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Spirit of the Outdoors: Building a Portable Duck Blind

At a moment’s notice we were given the opportunity to hunt waterfowl in areas we had never hunted before. One of the first things we had to do was to get some duck blinds up in strategic locations around the area we were hunting. Building a Portable Duck Blind in these areas is essential to our success and is relatively simple to do. Duck blinds are some of the oldest tools used by waterfowler’s. Having a “concealed area” makes the trip more enjoyable. Building an effective duck blind is not expensive at all. Using the natural resources around you is the cheapest and most effective way to build a portable blind. With a little Wire, posts, limbs and a hatchet, this project can be completed in a half a day.

Before you start building your portable duck blind, the hunter must determine the right positioning of the blind. Things to consider are landing patterns, wind direction, speed and the availability of good, clear shots. Ducks land into the wind, take that in consideration when building the blind. Make sure you have that clear shot over the water or corn field you are hunting in. Review the surroundings, look for small tree rows fifteen to twenty feet back from the water. It is ideal to use the tree rows as concealment for waterfowl flying over from the back side. The ultimate situation would be for a tree row to substitute for the back wall of the blind. The perfect tree rows would be those standing eight to twelve feet tall. If you have found a suitable tree row, you simply tie off you side posts to the front posts and then run that side post through the trees and up against the trunk of one of the trees in the tree rows. All is not lost if you do not have access to a tree row. Look for low spots along the shoreline where the ground can act as your back wall

The following is my procedure used to build a blind for two to three people. This project can be put together in about two to four hours. If you won’t be hunting until the next weekend, take your time. Remember the blind should blend in with its surroundings. The better that blind looks and the more it blends in with the surroundings, the better your chances for a good hunt are.

Find six straight sticks or posts, about 3” in diameter. Any straight round wood will work. Driftwood is my preference for the posts; it is usually pretty light and clean. Drive three supports in the ground about 4 feet apart in a straight line. If you don’t have a tree row or ground behind you for a back wall, then do the same with the remaining three posts in a parallel line directly behind the front posts for the back of the blind. As stated, if you have had good success in locating a tree row, you can eliminate this step. This will be your framework for the portable blind, approximately 4 feet by 8 feet. This can be stretched out to ten feet without any problem. Use the rule of thumb of four feet for every person. If there is more than three people, then I would recommend building two blinds.

If needed, cut off the front posts to a height around 4 feet. The front has to be high enough to conceal you, yet low enough for you to shoot. If you have back posts, then cut them off around five and one half feet. Wrap hog wire or chicken wire around the outside of the posts to encase the blind. I prefer hog wire as chicken wire does not have as much support, but it will work. Staple the wire to the posts for strength. This will add stability to the blind and help hold the actual blind material to be placed on the wire. One end must be left open so the hunter and his dog can get in and out of the blind.

Next you will want to start layering your brush and tree limbs. The first cover on the blind should be your large pieces, working down to your smaller pieces. The base layer should be your hard wood material, and then follow with your evergreen material. Interweave the material with the wire for strength against wind or rain. All of the wire should be covered to prevent reflection from the sun. Weave the material in and out of the hog wire, as if you were weaving a basket. Material on the back of the blind should extend higher than the top of the hog wire so as to conceal the hunters from ducks coming into the shooting lane from behind. Remember, the blind must blend in with its surroundings and look as natural as possible. It’s not hard at all and can be done in a half of day. Good hunting!

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