KNOTTS ISLAND, N.C. — During that last weekend of duck season, after a lack of ducks, several folks still gathered at the Knotts Island Market early on a Saturday morning to potentially draw for a blind at the wildlife refuge nearby.
Some folks simply get blinds by having a hunting license paying five dollars to the, which chooses your name and sends an envelope naming a blind for a certain date, said Cliff Scott, who has led the blind for years. In that case, he noted, “You show up on that date, show me your card, I check you in, and you go to your blind. It’s normally full.”
There were a number of blinds available this morning, however, due to factors such as warm weather and few ducks. When ducks are around, standby draw is very iffy, organizers said. “Some days there’s not any,” Scott said during an interview later.
On the table were numbered envelopes, paperwork, little numbered balls and a small sphere in which to let those numbers tumble. It was led by Scott and Carl Coviello, and it started early. Mary Blackmore of the market was in to open by 4:30 a.m. to help the draw happen before hunters needed to be in place in their blinds.
“A little bit of shooting yesterday,” said Alan Brookshire, 45, of Asheville, who was here that weekend to hunt with sons Grayson, 20, and Colton, 17.
They were headed to a blind at the refuge. Though the federal government owns the land, the state handles the draw for blinds. It’s an opportunity for people who might not have a chance to use a blind to do so and to do so affordably.
Brothers Donald and Brian Smith, both of Knotts Island, came out the market for a blind. The men have been hunting since they were boys. This has been a rough year for duck, they noted.
“I still don’t know why we’re standing here,” Donald Smith said.
“We ought to be in bed sleeping,” Brian Smith said, but there they were.
“There’s nothing worse than walking around the house listening to them shoot,” he said.