This year marks the second year of Michigan’s experimental early teal hunting season, which will run September 1-7.
The Michigan Department of Natural Resources notes these small ducks, especially blue-winged teal, are some of the earliest duck species to migrate each fall. This statewide teal-only season is now possible because of growing teal populations. Hunters may take six teal per day and hunt from sunrise to sunset. Pictured above is a green-winged teal.
Accurate identification of ducks is essential during this special season, because only teal are legal to harvest. It is important for hunters to understand that the season is experimental for three years, and the Michigan DNR is required to measure the attempts and harvest of non-target species to make sure hunters are harvesting teal and no other species of ducks, such as wood ducks and mallards.
“The 2014 early teal hunting season was a great success. We heard many great comments from hunters appreciating the opportunity to hunt during this early season,” said DNR Wildlife Division Chief Russ Mason. “We are also very encouraged because, at least during the first year of the experimental season, we were within our limits set by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Hunters, for the most part, were targeting teal and not non-target species.”
“The results of the experiment will determine if Michigan is allowed to continue the early teal season after the three-year trial period,” said DNR wetland and waterfowl specialist Barbara Avers. “Because of this, hunters are strongly encouraged to study up on their duck identification skills for this season. Don’t shoot if you aren’t sure of your target.”
In addition to early teal season, other migratory bird hunting seasons also begin September 1. These include early goose, Virginia and sora rail, common snipe, and common gallinule (moorhen).
Here are the licenses and endorsements required to hunt waterfowl and migratory wetland species:
- Base License
- Waterfowl Hunting License
- Federal Migratory Bird Hunting Stamp
- HIP Endorsement (included automatically with purchase of the Waterfowl Hunting License).
To learn more about these hunting opportunities, duck identification and teal hunting tips, visit www.michigan.gov/waterfowl.
Click for more hunting license information.