Texas Waterfowl Hunting – Early Teal Season

Texas waterfowl season is approaching rapidly.  It’s time to start scouting general locations and getting the gear cleaned up and repaired.  While the USFWS hasn’t set the final dates for late season waterfowl, the Early Teal Season dates have been set.  Time to get ready for some hot mornings, mosquitoes and another season to Texas waterfowl hunting!

 

 

 

 

Scouting Texas Waterfowl with the Duck Dog

White Brittany and Green Boat Scouting for Texas Waterfowl
Time to Start Scouting for Texas Waterfowl

In my opinion, it’s never too early to take the dog on the duck boat and scout likely locations for Texas waterfowl hunting- especially in parts of the river that I haven’t hunted before.  I like my “known locations” and “honey holes” but I also enjoy finding new places and giving them a try.  If I can find at least one new waterfowl hunting location each year then the chances of successful hunts increases.  ANd who would even consider scouting for new duck hunting locations without taking their duck dog?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Two Adjacent Areas for Salt Water Texas Waterfowl Hunting

Google Earth Image of an Ideal Spot for Texas Waterfowl Hunting
The Ideal Spot for Texas Waterfowl Hunting

Early teal like salt water estuaries and I like to hunt them there.  My experience tells me they tend to like open areas more in the morning and closer, more protected areas for late afternoon hunts.  I found a nice little spot that accomplishes both – open areas for the morning and some closed ponds for late afternoon. We’re fortunate with Texas waterfowl hunting to have so many choices.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ready for the Teal!

Grey Teal Decoys against Dark Blue Storm Clouds while Texas Waterfowl Hunting
Storm Approaching While Texas Waterfowl Hunting

I also like that early teal season doesn’t require a ton of decoys.  In Texas waterfowl hunting on the salt water, it seems that about a dozen decoys works just fine to bring in small flocks of tasty birds.  I also like that teal decoys are smaller and lighter.  That salt water sure eats up a decoy though.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Redneck Texas Waterfowl Hunting Blind

Orange Deck Chair and Green Palm Leaves make a Redneck Texas Waterfowl Hunting Blind
Texas Waterfowl Hunting Blind – Redneck Style!

Another cool aspect of hunting early season teal on the Texas Gulf Coast is red neck blinds.  Teal don’t always cooperate real well and come to the nice dry wooden blinds.  No problem!  A couple of palm fronds and some lawn chairs is usually plenty of cover for the fast moving little guys.  It also makes it much easier to scout and locate birds in new areas.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mostly Male Texas Waterfowl Harvested

7 Blue Wing Teal on Green Grass Texas Waterfowl - Early Season Teal
Early Season Teal Harvest of Texas Waterfowl

I just noticed this last year and found some online information that seemed to back it up.  Most of the birds harvested during early teal season in Texas waterfowl hunting are males.  While their plumage isn’t the best, I do find it very itneresting that most of them are males – very seldom a hen harvested.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Summary of Texas Waterfowl Hunting – Early Teal Season

Texas waterfowl hunting season is almost upon us.  Early Teal season starts in less than a month and it’s time to start getting ready – stock up on mosquito spray!  I love scouting new likely locations with my duck dog – even though there aren’t any birds yet I can always identify likely locations to give a try.  Texas Gulf Cost water fowl hunting is also a blast as it provides a variety of open and closed areas for different waterfowl preferences.  Building new blinds or using last year’s blinds isn’t necessary with early teal season – just use a redneck blind!  Most birds harvested in early teal season are males – seldom a hen to be seen – which is fine.  It’s really tough to tell drakes from hens on teal when they swoop in early in the morning and I really dislike harvesting hens.

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Early Teal Portion of Duck Hunting in Texas

The Early Teal portion of the duck hunting in Texas Season makes me a little nuts.

I wait for seven and one half months to get back in the water with my dog. I even start planning and purchasing decoys for my duck hunting in Texas as early as June. It is preceded slightly by the start of Texas Dove Season which always starts on the first of September. I like dove hunting – a lot. But I really love duck hunting in Texas and the early teal dive bombers are some of my favorites.

It has been estimated that less than 20% of Texas bird hunters take advantage of the early teal season. Early teal season starts on September 11 this year.

Early Teal Season is designed to allow the waterfowler an opportunity to hunt blue winged teal as they migrate from their roosting grounds in the Northern US and Canada as they migrate to their winter haunts in Mexico and Central America.

Teal are probably the most fun type of duck hunting in Texas and certainly the most delicious to eat.

Teal fly like little jets and often will surprise you as they dive from several thousand feet in the air to land gracefully on the pond at your feet.

Teal hunting in Texas starts early. You need to be in the blind and ready to hunt by the first rays of daylight. Often, the hunting is over by no later than 830 AM.

If you want an amazing Texas bird hunting experience, scout out a shallow pothole, conceal yourself well and get ready for some fast and close hunting action!

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Bird and Texas Duck Hunting Season Opening Dates

Preparation for Texas Duck Hunting needs to start well in advance of the setting of the season dates. The general dates are usually established late in the summer by the three nation (US, Canada & Mexico) wildlife agencies, formalized by the USFWS and then given to the states to amend. The individual states can shorten the seasons or bag limits but may not lengthen them.

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2010 Bird and Texas Duck Hunting Season Dates

TPWD has released the opening ages for Texas Duck Hunting and bird hunting in Texas.

Early Teal starts 9/11 though 9/24.

Dove South Zone starts 9/17.

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Dove North Zone starts 9/1.

Quail start 10/30.

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Keep Up to Date via Goose Hunting Forums for Texas

Updated 7/11/11 – One way to keep track of the upcoming waterfowl and migratory season dates is to watch the Texas Parks & Wildlife website.  The TPWD website is usually the first place the information is posted – but not by much!  An easier way to keep track of waterfowl and migratory season dates is to visit an online forum.  For example, if you are a goose hunter or duck hunter, find a goose hunting forum for Texas and then subscribe to the RSS feed with an RSS Reader.  A great example is the Texas Waterfowl Hunting Forum.

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