/25 Altered landscape

Dave Jordano

Duck Blinds

Resting in the shallow waters along the banks of the Mississippi River, these ubiquitous structures are common along the northwestern shores of Illinois. Existing for years as permanent structures, hunters were required to register their location and pay an annual fee for their use. Their number are closely monitored by the Department of Natural Resources and they’re all constructed of natural materials. Recently, the DNR has banned their use and all of these structures must be dismantled before the beginning of the next hunting season. Permits will be issued for new temporary structures, but how much less impact on the environment will there be (if any at all) if hunters have to dismantle and rebuild them new every year?

What drew me to document these structures was how each blind possessed a visual narrative that captured each maker’s own sensibilities, rendering each one distinctly different and unique from one another, even though each hunter had to adhere to the same basic principals of construction, using the same natural building materials. The end result, while deceptive in nature and purpose and used as a camouflage device to kill and maim unsuspecting birds, does possess a certain ironic, peaceful, visual beauty, paying homage to the hunters creative ingenuity.