How to Teal Hunt Successfully:
Teal hunting is a season many waterfowl hunters dream of as it markets the start of waterfowl season. The time of the year to make stories and memories with friends and family. To others in Michigan, Iowa, and Wisconsin the early teal season has come as an experiment and with that a learning curve. As waterfowl hunters in the Midwest hope to make the season apart of regular waterfowl season, the question of How to Teal Hunt becomes a fun topic to explore.
Green and Blue wing Teal are part of the same family and one of the most abundant species of waterfowl in North America second only to Mallards. Making early season limits favorable along with warm temperatures. Ideal for introducing young hunters into waterfowl hunting. As the season is extended to teal only, so learning how to teal hunt is important for having a successful hunt.
Blue and Green Winged Teal are dabbling ducks commonly inhabiting shallow lakes, ponds, and marshes. Start your hunting season scouting low farm fields that have been flooded due to heavy rains. If you can be lucky enough to find an uncut corn field holding water, it makes for the perfect concealed cover. Giving you a great opportunity to identify the birds and get an understanding of the differences between teal and other ducks. Juvenile mallards habitat is very similar to teal, so seeing the difference in appearance can be very helpful being new to teal hunting. Also taking time to understand how teal fly in erratic small groups can help identify teal correctly.
Teal hunting is a great time to introduce young hunters. Therefore it also can be a great time to begin waterfowl hunting for the budget conscious hunters. Believe me, buying goose decoys is not for the fainthearted, therefore having a waterfowl season that only requires a dozen or fewer decoys is a win in my book.
I use about 12 green winged teal decoys and at least one type of decoy that will give motion. Therefore setting up a jerk cord or using a mojo is all you need. I still use my teal decoys during regular duck season to add variety to my spread. I find that it helps weary birds commit to my spread.
Spread set up doesn’t have to be a 2-hour planning ordeal. Teal season marks the first time birds have seen a spread in 8 months. Throwing four decoys to the left of your shooting location and eight to the right is an easy setup. Just make sure you leave an opening in the middle for a mojo and shooting lane. Concealing yourself into natural environment is more important this time of the year.
When it comes to what gun and shot size to select. I use a Beretta Xtrema2 12ga with 3″ Kent # 5 Steel shot. I’ve hunted with guys that use 20ga and all sorts of different configurations. Honestly, I use what I have and that’s a 12ga with shells that have patterned well with my gun. Keeping teal season affordable and simple is what I find works the best. A great hunting tip to remember when using your shotgun when hunting is to consider cleaning it after each hunt. Too many hunters this seems like a large undertaking. However, with today’s modern Bore Snakes and Gun Cleaners, one can clean their firearm in under 5 minutes. There are many great reviews out there to be able to find the best one for your budget and gun.
Teal season always falls in temperatures that tend to be quite warm, therefore Look to buying a nice t-shirt or long sleeve camo and you’ll save yourself from sweating all day.
I use very little calling in my setup. I’ve found it to be a distraction from keeping my eyes on the lookout for fast dropping teal. It only takes a few seconds to realize that you missed a group of flying teal.
Tips for How to Teal Hunt:
Not all birds that come in your spread will be teal. So use this time to educate yourself on how ducks work your decoys. This will pay a tenfold when it comes to opening duck season. Also If you have a dog this is a great time to get their early season excitement out. Last but not least enjoy extending your waterfowl season.