You can find blue-winged teal in both large and small water locations. They like to frequent lakes, sloughs, swamps, farm ponds, beaver ponds, etc. To find them, simply look for them at different known locations in the days leading up to the season. This will also help you scout areas where you will want to hunt. Teal hunting can be hit or miss. Blue-wings are driven by the cold fronts. A swamp or lake can be completely covered one day and then empty the next. A north wind may bring in a new batch of birds at any time.
In the early hunting season, blue-wings bodies and heads are mostly brown. For this factor you may want to use standard mallard decoys. The brown matches the blue-wings better during this part of the season. Depending on the size of water you’re hunting on can determine the number of decoys you would like to use. On bigger bodies of water, you may want to use more decoys. And likewise on smaller bodies of water, you could use less.
With teal, if you’d rather use a natural blind you can. They aren’t too hunter-wise, so you can use the natural vegetation as your blind. Willows, cattails, buck bushes, sawgrass, etc. are all acceptable. If you want to use a fixed blind you may also do that. If you prefer a firm platform to stand on here is nothing wrong with that.
Mallard hens and blue-winged hen’s calls are almost similar. The difference being a blue-winged hen call is faster, softer, and higher-pitched. You can buy calls that companies make that mimic how blue-wings sound. You could also try a louder mallard call. It’s just like using the mallard decoys. They both often frequent the same waters so it’s not a far-fetched idea. Mallard calls are also louder than teal calls so they can be heard from farther away.
Enjoy your time out in the great outdoors! Have a happy and safe hunting season!