Waterfowl season sinks lower


November 16, 2001|By AL KALIN, Special to this newspaper

Last week 17 hunters bagged three ducks at Finney-Ramer. The previous year 32 hunters bagged 30 ducks.

At the Sonny Bono National Wildlife Refuge, 75 hunters shot only 46 ducks last week. Last year 64 hunters shot 54 ducks. Finally, at Wister last week, 401 hunters brought in 236 ducks but a year ago 512 hunters bagged 895 ducks.

In other words, duck hunting this year is the pits and at an all-time low. But maybe, just maybe, the storm moving down from the north will drive some ducks down in front of it. We'll know by this time next week.

Snow and Ross geese are continuing to arrive at Wister and Unit One at the Sonny Bono refuge west of Westmorland. Last week waterfowl guide Myron Fortin reported full limits of white geese for five hunters Saturday. They also bagged one dark goose. On Tuesday, though, with perfect windy conditions, five hunters were only able to lure two white geese and one Canadian goose to their decoys. For more information on guided waterfowl hunts, Fortin can be contacted at 355-1292.


State Fish & Game Warden Carol Sassie reported a good opening weekend for pheasant season. She checked multiple hunters with limits of pheasant, even in the Northend of the Valley.

For the opener I had friends coming to shoot pheasants on our ranch but ended up spending the whole time chasing off trespassers who had no respect whatsoever for private property.

Two rude trespassers who drove through double signs at the field's entrance assured me they had the right to hunt the drain ditches that run through private property. They said the ditches belong to the Imperial Irrigation District and could not be closed off. Only after I dialed 911 to request a sheriff's deputy did they leave.

More and more land is being closed to public access due to the impolite hunters like I encountered who show a total lack of respect for private property.

Sassie told me she has been writing more and more trespassing tickets every year to hunters who mistakenly think the Imperial Irrigation District owns the drain ditches. In reality, 90 percent of the drains are owned by the landowners.

Sassie reminded me that to correctly post private property it requires three signs to the mile along the perimeter and at least one sign at every entrance to the property.

>> If you would like to report your catch, Al Kalin can be reached on the Internet at

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