Duck Hunting – North Carolina & South Carolina

Duck Hunting North Carolina & South Carolina Coast

Duck Hunting, Waterfowl & Marsh Hen Hunting Booking Fee:

Duck Hunting
$350.00 1 Person 1/2 day
$450.00 2 Persons 1/2 day
$550.00 3 Persons 1/2 day
$175.00 Young Duckaholics – 16-21 with adult party. 1/2 day December & January Only
$75 Youth Hunters Age 8 – 15 Joining a hunting party.
Marsh Hen Hunting  ( 1/2 day 4 hr booking) rates:
$350.00 1 Adult Hunter
$600.00 2 Adult Hunters
$175.00 Age 16 – 21 Joining a hunt party
$75.00 Youth age 8 – 15 Joining a adult party

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1. The [NC and SC Department of Natural Resources] websites: provide current dates and regulations, regarding the hunting of webless migratory wildfowl, licenses, limits, regulations, and season dates that are available on line- each year beginning August 1st.

2. JOE GUIDE OUTFITTERS…desires all individuals using it’s services to use “Non-Toxic shot” in hunting Rail birds. Every adult must have a current state hunting license, Federal Migratory Bird stamp (signed and stuck on back of your license). I recommend only 20 or 28 ga shotguns for rail bird hunting. Any auto or pump must be plugged as to not have more than two shells in your magazine.

3. Joe Guide Outfitters only guides a limited number of “New and Full Moon High Tidal periods,” and still guides rail bird hunters in the “traditional manner” used since the 1811 when it was first described to wildfowler’s throughout the nation. 90% of my clients are repeat customers, and they try to lock in the highest of high tide days as earliest as possible.

(a) The guide “poles” the rail gunner(s) in the shallow water skiff, poling his sports from the back of the boat. Guide pushes/poles the rail bird skiff through a “flooding marsh” which can only be done, during the highest of high tide days in the wilderness areas, where the rail congregate deep in the marsh. These rail birds jump much like a single quail or pheasant would, if you have ever hunted those birds. Shots can be quite sporty, about 15 – 25 yard shots. If gentlemen wish to get some practice at the 16 yd line and shoot some regulation trap, prior to hunting, they will be quite ready to shoot rail birds.

(b) Rail gunners are seated on the “gunner’s chair,” and if two are hunting, they will rotate, after each gunner shoots a certain number of birds. Bag limits are most liberal with 25 Sora, and 15 Clapper or in aggregate in according to DNR current bag limits. It is possible to see the Atlantic King rail, or the Virginia rail as well; however along the N.C. Coast the Sora and Clapper’s are the most dominate rail birds.

(c) Along the S.C. coast, you will be fewer Sora’s, however in November and December seasons, there are a number of Virginia rails seen in the salt marsh that migrate down the coast, however, the most dominate of the species, are the Clapper rails, who will (Kak, kak, kak) and laugh at you and me, when they slip through the Spartina grass, or swim and dive to hide in the marsh. The flood tides allow the hunter and skiff to get into the back country saltmarsh for easier poling.

(d) These birds migrate down the Atlantic Flyway at night during the Full Moon weeks, and also, prior to a serious North Easterner, or cold front blowing down from up North.

4. You will certainly experience the beautiful coastal wilderness areas, and salt marshes throughout the low country’s inshore waters. I first started hunting rail birds back in 1968 outside of Charleston, South Carolina, and am a registered USCG certified guide, and outfitter operating in South and North Carolina coastal back country salt marshes.

(a) I am a retired Veteran of the United States Navy, and have served in five combat deployments, and have proudly served with all joint service commands, throughout my thirty years of military service. Remember the wind needs to be your friend, when out rail hunting; it helps the guide moving the skiff under shoulder power! {No rail hunting is allowed with any outboard, or electric power}…it is about enjoying yourself, and enjoying the guide poling the rail boat throughout a beautiful salt marsh wilderness with the prince of tides.


The best duck and rail bird and marsh hen hunting days are during the “New Moon” and these days book up early; your second flood tidal period would be during the Full Moon with 80% > lunar viability impacting our tides.

**NCDNR normally posts the new migratory waterfowl seasons on their website by August 1st each summer.

Each guest will coordinate with your guide three days prior – to your booked hunt- as to weather report, conditions, and should dress appropriately, bring your NC Non-Res Waterfowl License with signed Federal Duck Stamp, shotgun and bring one more box of non-toxic shotgun shells than you may think you will need. You will meet your guide at assigned boat ramp, he will have water in the cooler, and will transport you out to hunting area.

Duck hunts are located in traditional N.C. salt marsh back-country, or shallow-water bays, where your guide will have you meet him at a particular boat landing nearest to the area we will be hunting that particular day.

* Half day duck trips I will provide water, fruit, two sandwiches and the guide will provide calling, boat blind, decoys and decoy placement, and return you to where you met him prior to the hunt.

Rails jump from Spartina grass ( R. Shawn Bennett photo


Joe Guides New Rail Bird Hunting Book Will Hit the Presses in January 2014.


Duck Hunt Camp Weekend

Duck Hunt Camp

 Booking Fees
$700 (for one person)
$250 for each additional person – accompanying a hunt party.



I only book “three long weekend – Duck hunt camp trips” each year we will be hunting in flooded timber and camping on a houseboat.These special weekend waterfowl houseboat camping trips do book up quickly. I hunt just one weekend each month of Nov, Dec and January. Camping is done on a houseboat that doesn’t have TV, and cell

phone service in the back country is limited due to the remoteness of nearby cell towers in the region. The Weekend Hunt includes (2) two – 1/2 days of duck hunting in beautiful flooded timber & camping in the outdoors. Primary waterfowl species are Wood Ducks, Teal, Grey-duck and Mallard.

NOTE:You will meet your guide at your assigned boat landing, and your guide will be responsible for the following: pick up and return of guests to boat landing by boat to your camping location & hunting area and after the trip is over. Price includes: one Dinner and light breakfast each day,. Coffee, tea , water or soft-drinks with each meal and
water/soda and a bag lunch will also be provided each hunt day. All guests will bring pillow + sleeping bag, shotgun, shells, licence and waders and approprate clothing for the projected hunt weekend. We will look forward to a good hunting year!

Upper Santee House Boat Duck Camps... (Joe Guide photo)

Call  910. 685.6845 when confirming a booking date