.5270042?hl=en

There will be two winners in this raffle. One winner will take home a brand-new Charles Daly Model 601 semi-auto shotgun donated by Quail Forever, and the other winner will be awarded a Stoegar P3000 pump-action shotgun donated by Bass Pro Shops. All the money raised by this raffle will go to purchase prizes for San Jacinto Wildlife Area’s Annual Junior Waterfowl Hunt. Tickets are only $5 each! The drawing for the shotguns will be held on December 23rd, 2021, at 5:00 pm. Winners need not be present to win. All money from the raffle will be used to purchase prizes for the Junior Hunt giveaway.

In addition, if you’d like to support this great event for our Junior Hunters by donating prizes of your own you can do that by following the procedure laid out in the SoCalHunt post at the link below:

If you’d like to donate a prize or two (or more) for the Junior Hunt don’t let a little paperwork scare you. It’s not that hard, I know, I’ve done it every year since this requirement was put in place.

So, here’s a great chance to get a nice shotgun for a few bucks and support a great event for our Junior Hunters, the future of our sport.

San Jacinto Wildlife Area’s 28th Annual Junior Waterfowl Hunt Giveaway – Donations Needed

The last regular hunt day at San Jacinto Wildlife Area is Saturday, January 29th, 2022. A week after the last regular season hunt day, on Saturday, February 5th, 2022, the Junior Hunters will have a unique opportunity to end their season with a bang by participating in the 28th Annual Junior Waterfowl Hunt. SoCalHunt will post more details about the actual hunting opportunity for the Junior Hunters at a later date, this post will be more about some important preparation for the Junior Hunt and what you can do to help if you’re so inclined.

Besides the hunting, one of the things our Junior Hunters look forward to at the SJWA Junior Hunt is the lunch and giveaway at mid-day. The Junior Hunters hunt cards are entered into a drawing for all kinds of great prizes and usually there’s enough to go around that the Junior Hunters walk away with at least two giveaway prizes each! The San Jacinto Staff puts in a great deal of work on the Junior Hunt as do many volunteers. The SJ Staff and the volunteers truly believe the annual San Jacinto Wildlife Area Junior Hunt is an important event to keep the Junior Hunters interested and create memories for the Junior Hunters, who are, in fact, the future of our sport.

This year is the 28th Annual Junior Hunt and it would be great to have a copious amount of donations for the giveaway prizes to make a really memorable event for our wonderful Junior Hunters.

In 2015 there was a change in state policy regarding donations for the annual Junior Hunt. Per the change in policy, by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, donations of money, food or merchandise cannot be accepted unless the donations go through a formal acceptance procedure.

(You can read SoCalHunt’s post on the 2015 donation procedures change at this link: https://socalhunt.wordpress.com/2015/09/02/new-procedures-for-donations-for-the-annual-junior-hunt-at-san-jacinto-wildlife-area/ This post has been edited to reflect this season’s dates and info.)

I should note that this donation procedure will not affect San Jacinto’s Annual Toy Drive, this year to benefit The Bryant Park Head Start Preschool as, in that case, they are just collecting the toys for the Bryant Park and the donated toys are not being donated to the DFW, they are just the middle-man in that situation so the toy box will be at the check station as usual. There is not formal acceptance procedure required for the Toy Drive donations.

So, if you are of a mind to contribute anything to the Annual Junior Hunt, which will be held on Saturday, February 5th, 2022 this season, you need to contact Tom Trakes at either his phone at 951-236-3040 or email at Thomas.Trakes@wildlife.ca.gov by the deadline of January 5th, 2022.

To make it simple for anyone wanting to donate prizes for the Junior Hunt, SoCalHunt has cut through the red tape for you. I’ve have tried to make it as simple as possible if you’d like to donate a prize or two, or more. What the bottom line turns out to be is simply sending Tom Trakes a simple email (at his email address above) detailing what you intend to donate. To make it easy I’ve included a link below to the SoCalHunt website’s “Maps and Downloads” page. Scroll down to the very bottom of this page I’ve posted a link to a MS Word file of an example email to send to Tom Trakes, so you can make your donation. Just follow the instructions at the top of the Word file. Just copy and paste this into an email and plug in what you’re donating and the details in the underlined sections. The Donation Email MS Word file will be found at the very bottom of the SoCalHunt website “Maps and Downloads” page. Just click on it to download the Word file to your computer.

http://www.socalhunt.com/maps-and-downloads.html

Hopefully this season’s Junior Hunt will be another record event, both in birds bagged and giveaway prizes donated. This is a wonderful opportunity to show our Junior Hunters how much they are valued as they are the future of our sport. Hopefully you are able to contribute to this great event.

Thanks in advance to all who can donate and/or volunteer this season!

Donations Needed for San Jacinto Wildlife Area’s Annual Bryant Park Head Start Preschool Toy Drive

San Jacinto Wildlife Area has begun their Annual Toy Drive to benefit the Bryant Park Head Start Preschool!  Tom Trakes and San Jacinto WA Staff are once again conducting a toy drive for the kids at the Bryant Park Head Start Preschool.

SoCalHunt encourages all the hunters that hunt at San Jacinto in the next several weeks bring along a new, unwrapped toy to donate for the kids.  This is a chance to show the general public that hunters really do have a heart.  Hunters should bring in toys for the Head Start Preschool that are intended for 3 to 5-year-old boys and girls.

Donations for the Bryant Park Head Start Program will be accepted until December 15th. Santa Claus and the San Jacinto Staff will deliver them to the children shortly after.  These donations do not need to go through the state procedures for donations (such as the donations for the Junior Hunt) as San Jacinto is not receiving the donations but is just a collection point for them.

Please take this opportunity to show that hunters really have a heart and do care. Donate to the San Jacinto Annual Toy Drive and support this great effort.

For further details please contact Tom at (951)-236-3040 or the San Jacinto Wildlife Area Office at (951)-928-0580.  Toys can be donated at the San Jacinto Wildlife Area Office at 17050 Davis Road, Lakeview, CA 92567.

Thank you for your support!

2022 California Game Warden Stamp Now Available November 15th

Hello!  It’s that time of year again.  If you’ve followed SoCalHunt for any time more than a year you’ve seen this before. However, I’m going to say it again. 

Here it is again!  The California Department of Fish and Wildlife announces the 2022 edition of the Warden Stamp will be available starting November 15th.  Unless you’ve been living under a rock in the desert somewhere or something for the last eight years, you’re probably aware that the Department of Fish and Game changed its name on January 1st, 2013 to the Department of Fish and Wildlife.  With that change our good old Game Wardens were designated as “Wildlife Officers”, and it even says so on the Warden Stamps since 2014, but most hunters and fisherpersons still call them “Wardens” and the DFW is still calling this the “Warden Stamp”.

The new Warden Stamp, for 2022 will be available for purchase online via the CDFW online license services (ALDS) beginning November 15th.  To purchase the new Warden Stamp, on or after November 15th just follow the link below to purchase via the ALDS system.

Click on the below link to go to the Warden Stamp page and follow the instructions to buy it online:

https://www.wildlife.ca.gov/Warden-Stamp

The Game Warden Stamp isn’t really a “stamp” for your license, such as your federal duck stamp is, although the name might lead you to believe that, rather it’s a roughly 3” x 3” decal.

The 2022 version of the stamp is a yellowish-brown background and features the CDFW wildlife officer badge and a profile of an American Bald Eagle’s head.  (see picture below)

The DFW still has their entire series of Warden Stamps available.  If you like a prior year’s design better than this year’s or would like to collect the entire series, they are all still available, from the first one in 2010 up through this year’s stamps.

The 2010 version is a green shield with a Warden’s badge and an elk silhouette on it.  The 2011 version is a light blue background with a Warden’s badge and a silhouette of a trout or salmon on it. The 2012 version has a dark brown background with a Warden’s badge and a silhouette of a California quail on it. The 2013 version has a gold background with a Warden’s badge and a silhouette of a duck landing on it. The 2014 version has a red background with a Warden’s badge and a silhouette of a lobster on it. The 2015 version of the stamp has a wood grain background with a Warden’s badge and the shadow of a bear on it. The 2016 version has a blue background with a Warden’s badge and the silhouettes of two bighorn sheep on it. The 2017 version of the stamp is a green background with a Warden’s badge and drawing of a sturgeon. The 2018 version of the stamp is an orange background with a Warden’s badge and a drawing of a Warden K9. The 2019 version of the stamp is a dark blue background with a Warden’s badge and a drawing of two snow geese flying. The 2020 version of the stamp is a deep blue background with a Warden’s badge and a drawing of a Dorado on it.  The 2021 version of the stamp is a dark green background and features the sesquicentennial CDFW wildlife officer badge and silhouettes of California conifer trees along with the CDFW bear that has been used on badges and department logo shields for decades.

(See pictures below). If you like them all you could buy one, or more, of each one if you want to.

The stamps are $5 each and the funds go into a special account. The money is used to provide our Game Wardens with additional equipment, training and new programs, such as new communications and surveillance devices, protective equipment, training in specialized areas, new law enforcement programs to assist them in their duties.

Due to State budget cuts, non-hunting / fishing politicians feel that the DFW is a “painless” way to cut back on the budget by giving the DFW less to do more with.

Quoting the DFW website on the Warden stamp:

“The Warden Stamp Program was initiated in 2010 to address the need for better equipment and training for the state’s wildlife officers and to provide funding for special law enforcement programs.

Wildlife crimes are on the rise and becoming more complex to solve. With approximately 400 wildlife officers in the state patrolling 159,000 square miles of natural habitat, the job is extremely demanding.

Officers must perform a number of roles including catching poachers, eradicating illegal marijuana grows, responding to oil spills, providing public safety, educating the public and much more. Every day is a new challenge.

  • Wildlife officers protect more than 1,000 native fish and wildlife species, 6,300 native plant species and 360 threatened or endangered species.
  • Wildlife officers patrol about 400 square miles of land per officer.
  • Wildlife officers keep watch over 1,100 miles of coastline, 30,000 miles of rivers and streams, 4,800 lakes and reservoirs and 80 major rivers.
  • Wildlife officers patrol on foot, by plane, boat, all-terrain vehicles, snowmobiles, and even on horseback.
  • There is approximately one wildlife officer for every 100,000 Californians.

By purchasing this special stamp you can show your support for the important work wildlife officers do.”

Now – back to me…

As I’ve said every year that I’ve written about the Warden Stamp, the important point here, in my opinion, is getting the money to the “boots on the ground”.  If your $5 (or more, if you can afford it) results in some equipment, training or what have you that helps catch a poacher in your area the payoff may be more game or more fish for you and yours to legally harvest.  And, the bottom line is, that’s what’s important.  As for the “stamp”, stick it on your truck, ammo box or tackle box, stick it in a drawer, throw it away if you want, do whatever you want with it.  The important thing is to help give our Wardens the tools they need to protect our hunting and fishing heritage.

So, November 15th, as I have done every year since 2010, I’m signing on to the CDFW ALDS on my computer and ordering this year’s Warden Stamps.

San Jacinto Wildlife Area to Host Quail Unlimited Junior Hunter Chukar Hunt, Sunday, November 14th

Tom Trakes of the San Jacinto Wildlife Area advised me that on Sunday, November 14th San Jacinto Wildlife Area will be hosting Quail Unlimited’s Junior Chukar Hunt.  The hunt will accommodate up to 60 Junior Hunters.  QU will be providing 120 Chukar for the hunt.  Five fields will be marked off for the Junior Hunters to hunt in.  At noon, QU will provide lunch at the SJWA check station.

The Junior Hunters and their responsible adult(s) need to be at the SJWA check station by 6:00 am on Sunday, November 14th.  There are no reservations for this hunt so if more than 60 Junior Hunters show up a drawing will be done that morning for the hunting spots.

Tom wanted me to thank Quail Unlimited for putting on this hunt, for providing the birds for it, and for providing lunch for all the participants.  It should be a great day in the upland fields!

If you need further information you can contact Tom Trakes at the San Jacinto headquarters at (951) 236-3040, or the San Jacinto staff at (951) 928-0580.

SoCalHunt has New San Jacinto Wildlife Area Blind Maps Available for the 2021/2022 Season

SoCalHunt now has the newest maps available for San Jacinto Wildlife Area for the 2021/2022 season!  SoCalHunt strives to keep everyone up to date with the latest info so these maps should help, especially if you’re headed out to SJ for the first time or haven’t been there often enough to know where everything is.  The new maps are the standard blind map with the SJWA rules attached, a new Mystic Lake blind map, and a map of the new “L” blind which was first opened last season.

The standard blind map and area rules haven’t changed that much from last year, but the rules page is updated to reflect this year’s rules. The Mystic Blinds map is totally different as Mystic Lake has shrunk substantially and there is only going to be four blinds on the shores of Mystic this season (This could change depending on how much more Mystic shrinks or if we get substantial rain and it expands – updates will be posted if it changes).  The last map is the new “L” Blind access map.  This blind was opened last season, so it is fairly new to SJ. 

To download a copy of any of these maps go to SoCalHunt’s web page’s maps and downloads page and click on the picture of the map to download a copy.  We also have maps of Kern and Wister on the maps and downloads page, and we will update those if/when we receive any new maps or info from those hunting areas. 

I talked to Tom at San Jacinto and he says they’re 100% ready for the season. All blinds have water and they have 56 hunting sites available. There are all kinds of ducks at SJ now and they’re even seeing snow geese, specks, and honkers on the wildlife area. Tom said his wife and daughter will be supplying pastries on opening morning and the coffee will be ready. Tom wanted to remind everyone that they HAVE TO follow state COVID restrictions so please wear a mask when you go into the office, vaccinated or not. I know this can be controversial but it may mean the difference between keeping SJ opened for the season or having it shut down. Just remember, the people in charge of the state outrank anyone working at San Jacinto so it could happen if we’re not careful.

Here’s the link to SoCalHunt’s maps and downloads page…

http://www.socalhunt.com/maps-and-downloads.html

Hope to see you out on SJWA some time this season.  We’re looking forward to a good one!

Reminder – San Jacinto Wildlife Area Volunteer Blind Brush-Up Work Day – Saturday, September 18th, 2021

SoCalHunt already announced this work day, along with the August 14th work day (which was a great success BTW – thanks for all who came out) but I’m, posting this as a reminder since that announcement was back on July 10th.

Tom Trakes, from San Jacinto Wildlife Area, advised that the third volunteer work day for the upcoming season at San Jacinto Wildlife Area have been scheduled.  The date is Saturday, September 18th.  The work days will be primarily for building, repairing and brushing-up blinds and cleaning up the general hunting areas around them.  The SJ Staff is asking that you please comply with current State COVID-19 precautions in force when these dates come up.  Tom advised that volunteers should meet at the check station at 5:30 AM and anyone coming out to volunteer should bring work gloves, sturdy boots or shoes, Shovels, wire cutters, pliers, etc. and waders if you have them.  Some of the ponds may still be flooded.  Also, obviously, the weather will be HOT so bring lots of water, sunscreen & mosquito repellent.

Tom is also requesting that anyone that has access to palm fronds and would like to get rid of them to drop them off at San Jacinto Wildlife Area any time.  The palm fronds are needed to brush up the wildlife area’s blinds for the upcoming waterfowl hunting season as well as to have some on hand for repairs to the blinds throughout the season.  Anyone who is trimming palm trees and wants to bring them around to San Jacinto to get rid of them, or knows someone who is trimming palm trees and wants to save the fee the dump would charge them, give Tom a call at 951-236-3040 and he’ll make arrangements for someone to be there so you can drop them off. He also wanted me to remind people that they DO NOT want fronds that have the thorns on them.  Don’t bring the wader-rippers but other, non-thorny palm fronds are welcome. The thorn laden fronds are okay to use, however, if you’re willing to strip off the thorns prior to bringing them in. 

After the work is done, we will get together at Marcello’s Pizza Restaurant restaurant in Nuevo for a well deserved lunch. (Each person responsible for their own bill).

Hopefully, we’ll have a great turnout so we can get the blinds and hunting area prepped for another waterfowl season.  SJ is very short staffed right now and needs all the help they can get to get ready for the season.  As I always say, the more the merrier (and the less work for each person).

If you have any questions contact Tom Trakes at the San Jacinto headquarters at (951) 236-3040, or the San Jacinto staff at (951) 928-0580.


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