Some people go nuts over Colorado Early Duck Hunting, specifically early teal season. But does this early September season “scratch the itch” for waterfowl hunters or feed the addiction? For those of us who waterfowl hunt the answer is, “Who cares! Let’s shoot some birds!’
Fact of the matter is that it’s a great time to get the dust off your waterfowl gun and practice shooting at fast moving birds. Teal are also delicious to eat. After limiting on teal, you may also be able to set up and bust away at some dove. Talk about getting the best of everything!
So what’s the best way to get these birds close to your decoys? Is it 30 dozen floaters and 9 spinners? Not so much. Teal seem to really like a small spread and we’re not talking 5 dozen. We’re talking 5-7 decoys and 1 spinner. If it’s a calm day, be sure to have a jerk cord ready to go as well. The more natural movement you can add to your spread, the better off you’re going to be. For more info on using a jerk cord, visit https://birdsandbucksoutdoors.com/colorado-duck-hunting-tips-using-a-jerk-cord-good-or-bad/
A common mistake people make is throwing a bunch of full plumage drake decoys in with hens. These birds have yet to come into plumage and are covered in brown feathers. This brings up another issue, how to buy only hen (or non-plummage) decoys when packs include both hens and drakes.
Since you’ll most likely need drake decoys at some point of the season, it’s pretty easy to buy a dozen teal and stow the drakes until later. Since bluewing usually leave with the first cold front, purchase greenwings. Only throw out the hens during early teal. Here’s a link where you can see how Dakota sells their teal decoys: http://www.dakotadecoy.com/store_duck.htm
Another thing to keep in mind is where you’re hunting. Teal season in Colorado is east of I-25 as well as Lake & Chaffee counties. Many times, hunters have hit ponds not in the zone and been busted. Just be sure you know where you’re going!
All in all, teal season is a great way to get the dust off the gun and warm up for a long waterfowl season!