Archive for the 'Announcements' Category

SoCalHunt Now Including Kern National Wildlife Refuge Bird Count Reports / Maps

Beginning with the Wednesday 11/28/2018 hunt day SoCalHunt will now be publishing the Kern National Wildlife Refuge bird counts each week along with San Jacinto Wildlife Area and the Wister Unit of the Imperial Wildlife Area counts.  SoCalHunt now has a source for the Kern bird counts so they will be included each week as soon as the US Fish and Wildlife Service (which runs Kern as it’s a Federal Refuge) can get the info to us.

In addition, on the SoCalHunt website “Maps and Downloads” page we have included the Kern NWR area map and a link to a google maps page so you can find directions to get to Kern.  Just click the link below to check it out:

(Scroll down to near the bottom of the page to find the Kern NWR map links)

Good luck, no matter which of our So. Cal. Duck spots you choose to hunt.  See you out there some time!


Missing Wister Bird Stats – Info

As you probably know SoCalHunt, in addition to posting the bird counts and averages for San Jacinto Wildlife Area, has also been posting the bird counts and averages for the Wister Unit of the Imperial Wildlife Area for the past few seasons.  You may also have noticed that all of a sudden, the counts for Wister are missing.  The last Wister report was for Wednesday, 11/7/18.

For some unknown reason, the DFW staff at Wister has quit emailing SoCalHunt the Wister information.  Upon contact with them, I was told that the reason was “We are having other employees do the composition reports due to schedule changes.”  However, so far, we have not received further reports from Wister.

We are working with the DFW to get this straightened out ASAP.  When the reports come in, we will post them, usually within a day maximum of receiving them.

This is not meant as a criticism of the Wister Staff or the DFW.  As most of you probably know, especially in a big government organization, when changes are made sometimes there are glitches in the system.  With any luck, this should be resolved soon.  I just wanted to put this out there as an explanation as to why the Wister reports suddenly disappeared.  Hopefully, we’ll be back to normal on this soon.  Thanks for your patience on this.


Donations Needed for San Jacinto Wildlife Area’s 25th Annual Junior Waterfowl Hunt Giveaway

On February 2nd, 2019, one week after the last regular season hunt day at San Jacinto Wildlife Area, Junior Hunters will have a unique opportunity to end the season on a high note by participating in the 25th Annual Junior Waterfowl Hunt.  Traditionally the hunting on this day has been great to fantastic, attributed to the fact that the birds have had a week off and we’re then a week deeper into the migration.

Of course, besides the hunting, one of the great things about 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 lot of work on this Junior Hunt as do many volunteers. The SJ crew and the volunteers truly believe the annual San Jacinto Wildlife Area Junior Hunt is an important event to pique the interest of our up and coming Junior Hunters who will be the future of hunting in California.

This year, being the 25th Annual Junior Hunt, it would be nice to see a flood of donations for the giveaway prizes to make a really impressive show for our great 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:  )

I should note that this donation procedure will not affect San Jacinto’s Annual Toy Drive for the Bryant Park Preschool as, in that case, they are just collecting the toys for the preschool 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 no 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 2nd, 2019 this season, you need to contact Tom Trakes at either his phone at 951-236-3040 or email at by January 15th,  2019.

To break it down for you though, after you wade through all the State bureaucratic mess, what it boils down to is sending Tom Trakes a simple email 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.  At the very bottom of this page, I’ve posted a link to an 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’s “Maps and Downloads” page. Just click on it to download the Word file to your computer.

Hopefully, this season’s Junior Hunt will be a record event, both in birds harvested and giveaway prizes donated.  This is a great opportunity to show our Junior Hunters how much we value them as the future of our sport, so I hope you can contribute to this great cause.

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

San Jacinto Wildlife Area’s Annual Bryant Park Preschool Toy Drive Begins

San Jacinto Wildlife Area has begun their Annual Toy Drive!  Tom Trakes and the crew at San Jacinto Wildlife Area, told SoCalHunt that this year’s Toy Drive will again benefit 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 to the kids.  This is a chance to show the general public that hunters 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. The San Jacinto Staff, along with Santa Claus, delivering them shortly after.  These donations don’t 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! Now Has the Current Blind Maps and Area Rules for San Jacinto Wildlife Area and Wister Along With GPS Coordinates For All SJ Blinds

The SoCalHunt website, , now has downloadable pdf files for the 2018/2019 season San Jacinto Wildlife Area blind map and area rules and the Wister Wildlife Area blind map and area rules.  Also, for the first time, we have a downloadable pdf file of all of the GPS coordinates for the San Jacinto blind locations.  These files can be found on the Maps and Downloads page of the SoCalHunt website (not here on the SoCalHunt Blog) at the above link.  Just click on the above link and then go to the Maps and Downloads page.  Click on the map or GPS list image you want, and you can download a pdf file to view and/or print.  All three of these files are 2 pages long.

On the San Jacinto Wildlife Area map for this season, you will notice that some of the blinds have shaded areas around them.  These shaded areas are areas that you will be allowed to “roam” near those blinds to hunt.  In addition, the SJ Staff, again going the extra mile, has gone to the trouble of marking each blind’s GPS coordinates to assist hunters in finding their hunting location at 0-dark-30.  So now, you just need to put the GPS numbers in your GPS or GPS smartphone app and you’ll know where your blind is located, even if you’re a first timer.  Of course, you’ll have to use some common sense and follow the twists and turns of the dikes to get to the blinds, not just go busting through the brush and across the middle of ponds because that’s the way the GPS points you.

As I type this the season kickoff is less than two days away so, hopefully, the above info will assist you in picking and getting to your hunting site this season.  Hope to see you out there this season!

2nd Volunteer Blind Brush-Up Day Coming Up – Saturday, September 22nd

(Edit – 9/16/18 – Less then a week now! Next Saturday!) This is just a quick reminder that the 2nd volunteer blind brush-up work day is two weeks away.  I just wanted to put out a reminder since the original announcement was incorporated with the August 18th brush-up work day announcement.  Don’t want anyone that’s willing to help out to miss because the original announcement was a while back.  Also, if you have any palm fronds they are needed to complete the building and brushing up of some of the blinds.  See the below link for details.

Dove Season Opens Saturday, September 1st – San Jacinto Wildlife Area Info

September 1st is, as it has been for time immemorial, the opening of dove season in California.  This year that happens to be on a Saturday, next Saturday in fact.  Tom Trakes, from San Jacinto Wildlife Area, wanted me to announce that the entire wildlife area will be opened to dove hunting for the first Three days of dove season.  From opening day, Saturday September 1st, until Monday September 3rd, hunters may chase doves not only on the upland areas of San Jacinto, but they can also attempt to bag the little gray rockets around the Wildlife Area’s duck hunting side.  For the remainder of the dove season, after September 3rd until September 15th, dove hunting will be allowed only on the upland areas of San Jacinto.  Hunting doves in the waterfowl area of SJ won’t be allowed after September 3rd.

Tom also wanted to remind everyone that this year, as it has been for the last couple years, due to Department of Fish and Wildlife regulations only non-toxic shot may be used on the wildlife area.  This means NO LEAD SHOT is allowed at any time at SJ whether you’re duck hunting, upland hunting or rabbit hunting.    Be sure you don’t have any lead shot with you if you’re going to hunt San Jacinto, or any other state wildlife area or refuge this year.  Wardens will be checking and possession of even one round of lead shot could get you a citation.  So, check your hunting vest thoroughly to make sure an old round of lead shot isn’t stuck in one of the pockets.  Also, don’t forget that your old hunting license expired at the end of June.  Don’t be caught without your 2018/19 hunting license and your upland endorsement on you license.

Tom told me that they are seeing a good amount of dove utilizing SJ this year and they’ve planted several fields with dove-attracting crops.  That’s not to say that you’re going to limit out in an hour, like you might be able to do down at Niland or someplace like that, but you have a good chance of bagging a few birds close to home.

So, Hopefully, there won’t be any last-minute thunder storms to chase the birds out of the area.  A quick check of the weather app show that there aren’t any predicted, but then that’s a weather prediction so who knows.   If you so inclined to try your luck at San Jacinto things are looking pretty good for the opener.

Hope to see you out on good old SJ some time.

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