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Zillions of teal


Tom Behrens has over 50 years experience in fishing and hunting across the United States. Much of this time was spent in Oklahoma and Texas where he became very familiar with the outdoor opportunities in these states. You may contact him by email at:

According to Texas Parks & Wildlife Department (TPWD) biologist and various hunting outfitters the blue wing teal are here en masse along the coastal prairies, marshes, and rice fields holding water.

Teal hunting season opens this Saturday, Sept 10 and continues through Sunday, Sept. 25.

“Unless some strange weather changes everything, I’d say this looks like it’ll be a good teal season,” said Mike Rezsutek, who oversees TPWD wildlife management areas and wetland programs in Jefferson, Chambers and Orange counties in southeast Texas. By ‘strange weather’, Rezsutek is referring to tropical weather coming out of the Gulf.

Good resting conditionsexist all over Texas going into fall, inviting the birds to stop and feed.

Also, there’s more rice out there than there has been in past years which the teal love to feed on. Rice production jumped up to at least 35,000 acres this year.
Todd Steele (Thunderbird Hunting Club) reports that the teal are looking for shallow water, no matter whether that’s mud flats, shallow water marshes, or rice fields. Hunters will see birds more evenly distributed this year, not bunched up in a handful of spots.

Gene Campbell (Oyster Bayou Hunting Club) exaggerates a little when he says there are a zillion birds already here, but I think hunters get the point. The birds are plentiful. Last year the birds didn’t show up until the day before the season opener.

Teal hunting tips:

Scouting before the hunt is important. Rod Haydel (Haydel’s Game Calls) says in his experience hunting teal, they tend to skirt the edges of grass and points in a marsh. Tim Daughrity adds that marshes with an expanse of open water within the marsh are prime targets.

Shallow water, no deeper than a foot, with aquatic vegetation close by are prime resting and roosting locations. Don’t forget larger bodies of water that fit the same description – shallow water and aquatic vegetation close by.
There’s no need for a huge spread of decoys at the start of the season. Haydel advises that 12 decoys is about the right amount.

May your aim always be true, don’t forget shooting safety, and good luck tomorrow, and the rest of the teal season.
Picture credit - Brazoria NWR, Texas

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Lake Palestine Fishing Report from TPWD (Mar. 14)

Water lightly stained; 58–61 degrees; 0.58’ high. Black bass are good on Texas rigged craws, spinnerbaits and weightless Senkos. Crappie are fair on minnows. Hybrid striper are good on slabs and minnows. White bass are good on slabs. Catfish are fair on trotlines.

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