Wister Quagmire 12-4-19

DOGHOUSE26

I've posted enough I should edit this section
Feb 22, 2004
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Escondido, CA
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jeff meeker
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26 Blackman Billfisher
We had a great first half of the day but the second one was one I never want to experience again; My buddy Gerry pulled a 94 for Wister and with only 10-20 reservations showing on any given day I knew there would be plenty of good spots to take so 3 of us headed out and hunted a new spot for us in the north half. We had plenty of time to set out 5 dozen dekes and set the blind as it started to sprinkle; shooting time was slower than normal as the skies were dark and us 3 old farts don't swing too fast on those low flying teal @ warp speed like we used to but 30 minutes into it we had groups of Gadwall and Pintail dropping down into the spread and we finished on Pintail early. It was a smorgasborg of ducks as we shot several teal, couple of Gads and 2 Widgeon, 3 Pintail Drakes and a female Redhead . That 1 Pintail limit really screws up your day early as we really had to make a good I.D on the birds cupping down into the spread before we could blast them even though I had a pretty good idea what they were while calling them in. Surprised not to see any Shovelers on this day. We had several hard rain squalls come through throughout the morning with the last one coming around 11 so we started packing it up. It went quickly downhill from there. The rain turned the Wister dirt into muck, we had to pack out half our gear first as the carts were useless with the sticky mud binding the wheels making the second trip back a tough 1/4 mile pull back to the truck which took almost an hour. We noticed a nice Chevy Duramax completely buried in a drainage ditch next to the access road; he called several towing companies and said a halftrack unit was on the way. After getting our gear into the trucks I noticed 5 other trucks appearing to be stuck on the other better access roads out of the area. The only road out left was the one surrounding the hunting sites which we're not supposed to drive on so reluctantly we tried it and I promptly slid off the edge and stopped as any further 4WD spinning would just get me further down the bank; my other buddy behind us had a Tundra 4WD but he couldn't pull us out so we were stuck too.It was 1PM and the halftrack didn't arrive until 3; it took them 3 hours to get the Duramax out and they needed another tow truck as they burned up the winch on the halftrack trying to get him out. The halftrack came and pulled me out by 6:30 then it took them 2 hours to get the other 4 vehicles out that were blocking the best exit road; one hunter left his vehicle and hoofed it to the highway stating he would come back Friday to get it. They just pushed it out of the way. We finally hit dry pavement @ 9PM, home by midnight and in bed by 1:15AM after a nice warm shower while washing the dog; I'm sure I'm not the only one who's ass is still sore after the $560 tow fee they hit each of us for but at least I'm warm, dry, and not swatting mosquitoes every 2 seconds but will probably burn a half day cleaning out my truck and washing all the gear. Note to self: Avoid Wister during and shortly after a rain! I think it was pretty good for everybody as I would expect the average to be pushing 3-4 ducks per shooter from what the guy at the Check Station said.
 
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BluefinCurly

Skipper
Aug 15, 2004
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Norwalk
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Carl
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Vagabond, The Last Minute
Jeff

I feel your pain.

The mud in our club is the WORST in the valley, and I would have to walk 1500 yds to get to my blind from camp.

Our club had just got acceptable after the last major storm, and looking like rain wasn't going to hit until 10 am, I bailed out of work Tuesday to try and get a morning hunt in.

The pitter patter woke me about 3:45. At normal departure time it was already starting to create standing water.
I elected to wait til daylight to see if I could get out.

At 7 I put away the cart, closed up the trailer, and drove home.

Of course, I saw more birds on the club than I have seen all season.

Considering it really came down after 10am, I may be doing honey do's this weekend.
 

DOGHOUSE26

I've posted enough I should edit this section
Feb 22, 2004
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jeff meeker
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26 Blackman Billfisher
They just posted the Wednesday results for Wister and they knocked 60 snows from the sky; the first 2 spots taken were on the Union tract and although I'm only there 3-5 times a season I haven't seen that happen since the 80s. Duck numbers were good too just like I thought. Rain scheduled for this weekend, pick your spots wisely and close to a major road
 

Blackfish

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Sep 20, 2005
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ouch! That is a rough day. Glad you got your truck out. Had to have truck winched out a few years back. Slid into a ditch. Got out about 10 pm and home around midnight. Beat. Ha. Got my first snow goose that season.
 
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Dale Fero

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Sep 19, 2015
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Dale Fero
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Excel, RR3
Jeff my brother hunted yesterday as well and had similar results in both hunting and driving! Wister mud is legendary for all the wrong reasons! Be safe out there guys it is slick!
 

DOGHOUSE26

I've posted enough I should edit this section
Feb 22, 2004
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jeff meeker
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26 Blackman Billfisher
Jeff my brother hunted yesterday as well and had similar results in both hunting and driving! Wister mud is legendary for all the wrong reasons! Be safe out there guys it is slick!
The guy at the Check station told us there were 3 or 4 trucks that got stuck on the south end of the refuge and they were charged $600 each to get out so at least I got a bargainLOL
 

fishunter2

Newbie
Sep 3, 2015
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Riverside,Ca
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Tim
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Ranger
We were out there yesterday, it’s so hard getting drawn no way I’m passing on a #18, I think we drew like 4th or fifth. If I would’ve brought the goose deeks I would’ve gone down to union track. But we had come prepared to hunt ducks, so I picked a spot down south that I had been out to in pretty shitty conditions before. Going out in the a.m. was great lots of water on Davis but we were good. Tracks were mostly dry, buddy following my f-350 in his Tacoma. We got out to the parking lot, loaded up the cart(I know better) took the risk that it wasn’t going to rain a bunch. Didn’t want to leave anything out of the spread, trip out good dike dryish got to our marker set up everything. Started to rain, not bad, we can hunt in this. Shooting time rolls around, exceptionally dark with the storm covering the sunrise. Passed on number of birds until we could see the ends of our barrels. Started dropping birds, we were able let them work as there were only one or two others in blinds nowhere near us. They must have walked out because no other cars in our parking lot and no tracks on road. Dog is killing it on retrieves, he’s kicking ass and taking names. Wow, what a great day! Raining off and on, but we can hunt in this, after all this is duck hunting weather! Birds were working, we all had our Pintail early so we just had to watch while multiple groups worked into our decoys. Pintail, pintail,pintail....wait those are Gaddys take em. Pintail,pintail,pintail.....those are widgeon kill em. Dog is killing it! Did I mention it’s still raining....duck hunting weather. I gotta go make some dinner then I’ll tell the rest of the story
 

fishunter2

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Sep 3, 2015
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Tim
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Part. 2
I posted a short video, showing the frustration of a one bird limit. We are picking away on birds, mix of teal, widgeon, gadwall, done with pintail.
Snow geese are nervous moving all day just nothing over us that was in shooting range. Raining kinda hard now, but this is duck hunting, still picking away, hey that bird we just shot is banded..wohoo, what are the chances. Had some teal swing in we knock all three down..good shooting guys. Step out of the blind to help direct my dog to the second and third bird, while I’m out there, I come out of my quack induced haze long enough to realize, hey guys this dike is a mess. It’s going to suck getting this cart and all our shit out of here..after all it’s still raining. Let’s pick it up so we can get outta here. Load the cart, wow that strap is heavy, but we don’t have the weight of the arrow weed and all those shells we shot plus blind snacks. You push and I’ll pull the cart, are you pushing very hard because I’m pulling and it sucks, let’s switch....still sucks. Man I know better, suck it up buttercup we’ll get this back to the truck. We’re almost there guys, there’s the road. Wow, this road is slippery as hell...almost to the truck trying not to have a heart attack. Ok we’re here, load all this muddy shit in the truck and let’s go.. hard part is over and I’m hungry. Loaded up ready to leave, Nick make sure your hubs are locked and I’ll blaze trail you can follow behind...Nick...aaaaa my truck doesn’t have four wheel drive. Why would Toyota make a truck that looks jacked up like a 4x4 and not put running gear under it??? Well hell, if I’d known that I would have thrown you and your crap in my truck at the check station. Oh well we’ll make it out ....Lockers ?? Nope but some posi trac bullshit Ok I’ll blaze trail you just stay in my tracks and stay away from both edges... I’ve done this before with my bro.
 

fishunter2

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Sep 3, 2015
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Tim
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Ranger
Part 3
Sorry guys I didn’t think it would be this wordy, gotta vent I guess. So we pull out on the narrow dike road, pond on one side, eight foot drop on the other, nasty soft stuff down there..you don’t want to go there. Pond, I guess you don’t want to go there either..stay in the middle keep some momentum, throttle control, it’s as greasy as I’ve ever experienced. Only got about 100 yds from parking lot look in rear view Nick is sideways. Not good,I have to let off.. I’ve got a strap and a chain, I’ll just back up and yank him out, we’ll be on our way. Start trying to backup.. oh crap truck really doesn’t like going backwards in this shit, only about a foot on each side of my truck that could be called road then another 18” of soft muck that if it grabs you sucks you in. Did I mention my truck is crew cab long bed.. so not a whole lot of room to get sideways on this dike. Crap backing up ass end wants to step out one way or another, need some momentum...so then when it steps out it carries into the soft shit. I’m way close to needing to be recovered. We decide we’ll try and get my truck out to the main road chop it up a bit and maybe it’ll dry a bit. Takes about five try’s to get my truck out to Davis maybe 1/2 mile ,get perilously close to the edge dig out stuff branches under tire give it another run. Literally like driving on ice, worst I’ve ever seen it even for Wister, and I’ve been coming down here 50 years.
 

fishunter2

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Sep 3, 2015
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Tim
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Ranger
0D788742-06E4-4746-894B-4AA9A31BA45C.jpeg
87D7CC63-A53F-4549-85C3-647893BEBF61.jpeg
Final part
Decided we’re not going to risk getting our only ride out stuck, walked back to my buddy’s truck. Same drill dig him out cut branches push truck out and take what the road gives us. Anyone who has been in wister mud knows you are constantly walking around with 10 pounds on each foot, we are all exhausted by now. Made some progress until a little too much momentum and no front wheel pull ended him mostly off the edge.Time to enlist a professional, walked back to my truck and started down Davis toward the check station. Davis is as bad as I’ve ever seen it, one bobble and you’ll end up in the swamp that is on both sides of a single track. Back at check station warden tells us it’s a shit show out there with multiple trucks stuck. Nick calls a buddy in the area who tows people out at glamis all the time. He’ll come down and do it, where’s Wister??. He got a lesson on the legend of Wister mud. To his credit he got out there and gave it a good try but no way to get the angle you need on that narrow road. Nick stayed the night with his buddy and figured he’d come back in the light and give it another try. They gave it a valiant effort to no avail, however a Good Samaritan with a track hoe happened by and had mercy on them seeing the predicament they were in. He was able to pick the truck out of the shit and swing it on to the road where Nicks buddy could tow him out. Nick offered the guy $$, but all he ask Nick to do was donate some groceries to a local women’s shelter. There are still some great people out there, sir I applaud you. To anyone who has never experienced Wister mud, it’s hard to imagine. Don’t ever go out there without shovels, straps, something to cut brush with and $1000 in you wallet. If any of this didn’t sound like good times, my word of advice is run for the hills at the first drops of rain. And remember QUACK KILLS

Hopelessly Addicted
 
Jan 18, 2018
84
31
18
Ontario, CA
Name
Steve
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22’ Grady White
Thanks for sharing the experience. I thought I got stuck bad before. I use to carry a shovel, jack and plywood in my truck for years ... I was thinking about heading down tonight. Prob an inch of rain on Wed. Roads should be pretty decent by now, I hope. See any snows? What direction were they flying from?
 

fishunter2

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Sep 3, 2015
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Tim
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Ranger
There were quite a few groups of snows moving all day. Mostly from north to south, we didn’t have any that were in range over us. if weather holds and no more rain, roads would be tacking up...but it won’t take much rain to mess them up again
 
Jan 18, 2018
84
31
18
Ontario, CA
Name
Steve
Boat
22’ Grady White
Thanks for the info. Got word a few hours ago that it was sprinkling down at Wister. Sat. evening looks like there is a 25% change of rain but it’s probably light.
 

stairman

......
May 16, 2009
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doug
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yak and lowe duck hunting skiff but they identify as sportfishing crusiers
on the bright side crowds are down and rain is good for the quail next year
 

fishunter2

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Sep 3, 2015
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Tim
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Ranger
on the bright side crowds are down and rain is good for the quail next year
Yes we definitely need the rain for our wildlife, hopefully quail and chuckar are on the come back. I’m waiting for a new knee to resume my chuckar chasing days. Everyday out in the field is the bright side, it’s all good ,nobody died and we had a great shoot and a story to add to the rest about the time we pushed the envelope and got out and just did it! Life’s about spending time and making memories with friends and family out in the field. Happy hunting all, just say f**k it once in a while and GO.
 
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Jan 18, 2018
84
31
18
Ontario, CA
Name
Steve
Boat
22’ Grady White
Yeah, hopefully the rain will help with increasing the turkey population on public hunting lands. I definitely say f..k it after all Christmas gifts are purchased and some things get paid off. Still have young children and I purchased a 6.5 Creedmoor that I thought I would be using this year for deer but that didn’t work out this year so far.
 
Jan 18, 2018
84
31
18
Ontario, CA
Name
Steve
Boat
22’ Grady White
Coyotes and those evil crows really hit the turkey population in so some areas. I was hunting near Henshaw and saw a group of crows separate newly hatched turkeys (whatever they are called) from the mother and eat them all. Reminded me of seagulls and newly hatched turtles getting eaten before getting to water. After mother and young set up some simple communication, then I believe survival odds increase. Coyotes are super sneaky lone hunters during the day along turkey regular travel paths. I check the legal hunting of both during spring turkey season to see if I can take a few...
 

DOGHOUSE26

I've posted enough I should edit this section
Feb 22, 2004
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Escondido, CA
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jeff meeker
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26 Blackman Billfisher
Great post Tim I feel like we're almost brothers! But I will go back there in a second, only next time in my Rubicon I've never got it stuck in those conditions @ Wister. Just like you, I just didn't think it would rain that much down there Wednesday so I took my F-250 as we had 2 dogs and alot of gear.
From our spot in the North half, we saw quite a few Snow Strings headed south along the Sea Shoreline all through the day; an occasional single came over @100+yds and it was funny to watch the different blinds let loose causing the snow to zig zag his route.
 
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fishunter2

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Sep 3, 2015
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Riverside,Ca
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Tim
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Ranger
Yep Wister mud is legendary, I just finished the second wash on my beautiful black truck. It usually takes 2 or 3 to get that shit out of the nooks and crannies. Then I’ll go find some rumble strips and see what I missed on the underside.
 

fishunter2

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Sep 3, 2015
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Riverside,Ca
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Tim
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Always ready to go duck hunting, let’s take that pretty new white truck. Equal opportunity muddier, supposed to be dry for a couple of weeks so it won’t be quite as much fun
 

mark johnsen

Ichthus
Aug 1, 2015
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redlands
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Mark
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Blue J
Wow guys! Sorry about the getting stuck. That totally stinks! I had to pause for a moment after each story to let my heart rate slow down again. I hate that stuff! Sounds like you both had great hunts though! At least you weren't skunked. The heavy straps ease the pain a little bit...a little bit. Glad everybody made it home safe.
 
Jan 18, 2018
84
31
18
Ontario, CA
Name
Steve
Boat
22’ Grady White
Yep, Wister Devil Mud.
Anyone, go out to retrieve a bird in a pond, then step into a fricken mud-pot (I think they call it) ? It happened to me over 20 years ago (I was a lifeguard and scuba dive master at the time, thank God). I think most other greenhorns would have panicked and drown. Didn’t hear of anyone die yet.... I was retrieving a duck and in the middle of a deep pond, I instantly sank down in mud, water over my head. While underwater, I couldn’t move either of my legs out and was in mud up to my armpits. I clicked one shoulder strap release off and was able to slither out of my wader and get air. Got my gun out of mud and 1/2 hour or so later went back for my waders. Took awhile to work my waders out of the mud.
Another time, for the snow opener at Wister, I thought putting some decoys on a narrow island would look good. While on the island, I sank hip deep in mud and took me 45 min to get out. I had to lay face down horizontal to mud and crawl out like a turtle . I now carry a ski pole, with strap (painted mud brown) every time I enter the Wister water and it really really helps
 
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HighWildFree

Well-Known "Member"
Feb 16, 2018
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Erik
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Moooo!
Two things to carry with you.

1) For your truck tires:

View attachment 1098191
2) For your cart tires:


View attachment 1098192
Does Pam really work? I’d think the chains would be full of mud after one rotation.

Ahh yes, wister mud, the sole inducer of what I call “wister rage”. Which is what we call it when you’re freaking out, pissed off, tired and convinced your going to die, stuck in the mud. All usually within 10 feet of your buddies who are enjoying the show. I have video of myself taking over 7 minutes to retrieve a duck 25 yards away, lots of rage there!
 
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Mean Gene

Old Fat Guy
Oct 27, 2013
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Ennis, Montana
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Gene
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The Searcher
Pam works if you keep reapplying it. Chains will do a hell of a lot better than bare tires. BUT, if you really want to get in and out of the mud down there you need to be driving one of these:

 
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