I was thinking that as a pre-season discussion and in an effort to end pages of threads dedicated to bickering over this and that, that there should be an open, respectful, discussion covering what to do, and what not to do, in the marshes as we all pursue our waterfowling passions. I'd like to open with acknowledging that people have their own views on what is acceptable behavior in the swamp and that all reasonable and realistic views will be respected.
I would start with one subject and that is proximity... I really dislike it when other hunters are crowding the spot that I have chosen to hunt for the day or walk too close to my chosen hunting area. My biggest pet peeve is when other's set up on the periphery of where I'm hunting hoping to intercept birds working my spread. This scenario usually results in no birds for anyone. I know it is unrealistic to expect that while hunting off the road system in SC Alaska that I'll be alone, but that said, I don't expect to hear other hunters' conversations from their blind and I know I don't want to get peppered, or worse, by others' shot. This being said, how close is too close? I know that ideally, I prefer about a half to 3/4 of a mile. Most days this is realistic and most hunters respect proximity. Heck, I'd rather have a hunter join me and hunt together than have someone 300 yards or less from my blind. Setting up in the dark I usually hang a light above the blind to allow others to see approximately where I am so that they don't set up too close.
I really hope others chime in with their thoughts on waterfowling etiquette. Here's wishing all hunters a successful and especially safe season.