KIMT News 3 -For the first time since 1969, there’s a hunting season dedicated solely to teal.
“Blue-winged teal are a small species of dabbling duck. (For those unaware, a dabbling duck feeds mainly at the surface of the water rather than diving.) This time of year, they can be identified by a big blue patch on their wing,” says Iowa DNR Waterfowl Research Biologist, Orrin Jones.
It’s a welcome change for avid hunters like Tim Gerdus.
“I thought that was a pretty good deal, because I used to shoot a lot of teal,” says Gerdus.
Jones contributes this special season to the continental teal population being at an all-time high. He says this early season is a good way to expand hunting opportunities.
“Blue-winged teal migrate earlier than most other species of ducks, therefore their harvest rates are lower. Teal season is a way to increase the harvest opportunity for these birds,” says Jones.
“The last few years, when they open the duck season, the teal are already gone, because the first cold snap, they leave,” says Gerdus.
Therefore, from September 6th-21st, you can hunt this lesser known bird.
“You better know what the teal look like, because that’s all you can shoot during this season, so it could be interesting to see,” says Gerdus.
He says they’re fast, but don’t shoot unless you see the blue or green wing. Jones says, they’re not only fun to hunt, they’re also a good food choice.
“Teal are very sporting. They’re quick flyers. They come into your decoys nicely, and they make delicious table fare,” says Jones.
Gerdus agrees with that.
“They’re probably the best tasting duck out there,” he says.
Both DNR officials and outdoors men are hoping this season goes well.
“I think it will be a really good deal. I’d like to see them keep doing this, so hopefully it will go well and they don’t have any problems, so they’ll do it again next year,” says Gerdus.
DNR officials want to also point out that, unlike other duck seasons, hunting hours are sunrise to sunset. If you want more information visit this link: http://www.iowadnr.gov/Hunting/MigratoryGameBirds/TealInformation