Ducks have exponentially better eyesight than humans, with the ability to not only see three times father, but they can also see colors and ultraviolet heat, making it simple to detect movement from far away, as reported by experts in waterfowl biology at Duck Unlimited. This means waterfowl hunters must be totally hidden if they expect a successful trip.
A waterfowl blind doesn’t have to be high tech or expensive; it just needs to blend in and completely conceal its inhabitants. Good camouflage and a tree with hanging limbs can be used as a blind in a pinch and building a temporary waterfowl blind would only take a couple of hours with all materials costing about $50. Of course, you can spend more, but this article will cover the basics and allow you to decide on additional luxuries.
Though varying from state to state, regulations on duck blinds have become more restrictive in recent years. For instance, the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries requires all blinds be at least 500 yards apart unless both licensees have consented.
First-time duck hunters might be less-than thrilled about all of the regulations. If you’re new to building blinds and duck hunting in general, join a local hunting association and enlist the advice of other, more seasoned hunters who can help navigate the system and make your hunting trips as smooth as possible.
Materials and Tools
When selecting a spot for your blind, make sure it faces the opposite direction of prevailing winds in the area. A basic blind requires six to eight wooden fence posts (depending on how many hunters will occupy the blind at once), fencing wire, a plywood floor, nails and cable ties. Tent poles can be used in place of the fence posts for a portable solution. You may need to rent a small stump grinder if you choose a spot that requires you to chop down a tree or two. A chainsaw and sledgehammer will also be needed for this type of setup.
Gather as much natural material as you can to cover the blind: twigs, foliage and grass are highly recommended. You’ll also need a good supply of mud to make everything stick and look as natural as possible. Remember waterfowl will be able to tell if something doesn’t belong.
The building part is relatively simple once you get past the legalities and choosing the location. Drive the fence posts into the ground, forming a rectangular configuration. Wrap the fencing wire around the posts, nailing it down as you unroll it. Do your best to gather enough natural material to cover the entire blind, so you don’t have to purchase blind grass for concealing the fencing.
The plywood sheet for the floor should be at least 1/2-inch thick to ensure it can support multiple people. Place long tree limbs can be over the top of the blind as a roof, making certain you leave enough of an opening for shooting lanes. This type of blind is meant to be used while sitting down. Of course you still need to wear full camouflage so ducks will not be able to spot you from above.
A makeshift blind like this will not have all the creature comforts of a permanent blind. But if built in the right location, it is just as effective and far less expensive.