Iowa’s new 16-day statewide early teal season beginning September 6 will provide waterfowlers an opportunity to hunt this fast flying, early migrant before it leaves for the winter.
This is a three-year experimental season timed to take advantage of the peak migration through Iowa. Iowa hunters will be evaluated for their ability to identify teal and avoid nontarget species. The Iowa Department of Natural Resources has a webpage just for the special September teal season at www.iowadnr.gov/teal.
For avid waterfowler Chet Galetich, the season can’t get here soon enough.
“I was pretty excited to hear about it,” said Galetich, 36, from Urbandale. “What I’m looking forward to most is the season will take place when the weather is nice, that will allow me to take my six-year-old son out when it’s more comfortable and we can start making memories.”
Galetich has been hunting ducks and geese since his high school days in Madrid and thinks the special teal season has the potential to bring new hunters to the sport.
“Basically you can go out and buy a dozen decoys, set up on some shallow water and be teal hunting,” he said. “And they decoy really easy, which is nice.”
Preseason scouting is a great opportunity for hunters to improve their duck identification skills, said Al Hancock, waterfowl research technician with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources.
“Teal prefer wetlands with less than a foot of water with a mix of vegetation or wetland complexes with shallow water and mudflats,” Hancock said. “Preseason scouting can help hunters to locate good areas by observing where teal are flying, feeding and loafing in wetlands.”
Galetich said he plans to scout his hunting areas soon to get them ready for the season. “When the teal come in, you get a lot of shooting,” he said. “It’s kind of fast and furious when they’re around. It’s fun.”
The special September teal season has different shooting hours than regular waterfowl seasons: shooting hours are from sunrise to sunset. Only blue-winged, green-winged and cinnamon teal are legal. No other duck species may be harvested. There is a daily bag limit of six with a possession limit of 18 teal, combined.
The Iowa DNR has scheduled six teal hunting seminars prior to the season opening.
Teal Hunter Seminars
Oxford August 27, 7 p.m., Conservation Education Center, F.W. Kent Park, 2048 Hwy 6 NW, in Oxford
Spencer August 28, 7 p.m., Spencer High School ICN room, 800 East 3rd Street, in Spencer
Burlington August 28, 7 p.m., Starr’s Cave Nature Center, 11627 Starr’s Cave Road, in Burlington
Council Bluffs August 28, 6 p.m., Lewis Central Middle School, 3820 Harry Langdon Blvd, in Council Bluffs
Peosta August 28, 6:30 p.m., Swiss Valley Nature Center, 13606 Swiss Valley Road, in Peosta
Waverly September 4, 6:30 p.m., Waverly Public Library, 1500 W Bremer Avenue, in Waverly
Fore more information, contact Orrin Jones, Waterfowl Research Biologist, Iowa Department of Natural Resources, 641-357-3517.