Disabled Duck Hunters Have New Opportunity in St. Johns | Sports & Recreation

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Disabled Duck Hunters Have New Opportunity in St. Johns

Persons with disabilities (PWD) have a new opportunity on Guana River Wildlife Management Area (WMA) in St. Johns County: a new PWD-accessible waterfowl blind that is suitable for duck hunting or wildlife viewing.

The blind is on Booths Pond and was designed by staff from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission’s (FWC) Office of Recreation Services. A paved parking spot with a concrete path leads to an elevated deck and the heavily camouflaged blind.

“The blind can easily seat four hunters on the benches or at least two, maybe three hunters in wheelchairs,” said Justin Ellenberger, the FWC’s lead biologist on Guana River WMA.

Ellenberger said Booths Pond can be fair to good for duck hunting, depending on habitat conditions and duck numbers. Ducks that usually use the pond are teal, wood ducks and wigeon.

Use of the blind is on a first-come, first-served basis, and hunters who would like to use it will need to obtain a PWD Duck Blind Qualifying Card. For information about this card go to MyFWC.com/Hunting and select “Persons with Disabilities.”

Guana River WMA is a quota hunt area, but exemptions are allowed. An exempt hunter could hunt ducks from this new blind until noon during the general gun deer hunts that coincide with waterfowl season; they are Nov. 19-20 and Nov. 25-27.

During the small-game hunts, Guana River WMA is first-come, first-served for 75 hunters. Waterfowl hunts that coincide with the WMA’s small-game hunts are Dec.10-11, Jan. 6-8, Jan. 13-15, Jan. 20-22 and Jan. 27-29.

For more on rules pertaining to Guana River WMA, go to MyFWC.com/Hunting and select “WMA Brochures” and then look under  “Northeast.”

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