First step: decide the area your going to target. If it is months before season check for blind drawings or hunt drawings you can enter in. (TN cost a few bucks on public draws for a couple dayes hunts, and several blind drawings. OH minimum liscense to enter blind drawins and also quota type hunts, Georgia free for waterfowl (builds off priority points), Illinois Free and up to 5 goose hunts and 5 duck hunts, KY small fee per location Henderson, Ballard, (Clarks river refuge dates are free sign up), Permits for Bluegrass army depot flooded timber completed in July, Barkley blind drawin, henderson i think, and doug travis wma, etc...... all thats found from searching the web.
Second: log on to all the local forums, dhc, refugeforums, kentuckyhunting and search the desired location of where you plan on hunting to see if there are any recent post about or see if there anyone talking about specific spots, but also search previous season post about locations where people did good. Also check all Kill photos to see if the background gives away specific locations even if they didnt say where it was at. Look at where they are from because alot of people will hunt around where they live normally.
Third: Print out a map of the layout of the land from KY fish and wildlife or google maps if applicable.
Fourth: access Google earth and take screen shots of certain target areas. as well as printing these maps out for guidance. (even if it is your target area and no one has talked about it, might mean it is a hidden Gem)
Fifth: If you have a gps mark pot holes, sloughs, with the gps cordinances provided by google maps.
Sixth: check the weather and mark the best sides of pot holes, sloughs, etc to focus on based on wind direction.
Seventh: send out some pm's to guys who hunt the area and see if they will help you out by any chance, but do your homework before contacting them. But beware they may mislead you if its good vice versa. ( A true scouter will never make a screen name and will only be a reader)
Eighth: check waterfowl bird counts to see if the bird counts provide you with belief that birds are present here. (If applicable)
Ninth if you get checked by wardens or have a check in/out spot ask where the birds are being killed at.
Thats all i got for now.