San Jacinto and Wister refuges offered up good hunts this week
BY JIM NIEMIEC
RIVERSIDE – Duck hunting was nearly off the charts this past week as a migration of new ducks moved on to the San Jacinto Wildlife Area and produced excellent waterfowl hunting for both big puddle ducks and divers. The bird count was impressive with a total of nearly 700 ducks killed, which produced a 4-bird per gun average. Wister shot well on Sat. where hunters killed 400 ducks along with another 100 snow geese.
More Canada geese showed up in this part of the flyway last week with a few honkers killed at Raahauge’s Duck Club in Prado Basin,
Wister Wildlife Refuge – Green winged and cinnamon teal accounted for the bulk of ducks killed at this refuge on shoot days along with good numbers posted on pintail, gadwall and widgeon. The average kill per hunter was 1.90 birds on Saturday but had dropped down to 1.3 birds a gun for the Wed. hunt. Hunting was much slower on Sunday that saw only 50 ducks killed to go along with 22 white geese. The arrival of more diving ducks at Wister should help hunting overall. This popular refuge shoots on Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday. For more details on hunting Wister Unit call the DFW on site office at (760) 359-0577.
Sonny Bono Salton Sea National Wildlife Refuge – Not much of a report was received from this refuge with the comp count showing only that 7 hunters killed 5 ducks. For some reason there was no report on how hunters faired hunting the Union Tract for white geese. For more information on hunting this national refuge, which is managed by the Wister staff, call (760) 359-0577.
Finney-Ramer Unit – No report filed. Finney-Ramer is part of the Imperial Wildlife Area, located on the south end of the Salton Sea, is open to hunters 7 days a week under a self-registration and self-reporting system. For more details on this refuge is also managed by the Wister Unit call (760) 359-0577.
San Jacinto Wildlife Area including Mystic Lake –This refuge shot well on Wed. with 189 hunters killing 684 ducks for a 3.6 bird average and the Sat. shoot produced 400 ducks for a 2.0 bird average. The number one duck on top the comp list was the green winged teal, but no geese were harvested. Shoot days are Wednesday and Saturday and draw time is 3 a.m. For information contact the wildlife office at (951) 928-0580.
Lake Perris – No word on when this lake will begin shooting ducks again. San Jacinto Wildlife Area manages this hunting/fishing lake.
Prado Basin – Overall hunting has been slow, but there are more new ducks using the Santa Ana River flyway along with more Canada geese winging over parts of the Inland Empire.
Lake Henshaw (My Country Club) – No report received. Reservations are a must and there will be a daily drawing for blind sites. For more information call (760) 782-3501.
San Diego City Reservoirs – Duck hunting slowed way down at Barrett last week with only a total of 49 ducks shot by 25 hunters for just over a 1.25 bird average. Ruddy ducks accounted for 20 birds of those small ducks shot.
Kern National Wildlife Refuge – There were 65 hunters in blind sites for the Sat. hunt with only 139 ducks and no geese killed that produced a low 2.1 bird average. A mix of puddle and diving ducks offered up decent shooting on Wed. for the 75 hunters in blind sites who killed 178 ducks for a 2.4 bird average. Top duck shot was the shoveler along with 30 gadwall. For additional information on hunting Kern call (661) 725-2767 or for the hunter information hotline call (661) 725-6504, which is updated after each shoot day. A web site is also available to access hunt results and other information about this popular southern San Joaquin Valley hunting refuge.
Cibola/Lower Colorado River – No reports were sent into WON from Palo Verde Wildlife Preserve or Cibola National Wildlife Refuge this week. More new flocks of Canada and snow geese showed up again this past week. For information on booking a couple of days in a goose blind while staying in a South Ranch cabin call the Cibola Sportsman’s Club at (702) 355-8784 or log on to their web site firstname.lastname@example.org. Contact the Cibola National Wildlife Refuge at (928) 857-3253 for shoot days and draw information on the Farm Fields and open hunting on the Island Unit.