Type: 3-person box blind
Pros: One of the top producing blinds on the refuge; sits on the south side with very little competition from other blinds; good concealment.
Cons: Long walk to the blind; not ideal for geese; low water early in the season; high water later in season.
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Blind 19 is a 3-man box blind and is the southernmost blind on the refuge. It sits on a small island of trees and faces south southeast. When the water is up, Blind 19 is surrounded by water, with two large pools on either side, and a long pool/slough out front running east/west.
The only difficulty is that the blind is a good long walk from the parking area and if you have not been there before it’s easy to miss in the dark. You’ll also need to traverse a fairly deep, muddy stretch of path before you get there. The water around the blind is all reasonably shallow. In fact, early in the season the blind may not have enough water around it. The slough/pool in front can get deep, especially near its farthest bank.
This blind features consistent shooting and can be the hottest blind on the refuge depending on the weather. It often ranks at or near the top of average birds per hunter, doubling the numbers of blinds in the bottom third of the averages.
It’s a box blind and because of the surrounding trees it’s well concealed. If you stay still inside you’ll do well.
I’ve hunted this blind a few times and each time I noticed that a lot of birds take off from the non-hunting portion of the refuge to the east and fly west along the slough in front of the blind, then turn around west of the blind and fly back. In some cases they are low and close enough that you can take passing shots at them. Sometimes they’ll land in one of the pools to the left or right of the blind. Rarely do they land in front, except for buffleheads, which this blind seems to attract.
I’ve tried a lot of different decoy sets but by the end of each of my hunts here I had moved a few decoys to the far bank of the sough out front. I would angle the decoys from the bank into the sough to encourage the passers to veer a little closer to the blind, giving us a potential shot.
Also, because it’s a box with trees behind it you will have limited visibility, so it’s good to check the side pools once in awhile for a Pintail or Shoveler that snuck in while you were staring out front.
Honestly, it’s not ideal for geese. They often steer around the blind instead of flying over it. That said, I’ve come close to taking a goose from this blind and you might get some opportunities at overhead shots from geese taking off from their morning roosts on the refuge. You can also take a few goose decoys in and place them just off the bank of the slough in front of the blind. Not only will they help steer passing ducks closer to the blind, but they might give you a chance to bring in a flock close enough overhead for a shot. But they might also be out of range.