Duck Hunting in N. Cal

gwhunter69

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Well, it seems like a long time until duck and goose season opens up again, but it will be here before you know it.  Since I was not on JHP last season, how many JHPers waterfowl in N. Cal? And, where?  Are there usually JHP Waterfowl hunt?
 



bubba

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There are many duck hunters up here that are in the forum.  The JHP hunts are pretty new but seem to have been gaining steam.  Looking forward to doing some get together this waterfowl season...
 

hntndux

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I spend 2-3 days a week hunting the refuges up both corridors. SAC, DEL, COL, SUT, LDC and Gray Lodge.  SAC and LDC are my favorite.
 

Megadeth

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I cant wait for the duck season to start. I usually hunt 2-3 days a week, in all the North valley refuges. Its a huge perk to have a flexible work schedule during the peak of the migration. One major drawback is the very small percentage of resis I receive back. There must be a better system. Other than that, its usually a blast.
 

gwhunter69

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The resi system does suck, but hey I have no suggestions to improve it other than give me resis for every weekend. LOL!

I have hunted Sac, Sutter, and Gray Lodge, but I have pretty much given up fight for a slot there.  Too far to drive on a maybe unless I get a resi.  Now, I pretty much stick to Yolo and Howard Slough.  I tried San Luis for the first time last year with Bubba...had a great time, so I will be going back.  
 

huntducks

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I do at least 3 trips up north ea. year usualy about 15 to 21 days total LDC, Sac, GL, LK.
75% of the time I hunt just with my dog, I would enjoy hooking up with someone for a day or so, and for sure if you have a LDC reservation i'm 0 for 5years.:confused-yellow:
 

wildlifedesigner

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I hunt about 2-3 days a week up In maxwell mainly for Specks,  Then hit colusa in the midday on the way home, Also I hunt some Timber in the Wilton area when it floods.
 

gwhunter69

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huntducks: When the season rolls around, you should make plans to come out with Bubba, me and Brian...I am not sure what it will be like with three dogs, but hey cannot be any more hectic than with two.  Bubba and my dog are still both a little green...:smile-blue
 

mudhen

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I moved to Orange County last year - but I still drive back up to my rice club near Biggs just about every weekend.  With vacation time & my flex schedule, I still manage to hunt 40+ days of the season up north.

mudhen-CA
 

huntducks

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gwhunter69

That's a plan for sure, last year I drew several lower # at GL and Sac. and hunted by myself.

I'm handicapped (Knee) some might say in other places also, but use the HC blinds at all the refuges most are OK with a couple boarding on real good but it beats sitting in the parking lot hoping to get in, LDC & GL allow 3 at a HC site.

3 dogs are better then 2 hehehe
 

Thonzberry

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Sounds like there will have to be a JHP duck when the season gets here.......
 

gwhunter69

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huntducks: Hell, most of the handicapped sections are right in the middle of the closed zone.  Do they let you take along abled bodied (not necessarily mind) people to the HC section???
 

huntducks

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i'll send you a PM with my email address so we can talk some more.
 

hunthog

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The reason the resi system doesn't work is because they allow everyone to apply for every Refuge for every hunt day.  My observations are that only about 30-50% of the resi hunters show up and about 30% of the ones who do, show up alone and don't want company.  Since they only draw enough to match 50% of spots avail (2X 50% equals 100% of the allowed hunters) that puts the odds way down there.  The ones that are getting drawn more often are submitting hundreds of dollars of apps a year.  I used to invest $15-30 a year and get drawn several times.  What they should do is limit the number Refuges that you can apply for on a given hunt day to.......say 2.  You would apply for the hunts you really want and give more opportunity to the folks who want to hunt elsewhere.  Everyone would get drawn more often.  Even though I no longer really care.  There used to be hundreds of applications for each hunt day, now there's thousands.  The odds are horrible.  Like drawing an X Zone deer hunt.  

Actually, the best option is to bite the bullet and join a club.  I joined RHC this year and got what looks to be a great water blind in flooded rice between Colusa and Delevan.  Total cost?  $2200 for a two man sunken steel blind in flooded rice and that includes the yearly dues of $375 each for two.  

I'm about 200 yards from the nearest other hunter, We can place our decoys out for the whole year, I can draw for a field blind to hunt geese or ducks, they plant pheasants every year and have excellent pheasant properties, dove and quail hunting areas.  They even have pass blinds near the Refuge if you're into that.  

I don't have to deal with the obnoxious fools on the Refuges crowding in on my decoys, I don't have to spend $100 a year on applications plus $100+ a year for a season pass, never get drawn and, the best thing of all, I can hunt 7 days a week.  That's good for me because I work shift work and, if a storm is coming in on a Monday, Tuesday, Thursday or Friday I'm sometimes off and can pack up, drive down (in my wife's economy car if I want), arrive 30 minutes before shooting time, grab the dog, shells and gun, take a short walk out to the blind, start up the catalytic heater, pour the coffee and settle in.  

No mad rush to the parking lot, no 3-4 dozen decoys stuffed on the cart...no cart, no mile half run to a pond full of flashlights, no rush to your spot to find someone in it, no fighting off people crowding in, no screaming at buttheads who shoot high, get lucky and shoot higher next time.  And no 25 shell limit if I want to take a pot shot at geese with some 3 1/2" Bismuth BB's I'll be able to carry along, just in case.

Hey, even if I don't get a shot some days (haven't gotten many at the Refuges in the last two years anyway), the pleasure of hunting without all that stress is well worth the cost.  AND, judging from what I see, I will get some birds in the blind I was lucky to get into.

hunthog
 

Megadeth

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Sounds like your onto something hunthog. Run with it.Most who hunt refuges would agree with you, I do. I just cant afford to "move up". Keep us posted on how things go.
 

Megadeth

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gwhunter69, we must know each other by reading your posts. Im a Howard regular too. I need a JHP sticker on the rig, maybe its time to order one.
 

feelinducky

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don't forget me guys.  I'm up in Rocklin and usually put in the the typical resis just like everyone else.  Hopefully we can get a JHP duck hunt going.
 

gwhunter69

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hunthog: I feel your frustration the resi system.  Unfortunately, I do not have the means to drop that kind of money on a club.  Give me a couple years and maybe I will be there. :laffin-yellow:

Megadeth: We have probably crossed path a few times, but at 3:30 after getting up at 1:00 to make the drive...everyone looks pretty much the same.  :laffin-yellow::laffin-yellow::laffin-yellow:

I got my sticker on my truck, so I am sure I will run into a few JHPers' this year at the refuges.

(Edited by gwhunter69 at 10:20 am on Aug. 12, 2002)
 

mustystubs

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I'll be hunting mostly Sacramento and Delevan NWR.  For some reason last year I got drawn at Sac about four times and they were all good hunts.  Usually it's about once or twice per season.

Re the reservation system.  Don't look for any changes like fewer applications per year.  DFG is simply making too much money from reservation aps.  A close friend witnessed DFG drawing aps and while initially skeptical about the process came away convinced that it was as fair as DFG can make it.  When I get drawn I tend to think everything is fair and when I don't the system must be rigged.  Human nature.

Get those JHP stickers on your camper shells so we can recognize each other at the check-in stations.  You never know when someone might have room in their blind for another hunter and you may just get an invite on the strength of your JHP affiliation.

I ran into Megadeth a couple of weeks ago at the Lincoln Rifle Club.  He introduced himself after seeing my JHP sticker.

I tried hunting Yolo a couple of times last year.  It's about 30 minutes away from home.  Problem was the terrible hunting there.  Unless you want to chase buffleheads around the ponds or shoot coots, it was pretty much a waste of time.
 


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