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Banding Together for Waterfowl

Waterfowler's Notebook: My Cornfield Duck Blind

Here's a quick-and-easy concealment system that you can set up almost anywhere
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  • Using materials that are available at any home improvement store, the author and his hunting partners built an effective and inexpensive blind that can comfortably accommodate four hunters and a retriever.
    photo by Wade Bourne
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We drove all the posts to the same depth and angle. The distance from the top of each post to the ground was 50 inches—the same height as the cattle panels. The space between the tops of the front and back posts—the shooting hole—measured 30 inches.

We framed our blind by fastening the wire cattle panels to the outside of the front and back posts with zip ties. Next we trimmed the extended ends of the cattle panels with bolt cutters. Then we zip-tied the two leftover panel pieces across the uncovered sides of the blind. One of the panels was attached permanently, while the other was hinged to serve as a door.

Once the blind was framed, we added camouflage by zip-tying cornstalks to the wire panels. We tied the stalks on vertically to match the surrounding corn. Then we zip-tied together several small bundles of stalks to lay across the shooting hole for overhead cover.

Finishing touches included a four-man wooden bench and a retriever platform. We constructed the retriever platform at the end of the blind opposite the hinged door by laying a piece of plywood on concrete blocks stacked to keep the board just above the water. Finally we cut openings in the front and back panels so our Lab could get in and out of the blind.

After we flooded the field, we were standing in approximately 18 inches of water, which made insulated waders a necessity. The blind's plywood floor provided us with solid footing, but you might need to cover the boards with non-skid coating for better traction. We placed decoys in an opening in front of the blind and in the thicker standing corn behind it. We also rigged jerk strings in the same areas to provide water movement that would attract circling birds. From this setup we enjoyed consistent close-in shooting on ducks that had no suspicion whatsoever that we were hiding in the cornstalks. This blind design will also work in many other locations, such as in marshes, along shorelines, and in flooded brush.

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