Teal top comp counts on opening weekend for Southern state
BY JIM NIMIEC
NILAND – Cinnamon and green winged teal were the top ducks shot on opening day at refuges and clubs in this southern portion of the Pacific flyway, but mallards, gadwall, spoonies and some big divers were also reported. Wister offered up good shooting for those in many blinds, as a total of 625 green winged teal and 408 cinnamon teal were killed on Saturday was the report given to Western Outdoor News by Jacob Sotelo, Wildlife Technician for Wister. Over at the San Jacinto Wildlife Area there were an additional 200 teal killed. No geese were reported harvested at either state refuge on Saturday.
Wister Wildlife Refuge – A total of 360 hunters had a chance to get in on good opening day hunting at this Imperial Valley state refuge. The harvested bird average was 3.68 birds per gun with teal accounting for the bulk of the total ducks shot. In addition to teal, there were 117 pintail killed. Despite strong winds on Sunday, hunting was much slower for those in blinds. No dark geese were killed on Saturday. 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 – The white goose season for the Union tract does not open until Nov. 7. 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, which is also managed by the Wister Unit, call (760) 359-0577.
San Jacinto Wildlife Area including Mystic Lake – This refuge hosted 245 duck hunters opening day and they combined to kill 411 ducks for a 1.68-bird average. Top duck harvested was the cinnamon teal with 194 bagged to go along with 35 mallards and 61 ruddy ducks. 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 – Mallards and teal made up the bulk of the ducks harvested at the 3 duck clubs located behind Prado Dam. Patrick Raahauge, owner of Raahauge’s Duck Club, reported that some blinds limited out, while other hunters had to work harder for ducks to add to game straps. The arrival of more ducks in November should offer up good shooting.
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 – Barrett Lake was the place to be for unattached hunters on opening day. There were 41 hunters in shoreline blinds and they killed a total of 122 ducks for a very respectable 3-bird average. Top duck shot was the mallard with 34 bagged, to go along with 22 cinnamon teal and 17 ring-necked ducks.
Kern National Wildlife Refuge – This southern San Joaquin Valley refuge shot for a respectful 4.34-bird average. Top ducks shot were the shoveler with 100 bagged to go along with 50 green winged teal and 25 gadwall. In addition to good numbers on puddle ducks there were also 13 redheads and 2 canvasbacks shot. 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 website is also available to access hunt results and other information about this popular southern San Joaquin Valley hunting refuge.
Cibola/Lower Colorado River – No report was sent from Palo Verde Wildlife Preserve and it’s still a little early for Canada geese to show up in Cibola Valley. 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 email them at 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.