Weekend rains provide unpressured teal hunting

Finding new water, using layout boat makes for easy shooting, hunters say.

Walking out into the flooded cow pasture caused my socks to dampen pretty quickly, but the squishing water was worth it. Finding a flooded hole in an overgrown pasture with standing rainwater is gold during teal and duck season.

“Energy and land companies clear land for differing business practices, (but) they are then required by the state of Louisiana to replant whatever timber was cleared,” avid outdoorsmen and high school friend Jonathan Folse said.

Oftentimes these reclamation projects occur in unused pastureland that may be leased out for hunting purposes. I hunted one such pasture(with permission) on Monday (Sept. 17). The pasture held puddles reaching over a foot in depth after a line of storms associated with an approaching cold front dumped more than 1 ½ inches of rain on the area.

When chasing ducks the wetter the better. When it gets too wet, though, the waterfowl may have too many places to land, causing a thinning of the flock and a resulting slow morning.

“When land stands dry for a while (and) then abruptly receives water because of rainfall or tidal and wind conditions, prepare to kill ducks because new habitat has just been opened for them to graze and roost in,” Bayou Gauche ‘s Folse said.

We used a product that resembled a cross between a kayak and pirogue that I had never encountered before to transport our equipment across a drainage canal separating the road from the pasture. Folse said this strange but sturdy boat was a Hydroflat Lay Flat (using these kinds of boats was discussed in “In Plain Sight” in the September issue of Louisiana Sportsman, which is on newsstands now and available for digital download).

After loading and transporting all of our equipment in what I’ll just call a improved pirogue, we walked about a half of a mile over the flooded land before getting to a makeshift blind of shrubs and small trees.

“You should always bring a machete or cane knife because the blind that you may have thought was brushed may not be for various possible reasons,” Folse said.

In front of the blind was a sort of slough of standing water from which about 300 teal jumped when they realized something wasn’t right.

Folse threw only about seven teal decoys out in a haphazard pattern, and planted his teal Mojo in the middle of the pattern. Folse said a Mojo is always important for attracting early season ducks because it pulls in ducks that would otherwise be drawn to someone else’s decoy pattern. I’ve always compared them to a tractor beam because of their ability to bring ducks down from extreme heights.

After an hour of sitting around, teal began to buzz us at around 6 p.m. and, partly due to impeccable shotgun precision, a limit of 16 birds for the four hunters in the blind was reached well before 7:30 p.m.

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