Careful scouting is always a good idea, but it becomes all-important in the late season, when you’re dealing with wary, localized ducks that have learned to avoid permanent blinds. For hunters chasing such birds on big river sandbars, reservoir shorelines, potholes, crop fields, and other late-season haunts, killing ducks requires a little more work—but the formula is easy. Find exactly where birds are sitting, figure out a way to get there and hide without scaring them, and then show them a realistic spread. Do that, and you’ll consistently kill ducks. But it all starts with smart, thorough scouting. So, here’s how to do it right.