Three Hints for a Successful Early Season Teal Hunt

Written by Garrett Russell. Posted in Hunting, Small Game Hunting, Waterfowl Hunting

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Published on August 23, 2013 with 2 Comments

Three Hints for a Successful Early Season Teal Hunt Ohio Outdoor Journal

Three Hints for a Successful Early Season Teal Hunt: Tagging Out on Teal

By:  Garrett Russell:  Ohio Outdoor Journal Waterfowl Field Writer

Those little blue and green-winged fighter jets are on their way. Along with Ohio’s opening of early goose season, September also marks the opener of the early teal season as well. Teal, in my opinion, are not only the most fun ducks to hunt but also the most tasty!  Here are a few tips that should help you bag more of these deliciously fun little ducks your next time out.

Three Hints for a Successful Early Season Teal Hunt Ohio Outdoor Journal

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First, lets talk decoys. The nice thing about hunting teal is that they typically live and fly in smaller groups than some other species. This means that the larger spreads used during late season for “big ducks” are typically unneeded. The key to decoying teal is realism. In my opinion, it is better to have a half of a dozen exceptionally realistic teal decoys than 100 ordinary decoys. If this means touching up the paint or even getting new decoys, then DO IT!  Since teal typically won’t circle the spread over and over like their larger Puddler cousins, it is imperative that the one and only look they take convinces them to land.

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Three Hints for a Successful Early Season Teal Hunt Ohio Outdoor Journal

   

Another tip for  a more realistic spread is to use more hen decoys than drakes. The coloration of the drakes in the early season is usually limited if present at all.  So, by adding more hen decoys, this gives a more natural look to what an actual group of teal would look like on the water.

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Movement is a key factor to teal hunting success as well. As previously stated, you want that look the birds take at the spread to bring them in. Natural movement can be added in many different ways. The most common is most definitely the Mojo duck decoy. This creates the illusion of a bird touching down in the midst of the other birds. I have gotten my best results from putting the Mojo decoy exactly where I wanted the ducks to land. Teal seem to try to land as close to the other landing duck as possible. Another commonly used form of movement is a jerk rig. This gives the appearance that there are some birds swimming throughout the group. It tends to work on birds that are close but just a bit leery. When the jerk rig is used in addition to a Mojo, you have a deadly combination.

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Three Hints for a Successful Early Season Teal Hunt Ohio Outdoor Journal

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Last but not least, lets talk about calling. During teal season, there are a couple different options for calling. Most people use a teal call and do short melodies of high pitched whistles and peeps. I on the other hand, simply use a hen mallard call for a few simple qwaacks and cadences. I do this in conjunction with a few mallard decoys put off from the majority of the teal decoys. All I’m trying to do when I call is gain the attention of the birds that may not be seeing my spread. Once I know their attention has been “grabbed” so to speak, I lay off the calling and try to let the natural motion in my spread do the work. I feel that the addition of the mallard decoys work essentially as a confidence builder. Think about it, how many times do you see a group of teal without a couple of mallards or woodies close by?  See my point?

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I believe these tips, when used together, will help make your next teal hunt a successful one. 

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Remember to always pass on your love for waterfowling!

About Garrett Russell

My name is Garrett Russell, and I am the Waterfowl Field Writer for Ohio Outdoor Journal. I have been duck and goose hunting around the eastern U.S. since I was eleven, and I also hold a Wildlife Management degree from Hocking College.

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2 Comments

There are currently 2 Comments on Three Hints for a Successful Early Season Teal Hunt. Perhaps you would like to add one of your own?

  1. Good info here. Love Teal!

  2. Good stuff. Agree on everything.

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