Early season waterfowl can be an absolute magical time of the year. The weather is usually beautiful, people are so excited to finally get back out into the field and one of the first seasons to usually open involves hunting teal. As a young girl growing up in Central Minnesota, teal hunting is something we always looked forward to. Sure they’re fast as can be, but what a great way to get back in the swing of things to kick of the season.
A few tips to make your hunt more successful and enjoyable for early season teal usually involve bringing a couple key items to make your time in the field more comfortable. First, the weather will more than likely be quite warm so bring a cooler with plenty of water, sunscreen and of course bug spray. There is nothing that will make your time more unpleasant than swarms of mosquitoes buzzing your head. It’s also a great idea to throw in a ThermaCell if you think the bugs may be an issue.
As far as decoys for early teal, I’ve found less is more. Keep your number of decoys to a minimum and you’ll usually find greater success. When it comes to shooting, remember you’re going to need to shoot fast! If possible, put in some time practicing before the season with clay targets and Winchester AA Tracker so you can see where you are hitting…and where you are missing. Even better, spend a few days dove hunting before heading out after teal.
Lastly and probably the most important is to do some pre-season scouting to find birds to hunt. It seems like teal are heading down south later and later each year so put in your time scouting before heading out. That way, you’ll have an idea of where to go, what the birds are doing and hopefully have a wonderful hunt in beautiful weather.
Early season teal can be a great opportunity to bring family and friends out with you who may not have been waterfowl hunting before. Many people think of cold, wet and rainy conditions when going out so this may be the perfect time to get someone new involved. Take the time to make it fun, and you may have a new hunting partner for the rest of the fall! An added bonus: teal are great eating table fare so get the grill going right after the hunt and celebrate the day afield.