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Waterfowl Hunt Results for California Refuges January 30th, 2022

I was fortunate enough to draw ADA Reservation #2 for Gray Lodge Wildlife area for the last day of the regular 2021-2022 waterfowl season. I invited my good friend Chuck Jucker to come hunt with me and to be absolutely honest it was in the Top Five of the best Waterfowl Hunts I have ever had. The geese were all high and I mean way up there, so it was just a duck hunt, but a duck hunt that was crazy good.

(Chuck Juker and dog Trooper looking for and retrieving a crippled Ringneck duck)

First off drawing a #1, or #2 Reservation for Gray Lodge on the last day of the season whether it's a General Reservation or ADA Reservation is a feat in and of itself, second off the person who drew ADA #1 was a no-show, so I was first up to bat on the last day of the season. Third and most importantly I was able to pick blind ADA #4. This is arguably the best ADA Blind in the Northern California area for Balance of the State Zone. There are some blinds that are good but this one is pretty darn awesome. I have limited out at Blind #4 countless times and did it again on this trip. I could have limited out on Ringneck Ducks within the first 30 minutes but decided to hold off and try to shoot a more edible variety as ringnecks taste horrible to be and I usually use them for training birds for my dogs.

The Fourth thing that happened was very educational and thankfully it was witnessed by Chuck otherwise I wouldn't believe it myself. I went to shoot a drake Wigeon as it was coming straight in, and I ended up taking a drake and a hen in one shot. It was awesome to watch and made my day. What was educational was this, the drake landed on a road right in front of me, and as soon as it hit the road it took off running like a pheasant for about 15 feet. True it really did I have never seen a duck run that fast before. It ran into the bull rush right in front of me and hid. We got the dog on it and it dove under and swam to me and swam under water for about 40 seconds all around my feet and the dogs feet and I watched this thing zipping around underwater until it fanally surfaced and came up in front of me and I grabbed it.

(Chuck Juker on a T Seat in the marsh, notice the decoys behind him, we have the ducks in a crossfire)

Blinds ADA #3 and ADA #4 at Gray Lodge shoot very well on the last weeks of the season because they are right off the south side of the closed zone. The blinds are about 35 yards from the road and on the other side of the road is the closed zone, so you can actually throw a rock from the blind to the closed zone. Decoys are nice to have at these blinds, but you get so much air traffic from ducks coming into the closed zone that you really don't need them.

(Gray Lodge ADA Blind #4 looking South, you will notice my decoys are as far out as I could put them but still in range, also I am using almost all hens because the ducks are pairing hup during the last weeks of the season and the drakes are feeling the urge)

I hope you all enjoyed your waterfowl season. I know it was slow and for me it was downright miserable for a while, but that's hunting and hopefully next year will be better.

Here are your Waterfowl Hunt Results for the last weekend of the General Season.

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)


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