• The first general duck season in North Carolina runs from Oct. 5-8, statewide. The daily bag limit is six, but only three may be wood ducks. Teal are commonly taken during the short, October season, and all six ducks in your daily limit can be teal, or teal can be combined with woodies.

• Hunters with access to private land should target creeks, swamps and beaver ponds near a food source such as acorns. Aerial maps will often uncover hidden hot spots. For available public land, visit www.ncwildlife.org. The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission manages a number of impoundments specifically for ducks, flooding either planted crops or timber. Special permits may be required.

• The best setup for wood ducks is a 12-gauge, semiautomatic shotgun, with a modified choke being a good choice for all-around waterfowling with steel shot. Shells in 3- to 31/2-inch sizes with No. 3 shot are a good choice.

• Decoys and calls are often unnecessary when pass-shooting wood ducks, but throwing out a half-dozen wood duck decoys or a spinning-wing decoy can be advantageous to drawing birds closer. Teal will also decoy readily to various setups.