View Full Version : Who hunts Wister?
08-09-2001, 04:18 PM
Who hunts wister? How many times a year? Seems to be a lot of So-Cal hunters. I put in last year for every day and only drew one Sun and a Wed. ### ### ### Fubar
08-09-2001, 05:37 PM
Fubar, I hunt San Jacinto and every year I say I'm going to try Wister. ###If your willing, I'll put in the reservation cards this year for Wister and if I pull one I will need a hunting partner. ###Interested? ### Of course you'll have to show me all the "honey holes" but hey a free reservation is a free reservation. ###Remember any day duck hunting is a great day.
08-09-2001, 06:36 PM
Chessie ###I just might take you up on that. I will have to see what else is going on at the time. Where you hunt at wister would depend on what you are after. Some areas are good for geese and some are good for ducks. Others may get both. Union track is in the Federal area and can be great at times for geese if you have a LOT of decoys. We have put out 20 doz or more shells and several hundred rags. Some good spots change from year to year depending on what the DFG does to the refuge. I will probably put in reservation cards for every day again like a dummy. ### ### ### ### Fubar
08-09-2001, 09:57 PM
I had one helluva time drawing reservations for Wister this past season. ###Seems to get tougher every year, and there seem to be more no-shows every year, too. ###I did manage to draw opening day though, a hunt I won't soon forget. ###With so few Wister reservations in the cards for me, I ended up at San Jacinto a few times, Kern for the first time, and even Lake Otay.
Chessie, if you pull a reservation I'd be happy to share some info with you. ###Good luck.
08-10-2001, 07:18 AM
I believe the reason there were so many no shows at Wister last year was because it was so poor hunting down there last year, even the snow goose and spec hunting was off. ###San Jacinto had it's worst year in 10 years. ###However, because the San Diego lakes probably won't be availble to duck hunting in a couple years due to modern suburbia we are left with the State refuges. ###Have either of you heard about Cibola moving to 3 days a week? ###I've never hunted out there but there was an uproar about the Manager out there wanting to limit hunt days to 3 a week. ###Once again oppurtunitys in So Cal. are dwindling for the duck hunter. ###The only good news is San Jacinto purchased more land. ###Let's hope they open up more blinds, if not this year next year. ###Anyway, I can't wait to be filling out those reservation forms. ###I only got 3, all Wed. for SJWA last year.
08-10-2001, 09:01 PM
San Jacinto already has a good sized chunk of land. ###Don't get me wrong, when it comes to land for hunting you can't have too much, but what they really need is more water. ###Have you seen the areas out there designated "Marsh"? ###They're dry as a bone. ###Since it's all reclaimed water you'd figure it would be cheaper than better quality stuff. ###
I haven't hunted Cibola, but I am curious. ###Wonder what other parts of the river are like for duck hunting.
08-12-2001, 09:01 PM
You're right the duck hunting was a lil slow at Wister this year although we got a few mallards earlier in the season which is unusual for this location. As for the geese it was pretty good for us, between my 2 partners and I we took over 100 geese and I know there were guys who did a lot better than our group. The big difference was that there weren't a whole lot of juvies. In a normal year we take most of our geese decoyed but this year over half of our geese were shot coming from the closed zones in the 115 area. You get really low shots like this but it's still not the same as working the birds.
###As a side note, we were at Wister today and the white wings were thick there(let's see how many stick around). They have completely cleared the 115B area of all vegetation including the #4 blind which has always been kinda thick. But other than that nothing else major ws done that I noticed. You figure that in six months they could of got around to maybe cleaning up the U10 or 312B&C areas.
We saw a few hundred cinnamons at Wister and well as over a thousand cinnnamons,shovelers, and pintail at unit one. There was even a Brant's goose sitting in an alkali pond looking happy as can be in the 100 degree heat.
Good luck this season and let's pray for lots of juvie snows!
08-12-2001, 09:08 PM
Sorry, the last post was directed at Chessie's comment on Wister's poor ducking this past season. I drew 4 wed, 2 sun and 1 sat reservation this year at Wister so can't complain but I'd be out there any way, card in my hand or not.
08-12-2001, 09:55 PM
I usually put in about 50 cards to Wister. Several years ago my logs show I got picked once every 5 or 6 cards. Now it's taking about 12 or 13 cards to get drawn. I'll still go down and get in line even if I don't get a card.
Thanks for the update 312B1. A Brant's goose huh? Never seen one at Wister. How is the north end? Last year they turned it into goose fields after it had been shallow flooded ponds.
08-13-2001, 06:04 AM
Me and my buddies hunt Wister about 15 days a year and have had some good hunts. ###Last season we had about 40 geese and the year before that we had about 80, ducks were fair, we avg 3 to 5 ducks a person. ###We have 600 rags, 20 doz snow shells for the geese, and 8 doz G&H Super Mag duck dekes, so we have the equipment and we do our homework. ###If you draw a ressie and you need company let me know.
08-13-2001, 09:10 AM
Thanks Kid and 312B1 for the info. ###I'll definately fill out the resv. cards for Wister. ###If I draw, look here for the invite. ###Spectr17, any news about Cibola? ###Have they reduced the hunt days to 3?
08-13-2001, 09:21 PM
312B1, I like you're handle. ###Haven't had the chance to shoot there in a while, but years ago it was all dry and the perfect spot for snows. ###Last time I was in there it was pretty muddy, but still managed to have a good shoot. ###Thanks for the Wister report and good luck to you this season.
08-13-2001, 09:54 PM
I haven't heard anything new on Cibola. Fubar is our undercover mole for that area. Wake up Fubar, what's the scoop? Last I heard it was a done deal to go to 3 days even with all the uproar. Also heard the manager Hawkes was moving so it may be open to review.
08-14-2001, 02:43 PM
I hunt wister every hunt day ( well I missed one Wednesday last year.) ###I drew 4 reservations last season and only 3 the season before. ###I think the reason it is so hard to draw is that you no longer have to fill out individual cards. ###You just give them you credit card # and mark every sat, Sun. & Wed., and you done, except for the march to the mail box every day with fingers cressed and rabbit's foot in hand. ###With this type of draw only a small percentiage of Reservations actually show up, so the sweat line isn't so bad. ###Most of the time I just walk-on. ###Don't wait for a reservation Just Hunt.
08-14-2001, 03:28 PM
The ponds at the north end, that you are refering to, I believe is in the 514's. Which are actually fields that were irrigated for an extended time. ###Probably because of a washed out levy or something.
P.S. ###I was with 312-B1 and the Brant's goose was at unit 1 ###(the fed. area near near Westmorland. (no hunting allowed in Unit 1)
08-15-2001, 09:07 AM
I've hunted Wister for 16 years now and last year was the worst. I scratched 6 days there last year including opening weekend. After awhile I lowered my expectations and just used my outings as a place to hang out with my kids and let the Lab have a place to pee freely. Took to hunting wednsdays towards the end of the season and that was a little better.
08-15-2001, 11:22 AM
I will jump into this one, maybe a little late but here goes, I agree on the reservation it has got tuff since they went to the form deal, when only 25 or less res. show, there is a problem, but it's a good problem just go and get in the lotto and you will get in 90% of the time.
Cibola can be real good, but it is a tuff place to hunt and when the water is low on the river real tuff with out the right boat, some of the local yokels think it is there private hunting area and have been knowen to leave there decoys out all season and slash a few tires on boat trailers in the unimproved launch areas I know from experience about these little games.
The hunting in Ca. can still be great but is a real hit or miss, that is why i'm heading out of state this year Nevada, Utah, and Arizona, have some uncrowed places with a good number of birds and a extra 5-8 hr drive for 3-5 days of hunting is well worth it to me.
Sure I will still get in my wed. trips to SJ, Wister, & Kern, and my spring snow goose hunt to Mo. this Feb. but i'm really tired of fighting the A$$ holes that duck hunt anymore here in Ca.( I bought my Lic. paid for my shells and paid my way in i'll shoot at what ever and as HIGH as I want attitude)
08-15-2001, 02:05 PM
huntducks, having read your post I feel like I should add my opinion as well. ###I have yet to hunt Wister/Kern or Cibola so I can not comment on the hunters there. ###I spend most of my hunts at SJWA. ###While I agree that there are "hunters" who think they are mightier than thou, for the most part the guys who hunt SJWA are nice guys and alot of fun to hunt with. ###I can say that from experience as I do not have a hunting partner (my kids are only 5 and 3 and the wife doesn't hunt) and I often have hooked-up with somebody to fill a spot with me. ###Sure hunting by yourself is fun but it's also about commrodarrie (sp?) and maybe learning something from somebody else may help me on another day in the blind. ###
08-16-2001, 11:09 AM
If you have hunted SJ a lot then at some time we have met at the table, i'm a regular there on Wed. except for last year as I spent it in MO. & KS. during hunting season and TOTALY got spoiled.
After hunting ducks in Ca. for 45yrs now I have really soured on Ca. refuge hunters most talk a great game in the parking lot, but put a shotgun in there hands and a pair of waders on and they turn into AH. just amazes me how this happens.
SJ is the skybusters capitol of SoCal, and the way A-B-C-D ponds are set up it only take 2-3 to ruin the hunting for everyone in 12 spots, IMHO the regulars there are for the most part good solid hunter and EVERYONE takes a hi shot or 2 at times, but some of the crap that goes on at some of the refuges is just uncalled for and could change with a little more enforcement of hunting within your area.
I have been hunting in B-2 at SJ and get the guys from B-4 to walk down the dike and sit within 50-60 yards of my decoys and the same goes for C-1 or be in B-3 and the guys in A-2 turn around and hunt both A-B pond, and when you say something it is the same I PAID FOR MY LICENSE answer, that answer must be on the front page of the DFG hand book, several of the sites at SJ should have a stake driven in the ground and you have to hunt with in 50yds of it like all the E-numbers A-2 B-4 C-1-2-3.
See you at SJ and maybe we can talk or even spend a few hrs in the blind together, as I usuly hunt alone with my Lab.
08-16-2001, 02:06 PM
huntducks, boy can I agree on the crap that goes on in the B-ponds at SJ. ###I think one of the worst things I've seen out there was last year I was sitting in A1, it was 20 min. before LEGAL shoot time and all hell broke loose in the B-ponds. ###Now I can see missing it by a minute or so, but 20 min. ###Give me a break. ###Work prevents me from going on Wed., unless of course that ressie card comes in, so since Sat. reservations have been few and far between it's mostly been afternoon hunts. ###I've met alot of nice guys chewing the fat sitting at that table waiting for a blind to open. ###Gotta be diehard playing that game :). ###I definately agree that posted stakes need to be implemented out there. ###You are right about the enforcement out there, it's needed. ###I'll look for you this year, only 2 months.
08-16-2001, 10:07 PM
Has the hunting at San Jacinto gotten worse in recent years? ###If so, why? ###I've hunted there three times in the last two years and most guys I run into say it was better a few years back. ###Is there anything DU or CWA can do to help out? ###Does anyone else who hunts in southern CA think that more could be done in this part of the state? ###I pulled up the CWA website and tried to find out what they were doing around here and found it wasn't much. ###I'm not necessarily complaining...just curious.
08-16-2001, 11:42 PM
San J ###just doesn't hold the ducks like it used to. When the shooting starts the birds bug out to Perris or the diary ponds nearby. They do need to do something to the bare levee in the B pond where guys walk around in the NW corner.
My ugliest San J memory was about 5 years ago in the B3 blind. It's about 9 am and my jerk cord setup is getting too loose in the little narrow strip of water off the main pond. I reset the anchor and I'm standing in the water at the edge of ###the weeds admiring my work and BAM!!. This oxygen waster from A2 must of got bored and was walking around and saw my bobbing pintail deke. 80 yards and he wings a shot at my dekes.
Luckily I turned and he just peppered my backside and it was too far to penetrate my skin or dekes. I started hollering and he headed for the truck. He was about 60 and his partner about 40. They got out of the county before I could meet up with them. The more I thought about it the madder I got that day.
08-17-2001, 01:27 AM
A few min. either way does not bother me, two years ago there was a group of guys that use to hunt there on Wed afternoon, Lead & 30min late was the rule with these 3-4 jerks I heard they finely got caught, 1 was the lookout while the others shot, and a little 2 way radio kept them in contact, I must have told Tom a 100 times if I told him once about these guys. for some reason A-2 always get a new AH in it, and for some reason there is always a jerk in one of the spots on C always.
Jesse been awhile, that little strip always holds a surprise or 2 (not to loud on that spot) DAMN I miss Four Rivers that is a refuge.
I think the biggest problem with SJ has been weather up north and a lack of it, also I don't feel they have gotten the most out of the place, a real lack of field crops, and poor pond mangement.
And yes the shooting use to be outstanding there 4-6 years ago
08-17-2001, 07:36 AM
Jesse, you are right, as soon as the guns go off the birds bug out. ###They don't come back til after shoot time. ###The last day last year I finished up at E5 and as I was walking in the Mallards, yes Mallards where dumping into the E ponds like crazy. ###All of them coming off Perris. ###Nice to hear you survived the "attack". ###One of these days I'm afraid somebody at the B pond is going to get hurt. ###
Chris, I believe there was supposed to be a DU project setup in the river basin in the land south of the check station. ###From what I heard it got squashed because of some endangred rat or plant. ###
As far as SJ getting better, hopefully with the new land purchase more blinds will be available. ### I also feel hunting pressure has lowered the avgs. ###
08-18-2001, 10:10 AM
I have found one place in SD county, not far from San Jacinto that holds a ton of ducks, year in and year out...now don't laugh...it's true...the San Diego Wild Animal Park. ###You can walk across the backs of ducks in those ponds in mid December. ###If we could get a fraction of those birds to stop at SJ, or move on to Otay, Barrett, hunting would improve 100% around here. ###
It tells me that there are birds around, even in years with no weather up north, we just need water and feed and they'll show up. ###That's why I was wondering if there was anything CWA, DU, or even a group of us local guys with a tractor could do to help.
08-18-2001, 06:36 PM
I was at Wister today. ###It was very hot, a bunch of dove flying and the shore birds and shovelers were ruling the few ponds that were flooded and a lone hen pheasant was searching for some shade. ###I hadn't been to the Salton Sea since about 1989, the entire area still smells the same so some things don't change! :)
I was helping my buddy drop off his decoys, etc. at his club. ###btw, only saw 4 large quail, but saw a bunch of babies (must be on the third hatch by now because they were tiny).
Just a report.
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