Teal season below par, more ducks arrive with first major cool front

The dust and the feathers have settled following the 2010 Louisiana teal season, and it’s clear the numbers were down and hunters in many parts of the state had to work a little harder than they are accustomed to in order to fill limits. The warm weather seems to be culprit, as the cool front we’re enjoying now seems to have pushed a large number of birds south.

Hunter Shaffett with Whispering Oaks hunting lodge near Vidalia reported solid teal numbers all the way through the closing weekend.

“Overall we had a great season, with limits coming all the way to this Sunday,” Shaffett said.

He also noted that this last weekend showed an increase in birds, likely arriving ahead of the recent cool front.

“Saturday’s rain had them up and about, making for great hunting,” he added. “We even saw about 30 pintails in the area.”

David Faul of Bin There Hunting in Welsh reported decent teal numbers in the area, although he feels the lack of weather failed to bring down the masses before the season closed.

“We had pretty good hunting, with limits throughout the season, but this year we had to work for them a bit harder than we’re accustomed to,” Faul said.

He noted that more birds seemed to be passing through his area rather than holding in his fields as in years past.

“This was definitely the worst season for numbers of birds, but we were able to get lucky and take our share,” he added.

Over near Klondike, Rick Hall of Doug’s Hunting Lodge also feels that this season, in comparison to years past, left much to be desired.

“Overall, I’d say it was slow, but we still had enough birds to get plenty of limits,” the guide said.

Hall emphasized that the second week was certainly better than the first and the birds were going nuts just as legal shooting time closed on Sunday.

“Sunday afternoon we finally saw the teal flight we’re accustomed to seeing, so it looks like this front is finally bringing them down,” Hall added.

On the east side of the state, Mike Smith of Louisiana Marsh Guide Service was very pleased with the teal hunting in the shallow marshes of Delacroix.

“We had a great season, probably the best one in years,” he said.

Smith feels the thriving marsh habitat played a huge part in attracting and holding teal in large numbers.

“Our marsh is in great shape, with plenty of grass in the ponds on both the Reggio and Delacroix sides of the highway so we’re looking good for the big duck season,” he added.

Hunters on the www.louisianasportsman.com waterfowl reports forum regularly reported nearby Caernarvon to be thick with teal, giving a sort of ground-truth to the pre-season aerial surveys which showed a considerable concentration of teal in the area.

Down in Venice, Capt. Damon McKnight of Super Strike Charters reported good hunting in the marshes of Plaquemines Parish. Although McKnight was unable to make it to the blind himself due to continued work commitments, he said most hunters reported teal in fairly good numbers throughout the lower Mississippi River marshes.

Also of note, there did not appear to be any reported adverse impacts to hunters as a result of this summer’s oil spill – a great sign that conditions should be good for the upcoming regular season in November.

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About Darren Digby 66 Articles
Darren Digby has been hunting and fishing the marshes of Southeast Louisiana since childhood. He lives in Baton Rouge with his wife Ella.