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Wednesday, March 20, 2019

California Duck Hunting 2019 Colusa Refuge, California duck clubs, and Duck Blind Leases, rent or sale

California Duck Hunting Colusa Refuge

 - Colusa Refuge Reports

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where to hunt colusa refuge

Colusa Refuge. The reason hunters at Colusa National Wildlife Refuge enjoy some of the best public duck hunting  in the Sacramento Valley is simple: location.  The area is a natural haven for ducks amidst an alarming  array of cities, duck clubs and neighboring refuges. It sits  lower than the Sacramento NWR, Sutter NWR and Delevan  NWR, consequently attracting a whole lot of ducks looking  for a safe spot to rest on their way south.  

Duck Hunters at Colusa commonly do better than at  other Sacramento Valley refuges.  Last year, despite gloomy predictions of low duck numbers  in the Pacific Flyway, waterfowlers managed to bag better  than two birds apiece overall for the season at Colusa. Stay tuned for our refuge reports as the season progresses.

Wildlife biologists explained that the refuge is located in  what is commonly known as the Colusa Trough or the Colusa  Basin. In layman duck hunter terms, that means ducks would  prefer to fly through here than just about any other spot in the  valley, especially later in the season, when they’re in a hurry  to get south.  Like the sawy steelheader who fishes the “slot,” the  hunter who works the “trough” is bound to take home more  game.  

 December and  January are traditionally the best times to hunt Colusa.  Because the Colusa Basin is a natural marsh belt with  everything the traveling duck wants built in—water, food and  a place with cover to rest—it’s the perfect spot for the skilled  decoy hunter.  Hunters who know their decoys definitely have the advantage here, and consistently shoot good numbers of birds when  they’re in good numbers in the valley  Refuge sources indicated that although a dozen dekes are a  recommended minimum here, and some waterfowlers work  elaborate sets of six dozen or more, two dozen mixed magnum-sized mallard and pintail decoys will usually do the  trick. Remember that the more decoys you take out, the more  time it will take to set up, and the less time you’ll have to hunt. 

 Most of the birds here are mallards, pintail, widgeon and  green wing teal.  Hunting is allowed on both the east and west sides of Ohm  Road, and although the east side generally provides the better  shooting, “hot spots” change as birds utilize different neighboring fields for feeding and resting. That‘s why scouting the  area a day or two before the hunt can make the difference in  the bag.  

 Higher water levels are at Colusa because the Basin is lower than most  other refuges, it seems to collect more  ducks and offer better results than other  Sacramento Valley refuges. Locals say  “there's water here when there’s no  water anywhere else. "  Flooded areas between  Ohm Road and the district boundary towards  the Reclamation District  Main Canal get hot.  Stay tuned for our refuge reports as the season progresses.

As elsewhere, cold storms in  December and January bring hot hunting. Local mallards key the early season  with teal, pintail and wigeon most common. You can jump shoot  and pick up a good number of pheasants east of Ohm Road. With lots of water and heavy cover  you need chest waders to get to the  really remote areas during the prime  late season period when runoff deepens  the ponds. A number of shallow ditches  make wading “interesting” once fields  flood. So watch your footing and consider a wading staff after storms.  Refer to our Refuge Hunting Map for more info.

The hot spots  vary. Flooded areas between Ohm Road  and the district boundary towards the  Reclamation District Main Canal get  hot. Then birds move to the ponds  between Abel and Ware roads just west  of the Hunter Contact Station. Suggest you drive over the night  before, sign up for the sweat line and  take time to scout for ducks just before dark. Refer to our Refuge Hunting Map for more info. This  approach works at Sacramento NWR  too.  

More on decoys:  Three or four dozen are about right for  two hunters and scattered spreads with  lots of confidence decoys are particularly useful on larger ponds.  However, when it blows hard, we do  better with six to a dozen dekes in sheltered watertight against the bank on the  upwind side of big ponds. Potholes seem to pull ducks in when it blows too.  The Colusa Check Station opens  between 3 and 5 p.m. the day before  Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday  shooting and stays open all night. It’s  open all day Saturday and Sunday too.  The quota is 80 guns at a time per  day. “Sweat lines” seem short midweek  and when the weather is sunny and  clear. lf you arrive at 3 a.m. or so you  can usually get on by the opener. lf it’s  stormy, you may not make it until noon.  If you do not wish to sleep in your  car, lodgings, meals and supplies are  available in nearby Williams or Colusa. Refer to our Refuge Hunting Map for more info.
Stay tuned for our refuge reports as the season progresses.


California hunting clubs, hunting ranches, duck blind leases, public and even private fishing

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Hunting private lands in California has several advantages over the public areas. Chief among these are much less hunting pressure, better forage and water supplies and easier vehicle access.
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