Cheap & Easy DIY Layout Blind Build

Cheap & Easy DIY Layout Blind Build

Joe Muzynoski of Weston, Wis., always loved hunting geese, but he didn't see many near home. That changed during the past few years when resident geese populations started growing and migrants began stopping over. He wanted to hunt them, but had little gear and a tight budget.

"With limited funds, I decided to spend my money on decoys and build my layout blinds," Muzynoski said. "I've hunted from layout blinds, and they can't be beat."

Electrical conduit forms a support frame with connectors, threaded rods and a carpeted backrest.

Muzynoski came up with a basic concept: Buy grass mats to cover up with and throw them off when shooting."I improved on the basic concept in many ways," he said. "We shot so many geese out of my blinds, I still haven't bought a factory model."


Muzynoski tied two 4-foot-by-5-foot grass mats together with twine, overlapping them to become a single mat measuring 4 by 7 feet, and then sprayed the mat with camouflage paint.


"I didn't want the grass laying right on my chest, so I built a support frame using electrical conduit, consisting of two 4-foot straight sections, four elbow sections, two 6-inch sections, six connectors and two threaded rods," he said. "Each side support is made by connecting an elbow piece to each end of a 48-inch piece of conduit with conduit connectors, then connecting a 6-inch piece of conduit to the back elbow, leaving the back higher than the front."


The threaded rods were placed in holes drilled into the two side supports, and a nut on both sides of each side support ties everything together. Both threaded rods are set at a 10-inch height. The back threaded rod is mounted through the elbow pieces, and the front rod is set in holes drilled through the sides of the 48-inch side members.

The threaded rods are spaced 48 inches apart. The threaded rods also serve as rests, with the back rod supporting the backrest and the front rod holding up the gun barrel. Muzynoski spray-painted the assembly in a camouflage finish.

Overlapping grass mats tied with twine can be thrown up easily when it is time to shoot.


To protect the gun barrel, he padded the front threaded rod and added a gun holder to the right side to keep the gun upright and in a ready position. The gun rest is a piece of Romex electrical wire doubled for strength and bent to shape, with pieces of twine tied to the left side support (for a right-handed shooter) to attach the grass mat cover.

The backrest is 14-inch-by-27-inch plywood with two pieces of drab-colored carpet attached with screws. One piece of carpet covers the backrest, and the other connects to the bottom edge of the backrest, with the remainder of the carpet covering the ground beneath the hunter. If the ground is wet, a piece of brown plastic tarp goes under the carpet flap. Three pieces of carpet (4 by 14 inches) tied together in a bundle serve as a neck rest. Beneath the carpet, four bolts through the plywood lie over the back of the threaded rod, keeping the backrest in place at a comfortable angle.

The grass mat has a notch for the hunter's head, and a 3-foot section of bamboo is tied to the mat with twine. The bamboo prevents sagging by resting across the two side frames, allowing the hunter freedom of movement without moving the grass mat. The bamboo also acts as a handle to swing the mat to the side when the hunter is shooting.


"It's not better than a factory system but is less complicated to build this way," Muzynoski said. "Tying the mat to the left side of the frame acts like a hinge, preventing the mat from flying off."

Muzynoski built three layout blinds for $55 on a single Saturday, and it takes less than four minutes to set one of them up for hunting.

Recommended for You

Take it from a pro: Less is more. For Dogs

Dog Discipline Tips & Gear

Joe Genzel - June 20, 2019

Take it from a pro: Less is more.

A dainty English setter suited for the uplands has the drive for waterfowl. Stories

The Accidental Duck Dog

Jack Ballard

A dainty English setter suited for the uplands has the drive for waterfowl.

See how this new line performed in the field! Clothing & Waders

Field Tested: Sitka Women's Waterfowl System

Emily Kantner - July 19, 2019

See how this new line performed in the field!

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

Franchi 12-Gauge Affinity Semiauto Shotgun

Franchi 12-Gauge Affinity Semiauto Shotgun

Craig Boddington and Eric Poole take a look at the new modern Franchi Affinity shotgun.

Wentz Bros Outdoors - Throwback Waterfowl

Wentz Bros Outdoors - Throwback Waterfowl

This video is a classic! Take a front row seat with Carson as he hunted back in college. The clips are all either filmed with a GoPro or cell phone!

Arkansas Snow Geese

Arkansas Snow Geese

Wildfowl Editor Skip Knowles took this short video showing all the Snow Geese flying. Let's just say, he had a very good hunt!

See more Popular Videos

Trending Stories

SITKA Gear waterfowl product manager Jim Saubier shows off the Bozeman, Montana company's full line-up of women's waterfowl hunting gear for 2019. From warm and moisture wicking base layers to water and windproof outer layers, this is a complete system for women who love to chase fall and wintertime ducks and geese across the four flyways! Clothing & Waders

New SITKA Women's Waterfowl Lineup for 2019

Lynn Burkhead - January 28, 2019

SITKA Gear waterfowl product manager Jim Saubier shows off the Bozeman, Montana company's full...

Check out our picks for the best new waterfowl guns from the 2019 SHOT Show! Shotguns

Best New Waterfowl Shotguns for 2019

Lynn Burkhead - January 23, 2019

Check out our picks for the best new waterfowl guns from the 2019 SHOT Show!

Consistency is what pushes today's shotshell makers to constantly improve new waterfowl loads Ammo

11 Best New Shotshell Loads For Waterfowl

Wildfowl Online Staff - August 17, 2017

Consistency is what pushes today's shotshell makers to constantly improve new waterfowl loads

See More Stories

More How-To



The pursuit of waterfowl is always humbling. And Canada's prairie is a place we have spent many How-To

7 Suggestions for Canadian Waterfowling Success

WILDFOWL Staff - June 08, 2016

The pursuit of waterfowl is always humbling. And Canada's prairie is a place we have spent...

Our eyes are the sights, but because of tradition, it is often hard not to aim a shotgun How-To

Shoot Where You Look: Shotgun Stock Placement

John Taylor - July 29, 2016

Our eyes are the sights, but because of tradition, it is often hard not to aim a shotgun

In the glory days of waterfowling, sportsmen developed shooting skills in the field by firing at How-To

7 Ways for Improving Your Shooting Skills

Mark Romanack - July 05, 2016

In the glory days of waterfowling, sportsmen developed shooting skills in the field by firing...

See More How-To

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Temporary Price Reduction

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.