I've never heard the term 'free roam' before, but I guess it refers to the tactic of wandering around with a small pack of decoys, looking for birds. When you find an area that birds are working, you set up a small spread, a makeshift blind, and go to it.
Jumpshooting refers to stalking to within range of sitting ducks, jumping them up and shooting them on the rise. It is an effective technique on creeks, small rivers, sloughs, and ponds. As long as you are quiet and stay out of sight you can sneak up quite close to ducks on small water.
In public wildlife areas there are free roam areas and assigned areas. In free roam areas you have to find your own spot. In the assigned areas they assign you to a certain pond. If you know where you are going, free roam areas can be very fun. If you don't know your way around it can be hard to find water to put your decoys in. Especially when the fog rolls in and its pitch black.
In my opinion it doesn't matter, you should never jump shoot a body of water someone is set up on! If you are setting up next to someone 150 to 200 yards should be fine. Being a newbie it would do you good to be more forgiving when there are other hunters on the pond. It also never hurts to ask if the other hunters want to go in together.
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