Twenty years ago, tens of thousands of ducks landed at Chassahowitzka NWR, making this one of the most important waterfowl refuges in the state. Migratory patterns have since changed, and today only a few thousand ducks land on the 31,000-acre refuge. Duck hunting has thus been very difficult in recent years. But hunters seeking solitude should not overlook hunting here. Despite being only 80 miles from Tampa/St. Petersburg, hunting pressure is extremely light. Much of the refuge is a, and hunters find a beautiful, unspoiled estuary. Hunting is by boat access only. The use of airboats requires a refuge airboat permit, which allows airboat use within navigable waters in the Hernando County section of the refuge; in the Citrus County section of the refuge airboats are only allowed within designated airboat routes. Throughout the refuge, hunters need a boat that can handle very shallow water. An adjacent state Wildlife Management Area (WMA) offers additional hunting opportunities, so hunters have a large area to explore. Deer, hog and migratory birds, other than waterfowl, may be hunted in the Hernando County portion of the refuge; the Citrus County section is limited to waterfowl.