The sight of racks full of camo clothing, ATV’s loaded in trucks and on trailers, as well as aluminum boats full of blind material and happy retrievers means the wait is almost over. The 2013-14 hunting season  kicked off  September 1st  and the masses are already buzzing about in anticipation for this weekend’s early teal season opener. All the outdoor stores, both hunting and fishing, have seen big jumps in the number of customers as local sportsmen begin to get stock up on gear. With the South zone dove opener just around the corner and archery season right behind that September is  a great time to be an outdoor enthusiast.

Months’ worth of expectations is in the process of becoming a reality and the excitement is beginning to build. The prospects for the upcoming south zone dove season and early teal season looks mighty good, I have made several scouting trips lately the numbers of birds in our area are really good. One thing that many hunters could certainly take advantage of would be getting in some extra practice at the range or even taking a lesson or two before heading out to the field. Nothing ruins a good hunt like not being able hit your target thanks to off season rust. Believe me the mourning dove and blue winged teal can and will make you look foolish in front of your hunting buddies if you’re not ready.

It appears that the super heat from the summer will be with us for several more weeks so are prepared for it as you scout or continue pre-season activities.  The extreme heat will make water holes a hot spot for early season dove hunters as all the remnants from the early summer rains have all but dried up. The lack of rain during the months of July and August has made many hunting leases dry, especially in the southern part of the state. To the north of us it has been equally as dry and that has many hunters, especially waterfowlers concerned. A few good doses of rain would make things better for all those playa lakes that at this moment are nothing but dusty depressions.

The best news on the horizon is for the teal hunters as they will enjoy a 6 bird limit and 16 days to chase those fast flying teal. The next full moon is just days away and you can bet the biggest bunch of migrating teal will show up at that time. Right now the biggest numbers of birds are concentrated in small areas but you can bet come legal shooting light on Saturday morning they will spread out in a hurry as the shotguns start to roar. If you plan on hunting the early teal season you need to be sure you have all your licenses and stamps in order. Also remember that all manner of biting creatures from alligators to snakes and mosquitoes will be out in full force, take all the necessary precautions and by all means be prepared.  Enjoy the weekend, it’s been a long time coming.