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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.

What is a teal?
A teal is a small freshwater dabbling duck. Teal are members of the family Anatidae with other ducks, geese, and swans. Teal ducks are usually found in marshes, ponds, rivers, swamps, and flooded agricultural fields. Teal ducks have stout necks and short tails.
How To Hunt Teal
How To Hunt Teal

How To Hunt Teal

1. Scouting

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.

2. Decoys

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.

Tricks For Hunting Teal
Tricks For Hunting Teal

4. Calling

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.

Tips For Hunting Teal
Tips For Hunting Teal

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
Teal Hunting Tips

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.

Hunting Teal Ideas
Hunting Teal Ideas

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.

Ideas For Hunting Teal
Ideas For 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.

Hunting Teal Hacks
Hunting Teal Hacks

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.

Hunting Teal Tricks
Hunting Teal Tricks

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.

Hunting Teal
Hunting Teal

14. Teal likes shallow water that is less than 2 feet deep with aquatic vegetation that has insects and seeds.

How do you hunt teal?
You can hunt teal by looking for them in swamps, mudflats, shallow water with vegetation, marshes, farm ponds, etc. Additionally, you can also hunt teal using decoys, and calls.
What time of day is best for teal hunting?
Teal is most active during the first hour of daylight. This is when you want to hunt them. Therefore, be in your hunting spot and have your decoys set up before dawn.
What shot should I use for teal?
You can use No. 4, 5, or 6 steel shots for hunting teal.
Is teal hunting hard?
It is not difficult to hunt teal. With regular hunting strategies like calling and decoys, you can lure them and take them down.
How long does teal fly in the morning?
You can find teal flying in the first 30 to 60 minutes of daylight and then disappear.
Do you need a duck stamp to hunt teal?
If you are 16 years or older and hunt migratory waterfowl, it is required by law that you have a current Federal Duck Stamp or E-Stamp.

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.