Blind 1a at Ridgefield sits on large pond adjacent to the auto-tour route on the north side of the refuge. Built new in 2015 by members of the Lower Columbia Chapter of the Washington Waterfowl Association, it’s a large box blind that will accommodate three electric wheelchairs sitting side-by-side. Parking is adjacent to the blind for easy access.
This blind is reserved for the handicapped and is available as the first blind taken in the morning draw, meaning if you are handicapped you can choose this blind prior to anyone else selecting blinds at the check station. If there are more than one handicapped parties at the check station, then the blind will go to the winner of a random draw. The loser of the draw has the option of taking blind 8, which also is close to the road but not made for wheelchair access. Blind 8 will be fitted for ADA compliance in the future, perhaps as early as 2016.
I’ve never hunted in this blind, but plan to take a friend who was injured in the Iraq war here sometime this season. I’ll ask the hunters who frequent the blind what they think, too.
Prior to its refurbishment, it suffered from being too far from the water and presented few good shots so it did not fare well in the annual hunting statistics. Time will tell if the blind’s location closer to water will bring up its numbers.
Type: box, 3-person, handicapped only
Pros: You can drive in and park next to it; open water in front; brand new and large, will fit three electric wheelchairs side-to-side.
Cons: It used to be a good distance from the water but 2015 improvements have moved it closer.