Some hunters may feel more comfortable hunting from a pre-fabricated ground blind, and some may have physical limitations that prevent them from hunting anywhere but in a boat blind. While such blinds may be productive early in the season, late-season conditions may dictate moving away from a blind completely when birds become “blind shy”.

“To kill ducks, you have to be where they want to be,” said waterfowl biologists Dean Harrigal of the SCDNR. “Being mobile is a big, big factor in killing ducks. If you see ducks laying down on the other side of your area, go over there and get hidden, even if it means spooking those ducks off.  Either those ducks will be back, or others will come in there behind them, because something about that area — might be a wind break or a new food source that’s become available — will bring them right back to it.”

Harrigal agrees with the sentiment that duck calls tend to spook more birds than they attract, especially late in the season, and especially if it’s a mallard call designed more for hunting greenhead timber in Arkansas than Lowcountry green wings.

“It’s better not to have a call than overuse it,” said Harrigal. “We hear mallard calls coming from all over our draw-hunt properties, and the truth is, a mallard call won’t call every bird in the marsh. A pintail whistle, widgeon or teal call is probably more useful than a mallard call because teal are the No. 1 bird in the bag across the coast. I’d definitely go more with a teal call if I was going to use one.”