This fall is the perfect time to get out and get a little early season teal hunting in. We’ve got some helpful tips to help you harvest some blue-winged teal.
1) Naturally a late person? Well you’re going to want to start doing things early. You want to be completely setup, gun loaded, your decoys in place, and with your dog in the blind at least 10 minutes before LST (legal shooting time). You’re more than likely to get most of your action within the first 45 minutes once legal shooting time begins.
2) Blue-winged teal are fast. They’ll be there and gone before you even know it. You must pay attention and be focused and ready to shoot when any amount of ducks come into range. You won’t find many shy blue-wings around you like the late season big ducks so you may stand up in your blind. But of course, you’ll want to remain still and be covered in some good camouflage.
3) You don’t have to constantly call for the birds. Blue-winged teal will voluntarily decoy without you having to call for them. If you do happen to want to call for them, you can use a 5 note screech.
4) Be prepared to hear the teal coming your way. You will often hear them before they come into sight. You also want to listen quite carefully so you do not shoot a duck that is out of season.
5) You’re going to want to zero in on one specific bird to shoot. Although it’s really tempting to flock shoot when a big flock comes into your spread, you’ll have better luck if you single out one bird. Teal usually “spring” when you’ve opened up on them, so you’re more likely to be successful with your single bird you go after and this way you can prepare yourself for the next opportunity.
6) Make sure that you dress for the occasion. Lightweight waders, hip boots, and breathable hats are appropriate to wear. Also for the early season teal long-sleeved shirts can also be worn.
7) Blue-winged teal are known to not be able to resist some motion in your decoy spread. So don’t be afraid to add some motion to your spread.
8) Make sure you take your duck hound out for some practice before the season. This helps them remember what they’re job is out there with you. Dogs are very intelligent animals, but a little bit of practice never hurt anyone.
9) Prepare yourself for uninvited guests. Early teal season is well, just that, early. Mosquitos, snakes, spiders, and all other critters haven’t been frozen out yet. Always look before getting into your blind. You never know who will be sitting in your favorite spot.