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LIGHT TOUCH IN THE DUCKBLIND
Virginia Kraft
October 12, 1959
Waterfowl hunters, who often find their best sport in the worst weather, have been trying for generations to keep warm and dry in duckblinds. Most of them, like the hunter shown below left, solved the problem by burying themselves under mountains of clothing. They usually managed to stay warm, but they weren't always comfortable or able to swing at a fast-flying bird. Add to this the weight and bulk of hunting gear—a wood blind that took time to build and was cumbersome to move, two dozen decoys, a shotgun and case, shells, binoculars and a hefty retriever—and it becomes clear that the average hunter needed a truck or a porter to get into the field. Today all this is changed. Synthetic materials and insulation have lightened and streamlined the hunter's clothing; light alloy metals have taken 34 ounces off his gun and binoculars, and a portable aluminum frame has replaced the wood of his blind. The result is that this season all the gear needed on a duck hunt—including blind and decoys—can be packed into a single duffel bag and weighs a total of 43 pounds 4 ounces. In fact, only the man, the dog and the shells weigh the same as they did a decade ago. But this isn't all the good news. Besides greater warmth and flexibility with little or no bulk, the 1959 waterfowler will find his lightweight gear costs considerably less ($376 compared to $642) for considerably more comfort.
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October 12, 1959

Light Touch In The Duckblind

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1949 DUCK HUNTER

(1) Olive twill cap

2 OZ.

(2) Ear muffs

3 OZ.

(3) Wool scarf

7 OZ.

(4) Wool flannel union suit

1 LB. 7 OZ.

(5) Standard metal-case 7X binoculars

2 LBS. 6 OZ.

(6) Wool athletic socks, two pairs

6 OZ.

(7) Standard-weight Winchester Model 12, 12-gauge shotgun

7 LBS. 10 OZ.

(8) 12-gauge shotgun shells, two boxes

5 LBS.

(9) Two dozen wooden duck decoys with weights

56 LBS.

(10) Rubberized canvas three-quarter-length foul-weather hunting parka

2 LBS. 15 OZ.

(11) Wool shirt 1 LB.

3 OZ.

(12) Wool sweater 2 LBS.

2 OZ.

(13) Wool sweater

2 LBS.

(14) Wool pants

1 LB. 14 OZ.

(15) Sheepskin-lined leather gun case

1 LB. 1 OZ.

(16) Alpaca-lined shooting mittens

10 OZ.

(17) Cotton-and-wool union suit

1 LB. 3 OZ.

(18) L. L. Bean sheepskin-lined inside-wader shoe

1 LB. 7 OZ.

(19) Saks Fifth Ave. standardfoot hip boots

5 LBS. 1 OZ.

(20) Labrador retriever

75 LBS.

(21) Wooden-frame one-man duckblind

83 LBS.

Total:

251 LBS. 1 OZ.

Waterfowl hunters, who often find their best sport in the worst weather, have been trying for generations to keep warm and dry in duckblinds. Most of them, like the hunter shown below left, solved the problem by burying themselves under mountains of clothing. They usually managed to stay warm, but they weren't always comfortable or able to swing at a fast-flying bird. Add to this the weight and bulk of hunting gear—a wood blind that took time to build and was cumbersome to move, two dozen decoys, a shotgun and case, shells, binoculars and a hefty retriever—and it becomes clear that the average hunter needed a truck or a porter to get into the field. Today all this is changed. Synthetic materials and insulation have lightened and streamlined the hunter's clothing; light alloy metals have taken 34 ounces off his gun and binoculars, and a portable aluminum frame has replaced the wood of his blind. The result is that this season all the gear needed on a duck hunt—including blind and decoys—can be packed into a single duffel bag and weighs a total of 43 pounds 4 ounces. In fact, only the man, the dog and the shells weigh the same as they did a decade ago. But this isn't all the good news. Besides greater warmth and flexibility with little or no bulk, the 1959 waterfowler will find his lightweight gear costs considerably less ($376 compared to $642) for considerably more comfort.

[This article contains a table. Please see hardcopy of magazine or PDF.]

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