As the first cool winds of the season begin to stir from the north, blue-winged teal
start moving south from their prairie breeding grounds. These birds will soon fill the flyways just in time for September teal seasons in many states. While weather and local habitat conditions will affect where and when bluewings will be available, the following teal-hunting tips will help you make the most of your hunting opportunities when these fast-flying little ducks blow into your area.
Coastal marshes and flooded rice fields are the favorite habitat of teal in south Louisiana, and bluewings are usually thick in this region by early fall. In a good location, shooting a four-bird limit in 15 or 20 minutes isn't unusual. Even so, Rod Haydel, president of Haydel's Game Calls (haydels.com) in Bossier City, Louisiana, is quick to point out the importance of scouting prior to hunting teal along the Gulf Coast, especially in the marsh.
"If you're off the line by even a hundred yards, you can literally sit there and watch teal fly by all morning," Haydel says. "As far as flight paths go, certain areas are good year after year. Teal tend to skirt the edges of grass and points in the marsh, and they'll often fly over little islands next to those points."