North Carolina national seashore gets wheelchair accessible duck blind


BODIE ISLAND, N.C. (AP) — The Cape Hatteras National Seashore has a new wheelchair accessible duck blind.

The Bodie Island, North Carolina, structure near state Highway 12 is the seashore’s first accessible blind and among few found elsewhere, The Virginian-Pilot reported.

“It was just something we needed to do,” the island district park ranger, Lynn Edwards, said. Wheelchair accessible duck blinds on public lands remain rare, according to Andi Cooper, a spokeswoman for the national conservation nonprofit Ducks Unlimited.

Waterfowl hunting is a long-held tradition in the area and is a hard task even for more ambulatory hunters, who haul firearms, ammunition and decoys through a trail in the marsh to traditional blinds. Such shore blinds, covered in camouflaging vegetation, typically sit along a bank and have room for up to two people.

The new $171,000 blind has a 200-foot long and six-foot wide boardwalk that leads up to it. It also features a 10-by-15 foot covered shelter and has concrete flooring to better withstand the elements.

Duck hunting season starts Dec. 14. Hunters must have required state and federal licenses to use park facilities. The blind will serve as a wildlife viewing area outside of duck hunting season.