It all depends upon what side you plan on hunting. I hunted the free roam area last Sunday and also this morning. The birds were flying well Sunday but not quite as well today though it was not as foggy/windy.
If you want to hunt free roam you can get there anytime from 5 to about 6 before all the good spots are taken. If you want a first come, marked blind you better plan to rise early. Usually Sunday mornings by 4 there are at least three rigs and looking pretty full by 5. It is tough to tell what is available as the boat hunters land at the blinds and you don't know until you walk a quarter mile.
I have hunted there in the past and have seen people in there just after midnight. The reason I know this is I got there early and was going to sleep in my truck until 4 or 5 but had to get out to the blind and sleep for six freaking hours before shooting time as this place can pack up quickly. Let me know how you did. I will be there in a week or two to battle the crowds....
Most of the refuges are closed until 5 am. Not sure if the Penninsula unit is that way. You can call Art Shine at the refuge for the regs, but I can tell you, people are basically staying overnight. When I went out there I was there by 4:00, but I hunt the handicap blinds (well, not this year since some thoughtful hunter moved the "handicap" blind out about 50 yard into the water...THANKS!!!) My next hunt will be over at the fee unit.....
Merry Chritmas all !!
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