SoCal Waterfowl Report 24 Nov. Weather keeping waterfowl hunting success much better

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WATERFOWL HUNTING REPORT -- matthews-ONS -- 24nov10

Weather keeping waterfowl hunting success much better than normal for November


By JIM MATTHEWS, Outdoor News Service

Unusual early season storms have kept the waterfowl hunting success above the norm for this time of the season at all of the public hunting areas in Southern California, and the latest cold fronts are really starting to move more waterfowl into Southern California.

At the Wister Unit of the Imperial Wildlife Area, snow geese have been pouring in since the full moon this past Sunday.

“A whole bunch of geese came in just this morning,” said Scott Sewell, refuge manager. “There are at least 2,000 to 3,000 new birds.”

This should dramatically improve the goose hunting success at Wister and the Sonny Bono-Salton Sea National Wildlife Refuge, where only a relative handful of geese have been taken so far this season.

The duck hunting has been another story, thanks to a large number of pintail on the area and a steady influx of northern shovelers, greenwing teal, wigeon, and gadwall. Last Wednesday, the average was 2 1/2 birds per hunter at Wister, and pintail were the number one bird taken. While the average dropped down to about 1 1/2 birds for the weekend, Sewell said they are still having a problem with unreporting that he believes skews the average by at least a bird per hunter.

At the San Jacinto Wildlife Area, there was nearly a two-birds per hunter average this past Saturday during the rain, with over 130 hunters taking to the field.

“The wigeon are just now starting to come in,” said Tom Trakes at San Jacinto on Wednesday while working the check station. “And we don’t have the teal in yet. When the teal hit, we’re going to be shooting off the hook.”

Trakes said local hunter Jeremy Voss of San Jacinto was in the sweat line at San Jacinto on Wednesday and managed to get blind site E-1 and shot a seven bird limit that consisted of three gadwall, two mallards, a wigeon, and a ringneck. (Complete results from Wednesday, Nov. 24, will be in the next report.)

The Kern National Wildlife Refuge has shot at or close to three birds per hunter both shoot days last week with shovelers, gadwall, mallards, and teal making up the bulk of the bag.

Lake Henshaw will kick off its duck hunting season beginning next Wednesday, Dec. 1, and there will be hunting Wednesdays and Saturdays again this year. Because of concerns about quagga mussels, all hunters’ boats and decoys will need to get a decontamination washdown this year. Final details about the decoy washdown have not been determined, so hunters should check with the market at 760-782-3501 for details. Henshaw has a reputation as an excellent lake for scull boat hunting.

The following information is reported harvest data from the individual public hunting areas in the region, recapping the past two weeks of the season.

At the SAN JACINTO WILDLIFE AREA, there were 83 hunters on Wednesday, Nov. 10 who shot 101 ducks and 24 coots for a 1.51 average. The duck bag included 20 shovelers, 16 bufflehead, 16 ruddies, 11 wigeon, nine redheads, six ringnecks, five scaup, five, cinnamons, four mallards, four gadwall, two pintail, two wood ducks, and one greenwing.

On Saturday, Nov. 13, there were 111 hunters who shot 207 ducks, 52 coots, and four cackling geese for a 2.37 average. The duck kill consisted of 43 shovelers, 35 ruddies, 25 wigeon, 24 redheads, 18 ringnecks, 14 bufflehead, 11 greenwings, 10 gadwall, nine cinnamons, nine scaup, five pintail, two canvasback, one mallard, and one merganser.

On Wednesday, Nov. 17, there were 80 hunters who shot 131 ducks and 13 coots for a 1.80 average. The duck take was made up of 41 shovelers, 13 scaup, 12 redheads, 11 greenwings, 10 gadwall, nine ruddies, nine wigeon, seven pintail, seven cinnamons, six mallards, two canvasback, one ringneck, one bufflehead, one bluewing teal, and one merganser.

On Saturday, Nov. 20, there were 132 hunters who shot 231 ducks, 12 coots, and four snow geese for a 1.87 average. The duck bag included 61 wigeon, 25 ringnecks, 21 gadwall, 20 mallards, 20 shovelers, 20 cinnamons, 14 bufflehead, 13 ruddies, 12 pintail, 10 redheads, eight scaup, five greenwings, one bluewing, and one merganser.

San Jacinto is open to waterfowl hunting through the state reservation system or a daily drawing for remaining sites after all reservation holders are admitted to the area. Refills are also permitted until 2 p.m. Shoot days are Wednesday and Saturday. For more information, contact the wildlife area at 951-928-0580.

At the WISTER UNIT of the IMPERIAL WILDLIFE AREA
on the Salton Sea, there 64 hunters on Wednesday, Nov. 10, who shot 129 ducks, four white-front geese, thee snow geese, and one coot for a 2.14 average. The duck bag consisted of 27 shovelers, 26 wigeon, 23 pintail, 14 gadwall, 10 mallards, nine ruddies, eight greenwings, five cinnamons, five redheads, and two scaup.

On Saturday, Nov. 13, there were 123 hunters who shot 204 ducks, one snow goose, and one coot for a 1.67 average. The duck kill included 53 pintail, 39 greenwings, 37 shovelers, 27 wigeon, 21 mallards, 10 cinnamons, seven ruddies, four redheads, two gadwall, two scaup, one ringneck, and one wood duck.

On Sunday, Nov. 14, there were 61 hunters who shot 43 ducks, four snow geese, and one coot for a .79 average. The duck take was made up of 12 pintail, 11 gadwall, four greenwings, four shovelers, two mallards, one wigeon, and one ringneck.

On Wednesday, Nov. 17, there were 91 hunters who shot 223 ducks and one white-front goose and one snow goose for a 2.47 average. The duck take consisted of 45 pintail, 39 greenwings, 37 shovelers, 34 wigeon, 19 cinnamons, 15 gadwall, 13 mallards, eight redheads, eight ruddies, two bufflehead, one scaup, and one wood duck.

On Saturday, Nov. 20, there were 225 hunters who shot 339 ducks, 14 snow geese, and eight coots for a 1.60 average. The duck take included 84 pintail, 58 greenwings, 46 mallards, 42 wigeon, 41 shovelers, 26 gadwall, 15 cinnamons, 12 redheads, five ringnecks, four ruddies, three scaup, two bufflhead, and one canvasback.

On Sunday, Nov. 21, there were 81 hunters who shot 85 ducks six snow geese, and four Ross’ geese for a 1.17 average. The duck kill was made up of 22 pintail, 18 wigeon, 16 gadwall, 14 shovelers, six mallards, four greenwings, two cinnamons, two redheads, and one ruddy.

Wister is open to waterfowl hunting through the state reservation system and a daily drawing for sites after all reservation holders are admitted to the area. Refills are permitted. Shoot days are Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday. For more information, contact the unit at 760-359-0577.

At the SONNY BONO-SALTON SEA NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE, there were 14 hunters on Wednesday, Nov. 10 who shot three mallards, three shovelers, and two cinnamon teal for a .57 average.

On Saturday, Nov. 13, there were 13 hunters who shot five shovelers, four redheads, three pintail, and one ringneck for 1.0 average.

On Sunday, Nov. 14, there were nine hunters who shot nine pintail, four Ross’ geese, one mallards, one gadwall, and one shoveler, and one snow goose for a 1.89 average.

On Wednesday, Nov. 17, there were nine hunters who shot one Ross’ goose, one pintail, and one shoveler for a .33 average.

On Saturday, Nov. 20, there were 14 hunters who shot six pintail and five greenwings for a .79 average.

On Sunday, Nov. 21, there were 12 hunters who shot three snow geese, one Ross’ goose, and one pintail for a .42 average.

The refuge is managed as part of the Wister Unit. For more information, contact the Wister Unit at 760-359-0577.

At the FINNEY-RAMER UNIT of the IMPERIAL WILDLIFE AREA on the Alamo River south of the Salton Sea, there were 20 hunters from Monday, Nov. 8 through Sunday, Nov. 14 who shot eight ruddies, six shovelers, five mallards, three greenwings, and one cinnamon for a 1.15 average. From Monday, Nov. 15 through

Sunday, Nov. 21, there were seven hunters who shot four greenwings, three coots, a mallard, and a ruddy for a 1.29 average.

Finney-Ramer is open to hunters seven days a week under a self-registration and self-reporting system. For more information, contact the Wister Unit at 760-359-0577.

At the KERN NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE, there were 100 hunters on Saturday, Nov. 13, who shot 406 ducks for a 4.06 average. The duck take was made up of 129 shovelers, 74 gadwall, 48 greenwings, 46 cinnamons, 42 mallards, 24 ringnecks, 15 pintail, 15 redheads, six wigeon, five bufflehead, and one canvasback.

On Wednesday, Nov. 17, there were 80 hunters who shot 241 ducks, four white-front geese, and two coots for a 3.09 average. The duck kill included 74 shoveler, 53 gadwall, 32 pintail, 20 cinnamons, 15 mallards, 14 greenwings, 10 ringnecks, eight redheads, seven bufflehead, three wigeon, three ruddies, and one canvasback.

On Saturday, Nov. 20, there were 93 hunters who shot 246 ducks for a 2.65 average. The duck take consisted of 78 shovelers, 69 gadwall, 23 mallards, 21 cinnamons, 14 greenwings, 13 pintail, 11 ringnecks, eight wigeon, five canvasback, three redheads, and one bluewing teal.

Kern is open to waterfowl hunting through the state reservation system or a daily drawing for remaining sites after all reservation holders are admitted to the area. Refills are also permitted throughout the shoot day. Shoot days are Wednesday and Saturday. For more information, call 661-725-2767 or the comprehensive hunter's hotline at 661-725-6504, normally updated after each hunt day.

At RAAHAUGE'S DUCK CLUB in PRADO BASIN, there were 22 hunters on Wednesday, Nov. 10, who shot 55 ducks for a 2.50 average. The duck bag included 16 cinnamons, 11 greenwings, 11 mallards, eight wigeon, four gadwall, three shoveler, and two pintail.

On Saturday, Nov. 13, there were 18 hunters who shot 48 ducks for a 2.67 average. The duck take consisted of 13 cinnamons, nine greenwings, eight mallards, seven gadwall, four shovelers, four wigeon, two ringnecks, and one redhead.

On Sunday, Nov. 14, there were 11 hunters who shot 36 ducks for a 3.27 average. The duck kill was made up of nine cinnamons, seven ruddies, six greenwings, four gadwall, three wigeon, two shovelers, two pintail, two scaup, and one merganser.

On Wednesday, Nov. 17, there were 20 hunters who shot 79 ducks for a 3.95 average. The duck bag was made up of 13 cinnamons, 13 mallards, nine greenwings, eight wigeon, eight gadwall, seven canvasback, six shovelers, five pintail, four redheads, four scaup, and two wood ducks.

On Saturday, Nov. 20, there were 18 hunters who shot 49 ducks for a 2.72 average. The duck kill consisted of nine mallards, seven cinnamons, five greenwings, five gadwall, five canvasback, four pintail, four wigeon, three shovelers, three redheads, two ringnecks, and two scaup.

On Sunday, Nov. 21, there were 14 hunters who shot 36 ducks for a 2.57 average. The duck take included nine mallards, five gadwall, five canvasbacks, four cinnamons, three greenwings, three scaup, two shovelers, two wigeon, two pintail, and one redhead.

The club shoots three days a week with half-day shooting only on Saturdays this season. The public hunting blind sites, available on a first-come, first-serve basis with reservations in advance, are $100 per hunter, $50 for junior hunters with an adult, and all blinds are two-person blinds. For more information, contact Raahauges at 951-735-7981.

At the SAN DIEGO CITY LAKES, there were 12 hunters on Wednesday, Nov. 10, who shot 10 ringnecks, eight ruddies, four cinnamons, two scaup, two mallards, and one pintail for a 2.25 average.

On Saturday, Nov. 13, there were 25 hunters who shot seven ruddies, two mallards, and one gadwall, wigeon, cinnamon, and ringneck each for a .52 average. On Wednesday, Nov. 17, there were 16 hunters who shot 11 coots, six ruddies, three mallards, three ringnecks, one bufflhead, and one wigeon for a 1.56 average.

On Saturday, Nov. 20, there were 16 hunters who shot seven mallards, six ringnecks, ad two ruddies for a .94 average.

Barrett Lake hunt days are Wednesday and Saturday. Many shoot day reservations are still available. For more information and to request a hunting information packet, hunters should call the lake’s office at 619-668-2050 or e-mail ssmith@sandiego.gov.

At LAKE HENSHAW, there will be waterfowl hunting this season starting on Dec. 1. Hunt days are Wednesdays and Saturdays from 5 a.m. to 3 p.m. The fee will be $25 per hunter per day ($10 for juniors 15 and under) with boat rentals $35. Hunters can also launch their own boats for a $5 fee and a $5 quagga mussel washdown charge. Decoys will also have to be washed down before hunt day this year (no fee set yet). Setup is allowed the day before hunt days until 4 p.m. For more information, contact the lake at 760-782-3501.

Hunters who would like to contribute information and photographs to this report should e-mail the information to Jim Matthews at odwriter@verizon.net.
 


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