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Hunting Report

Geese show big time on east side, waterfowling still slow

BY BILL KARR/WON Staff WriterPublished: Nov 24, 2017

SACRAMENTO — Most waterfowlers are finding slow action at private clubs and fair action on the refuges, although that all turns around on good weather days, of course.

There was huge migration of snows and specks into the District 10 area a week ago, and they covered miles of rice fields almost solid east and north of Marysville, but overall, waterfowling has been slow for most hunters. Reports from up north indicate the ducks haven’t yet begun moving out of the Washington and Oregon marshes in great numbers.

waterfowlingisWATERFOWLING IS PICKING up, although some refuges and areas have been doing better than others. “Sy” and “John” from Yuba City ended up with 9 birds on Sunday morning while hunting the Gridley blind with guide James Stone of Elite Sportsmen Guide Service.

On Sunday, “Sy” and “John” from Yuba City shot 9 birds while hunting with Capt. James Stone of Elite Sportsmen Guide Service in his Gridley blind. “Overall the birds have been staying on the refuges and following recently flooded areas,” Stone said. “They feed all night and fly to the refuge in the morning. The fog on Saturday helped and we did well that day, but mostly we average 2 to 4 birds per hunter right now.” He said they have guide blinds in Sutter, Willows, Richvale, Arbuckle and “all around the valley,” so they take clients where the birds are.

This writer was invited to see one of the new blinds that guide Cameron Tucker of Tucker’s Guide Service has this year, and after a Disneyland “E” Ticket ride to the blind south of Sutter Refuge in the bypass, I was impressed! The area was natural and full of smartgrass, alkali bulrush and watergrass, and Tucker had literally carved out a beautiful mallard pond, that will also be attractive to specks when the weather hits. A great pit blind, transportation directly to the blind, and hundreds of decoys finished off the amenitites.

Scott Marglin of Fowl Weather Guide Service said that the birds are building on his ponds, and he is now accepting reservations for upcoming guided hunting dates.

WON Field Reporter Mike Krause of Red Bluff sent in a report:
“Dale and I hunted Wilderness Unlimited’s Womble Farms, blind No. 5 a week ago Monday. We drove out excited because the wind was blowing and it looked like this storm might make it happen. We got there early, put out the decoys I put out a mojo wind duck. We climbed back into the blind with about 5 minutes until shoot time. Five teal came in at warp speed and were gone, and that was the end of our shoot — or no shoot!”

DOVE HUNTING DURING the late season has been excellent in a harvested corn field out of Wilton, where Garrett Paz and Will Bechtold pose with 75 birds for 5 limits in under two hours, shot by the two of them, along with Andrew Hoerl of Sacramento, Jim Hope of Los Angeles and Phil Hubert of San Diego.

WON Field Reporter Andre Fontenot sent in his report of the week: “On Wednesday I hunted my club and had a so-so day. My morning started right at shooting light with a single cackling goose flying in the area making lots on noise. I began calling back to him and soon he was making a bee line towards my blind. When he got within shooting range (about 30 yards) I stopped calling, took aim and dropped it on the first shot!

“About 45 minutes later a single widgeon was circling my pond,” Fontenot said. “I called it several times, then it committed and as it began to swing wide of my blind I took a semi-long shot and again dropped this waterfowl on the first shot. My last shots of the morning came around 9 a.m. when a pair of wood ducks appeared out of nowhere. I was able to quickly grab my gun and get two rounds off. I dropped the hen and missed the drake. Things were very slow all morning with the exception of those four shots in almost three hours. By 10 a.m. I was calling it a day with two ducks and a goose. I'll take it!

“My blind partner, Kevin Eck, hunted the free roam area at Delevan on Saturday and shot a limit,” Fontenot said. “Kevin said things were very slow but his ‘honey hole’ produced two gadwall, two spoonies, two wigeon and a spoonie. With no weather and poor results in most places I chose to fish over the weekend.”

On the dove hunting scene, if you have the spot where the doves are feeding, you have a great shoot!! WON reader Garrett Paz and friends have been hammering out dove limits in just hours in a corn field out of Wilton, and they did it again in 2 hours on Nov. 17 for 45 doves for three hunters, then again on Nov. 19 with 75 birds for 5 hunters in less than 2 hours.

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