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Thursday, December 26, 2019
Cibola Valley loaded up with geese and ducks
Wednesday, January 22, 2020
When things go bad in blind

Junior waterfowl hunts and turkey tune-up
It’s looking like this year’s Junior Waterfowl hunts will be successful. Refuge staff and volunteers have been busy getting everything in order for these year ending hunts. Already there are birds arriving at refuges and duck clubs that are migrating north out of Mexico and there should be plenty of teal and spoonies flying over ponded water to provide excellent opportunities for young hunters.

Avid waterfowl hunter, Carlos Vega passed on the following information to Western Outdoor News about what’s being planned for Wister’s Jr. hunt.

Jr. HUNTRESS AND HER FIRST DUCK — Aubrey Allen, age 8, killed her first duck at Wister Wildlife Refuge last year. The duck was a banded gadwall. PHOTO COURTESY OF CARLOS VEGA

“The junior waterfowl event for Wister Wildlife Area will be held on Saturday, Feb. 8 and it will begin after hunting hours expire. The event is open to all junior hunters and their adult non-hunting partners. The event will include food, fun, contests and a lot of great donated giveaways as the event ends. This year’s event will start roughly around 6 p.m. and will take place near the Wister check-in station off Davis Road and Hwy. 111. Families and friends are all invited to share the evening with youth hunters and all present should enjoy listening to the junior hunter duck calling contest,” said Vega.

Vega went on to add, “This a great event not only for future hunters, but also for their families. The event is run on 100 percent donations, so in order to give the event everything we can, we count on everyone to help out. Those attending should bring their own folding chairs. So, if you would like to make a donation please call co-chairman Devon Vega at (714) 658-4658,” added the Sr. Vega.

According to Scott Sewell, Wildlife Habitat Supervisor II, who heads up both Wister and the San Jacinto Wildlife Area told WON that everything will be ready for the Junior Hunt. Wister will offer hunting on both Saturday and Sunday, while San Jacinto will only be open for the Saturday shoot. The procedure for blind selection will start at 3AM with reservation card holders having first pick, followed by those putting in for the sweat line.

Thomas Trakes, Wildlife Supervisor at the SJWA, says that the blind draw will be held at 3 a.m. and there will be a pancake breakfast served by SJWA staff and volunteers. There will be some prizes and gifts for youth hunters and even Honky Tonk music during the lunch break. After the event ends, hunters will be able to return to drawn blinds and hunt until shooting time ends.

Kern National Wildlife Area, located near Wasco, will host a big Junior Hunt on Saturday. Helped by the refuge staff and lots of effort by members of California Waterfowl (CWA) and Ducks Unlimited (DU) this refuge should offer very good duck shooting. According to Nick Stanley, Refuge Project Director, draw time will be 2.5 hours before shoot time and those junior hunters on the call list will begin picking blind sites 2 hours before shooting begins.

Stanley then added, “There will donuts served early the morning and lunch will be served to everyone in attendance starting at 10:30 a.m. and lasting until 1 p.m. with all the food being donated and served by the Tulare Basin Wetlands Association. There also will be a big raffle and gifts from CWA and DU and a duck mount will be donated to some lucky junior hunter by John Kent, owner of Wildwings Taxidermy. As it stands right now, Stanley says the refuge is pretty well staffed and they hopefully will not need additional volunteers.”

For more details on attending the Kern Junior Hunt contact the refuge office at (661) 725-2767.

The annual Spring Turkey Tune-Up, sponsored the San Diego Chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation, will be held on Saturday Feb. 22 starting at 8:00 a.m. at Lake Sutherland. According to event chairman, Steve Turigliatto, this turkey tune-up event will be helpful to all turkey hunters. Events that will take place during the day will include: shooting range, a huge raffle, gun raffle and pig hunt raffle.

According to Turigliatto more vendors are welcome and volunteers are needed to attend the gate, parking, registration and turkey hunting information booth. For additional information or to volunteer time contact Turigliatto at

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