HUNTING TIPS & TACTICS
The Green-Winged Teal is a member of the puddle duck family. The drake is a very small, yet brightly colored duck with a signature dark reddish and green head and white stripe up the shoulder.
Due to the fact that the Green-Winged Teal is one of the most abundant species of ducks across North America, along with the fact that many northern states now offer an early teal season before the traditional duck opener, targeting these little ducks can and is a fun and exciting way to kick off every duck season. The fact that the Green-Winged Teal is traditionally an early migrator means that hunting them earlier in the year is the most successful time to hunt the little buggers.
It is also a great time of year to get the kids involved as the weather is still warm and the fact that the Teal are often found on small, shallow ponds and marshes, making them accessible without the hazards of big water and deeper lakes.
Setting up a Teal hunt can be very simple, but not always easy. Most public hunting spots that are easily accessible can become overrun with hunters, especially during the early teal season or the prime early weekend dates of the year. Thus scouting ahead of time and working to attain permission on a private lake or slough that has held Teal during that later months of the summer is a great start. Once permission has been attained on a shallow cattail pond, setting the decoy spreads is fairly easy.
Teal are known to decoy well into a small spread of Mallard and smaller puddle duck decoys, but with the market being flooded with Teal decoys these days, it is fairly inexpensive to put together a spread of 2 – 3 dozen teal decoys specifically for this annual hunt. Teal are known to be tasty little birds, even though it does take a full limit to put together a small meal. They do however make a tray worth of delicious hors d’oeuvres.