usually this time of the year I'm sitting next to a broadbill rig staring at an empty sky. Maybe a bufflehead will come visit. This is in North Carolina. Even this year which has been colder I don't see many Broad bill when scouting. I crew on two different sailboats in the same area I hunt in and have seem very few birds at all. I decided to try puddle duck. I hunt out of a Higbee style sneak box. And go to the upper reaches of some coastal rivers. I thought I had to be in the "swamp" to find puddlers here. I've been having a great time even if it is a very short hunt. You have to be set up by legal shooting time or your too late. All the action is within the first hour. Some fun running a small boat through a narrow river in the fog......it always seems to be foggy before daylight. I've been shooting and seeing wood ducks, spoonbills,gadwalls, teal, a black duck and a hen hooded merganser who spent twenty minutes checking out all the decoys. I've had ducks come in before legal time that I couldn't even recognize. Today I had two river otters playing around the boat. I've even seen a bufflehead and a pair of broadbills. The only puddler decoys I owned were some black ducks from back in NY shooting on the salt marsh and a few teal I bought cheap at Wally World. I also put out a few geese floaters. This will continue until Dec. 2. Then the regular duck season closes in NC and the only game is scoter way off the beach. Then I'll put the scoter rig in the big boat....18 foot Crestliner and shoot scoter again. I'll probably continue shooting divers when the next season opens on all ducks. I don't own a mallard decoy but will probably get some. I would even go back"up river" when I get blown off the big water. So that's my confession. I've gone over to the dark side. Shooting ducks with their wings set falling from the sky like balloons in an interesting marsh. I don't think it will be a complete turn around, just an early season affair. I'm sure the first flight of twenty broadbill screaming over the decoys will make me forget about the time in the marsh.