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Banding Together for Waterfowl

My Ultimate Duck Blind

After years of trial and error, DU magazine editor-at-large Wade Bourne finally built what he believes is the perfect duck blind
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  • Thick brush and saplings were placed around the perimeter of the blind to break up the structure's boxy outline and screen hunters from view.
    photo by Wade Bourne
  • Thick brush and saplings were placed around the perimeter of the blind to break up the structure's boxy outline and screen hunters from view.
    photo by Wade Bourne
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The front wall of the blind slopes inward 12 inches toward the roof line and is 56 inches high from its top edge to the floor. The blind features six shooting holes, separated by dividers running from the top of the wall to the front of the roof. Each divider is constructed of two sections of 2 x 4s. We left a 2-inch gap between the 2 x 4s, making each divider 6 inches wide. These dividers serve three purposes: they break up the open space between the roof and the front wall, provide a framework for attaching camouflage to cover the shooting holes, and connect the front wall to the roof for greater structural integrity.

We concealed the shooting holes with camouflage drop-down panels. Constructed of heavy hog wire, the 33 x 31-inch panels are cut to fit each shooting hole. We welded 4-inch metal hinges and support plates to the bottom of each panel and secured them to the top beam of the front wall with screws. The hinges allow the panels to swivel up and down. While we're hunting, we keep the panels up, braced on angled wooden blocks nailed to the dividers. When ducks come into range, we push the panels forward until they drop out of the way, offering each of us a clear shot. 

A raised shooting platform, 2 feet wide by 5 inches high, runs the length of the blind directly beneath the shooting holes. This platform is constructed of 1-inch-thick oak boards, supported by 2 x 4s set on end. The front edge of the shooting platform is recessed 12 inches from where the floor meets the wall. (The space between the wall and the shooting deck makes a handy storage area for shotgun cases, blind bags, etc.)

Hinged doors that swing outward and staircase-style steps on either end of the blind allow for easy entry and exit. A retriever platform and ramp are built into the right front corner of the blind. The platform is separated from the rest of the blind by a hinged door to prevent my Lab, Andy, from becoming an uninvited guest. 

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