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New project…pontoon duck blind now underway.


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Mike da Carpenter

Today, I picked up what will be one of this year’s projects.  It’s a 20’ pontoon boat with an 8’x16’ deck.  Previous owner just replaced the deck with 3/4” marine plywood and decided he wanted a bigger boat.  So, I decided it would make a great addition to the duck hunting fleet.

 

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Took it up to the farm with my boys and dropped it off tonight.  Of course, there is always goofing around time while up at the farm...

 

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My question is this...What would you guys do with a clean slate like this?  My friend who owns the farm suggested a 4’ wall all the way around with grass camo attached so shooting a full 360* is possible.  Gonna be difficult to accomplish that and not have a giant hole in the middle that will be a dead giveaway to any ducks flying over.

 

Once put in the pond, it will not be coming out so I don’t need to worry about trailering it around.  Here is a picture of one of the blinds that is on another pond on the property.

 

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This one has lasted 15 years in this location, but is limiting when it comes to shooting anything except what is directly in front of you.

 

What are some ideas to gain 360* shooting yet stay concealed?  If you have some pictures of blinds you either have, or have hunted out of, let’s see them.  This is going to be a great project to do with the boys and let them enjoy the fruits of their labor.

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no suggestions, but you and your boys have a lot of fun! Want to adopt me?

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WPG Gizmo

I like your friends idea of having a 360 degree shooting area the trick would be to have some type of cover that would curl up over the side into the middle leaving shooting lanes open keep the interior dark colored you could easily set it up for 5 shooters with 2 open ends and 3 inside lanes

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The only way I could see being able to shoot all the way around is to have the walls taper to the middle. You can tuck in next to a wall then when you shoot riseand shoot in any direction you want.  Or make it like a box of sorts  kind of like a pit blind. When you shoot, just push up on the blind tops and rise and shoot any direction  

 

of course any of these I’d cover it in native vegetation to blend in

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Mike da Carpenter
5 minutes ago, mccuha said:

The only way I could see being able to shoot all the way around is to have the walls taper to the middle. You can tuck in next to a wall then when you shoot riseand shoot in any direction you want.  Or make it like a box of sorts  kind of like a pit blind. When you shoot, just push up on the blind tops and rise and shoot any direction  

 

of course any of these I’d cover it in native vegetation to blend in


I had that type of setup on my last duck boat.  Both sides folded down when needed, but the boat was only 5’ wide.  An 8’x16’ deck is going to be difficult to do that with, but if there happened to be multiple flip down panels, I could see that happening.  I like the brainstorming portion of a project.  Thank you, and keep the ideas, pictures and drawings coming.

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SxSetter

Have a look at the Refuge forum's boat blind section. There's some pretty creative work there. I recall seeing a pontoon set up for divers with cockpits to lay down in to keep it low profile.

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grouse28

Just a roof or canopy on the boat. Tuck back in while waiting and watching, move forward to shoot.

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Zkight89

Anything over the top to break up the hole should work. Bent PVC tubing canopy with room to pop up and shoot any direction would work.  

 

 Or a flat pole barn style roof with opening everywhere but where the posts are. Allows you to shoot everywhere but straight over your head. 

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CheckCord

I’d build the edge wall then a lightweight roof supported down the center with posts.  The roof is just to hold the camo vegetation and keep the rain off you.  
 

The drawback to this design it’s the roof would act as a windsail. Making towing it impossible.  I’d actually make the roof manually collapseable by cutting corresponding holes in the roof for the pillars to slide through to retract it.  
 

to hold up the roof you could just make an oversized “pin” out of a 2x4 for each support pillar.  

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SxSetter

If you're hunting pressured birds I'd make it a floating island and put layout blinds on top of it. Keep it low profile, brush it in and be completely covered up from above. Not as comfortable as sit down blind, but it'll kill more birds that have seen a lot of blinds, IMO

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bmeador

Not going to give you 360 shooting, but pretty darn close. Build a quonset hut with 1" PVC as supports and cover with tan, black or brown chloroplast sheets. Space the PVC supports out to accommodate 1 hunter. Make the peak low enough that you CAN shoot behind you while standing. Use U-Bolts to connect chloro to PVC. Cover entire hut with chicken wire. Cut out your shooting holes. Zip tie chickens wire to PVC, loosen U-Bolts and attach ch. wire there too. Use raffia, native grasses, cattails, oak limbs to camo the heck out of it! Do your ends however you want. Burlap, chicken wire, etc... just camo like the rest. Everyone sits in camp chairs. Plenty of room and is waterproof except the shooting holes!!!!  I did this once and it is DEADLY! Puddles, divers and geese!

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SODAKer

I've never hunted ducks from a stationary blind only from walking in and setting up on the edge of potholes sitting on buckets but if the goal is 360 shooting and straight over head shooting capability then I'd keep it simple and just rig the platform with walls and gap the interior with whatever shore cover you are set up along with the flooring painted to mimic a water hole For (nasty weather) I don't know how you get head cover with out sacrificing straight over head or 360 shooting to some degree unless you devote one side to a typical blind build which a pontoon that size would let you and have room to move out to edge when needed for overhead shooting. Kinda like sitting under the canopy when the weather is chitty or moving out to the front when it bearable; your platform is big enough for that.  Otherwise maybe think about configuring it something like a center console boat with top. Sounds like a fun project!

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munsterlander

I’d consider camouflaging the inside floor by just a layer of brush laying on the floor, and also brushing up the inside of the “walls”, not just the outside. Then I’d put some interior clumps of brush, which you could sit by (or at least they’d break up the silhouettes and would make a camo hunter less conspicuous. Something like that. 
I think hunters often make a mistake by not putting camo on the insides of the blinds. 

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Jalinkly

I am envious with the possibilities.  Please keep us posted with your decision and the process. 

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  • 4 months later...
Mike da Carpenter

FINALLY got started on the pontoon blind today.  Timing has been awful this year and with 1 month to go till the youth season, I’m gonna give it my best shot, if I can find the free time.  Was able to put 4.5 hours into it today.  The boys had to work at their regular jobs today and tomorrow the youngest has the day off, so he will be up at 6 to make the 1 hour drive with me.  HA!!

 

Today the kneewalls and rafters went up.  It’s a “build it as I go” kinda project.  3’ sidewalls (above the deck).  I left the rear 2’ of the deck open in the back (where the ladder is leaned up) to allow us the room to operate the trolling motor to get around the pond here at the farm and a place for the retriever to have a place to leave from and come back to.  Boat blind is 8’ x 14’.  Will be plenty of room for a couple Hunters.  Should be able to get the cattle fence up on the roof tomorrow.  It’ll hold the vegetation and have flip open windows.

 

This will be a permanent blind when complete.  So no need to worry about having to haul it down the road.

 

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  • Mike da Carpenter changed the title to New project…pontoon duck blind now underway.

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