Posterior philosopher Diogenes was just looking for an honest man. John Wayne and Jeffery Hunter were searching for Natalie Wood. My partners and I at Five Guys And A Swamp Duck Club spent years searching for the perfect duck blind seat.
We plopped our fannies down on wooden benches, five-gallon buckets, stumps, and two buckets with a board across.
We tried those fold-up canvas seats with metal legs that sink into the soft ground so your knees end up under your chin and you need a forklift to stand up. We once built a blind around a comfortable-looking log, then the first time we sat on the damn thing it collapsed.
We thought the problem was solved with stackable plastic chairs. They came in a variety of colors and we chose dark green because, well, we’re duck hunters. Who would take us seriously if we put flamingo pink or periwinkle blue chairs in our blinds?
The only drawback was we actually had to pay for them. If you really want to get technical, the perfect duck blind (and anything that goes inside it) should be built with scrounged up materials.
The chairs were nothing if not adaptable. Experiencing a flare-up of a common condition that makes sitting painful? No problem. Comfort is only a chain saw away—just cut a hole in the bottom. Hey, it worked for me.
Uncooperative ducks thumbing their noses at your well-placed decoy spread and landing hundreds of yards away? No big deal.
Just haul your plastic chair wherever you need it, throw together a temporary blind, and you’re in business. Chair legs sinking into the mud? Not a problem…just screw a piece of plywood to the bottom of the legs.
We were happy with our plastic seats, but as time went on there was a growing problem (in more ways than one). When a guy puts on long johns, heavy pants, thick sweater, bulky parka, chest waders, (and a few pounds), his butt gets wider. When we stood to shoot, the chairs stuck to our bottoms.
It caused us to lose concentration, our loud swearing flared incoming ducks, and the dogs gave us funny looks. I once had to waddle back to the house with my butt hung in the chair and have someone pry it off with a crow bar.
Going on a diet was out of the question, and a man needs several layers of polyurethane, fleece, Thinsulate and Gore-Tex, plus a hefty layer of blubber, to stay warm in duck season.
So before the season started, we convened a special session to solve the duck blind seating dilemma. If your butt’s not happy, neither is the rest of you, so we had to replace the chairs with something comfortable, something we associated with good times and pleasant memories…I don’t remember who first came up with the idea, but it was genius.
Bar stools would be the perfect duck blind seats! Our butts were well acquainted with them. But not just any bar stool would do. They must have backs, and no shiny chrome to flare ducks. Our bar stools would have to be sturdy, withstand rain, harsh weather, and pups chewing on them.
After much searching, we found five inexpensive stools. It was time to camo up and move out! We’ve used our bar stools for one whole season, with excellent results. Some advantages even popped up that we hadn’t anticipated.
For instance, when seated on a bar stool it’s easier to wake up and spring to your feet to shoot when somebody yells, “Take ‘em!”
And when some joker yells,“Take ‘em!” just to wake you up when there isn’t a duck in sight, it’s easier to settle back in to sleeping position. In fact, unless you just want to stretch your legs, you don’t have to stand up to shoot at all.
At the club, we have six blinds. If we’re all on speaking terms we occasionally hunt together, so there can be lots of butts to accommodate. Now that our bar stool experiment has worked out so well, we need 25 more. So if you know of a saloon that’s closing, give me a call.