Calling can be very effective on teal, and Haydel has some specific advice on the subject. "Given the opportunity, I think it's handy to sound like the bird you're hunting," he says. "You should use your call after birds have passed by. When they're 20 yards beyond your spread and still going away, you can really see a call work."
Haydel uses the decrescendo call made by female blue-winged teal most of the time, but sometimes mixes in drake whistles as well.
Many duck hunters are Weather Channel addicts, and teal hunters in particular can benefit from recognizing a promising forecast. Blue-winged teal are influenced by subtle weather changes in early fall, and often a temperature swing of just a few degrees can send them packing.
"I like to have a cold front way up north of us, while our weather patterns remain the same," Haydel says. "This will move birds down to us. On the Louisiana coast, slight weather changes can move the birds around. A wind change can move them from one part of a marsh to another, or scoop them out of the rice fields and into the marshes. I've even seen days when a 10-degree difference after a cold front moved our birds out."
"Ideally, I like to see a couple of weak fronts come through in the two weeks before the opener followed by stable weather during the season," Daughrity says. "A 10-degree swing in temperatures or a good storm front will move every bird in the area south. A weak front during the season can bring feast or famine, filling the sky with new birds or moving everything out."
View current and future weather conditions on the DU Waterfowl Migration Map.