Early Teal Season in the Midwest:
2017 marked the end of the experimental early teal season for Wisconsin, Michigan, and Iowa. The experimental season remains dependent on the overall numbers harvested. As blue winged teal numbers have increased according to the 2017 federal waterfowl numbers. My hope is that Wisconsin and the Midwest will extend teal season hence giving waterfowl hunters a longer season.
States like Arkansas, Missouri, and Texas have been able to create a Teal season filled with tradition. If the midwest states can see the teal season as a success. The experimental states could be in for some amazing hunting.
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What Early Teal Season Means:
Summer is a great time for barbeques and going to the beach, but before you blink the summer is over. As most people are wishing the summer could last longer. Teal hunters are pulling their decoys out of storage by the end of August. Teal season provides a time for waterfowl hunters to get their gear primed for duck opener. Imagine going back to a time before the experimental teal season and have to wait till late fall when Duck season opens. Teal season brings a time get your feet wet with a little waterfowl hunting. A time to get your dog in the water to get the early jitters out. Teal season offers a time to get your kids or new waterfowl hunters out in the field as it offers warm temperature hunting.
Benefits of Hunting Teal:
Teal hunting offers a very unique season. Identifying teal is extremely important for waterfowl hunters. Teal is the only type of duck harvestable during the early season. However other ducks such as wood ducks, mallards, pintails will also be flying at that time. To many hunters, identifying the correct birds can be intimidating. For the states experimenting with the season, this is largely their concern to ensure that the correct birds are harvested. I’d be lying if I didn’t have those same concerns my first season. However, what it did bring me was time in the blind to watch other birds and hone my bird identification. Sometimes waterfowl hunting isn’t just killing birds. Waterfowl hunting is about being in the blind watching and learning how birds sound, fly, and look. Not only that but it leads to a great time sharing stories with friends and family.
Teal Hunting Stories:
Early season hunting gives you time to catch up with your hunting buddies. Sometimes it’s been a long summer and being able to hunt gives us hunters the time to get back in the blind and share some time and usually funny stories together. Let alone being able to make a few new ones is always a plus. Normally you don’t want to be the one who misses the first bird, you may not live that done for the season. I know when my kids grow up to an age they will actually listen to me (if that happens at all) I’ll be taking them out teal hunting as the weather is mild and teal are such aggressive birds they tend to overlook the 3 year old jumping up and down in the blind.
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Early Teal Season Cooking:
Teal are one of the first birds to migrate and usually less abundant come open duck season. Leaving many hunters frustrated who don’t have an open season to shoot them, as they have a great taste. Making teal jalapeno poppers is a great way to still fire up the grill late summer and get some great wild game cooked as football season gets started.
You can see that Teal season is a great time of the year and I’m looking forward to it being a staple in the midwest. However, don’t hesitate to travel out of state to experience a teal hunt in a state that has a stable early season. Not only can you learn more about how to hunt teal, but you can experience the unique traditions and difference between states.