Archive for the 'Announcements' Category



Volunteer Clean Up / Brush Up Work Day Set for San Jacinto Wildlife Area August 24th

Tom Trakes, from San Jacinto Wildlife Area, advised that the next volunteer work days for San Jacinto Wildlife Area would be Saturday, August 24th.  This work day will be primarily to finish cleaning up the hunting area, to start brushing up the area’s blinds, and to build a few new blinds for the coming season.  Tom advised that volunteers should meet at the check station at 6:00 am and anyone coming out to volunteer should bring gloves, shovels and/or hoes, wire pliers and lots of water since it’s expected to be hot. Also, if anyone has access to palm fronds, they need a good supply of these, all they can get.  When it comes to palm fronds, we can’t have too many so if you can bring some along, please do.  After the work is done, we will get together at a local pizza restaurant “Marcello’s” for a well-deserved lunch (each person responsible for their own bill).

In the meantime, if you have any palm fronds you want to donate you don’t have to save them for the workday.  You can call Tom or the SJ staff at the number below and make arrangements to drop them off before the workday.  Make sure the palm frond are either the type with no thorns or, if you want to strip the thorns off before you bring them in, that kind is ok too.

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

Also, if you do come out to help on the August 24th work day there’s a potential bonus as this is just a week and a day before the opening of dove season.  The waterfowl side of the wildlife area will be opened for dove hunting the first two days of dove season (Sunday, Sept. 1 & Monday Sept. 2).  Dove hunting will only be allowed on the Upland Game side of the Wildlife Area after the first two days.  If you want to hunt SJ this would also be a good time to get a little scouting in for the dove opener while you lend a hand.  Just remember, if you do come out to hunt dove at San Jacinto it’s unleaded now, even for upland game on the wildlife area, and everywhere else in the state now for that matter, NON-TOXIC SHOT ONLY!

Hopefully, we’ll have a good crew of volunteers for this one to get the blinds looking good for the upcoming season and another great year of duck hunting.

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.

San Jacinto Wildlife Area Blind Clean-up/Workday Rescheduled for July 13th, 2019

San Jacinto Wildlife Area Staff would like to invite hunters to participate in a Volunteer Clean-up/Workday at the Wildlife Area on Saturday, July 13th, 2019.  Volunteers are to gather at the SJ Check Station parking lot at 7 am.  This will be the first of probably three work days before the season so at this point there are NO palm fronds are needed at this time.  (But start thinking about where to get them around September).

Work will be assigned at the start of the morning.  A mid-day BBQ pot luck lunch will be held for the volunteers.  Work will continue after the BBQ.

Also, during this workday Boy Scouts will be engaged in an Eagle project repairing the kiosk near the entrance to San Jacinto.  Anyone who has roofing expertise and/or tools that could assist the Boy Scouts is welcome.

Please be prepared for the following:

Trash removal from hunt sites

General clean-up of hunt areas

Bring work gloves, sturdy boots, mud boots, covered shoes, waders (All ponds are still holding water)

Be sure to bring plenty of bottled water as the weather will be HOT!  Also, mosquito repellant would be a good idea.

Direction to the San Jacinto Wildlife Area

From the 215 South freeway,

-Exit Ramona Expressway going east towards Lake Perris, go 7 miles to Davis road, turn left and go up Davis road 2 miles to the Wildlife Headquarters office.

From the 79

-Exit Ramona Expressway going west towards Lake Perris, go to Davis road, turn right and go up Davis road 2 miles to the Wildlife Headquarters office.

Questions?  Contact Tom Trakes (951) 236-3040.

California Fish and Game Commission Sets 2019/2020 Season Regulations

The California Fish and Game Commission, during their April 17th meeting in Santa Monica, California, adopted changes to the waterfowl season dates and regulations for the 2019/20 waterfowl season.

Regulations adopted for the Southern California Zone (which will cover San Jacinto Wildlife Area):
Seasons: Ducks and Geese: October 19, 2019 through January 31, 2020.
Special Youth Hunt Days: February 8 and February 9, 2020. (San Jacinto’s Annual Youth Hunt will be February 8th, 2020).

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; 3 scaup. (Scaup may only be taken November 7th, 2019 through January 31st, 2020 – so be careful the first two and a half weeks of the season this year).

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, 2019 – December 15, 2019. Daily bag limit: 2 per day. Possession limit 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 – 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 web site or the printed regulation books when they come out, probably in a couple of months but still well before the season).

Among the regulations that most affect San Jacinto hunters are, of course, the extended end date for the season. The federal framework allowed for the season to end on the last day in January and, due to overwhelming support from hunters who contacted DFW, the Commission adopted the extended season. This will end the season on Friday, January 31st but, in effect, for San Jacinto, it will mean only one more hunt day and the season ending there will be on a Wednesday, which would be January 29th. If you have a place you can hunt that is not on a state or federal refuge or wildlife area of course it means 5 more days for you to hunt but if you only hunt places like SJ it only results in one more day, but one more hunt day is 100 times better than not having the extra day. This extended season will also have the effect of pushing the annual Junior Hunt at San Jacinto (and everywhere else) back a week to Saturday, February 8th, which will likely mean a little better hunting for the juniors. Also, as a result of the extended season, Scaup, which have usually opened two weeks after the season opens will actually open 2 ½ weeks after the season opener, which will actually be the day after the third Wednesday of the season (opens November 7th, 2019, a Thursday) This means there will be 6 hunt days at SJ were Scaup are verboten (not allowed for the non-German speakers) instead of the usual 4 hunt days at the beginning of the season. Another change, one that Southern California hunters won’t be happy with is that this season the Pintail limit was dropped to 1 bird. Unfortunate for us in this part of the state as sometimes pintail are the most numerous bird harvested, even with last year’s 2 bird limit, especially down at Wister. Other than that, most other regulations stayed pretty consistent with last season’s regulations.

So, there you have it. The regulations are set, and San Jacinto Wildlife Area will soon be on the way to become ship shape for the 2019/2020 season. (Don’t forget to pitch in on the upcoming workday on July 13th and/or the subsequent work days if you’re able – Info will be posted here when I receive it). AND Mystic Lake is back and completely full which should go a long way to enhance the hunt results at good old SJ!

This above information is provided as a general guide only. Although they haven’t updated it to the newly adopted regulations 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

…or printed regulation book (available probably not long after they update their web info at most license agent locations) for official information and/or for regulations in other waterfowl zones in the state.

Hopefully, we’ll get some weather this year up north early in the season to push the birds down to us and we can all look forward to another great season at San Jacinto Wildlife Area.

San Jacinto Wildlife Area Work day Scheduled for Saturday, May 11th CANCELED

The work day / clean up that was scheduled for the San Jacinto Wildlife Area this coming Saturday, May 11th has been CANCELED due to circumstances.  The new date for this work day is now set for Saturday, July 13th.  Mark your calendars and hopefully we’ll have details soon about the July 13th work day.  This post is just to get notice out there to any that were going to attend this Saturday so they are aware of the cancelation ASAP.

Quick Notice – Clean Up Day Set for San Jacinto Wildlife Area, Saturday, May 11th (details to come)

Just a heads up so people can get this on their calendar…Since it looks like the rains are finally over a Clean Up day is scheduled for San Jacinto Wildlife Area for Saturday, May 11th. I’ll post details when I get them…

San Jacinto’s 25th Annual Junior Waterfowl Hunt Event a Rousing Success, February 2nd, 2019

To start this off I want to say that there were so many great sponsors, volunteers, and so many that supported the Junior Hunt event with prizes, assistance, and the food they deserve another big thanks from all of us.

As the top-off to the season, the Junior Hunt is a great event and the Junior Hunters had some good waterfowl hunting and also came away with some great prizes at the lunch and giveaway at mid-day.

As is tradition, the Juniors and their adult accompanists were treated to a great breakfast of pancakes and sausage with coffee and hot chocolate.

After all the Juniors and their accompanying adults fueled up on breakfast, they headed out to the Wildlife Area to set up and wait for the starting horn to sound.  The hunting was pretty good this year and many waterfowl were brought into the check station.

(In case you missed it you can read the hunt results here…

https://socalhunt.wordpress.com/2019/02/02/hunt-results-for-san-jacinto-wildlife-areas-25th-annual-junior-hunt-saturday-2-2-19/  )

At lunchtime, everyone retired to the Check Station workshop for lunch and the prize giveaway.    Lunch was great with the Juniors and their adults downing BBQed hamburgers and hotdogs and some fantastic cakes provided and decorated by Tom Trakes’ wife and daughter, Cindy and Bonnie.

This year’s Junior Hunt was dedicated to the memory of Richard Seville, one of the SJ regulars, that sadly passed away early in 2018.

This year Tom’s daughter has produced a video slideshow covering San Jacinto Wildlife Areas 25th Annual Junior Hunt Event.  Rather than run through a list of prizes and happenings at the event I’ll let the video do the talking this year.  As they say, a picture is worth a thousand words and there’s a bunch of them in the video.

(Video here:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IvoGnRRnXtM&feature=youtu.be&fbclid=IwAR0Xde_WYUSFiN8jykESvKCcmnVl_IQjNGrgicDCe-b8TNcNBNdltEpFbbo  )

After the raffle, many of the Junior Hunters went back to their blinds to finish out the day hunting.

The Junior Hunt was an outstanding event, as it usually is.  As I’ve said every year, and will repeat again as I fervently believe it, the Juniors are the future of our sport, so it is vital to keep them interested and involved in waterfowl hunting.  San Jacinto’s Annual Junior Waterfowl Hunt definitely goes a long way towards that goal every year.

Tom told me he’d like to thank, as well as I would myself, everyone who donated prizes, food, labor or anything else towards this event.  We all should also thank the San Jacinto crew for, as usual, going the extra mile to help make this event happen. We all appreciate all your hard work.

So, another Junior Waterfowl Hunt is in the books.  Check out the pictures below of the 85 Juniors Hunters that participated this year and the beautifully decorated cake Tom’s wife and daughter worked so hard on.  Also, don’t forget to view the wonderful video of the event that Tom’s daughter worked so hard on. (link above within the article).  This was a great event to celebrate the 25th annual waterfowl hunt and a great kickoff to the next 25 years, and beyond for the Junior Hunters.

Great lookin’ Cake!

The Junior Crew!

San Jacinto Wildlife Area – Free Hunter Education Course Offered, Saturday, April 27th

San Jacinto Wildlife Area will be hosting a free state-mandated Hunter’s Education course on Saturday, April 27th, 2019.  If you want to get a hunting license this is the class you need to take to get your license.

Tom Trakes, of San Jacinto Wildlife Area, advised that the students should assemble at the SJ check station by 6:30 am with the course beginning promptly thereafter.

The Class is free to all, no tuition or materials fee. Students must read the Hunter Education manual prior to attending this class and bring it along to the class. (Check a little further down for more about the manual).  The weather at San Jacinto in April varies but can be quite warm and it’s suggested that everyone attending would probably want to bring a good supply of bottled water.

Lunch will be at noon, food provided, sponsored by Quail Forever.

The class should last until about 5:00 pm and everyone successfully completing the course can then head out to their local DFW license agent (aka: sporting goods store, Walmart, DFW Office, etc.) and buy their hunting license.

Every person who wishes to take this course must register for the class. Before registering the student must obtain a Get Outdoors (GO ID) number.  Students must download, sign, and bring to the class with them a Student Consent Form.

To get a GO ID number, start here:

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

To register for the class and get your Student Consent Form, go to:

https://www.register-ed.com/events/view/139960

…and follow the instructions to register.

On the registration page, they request that you “Please read your manual before April 27th and be prepared for a 9 hour class…”. printed copies of the Hunter Education Manual are available at your local DFW office or, as soon as they get them, at San Jacinto Wildlife Area.  I checked with the DFW Los Alamitos Office and the manual is not available online as a pdf, however, I did obtain a printed copy and on the cover is a web address that takes you to a Hunter Education page.  If you scroll down that page a short way you will see a link to the “Official California Department of Fish and Wildlife hunter safety course”.  Click on that link and it takes you to the “Official California Hunter Safety Course Online” page.  At the very top of that page, right in the middle is a link that says “Study Guide” (there’s also another link to the same study guide further down the page). Click on either of those links and it will take you to an online version of the Hunter Education Manual.  I checked a few pages of this link as compared to the printed manual and it appears to follow the printed manual I obtained from the DFW Office fairly closely. If you can’t make it to a DFW office or to SJWA before the class to pick up a manual this is a substitute, although I believe the manual is slightly more detailed.  Here’s the link to the web address to find the online version of the manual:

https://www.hunter-ed.com/

Here’s a link to a page with a map and addresses for all the DFW Offices so you can find the one near you:

https://nrm.dfg.ca.gov/FileHandler.ashx?DocumentID=55162&inline

Direction to the San Jacinto Wildlife Area:

From the 215 South freeway:

-Exit Ramona Expressway going east towards Lake Perris, go 7 miles to Davis road, turn left and go up Davis road 2 miles to the Wildlife Headquarters office.

From the 79:

-Exit Ramona Expressway going west towards Lake Perris, go to Davis road, turn right and go up Davis road 2 miles to the Wildlife Headquarters office.

Any questions regarding this free Hunter’s Education course should call Tom Trakes at 951-236-3040.

Follow Up – Notes on Kern National Wildlife Refuge and the Shutdown

Now that the Government Shutdown is over, at least temporally, SoCalHunt has again reached out to the Kern National Wildlife Refuge regarding the publication of the hunt results since the shutdown went into effect.

We, as hunters, should be thankful that the hunting program at Kern NWR was allowed to continue despite the shutdown.

As you probably know, even though hunting continued, SoCalHunt didn’t receive any hunt results from Kern.  So far, since the shutdown ended, SoCalHunt hasn’t received any hunt result information from Kern from the point the shutdown started until the end of the season.  This is understandable since the season is over (except for the Junior Hunt day coming up this Saturday) it is not a priority to publish this information.  There are plenty of habitat management priorities to get up and running before the Kern Staff gets to this.  SoCalHunt did contact a member of the Kern Staff and was assured that they would publish this information after other priorities are taken care of.

This is the latest info SoCalHunt has from Kern NWR regarding the end of the Government Shutdown.  As soon as SoCalHunt gets Kern’s hunt results info you can be assured, it will be posted here ASAP.

Again, thanks for your patience regarding the missing info during the shutdown.  I’m sure the Kern NWR Staff appreciates your patience also.

 

2019 California Game Warden Stamp Now Available

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife announces the 2019 edition of the Warden Stamp is now available.  As we all should know by now the Department of Fish and Game changed its name on January 1st, 2013 to the Department of Fish and Wildlife.  The DFW officially calls their Wardens “Wildlife Officers” now, 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 2019 is now available for purchase online via the CDFW online license services (ALDS).  To purchase the new Warden Stamp, 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 2019 version of the stamp is a dark blue background with a Warden’s badge and a drawing of two snow geese flying.  (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. (See pictures below). If you like them all you could buy one, or more, of each one if you want to.

2010 Warden Stamp

2011 Warden Stamp

2012WardenStampDecal

2013-warden-stamp_gold-final-print

2014 Warden Stamp_bid

2015WardenStampWeb_346

2016WardenStamp

warden-stamp-2017

 

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 is a decal that can be proudly displayed on vehicles or other items. All funds raised from the sales of the stamp go to purchase:

  • New communications and surveillance devices
  • Protective equipment
  • Training in specialized areas
  • New law enforcement programs, such as the CDFW’s K-9 Program

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. Purchase online today!”

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.

Now, as I have done every year since 2010, excuse me while I pull up the ALDS on my computer and order this year’s Warden Stamps.

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:

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

(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:

https://socalhunt.wordpress.com/2015/09/02/new-procedures-for-donations-for-the-annual-junior-hunt-at-san-jacinto-wildlife-area/  )

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 Thomas.Trakes@wildlife.ca.gov 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.

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

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!

SoCalHunt.com 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, www.socalhunt.com , 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.

https://socalhunt.wordpress.com/2018/06/21/volunteer-clean-up-brush-up-work-days-set-for-san-jacinto-wildlife-area-august-18th-and-september-22nd/

2018 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.

More Palm Fronds Needed at San Jacinto – Prep for Blind Brush Up Day

Tom Trakes of San Jacinto Wildlife Area is requesting that anyone that has access to palm fronds and would like to get rid of them to donate them to San Jacinto Wildlife Area.  The palm fronds are needed to finish brushing up the wildlife area’s blinds for the upcoming waterfowl hunting season.

With the great success of the last blind brush-up day almost all of SJ’s supply of palm fronds has been depleted.  More are needed for the next brush-up volunteer work day to finish the work on September 22nd.   Anyone who is trimming palm trees and wants to bring them around to San Jacinto to get rid of 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.

Thanks in advance for any palm fronds anyone can bring in.

 

 

 

 

US Fish and Wildlife Reports Nationwide Duck Numbers Down slightly for the 2018/2019 Waterfowl Season

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 were down slightly compared to last year’s count and, in fact, each individual species dropped to some degree with the exception of Wigeon.  However, the bright spot is that all species where actually up from their long-term averages, with the exception of Scaup and Pintail. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service at: https://flyways.us/content/2018-status-waterfowl-report-now-available  reported:

“2018 duck population and pond estimates from the annual Waterfowl Breeding Population and Habitat Survey are now available. The estimate of 41.2 million breeding ducks was lower than last year’s estimate of 47.3 million, but 17% higher than the long-term average. The total pond estimate was 5.2 million, which was 14% below last year’s estimate of 6.1 million and similar to the long-term average of 5.2 million. Habitat conditions were similar to or declined relative to 2017. Much of the Canadian Prairies experienced average fall and winter precipitation and below-average spring precipitation. The U.S. prairies experienced average to above-average precipitation, but had more variable conditions compared to prairie Canada. Habitat conditions generally declined northward, particularly near the Montana-North Dakota border with Canada.”

The report revealed that Mallards were down to approximately 9.26 million, which was a 12% decrease from the 2017 estimate of 10.49 million, yet still 17% above the long-term average.  Bluewing Teal numbers are approximately 6.45 million, which is 18% below the 2017 estimate of 7.89 million but 27% above the long-term average. Green-winged teal are down to 3.04 million, which is just 16% below the 2017 estimate of 3.61 million but still 42% above the long-term average. The estimate for American Wigeon is 2.82 million which is a 2% increase over the 2017 estimate of 2.78 million and 8% above the long-term average. Estimated numbers of gadwall are 2.89 million which is way down 31% from the 2017 estimate of 4.18 million yet still is 43% above the long-term average. Scaup (both greater and lesser) showed 3.99 million, which is a 9% decrease from the 2017 estimate of 4.37 million and 20% below the long-term average. Northern Shoveler (our beloved SJ spoonys) are estimated at 4.21 million which is 3% below the 2017 estimate of 4.35 million but still a whopping 43% above the long-term average. Redheads are 1.0 million which is 10% below the 2017 estimate of 1.12 million and 32% above the long-term average. Canvasbacks showed 0.69 million which is close but still down 6% from the 2017 estimate of 0.73 million but still 16% above the long-term average. Pintails were estimated at 2.37 million, which was 18% below the 2017 estimate of 2.89 million and 40% below the long-term average.

So, it looks like, unfortunately, this coming season will present hunters with slightly fewer birds but still, despite this, we might have the potential to get a crack at good numbers since most waterfowl, with the exception of Scaup and Pintail, are still above their long-term averages.  Although, in contrast, another thing to remember, for we Southern California duck hunters, is that that the California DFW’s own state population survey shows duck numbers in our state actually up 39% over last year’s state numbers.  (You can check out SoCalHunt’s report on the California DFW’s survey here:  https://socalhunt.wordpress.com/2018/07/05/california-department-of-fish-and-wildlife-2018-waterfowl-breeding-population-survey-shows-duck-numbers-up/ ).  So maybe this isn’t bad news for us here in So Cal if you consider that.

More important to hunters here in Southern California than small fluctuations in nationwide duck numbers is the weather, and not really our weather so much.  What Southern California duck hunters really need is some weather up north to spur the bird into moving into our area.

As I type this its 59 days until the season opens down here in SoCal.  It might be a good time to start getting your duck hunting gear together and maybe go shoot a few rounds of trap or skeet to tune up. Hopefully, the birds will migrate early, and we’ll have another great season at San Jacinto!

You can find the entire report at the link below if you’re inclined to read the entire thing:

https://www.fws.gov/migratorybirds/pdf/surveys-and-data/Population-status/Waterfowl/WaterfowlPopulationStatusReport18.pdf

 

 

Federal Duck Stamp Now Available Online Through California Waterfowl Association

As you well know, if you’ve ever hunted waterfowl before, one of the legal requirements is to have in your possession, as part of your license, a Migratory Bird Hunting and Conservation Stamp, or, as everybody calls it, a Federal Duck Stamp.  Sometimes these are hard to find.  US Post Offices are supposed to carry them but many times they either don’t have any or have (or had) very few and are sold out.  In addition, many sporting goods stores will carry a supply of the stamps, but you never know when they might run dry on them too.

The solution is to get your Federal Duck Stamp online from the California Waterfowl Association (CWA).  As a convenience to hunters every year the CWA has online sales of the stamps for members and non-members alike.  They do charge a $5 handling fee, which brings the total cost of the stamp to $30 but then you don’t have to run around town looking for one, it just shows up in your mailbox in a week or so.

Speaking of sales to non-members, if you’re not a member then while you’re at CWA’s website buying your stamp it would be a really good idea to sign up as a CWA member.  Besides a great bi-monthly magazine they usually have some type of promotion they’ll send along to you (right now it’s a nice CWA baseball cap) and you’ll also get the satisfaction of knowing you’re helping ducks and duck hunting in California specifically.  If you hunt ducks in California, you should be a member of CWA.

Just remember that CWA doesn’t have an unlimited supply of Federal Stamps, although I’m sure they buy a big block of them, so don’t wait too long to get yours.  You’ll also have to make sure to give them enough time to send it to you in the mail so like a week before the season might present a problem if you’re going to hunt the opener.  Get it now and you’ll have plenty of time.  Below is the link for CWA’s page for online sales of the Federal Waterfowl Stamp.

https://www.calwaterfowl.org/product/2018-19-federal-duck-stamp/

Also, like I said before since you’re there, here’s the link to the page to join CWA.  $35 a year or, for Junior hunters (under 18 years old) $15 well spent.

https://www.calwaterfowl.org/product/annual-membership-single-payment/

Hope to see you out there opening day with all your licenses, stamps, and passes so no one has to get turned away at the check station.

 

 

Volunteer Clean Up / Brush Up Work Days Set for San Jacinto Wildlife Area August 18th and September 22nd

Tom Trakes, from San Jacinto Wildlife Area, advised that the next two volunteer work days for San Jacinto Wildlife Area would be Saturday, August 18th and Saturday, September 22nd.  These work day will be primarily to finish cleaning up the hunting area and to start brushing up the area’s blinds for the coming season.  Tom advised that volunteers should meet at the check station at 7:00 am and anyone coming out to volunteer should bring gloves, shovels and/or hoes, wire pliers and lots of water since it’s expected to be hot. Also, if anyone has access to palm fronds, they need a good supply of these, all they can get.  When it comes to palm fronds we can’t have too many so if you can bring some along, please do.  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).

In the meantime, if you have any palm fronds you want to donate you don’t have to save them for the work days.  You can call the SJ staff at the number below and make arrangements to drop them off before the work days.

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

Also, if you do come out to help on the August 18th work day there’s a potential bonus as this is just 2 weeks before the opening of dove season.  The waterfowl side of the wildlife area will be opened for dove hunting the entire first weekend of dove season (Sept. 1 & 2).  Dove hunting will only be allowed on the Upland Game side of the Wildlife Area after opening weekend.  If you want to hunt SJ this would also be a good time to get a little scouting in for the dove opener while you lend a hand.  Just remember, if you do come out to hunt dove at San Jacinto it’s unleaded now, even for upland game on the wildlife area, NON-TOXIC SHOT ONLY!

Hopefully, we’ll have a good crew of volunteers for this one to get the blinds looking good for the upcoming season and another great year of duck hunting.

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.


Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 197 other followers

Archives