Friday, September 20, 2013

Minnesota Teal Season

On the eve of the Minnesota duck opener, there's word that the US Fish and Wildlife service is working with a group of flyway representatives which may bring about a teal season in Minnesota.

The populations of both green and blue-wing teal support expanded hunting, and since early teal hunting is the rule and not the exception with most of the states in the flyway, extending the season to the northern states seems appropriate.  

However, there will be detractors.  There is already a vocal minority in Minnesota that believes that we start hunting ducks too early already, and/or that early hunting over water (for geese or Youth Waterfowl Day) move ducks out of the state.  And we can fully expect those folks to howl the loudest.  Likewise, the anti-hunting crowd will also wade in, and will likely play the "wanton waste" card - e.g. teal are hard to identify, and many non-teal ducks will be killed illegally.

To all of those groups, I'd suggest we just try it and see what happens.  Personally, having hunted geese on the water for early season for over 10 years, I've seen no impact on duck movement.  Likewise, I feel teal are imminently easy to identify on the wing, and with solid enforcement and penalties, "mistake" ducks should be few.

For my money, teal are the finest duck.  The afford the sportiest shot, and despite their small size offer the best table fare.  Personally, I'd prefer to have a limit of teal over any other duck.  

Here's hoping that Minnesota takes this step forward.  We'll see where it shakes out. 

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