Targeting teal

Adjustments can make the difference when shooting at these speed demons.

Teal are considered one of the hardest ducks to hit due to their erratic low-level flight. Teal flying just above marsh grasses and the lowest trees give the elusion they are flying ultra-fast. But in fact they are slower than bigger ducks such as mallards and pintails, which is little consolation when trying to put bluewings in the pot to smother down.

Most hunters seldom pull out their firearms until this special season comes around, and it shows by the number of empties on the ground.

All is not lost. Teal decoy well the first few days of the special season; therefore, in order to compensate for the “gun-cabinet rust,” hunters should opt for more open-ported chokes. The improved choke in my Remington 11-87 places more shot in a 30-inch diameter circle at 40 yards than both modified and
full chokes.

Additionally, nontoxic shot technology is improving each year. Hunters used to shoot No. 4 steel if they shot No. 6 lead as a rule of thumb. However, now is a great time to go back to No. 6 non-toxic shot size. Hevi-shot and Winchester both offer extended-range loads that will do the job on rice-field, marsh and open-water teal.

At the bear minimum, hunters should pattern their shotguns prior to the season using a variety of chokes with the latest and greatest long-range ammo. They may be surprised with the results.

Editor’s note: This article is part of the Guaran-tealed feature in the August issue of Louisiana Sportsman. Digital editions can be downloaded right to your computer or smartphone.

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John Flores
About John Flores 143 Articles
John Flores was enticed in 1984 to leave his western digs in New Mexico for the Sportsman’s Paradise by his wife Christine. Never looking back, the author spends much of his free time writing about and photographing the state’s natural resources.

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