It wasn’t that many years ago that waterfowl hunters used to hide under swathed grain or dig pits to stay concealed while hunting. Then retail outlets started to sell commercial blinds—layout, pop-up, and A-framed.
But not everyone wants to pay for a Cadillac-model of blind, so a good option is to build your own. It’s not as hard as it may seem.
Willow blinds are easy to construct by cutting large, leafy branches and pushing them into the ground to form a natural looking tree row. Branches you’ve trimmed from trees or bushes in your yard will do (just avoid ones with shiny leaves). You need landowner permission to cut branches on private land and on public land, a valid temporary timber permit is required. Once your branches are in place, sit on camp seats or straw bales to keep your profile low.
Homemade layout blinds can be as simple as a sleeping bag-shaped sleeve to slip into. Using straps on the outside, you can stuff natural cover, like straw or pea vine, to make it look natural. Tan or khaki material or even burlap works great. Break out your sewing skills and make your own.
Shape stand-up blinds out of lumber or light steel. The dimensions are the critical part. Make two end pieces in an “A” shape—3.5 metres wide at the bottom and half that at the top. Front and back panels can be made with stucco wire and stuffed with grass or straw to make it blend in. Panels should be made to fit in the bed of a truck, making them easy to transport.
You can also make stucco wire blinds and line them with burlap and weave cattail or white top into the squares. Long pieces of rebar can be used to secure the structure into the ground or on the edge of a wetland.
It just takes a bit of creativity to build a natural looking blind and can save you money at the same time.