Hunting Report

Willows: Waterfowl moving around constantly

BY BILL. KARR/WON Staff WriterPublished: Jan 23, 2020

WILLOWS — "We had a pretty decent week of hunting, but I wouldn’t consider it red hot,” said Casey Stafford of CICC Outdoor Adventures, who runs a number of guide blinds in different areas of the Sacramento Valley.

“Bird numbers were up and down in the blinds all week depending on the weather that we had each day,” Stafford said. “Again there was not one blind better than the other, just whatever blind happened to get the best weather for the day. Some days we saw fog prior to dawn, however several of the days the fog set in later in the morning. That is usually the kiss of death for us in the rice, when the fog comes in late and doesn’t trap the birds below it, but for whatever reasons, it has not been hurting us. Now that the full moon is behind us, hopefully we can end the season with a bang!”

THE NORTHEASTERN ZONE of waterfowl season closed on a slow note, according to guide Phil Brown of Wild Times Guide Service, but they took out Durbin Breckinridge and his boys right before Christmas and had a great shoot!

According to WON Field Reporter Andre Fontenot, “Steve Muench of Elk Grove hunted the Gadwall Unit on Saturday with his 17-year-old son, Sam. Dad said, he was outshot by his son, who bagged four spoonies and two greenwing teal. Dad shot three teal and a spoonie on that cool and cloudy morning in the Grasslands.

“Another buddy of mine, Mike Niemi of Modesto, headed to the Grasslands where he hunted his club with a friend on Saturday,” Fontenot said. “Mike told me they both shot limits of mostly teal, a bull sprig and a few spoonies. I had a brief conversation with my friend Phil Fee of Corte Madera and he told me on Saturday all three 2-man blinds shot limits and on Sunday about half the guys had limits at this private club in District 10. On Sunday one of the hunters, Kevin Gulliam of South San Francisco shot a Eurasian wigeon.

“I also talked to another dad, Joe Damico, who told me his son, Ricky Damico 17 years old of Burlingame and his high school buddy ‘Nate’ headed to Little Dry Creek and hunted the free roam area in the afternoon. The boys grinded it out for ten birds, consisting of four mallards, two bull sprig, two teal and two spoonies. Conditions that afternoon were high clouds.

“Taylor Kramer of Lakeport hunted with her dad Kenneth at Sacramento Refuge,” he said. “They jumped in a blind and shot two Ross geese and a snow goose. Weather conditions were sunny at time then overcast with an 8 mph wind.

The northeastern waterfowl season closed on a low note, and WON Field Reporter Phil Brown said the last two weeks of the season were so tough and he didn’t even hunt. He and Jim Szemenyei own and run Wild Times Guide Service out of Tulelake.

The Balance of the State waterfowl season for geese ends on Jan. 26, and for ducks on Jan. 31.

colusaguidebirdsCOLUSA GUIDE BIRDS — Guide and owner Casey Stafford of CICC Outdoor Adventures took out Andy Geheret, Fred Alexander and Mike Gulley last week for this nice strap of birds shot east of Colusa Refuge from one of their guide blinds.

RICE FIELD HUNT — Eight-year-old Cooper Soderamn, his dad, Dustin Soderman, and friend Nick Frank hunted some flooded rice fields near Lincoln and shot some pintail, teal and wigeon. A little north wind and light rain helped out.

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