Teal continue to cooperate despite weather conditions
“Oh you are kidding me, its way too hot to think about ducks” was the first thing that crossed my mind as the garage door opened and the heat and humidity slapped me across my still groggy face. The stifling temperatures have been just about the only down side to this years early teal season and it appears that will be the case until the season ends. I don’t care what anyone says; you have to love duck hunting in order to deal with this kind of heat and the constant onslaught of mosquitoes that are associated with early teal season. Buying stock in Off or Repel seems like a good idea at this point.
For a week now hunters all along the flyway have enjoyed a solid season thus far and the last week may just top it all off as the big bright moon helps usher in new birds daily. The biggest part of the migration takes place under the cover of dark as masses of teal barrel down the flyway towards their winter destinations in Mexico and south America. Right now we have teal spread out from Canada to Mexico and al parts in between. I spoke to a good friend and hunting buddy of mine, Mark Collins of Mont Belvieu, who happened to be in Edmonton Alberta Canada at the time and he reported there were huge masses of teal and other puddle ducks in every body of water he could see. Farther down the flyway I get the same reports, only problem has been that these birds are not staying in one place for any amount of time. It looks like a big percentage of the teal migration spends a little extra time on the coast and in the prairies dining on rice before making the last leg of their trek south. This has probably been the biggest factor in the success for most local hunters, the teal that come into the area are staying just a bit longer and that helps build more numbers of huntable birds.
Several waterfowl guides I spoke to all echoed the same sentiments as far as the numbers of ducks in the area, most were very impressed with the sheer numbers so far and all were in agreement that we should have even more birds show up this week. For many recreational hunters this past week was a chance to get out and knock the rust off all the gear and enjoy some excellent hunting opportunities. Judging by the numbers of boats, trailers, and lines at sporting goods stores it appears that there are a lot of folks who were more than ready to start hunting again. The only problem with hunting right now is the wait in between the early teal season and the opening weekend of regular duck season. That will certainly seem like an eternity.
In the mean time we can enjoy this last week of hunting and spend the next month getting boats, blinds and other gear in working condition. Spend a little extra time on lights for both your boat and trailer because getting a ticket on the opening weekend is not a good way to start. Also, take some time to mark boat lanes that will be used during the season and even put the routes in your GPS for reference, we all know how difficult the fog can be. Very few things are as satisfying as having all your gear in working order and having that translate into a stress free hunt. Nobody likes surprises, least of all in the dark and when you are in a hurry.