Waterfowl Hunt Results for California Refuges January 16th, 2022

It's getting late in the season and this is the last hunt result for 2021 hunting season that will actually do you any good with the season closing on January 30. It's time to pull out all the stops. If you have been using small spreads with little success try the biggest spread you can put together, and if you have been using large spreads try going to a small spread. Last week I mentioned using a large spread with a bunch of hens. This week may be a good time to go small. Something like 5 hens and one drake. Put them as far from your blind as you can and still be able to hit the ducks that orbit around the spread. It sounds silly but putting decoys out at 50 yards works because the ducks orbiting won't be looking in your blind. Set the decoys upwind of your position so that on the ducks final approach they will turn into the wind and swing over the top of you within range. This is also a good time to use your sprig whistle or teal whistle and leave the mallard call at home. This late in the season ducks have had so many bad calls thrown at them they become call shy and decoy shy, so less is more during the last two weeks.


if you really want to try calling try something called "Laughing Ducks" it's not a music group from the 60s it's a teal calling technique from the old days when not everyone could afford a call. Get the guys in your group to laugh loudly when the ducks are nearby or coming in to the decoys. A hardy "ha ha ha ha" and some kicking and splashing will turn them your way. Also let your buddies dog go swimming. You know the one that cant sit still in the blind. Let it swim around and splash the ducks will see the activity and swoop in for a look. Does it work? Well how many times have you had ducks try and land in your decoys when you or you dog is out in the middle of the spread? Or while the guys were laughing at the latest missed bird?


Here are your refuge results for California Refuges Curtesy of California Department of Fish and Wildlife

Use these results to determine what decoys to take with you to the refuges and other areas near where these refuges are, to increase your success rate.


Example: if you see that Gray Lodge is reporting GADW (Gadwall) as the number one reported duck killed, then take Gadwall decoys with you to the refuge.


Waterfowl Codes:

AGWT = American Green Wing Teal

AMWI = American Wigeon

BUFF= Bufflehead

GADW= Gadwall

GOLD= Goldeneye

GWFG= Greater White Fronted Goose (Speck)

LSGO= Lessor Snow Goose

MALL= Mallard

NOPI= Northern Pintail

NSHO= Northern Shoveler

RNDU= Ringneck Duck

SCAU= Scaup (or Bluebill)