Freelance. Freelancers hunt mostly on public land from boats or temporary blinds. They depend on their own scouting and hunting skills to locate and harvest birds. Mike Terry of Obion, Tennessee, freelances in the Obion River bottoms and on the nearby Mississippi River.
"There's nothing quite like a good freelance hunt," he attests. "When you get on ducks in a spot they've just started working, you can have the best hunt of your life."
Freelance hunting is considerably less expensive than paying lease or guide fees. Once you have your own boat, decoys, and other gear, the only costs are gas, food, ammunition, and license fees. But freelancing isn't for everyone.
"Sometimes it's hard to get to where ducks are working," Terry says. "You have to cut brush and dig pits and other hard work. You can get lost. On big rivers, you have to deal with towboats, strong current, and big waves. And after all that, other hunters might set up nearby. But when everything works according to plan, the rewards make all the effort worthwhile."