Currituck, N.C. Nov. 15, 2011 – When Hurricane Irene took down two of the four waterfowl blinds in Currituck Sound on a N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission game land, the biologists and technicians knew exactly who to call.

And it wasn’t seasoned carpenters or longtime experts.

They called Jeff Rhodes, and his woodshop students at Currituck High School. The decision to call Rhodes was natural – his students had made several blinds for the Wildlife Commission in the late 1990s. The students also have built blinds for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The well-made, high-quality blinds had withstood hurricanes and tropical storms for more than a decade when two blinds fell before Hurricane Irene’s fury in August.

So the Wildlife Commission asked Rhodes if his students could quickly build a couple of replacement blinds – in time for the hunters who would soon flock to the Currituck Banks Game Land for waterfowl season. Rhodes easily said yes.

“A lot of my students are hunters or outdoorsmen,” said Rhodes, who is in his 16th year of teaching at Currituck High School. “I like to get them involved in a project that not only helps the community, but also piques their interest. It’s easier to get them excited that way.”

Rhodes said many of the students had helped to build waterfowl blinds for their families. And for students needing to develop carpentry skills, building the blind will prepare them for their more advanced project – constructing a three-bedroom house.

However, the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission, and the waterfowl hunters who use the blinds in the Currituck Sound, may benefit the most. With short notice, the students have provided two blinds to replace the ones the hurricane destroyed.

“They have provided a real service to all of our constituents,” said Dale Davis, a biologist with the Commission. “They have a local connection to the Currituck Sound, and hunt on the sound and have contributed to the continued use of the Wildlife Commission blinds by all sportsmen.”

Use of the blinds in the Currituck Sound adjacent to the Currituck Banks Game Land is by permit only. For more information, see Permit Hunting Opportunities.

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