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Blind 9 – A Northwest Waterfowler’s Paradise

I created this site to document the hunts, locations, tips, tricks, recipes, and gear our group uses during our annual waterfowl exploits in the great Pacific Northwest. The name Blind 9 comes from the worst blind at the Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge. It’s pocked with Nutria holes, surrounded by submerged high clumps of grass, and accessed via slimy underwater pathways. You’re lucky if you don’t get dunked or sprain an ankle on any particular visit. Yet, if you’ve got waterfowl fever and like to shiver in swamps or freeze in farm fields then you’ll understand what Blind 9 really is: a waterfowler’s paradise.

Refuge Guides

The refuge Guides are always a work in progress and reflect up-to-date information as we hunt them. We strive for accuracy but blind locations, water levels and field conditions can change from season to season. If you find something that doesn’t look right, feel free to contact us to help update it.

Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge

McNary National Wildlife Refuge

Shillapoo Wildlife Area

Willapa National Wildlife Refuge

Tips & Tricks

Wind is Your Friend in Duck Hunting

Before any hunt I always like to check the weather. If I see some blustery winds in the forecast I get really excited. A good stiff wind makes everything easier in duck hunting and is a huge advantage for the hunter. Ducks Seem to Like Wind First, windy days seem to...

Neoprene vs Breathable Waders – What to Buy for the Conditions

Waders are one piece of clothing that’s nearly mandatory for duck hunting and for some forms of fishing. They allow you to set and retrieve decoys as well as downed ducks while keeping you dry throughout the hunt. They are generally found in two categories:...

Preparing for Your First Waterfowl Hunt – A Quick Reference

When I decided to go duck hunting for the first time, I was surprised at how much preparation was required. I did not have anyone to teach me and instead talked some of my equally inexperienced buddies into joining me. That first season was a blast but it also was bit...

What I Pack in My Waterfowl Blind Bag

I was getting ready for our first duck hunt of the season and disgorged my blind bag to take inventory and re-stock where needed. I always feel like I pack way too much, but I don’t like being un-prepared or cold. So here is what you might find in my bag near...

Hunter Tips for Identifying Dusky Geese in the Field

The Dusky subspecies of the Canada goose adds an element of uncertainty to hunting geese in Southwest Washington and Northwest Oregon. I know waterfowl hunters in Southwest Washington and Northwest Oregon who just don’t mess with hunting geese because the...

Latest Hunting Logs

Fighting the Ice During a December Duck Hunt at McNary

Fighting the Ice During a December Duck Hunt at McNary

This December 7, 2019 hunt was the first of a two-day hunt for us at McNary National Wildlife Refuge and although we didn’t bag as many birds we wanted we did manage to have some adventures on the ice. Excitement and Eats We were really looking forward to this...

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Sunny Day October Hunt Yields Surprising Results

Sunny Day October Hunt Yields Surprising Results

Most waterfowlers will tell you a sunny day is a bad day for duck hunting. I’m not going to argue: Ducks tend to sit tight in the sunlight. When they do fly, they are harder for me to pick up against a blue sky versus a cloudy one. Miscues in your camouflage...

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A Windy Day Hunt in Blind 9 at Ridgefield

A Windy Day Hunt in Blind 9 at Ridgefield

On this mid-December hunt I got a chance to revisit the literal namesake of this website, Blind 9, at the Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge. We had one of the more memorable hunts of the season in a blind that surprised me because it had been extensively remodeled....

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Early December Hunt at Ridgefield Blind 2

Early December Hunt at Ridgefield Blind 2

I finally had a chance to revisit a Blind 2 at Ridgefield NWR. It was in blind 2 that I had my first ever duck hunt. That was about 7 years ago, so it was great to get back to it. This time, one of my hunting companions had the #1 lottery pick on Saturday, December 1,...

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Mid-November Hunt in Ridgefield Blind 13a

Mid-November Hunt in Ridgefield Blind 13a

Tim had a Tuesday lottery pick on this November 26 at Ridgefield and we were both excited. A buddy had just hunted there the previous Saturday, where more than 50 geese were taken due to a low fog that kept the geese in shooting range. He also reported a lot of birds...

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Standby Hunt at Ridgefield Blind 6

Standby Hunt at Ridgefield Blind 6

An early November cold front moved down moved down from the North, leaving me thinking that it would be good time to get out for my second waterfowl hunt of the season. The front was causing freezing lows and some highs in the northern and eastern part of the state,...

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