Hunting Report

Willows: Ducks are now in Valley

Waterfowling is good

BY BILL KARR/WON Staff WriterPublished: Dec 27, 2019

WILLOWS — Now that the majority of the ducks and geese are down in the valley, things are getting better for waterfowlers, and as they feed out the closed parts of the refuges and look for new food sources, there will be more movement in the hunting areas other than refuges.

THE STORM ON Sunday moved birds, and Bill walker (L) and Lyle Butler(R) ended up with a heavy strap from today (Sunday), while hunting in the CICC Outdoor Adventures guide blind just east of Delevan Refuge.

“We had a pretty good week of hunting considering the weather we were dealt,” said Casey Stafford of CICC Outdoor Adventures. “A couple days we had some decent fog and the shooting was great! Also had a day of clear skies with some north wind that was good, as well. The days of the high overcast, some blinds shot good and some did not. We definitely did most of our killing between 9 and 12 on the no weather days. Seems to be plenty of birds around, just gotta hit the weather right.”

I’ve only been out duck hunting four times with mixed results. Shot my club with a client this past Tuesday afternoon and Wednesday, and it was a very poor flight. Killed 8 birds total. Slowest flight I have ever seen at the club. Just spoke to some of my club mates that are shooting today and they said it still is slow.

Bill Gaines of Gaines & Associates, sportsmens advocate, said this: “I shot my club with a cleint this past Tuesday and afternoon and Wednesday and it was a poor flight and we killed 8 birds total. The slowest flight I have ever seen at the club. I spoke with some of my club mates that are shooting today (Friday) and they said it is still slow.”

WON Field Reporter said had a report, “Phil Fee of Marin, told me his club near Marysvill continues to produce, and on Wednesday he hunted with a friend and they both had limits by 9 a.m. A mixed bag of pintail, spoonie and gadwall.

“Mike Niemi of Modesto headed to his club in the Grasslands and had a great teal shoot,” Fontenot said.

“He started his morning with nailing four greenwing teal and decided to wait for bigger ducks. After missing several wigeon and a gadwall he said, ‘screw it,’ and finished off his morning with three more greenwing teal.

“Frank Ginotti of Half Moon Bay headed to Howard Slough on Wednesday with reservation No. 2,” said Fontenot. “ Frank told me it was horrible, “Three hunters and we shot a total of three shots.” They bagged a drake gadwall and bull sprig. They hunted in the rain till noon and called it quits. Frank also mentioned there were thousands of pintail up 250 yards, but they never came within range.”

“Ginotti also hunted with two buddies Saturday on CWA’s Butte Creek property,” Fontenot said. “He told me the storm arrived at 11 a.m. (instead of 7 a.m.) with a good wind. They jumped lots of mallards walking out before shooting time. They had a decent day bagging three bull sprig, three greenheads, and two teal. He mentioned the majority of the birds flying were pintail. Also at his club near Willows a member shot 12 snows on Friday in the fog.”

IT WAS ONLY a 1½-hour hunt for Julian Tran with guide Scott Marglin of Fowl Weather Guide service from his guide blind in Richvale recently when they shot two limits of ducks and a couple geese in short order.

mixedbagduckMIXED BAG — "Duck hunting has been very good and we’ve been killing limits over the past several hunts with a mixed bag of mallards, wigeon, sprig and teal,” said guide Brandon Bishop of Bishop’s Guide Service. Brandon, left, is pictured with Chuck Gilliam during their hunt in South Sutter County in the bypass north of Sacramento Avenue.

delevanwigeonchrisDELEVAN WIGEON — Chris Johnson of Corning shot these two wigeon on his first duck hunt near Delevan Refuge with J & T Guide Service. Photo submitted by Tinny Lown.

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