How to Build a Duck Blind in the Water

Knowing how to build a duck blind is important when hunting an area you haven’t been to before. We’ve all seen the 12 man pit blinds located purposely on the best spot of the management area that some lucky hunters who get their name drawn will get to dwell in for 60 days. These blinds are comfortable but more importantly, they serve their purpose in hiding the hunters from the ducks. The weekend warrior who didn’t get drawn for this tag, probably because didn’t apply for it, will be doing what his like minded hunters will also be doing, building a blind from scratch to hunt waterfowl.

Components of a duck blind

Let’s talk about the important components of a DIY duck blind in the water. Some simple items will make all the difference in the world when knowing how to build a duck blind.

First and foremost, the blind must hide you from the ducks (obviously). A poorly constructed blind may fool a pair of ducks but when a flock of 15 come flying in, that’s 30 eyes in which one is likely going to find you. Where most folks mess up is the roof portion of the blind. By far the most critical since ducks will be looking directly down looking for predators.

Secondly, it must look natural. Rarely ever can you get away building a box shaped blind and not flair ducks all morning. If you are constructing that blind the evening or morning before your hunt, make it look as natural as possible.

how to build a duck blind
How to build a duck blind

Lastly, make sure the blind is sturdy. Duck season brings wind gust and rain that can pretty much level any blind build without any care. Your hunt will be ruined with trying to fix your blind all morning as it is blowing over and falling apart. Not to mention the fact that there is at least one loaded shotgun in the blind. Its never a good idea to let one of those things fall into the water or hit the ground. Therefore make your blind stout and it will save you a day of preventive misery.

How to Build a duck blind in the water

Building a duck blind in the water can be tricky at times. Water depths and resources are constantly changing. Also, your tactics will change depending on what you are hunting, such as flooded timber, a cattail marsh, or an open body of water. One common tip for building a blind in the water is to make the most of the already placed resource. This could mean simply standing next to a tree or getting tucked into a muskrat den. The more you can limit the amount of material you have to move, the more natural the blind will look.

The most common method to make a duck blind in the water is by simply cutting off limbs and sticking them in the mud all around you. With practice, these blinds are incredibly effective and look very natural. To do this you find smaller limbs on trees, typically an inch in diameter with more limbs coming off of it, and make a point on the larger base end of the limb.

Next, jab it into the mud as far as it will go. The instability of the mud makes this task a little tricky as they can fall over on your mid hunt. Once you have built a base blind with leaves and limbs all around, cut some a bit longer for the roof. You can either lay these on top of your blind or stick them in the mud at an angle causing an overhand effect. I personally prefer sticking them in the mud. They seem to be much easier to adjust this way.

You want to build your blind in an “over-the-top” manner and take out what you need to later. This will eliminate having holes in your blind that will leave you exposed.

Tools Needed to build a duck blind

With a hatchet, knife, and maybe some paracord, you should be able to construct an effective blind using whatever growth is around. The technique mentioned above is great for flooded timber and flooded cane forests. Being able to cut what you need from the area near you is much easier than having to bring in plastic or metal stakes with a roll of burlap. Adding those additional items to your gear, alongside decoys, your gun, and a blind bag, will make the load much more difficult to manage. Especially if you’re wading through semi deep water.

There are seats available for purchase that are designed for those hunting in water. They are basically a seat with a long shaft that will stick into the mud and let you sit comfortably in waist deep water. Adding  

something like this to your blind could be a total game changer. If you don’t want to spend the money on a mud seat, you can always resort to using what is available in the water. Typically when you’re hunting deeper water, there are underwater stumps or shallow muskrat dens that will work perfect for a seat.

dyi duck blind in the water

Additional duck blind construction tips

The versatility of how to build a duck blind is what makes this method so popular. You can make these blinds as big or as small as you want. Also, the size of the blind is not dependent on what you bring in. The resources around you leave you with endless options. These resources can range from hardwood to cattails but will be equally effective. Note it is important to repeat that you should build the blind as layered and as enclosed as possible. You will thank yourself later for this.

There are two things you can do to set yourself apart from other duck hunters making their blinds in the water. First, practice in the off season. Wading through snake infested waters sticking limbs in the mud in early august may not sound like much fun (because it isn’t) but when a large group of ducks come into your decoys without spotting you, it will be completely worth it. Lastly, get out there early. There are mornings where if you don’t know the area well, you might have to get out there at 3AM. With practice and ingenuity, you will be able to make a very effective duck blind in the water no matter the resources available.