Protocols for sampling weeds in fields generally consist of selecting a given number of quadrats of a certain size, randomly located in the field, and counting the number of weeds of each type within each quadrat. Such a procedure is appropriate if weeds are distributed randomly in the field. However, it has been documented that weeds tend to cluster in fields so that the spatial distribution can often be described by a negative binomial. This research was conducted to identify an appropriate scouting protocol for use when weed populations are clumped in such a manner. Binomial, censored, and presence/absence sampling plans were compared through simulated sampling from negative binomial distributions of varying degrees of clustering and varying mean weed densities. Plans were compared in terms of bias and root mean square error. Study results indicate that binomial and presence/absence sampling offer reasonable alternatives to traditional sampling methods, except when there is extreme clumping. There is a trade-off between sampling effort needed per quadrat and number of quadrats needed for the sample. Traditional methods require intensive weed counting in each quadrat sampled, whereas binomial and presence/absence sampling protocols require less effort per quadrat, but more quadrats sampled for comparable results. Censored sampling displayed no advantage over binomial sampling in terms of bias and root mean square error, and is somewhat more difficult to do.