BLIND: A shelter for concealing hunters, especially duck hunters. - American Heritage Dictionary
That's their definition, but I've seen it all, and there are several different levels of concealment and many more levels of comfort.
I've used everything from a tree in flooded timbers to a patch of weeds near a pond. In my younger days a piece of camo burlap tied to sticks made a fine place to hide from the ducks, but not from the weather. I've seen wooden blinds from the old 4' x 8' with roof and dirt floor to heated cabin blinds equipped with TV, telephone and kitchenette, with one guy watching a football game while the other grilled a steak.
That's not my style. The natural sounds and the camaraderie of friends is still much more enjoyable than high-tech hunting.
Duck blinds can be made from weeds, twigs, wood, tin, metal, concrete, nylon, plastic, you name it. Each year I try to improve mine in one way or another. The plan I am offering here, has worked well for myself and all my guests. It is a modified design from a boat blind built by Jim Sutton, a good friend and Truman Lake waterfowl guide. It can be built on a levy, in a field or with boxed in Styrofoam logs underneath for floatation.
Materials: 1/2" CCA plywood; 2x4 CCA boards; 3" galvanized screws. Start by building a 6' x 8' braced frame and attach plywood for floor. Build the 2x4 upright fame on 2 foot centers. Cut and fasten plywood walls and roof. Cut and frame door and fasten hinges on outside with latch hook on inside. Mount plywood for shelf as shown. For hinged flapper to cover the shooting slot, use a piece of light wire cattle panel 18" high and long as the blind. Fasten bottom of panel to front of blind with eye bolts for hinges.
To make this fine blind even better, brush or spray the wood with a tinted stain. Herrman Lumber Company in Clinton has "Everhart Duck Blind Stain" in their computer, a unique marsh grass color.
I cover the outside of my blinds with military camo-leaf netting using a staple gun and zip-ties to attach it to the wire flapper. Add field fence (rusty is best, no shine) with a hammer and steeples to the sides and roof, just loose enough to allow room for weaving in oak limbs and marsh grass.
Visible areas inside the blind can be camouflaged with OD green and flat black spray paint applied in vertical lines. The angle of the flapper can be adjusted by a couple of 2x4 blocks.
The low profile (54" total height) is less obvious to the ducks.
When you stand up in the slot you can see and shoot in all directions. No more surprises from the rear.
The seat, at 17", is lower than normal, but still comfortable and leaves plenty of head room. It can also be boxed in and top hinged to make extra storage.
The shelf is a great place for shells, food, etc. and is sheltered from the weather.
The slanted front, when equipped with propane heaters (I use "Mr. Heater") directs the heat to the hunter's face. A 20lb propane tank can be set outside the blind and a hose run to the heaters.
With the shooting slot near the center, floating blinds are more stable when the hunters are standing.
The six foot depth of the blind allows plenty of room for shelter from bad weather.
I have both 8 ft and 12 ft blinds. A 16 ft would also work in this design. These blinds are very comfortable and can be built for about $200 and will last for many years.
I realize that not all of you waterfowl hunters lease or own property, but I'll bet that if you are a dedicated hunter ... you will someday, and will be in need of a good blind.
And that's all I have to say about that. Remember ... never take more than you need, bring a friend, have fun, pack a camera and improve your blinds a little each year.