Home Away From Home: The New Duck Blind

There’s something about a permanent Duck Blind on a man’s favorite pond. To the weathered fowler, the Duck Blind serves as more than a hideaway designed to cloak him as he seeks to deceive the winged marauders cutting a path southward. To this lot, the Duck Blind stands in symbolic fashion as a “home” of sorts. As many have heard said, as cliches may have it, “Home” is, indeed, where the heart is. And so it could stand to reason, then, that the Duck Blind is where the heart of a waterfolwer makes himself comfortable, settles, finds peace, and stores memory upon memory of days afield with friends, family, or simply alone with God and the elements… or any combination of those.

And so, the excuse now has been laid for taking 2-3 years of deliberation and thought, consideration and planning – to get things just right.

Seems there were two primary factors driving our reconstruction thoughts. The first, was space. Hunting four out of the previous blind was a fairly cramped and sometimes loud experience. With four, there was little room for additional gear bags and no room left to cook breakfast. And if all four were shooting, caution would need to be demonstrated to protect the eardrums of those next to you. It got to a point where you were kind of glad when you did not have four, as you had some elbow room. With so many friends and family wanting to hunt, it felt like it was time to grow.

Second, with an open top, we felt we lost a lot of mallards, and many other ducks and geese that worked directly overhead – if everything wasn’t tightened up and perfect, birds might see down in, spot movement, or something left out in view. Always a risk, especially with kids in the blind, trying to cook breakfast, etc.

So… we drew up designs for a fully enclosed blind, with plenty of room to cook, protection from the elements, and room to shoot 5 comfortably, and 2-3 more playing cards in the back, ready to switch out. Counter-top space for cooking, a spot for a two-burner propane cooker, windows to see out the back… yeah. Every effort was made to accommodate all of our grandest wishes. We began the process way back in April, when we started tearing out the old one – covered in a post here. From there, over the course of 5-6 months, weekends here and there, we built our new home. I’ll document in the following pics, with captions as necessary…

Sometime in June, I think? Β Nick & Adam finishing up the framing while I sit back with a beverage and document the event πŸ˜‰

It took a couple of weekends in July to get the shell up and get it painted.

Look closely… you might be able to see the two teal that sat down right out in front of me while I rolled the roof.

A view from the barren wasteland… Better get some rain, or all of our efforts will make us look pretty silly.

Finishing up the last of the wiring in preparation for brushing it up

October, it’s getting close! A chainsaw, and two full truckloads of cedar trees and branches later, we were ready to turn the box into a brush pile

Nick fortifying the south side…

Adam, getting his “cedar” on with Kenzie enjoying the view from her own personal Home Away form Home, her new permanent “Mud Hut”… She LOVED it!

Cedar. Check.

An inside shot, south wall. Actual counter top – yeah, we got a nice green marble-ish design. Perfect…

The North and back (east) facing door. Ornamental grass, about to be zip-tied into bundles and applied outside to “break up” the cedar πŸ™‚

Kenzie enjoying her new diggs. They’ll never see her coming.

Grassed, a view from within

A view from across the pond, completed… Well, almost…

Over the years we have fought the battle between us and the cows that live on this land. We know, from first-hand experience, that they like cedar. Rub on it, chew on it, and just drag it around the general area. This year, we put a little effort in to protect our investment… cow-proofing it with barbed-wire. And it works.

On Youth Weekend, we tested it out – my nephew here is standing in front of our curtain – designed to cut back on the shadows and activity in the back of the blind, separating the shooting porch from the rear. heavy duty, weighted for wind, and weather-proof, my dear Mom – and seamstress extraordinaire – handcrafted this masterpiece. It was perfect.

My son and nephew, doing the honors of breaking in the new place… well, we did smack some teal out of it during the early session, but it wasn’t complete then, doesn’t count πŸ˜‰

Do we miss the old blind? Let’s just say that we will always absolutely cherish the fond memories of blustery mornings and fallen feathers that came while we claimed residence in that “old hovel”. But we’d be fools to try and convince you we weren’t looking very forward to carrying on those traditions started there, creating new and equally exciting memories in our new – and vastly improved – “home”.

~ benton

1 Comment

  • admin says:

    You know, I never do mention dimensions here. I want to say we went with 12’x14′ and around 7′ high. Nick may jump in and correct me…

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