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Jr. waterfowl hunts next weekend
Junior waterfowl hunters will be hosted by state refuges and duck clubs this coming weekend, which should produce some very good duck hunting for the youngsters. Hopefully, new flocks of ducks will arrive from the south, as has been the tradition over the years, and produce good hunting experiences for kids in duck and goose blinds.

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JR. HUNTER WITH BULL SPRIG — Brently Vega harvested this big bull sprig during last year’s Jr. Hunt at Wister Wildlife Refuge. PHOTO COURTESY OF CARLOS VEGA


Wister Wildlife Refuge will be open to Jr. hunters for both shoot days Feb. 2 and Feb. 3. In addition to hosting kids for the hunt, a group of volunteers and supporters will be on hand to put together a dinner for everyone starting at 6 p.m. on Saturday. The event will take place at refuge headquarters off Hwy. 111 and Davis Road. After a day in the field all with gather for a duck calling contest, all will be fed dinner and there is huge raffle for the kids. Anyone who wants additional information on this great hunt or make donations to the event should call Carlos Vega at (714) 658-4658.


The San Jacinto Wildlife Refuge, near Lakeview off the Ramona Expressway and Davis Road, will host its 25th Anniversary Jr. Hunt on Sat. Feb. 2. Western Outdoor News checked in with Thomas Trakes, Wildlife Specialist for the refuge, to find out what is being planned for the Jr. Hunt.


“Everyone is working together to make this year’s Jr. Hunt the best ever. This refuge has been hosting Jr. hunts for 25 years and many supporters, volunteers, staff member and companies that donate to this annual event will be on hand to celebrate with the kids. Anyone that would like to donate giveaways, food or volunteer to help out at this great annual event should give me a call at (951) 236-3040,” said Trakes.


Trakes then went on to add, “The morning will start at 3 a.m. with the drawing for blind sites. We are planning on finding a duck hunting site for all the kids and their non-shooting adults. There will be a sweat-line so even those Jr. hunters that didn’t draw a blind selection number by mail will have a pretty darn good opportunity to hunt that day.”


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KIDS BUILDING A blind at Wister. PHOTO COURTESY OF CARLOS VEGA


In addition, Trakes added the following, “We are hopeful of no rain so that we can set up tents, tables and chairs in the parking lot. Breakfast will begin with a pancakes and then kids will be allowed to go to their selected blinds site. At around 11 a.m. all hunters will return to the parking lot area where a huge BBQ lunch will be served up. Walmart donated all the hot dogs and hamburgers, volunteers will be cooking up a big pot of pulled pork and there will be chips served. A lot of our regular hunters and those who have supported this event over the years will be showing up to lend a hand to make this a great day of waterfowl hunting for the kids. After lunch the hunters can head back out to blinds to finish off the day.”


There is a big concern on whether or not the Kern National Wildlife Refuge will be open on Sat. 2 to host Jr. Hunters. According to a short e-mail from Project Manager Nick Stanley, the refuge staff has been told not to work while the federal shutdown is still going on. Stanley is hopeful that the shutdown will end so that this refuge can offer a hunting opportunity to Jr. Hunters.


Raahauge Shooting Enterprises will host a Jr. Duck Hunt on Sat. Feb.2. This hunt will be limited to 20 Jr. hunters. The hunt day will start at 4:30 a.m. with a check-in and a selection of blinds. Around noon all shooters will return to the duck club hunt lodge area to be served a hot dog lunch and participate in a big raffle for hunting items and other good stuff.


The Raahauge Jr. Duck Hunt will require an advance reservation, will be open to boys and girls 17 years of age or younger, each hunter must have their junior hunting license and duck stamps and only steel shot will be allowed. All reservations will have to be made by email only. Emails should be sent to mellissa@raahauges.com and should contain the parents name, contact phone number, and the child/children’s names and ages.


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JR. HUNT AND GIVE AWAYS AT WISTER — There will be plenty of donated prizes for the Jr. Hunt raffle and give away at Wister, thanks to support from the duck hunters and company donations. PHOTO COURTESY OF CARLOS VEGA


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