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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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  • Pressure-treated lumber and plywood were used to build the blind's basic structure.
    photo by Wade Bourne
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Design, Dimensions, and Materials

The floor of our blind is 8 feet from front to back and 20 feet across. The blind stands on pressure-treated 4 x 4-inch posts (set in concrete), which are cross-braced with 2 x 8-inch floor joists. All the framing (for the floor, walls, and roof) is built on 16-inch centers. The floor itself is made of rough-cut 1-inch-thick oak boards that we purchased at a local sawmill. We nailed down the boards flush to each other, but as they seasoned, the boards drew apart slightly, providing drainage for rainfall and water dripping off boots and wet dogs.

We covered all the walls and the roof with 1/2-inch-thick treated plywood. For added weather protection, we covered the plywood on the roof and the exterior of the back wall and sides of the blind with a rubberized, waterproof fabric. The back wall of the blind stands 56 inches high, providing plenty of headroom for hunters sitting in chairs in the back of the blind. 

The blind's roof extends forward 4 feet from the back wall. The front of the roof is supported by a 2 x 4 running the length of the blind (from one side to the other) at a height of 62 inches. Thus, the roof slopes downward 6 inches from front to back. Additional support is provided by two 4 x 4-inch posts set beneath the roof beam.
Little Extras for Comfort and Safety We outfitted our blind with several additional features for comfort, convenience, and safety. Instead of having a hard bench seat, we sit on Coleman portable deck chairs. These folding chairs are quite comfortable and can be arranged as desired. Unoccupied chairs can be folded up and stacked out of the way along the back wall. I also keep a barstool with a swivel seat at one end of the blind, which is a great place to scan the sky for birds when the action is slow.
duck blind
We built a shelf at waist height along the inside front wall to hold shells, calls, coffee cups, binoculars, and other miscellaneous items. We tacked down a piece of wood trim along the outside edge of the shelf to keep loose shells and other items from rolling off. For safety, we nailed a gun barrel holder into the wall in front of each shooting hole to keep shotguns secured and out of the way. We also nailed strips of no-skid tape to all the steps to prevent slips, and keep a can of sand in the blind for especially cold days when ice can form on the floor. A handful of sand sprinkled on the shooting platform provides traction for sure footing. (photo by John Hoffman, DU)


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