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Wednesday, November 01, 2017
Hunt options for fall upland game

Waterfowl opener just ducky!
It just might be the best waterfowl opener in decades for duck hunting in this southern part of the Pacific flyway. Reports from refuges and duck clubs for the Saturday morning opening shoot were off the charts with many limits posted for a mix of mallards, cinnamon and green winged teal. Only a few speckled belly geese were killed and only 1 Canada goose was reported harvested to Western Outdoor News from weekend comp counts.

WEEKEND WARRIOR — Kevin Johnson II of Mountain Center spends almost every weekend during the season hunting quail from San Diego County to Arizona and north to Kern and Inyo counties. He recently hit the western Mojave region for chukar and quail where he scratched out a limit of valley quail. “Overall, quail numbers seem to be up quite a bit over last year,” he told WON. “I had a great weekend, with the limit of quail today, that puts my 6-year-old German shorthair at just over 200 quail bagged! Thanks for the dove and quail forecasts every year, keep up the good work!”

Wister Wildlife Refuge — Duck hunting was outstanding at this refuge for the Saturday shoot which hosted 305 shooters who combined to harvest a total of 1832 ducks for a high average of 6 birds per gun. Top duck shot was the mallard with 182 bagged to go along with high numbers for both cinnamon and green winged teal. The count showed only one speck and no honkers. Conditions were ideal on opening day with a slight 10 mph breeze, but hunting dropped way back for the Sunday hunt. 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 — No report was filed for this refuge. The white goose season for Imperial Valley does not open until Nov. 4. 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 — It was a good opening morning for the 216 adults and 20 junior hunters that showed up for the 3 a.m. draw. The total number of ducks shot was 868 to go along with 3 cackling geese that produced an overall 3.80 bird average. Top duck on the game strap was the cinnamon teal with 384 bagged to go along with 271 green winged teal and 107 shovelers. 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. Still awaiting details on a "hunt plan" for the future, with the lake currently higher than last year. San Jacinto Wildlife Area manages this hunting lake.

Prado Basin — It was good duck hunting for the three clubs located behind Prado Dam on opening day. The average harvest was nearly 5 birds a shooter with top ducks taken being the cinnamon and green winged teal and mallards. A few widgeon were also shot but the only diving ducks bagged were ruddy ducks. This basin will need to see the arrival of new ducks to this part of the flyway to produce better gunning for at least the next couple of weeks.

Lake Henshaw (My Country Club) — Waterfowl hunting on and around Lake Henshaw are scheduled to begin on Dec. 3. Reservations are a must and there will be a daily drawing. For more information call (760) 782-3501.

San Diego City Reservoirs — Lake Barrett hosted a total of 35 hunters who combined to bag 60 ducks that produced a 1.7 bird average. Top duck shot was the cinnamon teal with 38 bagged to go along with 14 mallards.

Kern National Wildlife Refuge — Kern shot well but not for any kind of record. There were a total of 84 shooters in blinds and they killed only 362 ducks for an overall 4.3 bird average. Top duck on the comp count was the northern shoveler with 110 killed to go along with 63 green winged teal and 58 cinnamon teal. There were also 25 diving ducks shot, of which 15 were ring-necked ducks. The best shooting took place in hunt unit 1A with a 5.0 bird average. 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 — Not much shooting was reported from Cibola Valley as this part of the flyway won’t see much in the way of Canada or snow geese for a few more weeks. There are some ducks in the valley for those heading over to hunt the Island unit of the federal refuge. 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 Contact the Cibola National Wildlife Refuge at (928) 857-3253 for shoot days and draw information on the Farm Field and open hunting on the Island Unit.

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