‘Mediocre’ teal season set to close Sunday

Mid-week cool front hopefully brings more birds for closing weekend

The second weekend of teal season seemed to show some signs of improvement over the first, but birds remain fairly scattered throughout the state, according to a spokesman for the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries.

“Actually, the second weekend went fairly well. It went better than the opening weekend in a number of places,” said Larry Reynolds, the state’s waterfowl study leader. “I got some pretty good reports from Northwest Louisiana. I got some improved hunting in Southwest Louisiana, but I’m still not getting many very good reports from Southeast Louisiana.

“But the second weekend improved in some areas, and I got a handful of reports saying, ‘Hey, it looks like a few birds moved in.’”

With plenty of available water on the landscape, Louisiana’s wet late-summer seems to be keeping the birds from getting thick.

“We’ve had so much rain and there’s so much habitat everywhere, birds are probably spread out,” he said. “But we knew that was the situation before the season even started, which is good for the birds.

“I’d certainly rather have that than lots of dry habitat.”

A report from a colleague in Arkansas on Tuesday indicated a big push of teal from the northern plains still hadn’t materialized yet.

“He sent me a report saying he still hadn’t seen a really big movement of teal,” Reynolds said.

One report he had just received from White Lake indicated the cool snap had pushed a few more birds down, and Reynolds hoped that was a good omen for closing weekend.

“Overall, it’s been spotty to below-average,” he said. “This teal season has been mediocre, but it looks like this last little front did push in some more birds.”

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Patrick Bonin is the former editor of Louisiana Sportsman magazine and LouisianaSportsman.com.