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Starting waterfowl season by hunting teal is an interesting way to begin. Teal hunting is exciting and fun. They are wary birds that you can successfully hunt if you do things the right way. In this article, we discuss how to hunt teal so you can take more teal home during the hunting season.
How To Hunt Teal
It is always good to scout the area a few days before you go teal hunting. Coastal marshes, mudflats, farm ponds, oxbows, grass edges, and flooded rice fields are some of the areas to scout for teals. Shallow aquatic vegetation with seeds that teal can feed on will attract them. When you are learning how to hunt teal, these are the areas to concentrate your search for teal.
Swamps and river sloughs with a lot of open water attract teals. You can also find teals in larger lakes and impoundments. Additionally, look for webbed-foot patterns on the muddy edges of water and keep your eyes open for feathers.
As with hunting most waterfowl, you can use decoys to hunt teals. Teal, mallard as well as spinning-wing decoys can be used to hunt seals. You can use about a dozen decoys to hunt teal.
3. Observe the Weather
When hunting teal, always monitor the weather a few days before you go out to hunt as well as on the day you hunt. This will help you understand the weather patterns for the week and any changes that may happen before and on the day of the hunt.
A slight change in the weather can cause teal to move from one area to another. If there will be a cold front coming in or cold winds blowing from the north, go out teal hunting the next morning.
Make calls to attract teals. One strategy is to sound like teals to get a response from them. Make your calls after they have passed by. The decrescendo blue-winged hen call is one of the most used calls for teal. You can learn more duck hunting strategies from the best duck hunting tips.
5. Move Smoothly
When shooting teal, move the barrel smoothly through the bird up to its head and then pull the trigger. Don’t try to play catch-up with the teal and remain behind hoping to make a shot. Just keep it smooth and follow through.
6. Stand Up the Flock
Don’t wait until the bird is close before you shoot. Instead, shoot the bird at 20 to 30 yards out. This will cause it to stand straight up and this will present easier shots for you and others. Your pattern will be too tight if you wait and shoot around 10 yards. Let someone shoot first to stand up the birds and this will allow you and others the chance to take them one by one.
7. Pick One Target
It is easy to lose focus and get carried away by all of the birds flying acrobatically. Instead, pick out one bird to focus on and take it down. Ignore the rest of the birds that are flying and enjoying their abilities. Don’t make the mistake young teal hunters make. Focus on one bird and take a shot at it.
8. Set Up
Set up with the wind at your back as ducks land with their beaks pointed into the wind. When you set up this way, the birds will be flying toward you making it easier to get a good shot. You can read the best quail hunting tips to learn more strategies to take more quail home if you hunt quail.
9. Know The Laws
There may be hunting laws regarding teal in your state. Make sure you know the laws and abide by them. If you are 16 years or older and hunt migratory waterfowl, you will need a current Federal Duck Stamp or E-Stamp.
Teal Hunting Tips
1. When scouting for teal, look in swamps, marshes, shallow water with aquatic vegetation, mudflats, rice fields, grass edges, farm ponds, sloughs, and oxbows.
2. Use mallard, spinning-wing, and teal decoys to hunt teal.
3. Be a student of the weather when hunting teal. Monitor the weather regularly before you go hunting. A very slight change in the weather can cause teal to move from one area to another.
4. Make calls to get teal attention and bring them to your decoys and dekes. The blue-wing hen call is one of the popular calls to use when hunting teal.
5. Half a dozen up to a dozen decoys is sufficient for hunting teal.
6. You can set up your decoys closer to your ground blind as teal is not the weariest of waterfowls. You can set the decoys about 15 to 20 yards from the ground blind.
7. The best time to hunt teal is in the first hour of shooting light. That is when teal is most active.
8. Most hunters use 20-gauge duck guns with loads of No. 4, 5, or 6 steel.
9. Teal is not as fast as big ducks and they are almost always closer than you think. Don’t overestimate their speed and distance. Shoot right at their bills.
10. Teal flies so tightly together that two or more can be killed with one shot. Shoot the birds at the outside edge of an incoming flock.
11. Set up your decoys early and get in your hunting spot before dawn.
12. Be still and remain quiet when teal starts buzzing at the decoys. Any little movement or sound will alert them and cause them to fly away before you can take a shot.
13. Learn the laws regarding hunting teal.
14. Teal likes shallow water that is less than 2 feet deep with aquatic vegetation that has insects and seeds.
The Bottom Line
Hunting teal is fun, exciting, and rewarding. You can put more teal on your dinner table during the hunting season by implementing a few standard hunting strategies like using decoys, calling, scouting, monitoring and planning around the weather, etc.
In this article, we discussed some teal hunting tips to help you put more teal on your dinner table during the waterfowl season. If you hunt doves, the best dove hunting tips shares hunting strategies to help you take more doves home.