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Banding Together for Waterfowl

8 Tips for Hunting Early Teal

Strategies for September Bluewings
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Guns/loads

While teal are fast fliers, they aren't difficult to bring down. Thus, guns/loads for teal hunting should be selected for ease and quickness in swinging and pointing and also for good pattern density. 

This is why a 20-gauge might be the ideal gun for bluewings, especially over small, confined waters. Twenty-gauge ammo is available in 2 ¾- and 3-inch loads of size 2 to 7 shot. Number 4 shot is a good all-around choice. The best choke selection for small potholes and ponds is improved cylinder or modified.

Follow the migration

With blue-winged teal already on the move, now is a good time to familiarize yourself with DU's new Migration Map. Waterfowlers who live in southern states have two months until the regular waterfowl season begins, but teal offer great migration mapping opportunities. Visit the DU Waterfowl Migration Map and watch how quickly the birds will move. 

"We will see migration map posts increase dramatically in September as people begin noticing the first flights of bluewings moving south," says DU Web Director Anthony Jones. "If you are see these early migrants, submit a report, and see if another report is submitted south of your location in a couple days."

Retriever

Teal season is a great way to sharpen your dog's retrieving skills, but in warm weather be careful not to let him become overheated. Watch for signs of heat exhaustion and beware of other early season hazards like poisonous snakes and alligators in southern regions.
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