I think the stakes are a good way to mark a spot that you intend on building a blind, or to put in a floater. Spots that are intended for a floater, should say on the sign "FLOATER" A lot of guys will put out 8 or 10 signs in numerous spots, and never hunt most of those spots. Does that mean those spots are off limits to other hunters?
If I hunted on one side of a river/pond and the ducks kept going to the other side that was staked, but nobody hunted, I would be over there hunting the next day.
I dont see anything wrong with someone coming in to a new spot late in Sept. after all the blinds are built and putting in a stake or a blind. I did that this year in a new spot. I could have gotten down there on the 1st Sat. in Sept. but, I would rather know where other people are hunting, and not crowd someone or put a blind or stake in where the same guy has been hunting for 10, 15, 20 years, especially as a new guy in that area. That just causes problems. Maybe next year though, I will be there to mark/build a blind early.
Also water levels make a big difference, the level of Champlain has dropped considerably since Sept. I know there are some blinds out there that are high and dry right now. Putting in a blind too early is sometimes a bad thing.