For most hunters, Louisiana’s 2014 special early teal season this year was kind of like a Shakespeare play — “Much Ado About Nothing”.
It’s great that we have an early teal season, but it seems like more and more often, the birds come in later than the season. It’s either a changing migratory pattern or the birds are getting smarter! Either way, the best way to describe the two-week season that closed Sunday was “spotty”.
In the northeast Louisiana area, there were some birds to start with, but they moved when the pressure started. For most folks, no new birds came in. There were others that limited out on several days all through the season. There was some good hunts up in the Felsenthal Basin in south Arkansas as well.
Here’s a quick statewide rundown from state waterfowl leader Larry Reynolds:
“I think the season was spotty overall,” Reynolds reports. “Our WMA bag-checks were below average and I’ve heard mixed reports from most other parts of the state. For example, I had guys hunting Cross Lake in NW Louisiana send me pictures of limits on a few days, then I got reports from other hunters claiming it was the worst teal season ever. Same in the rice fields from SW to NE Louisiana. I got reports from the fields around Monroe that the first 7 or 8 days of the season were excellent, then the birds moved on, and the remainder of the season was tough. I heard that from a couple of marsh hunters in SW LA as well. . .a few places in the marshes in SW LA picked it up at the end of the season. Even in SE Louisiana, where hunting has been tough for the last couple of years, I heard from guys wanting me to help them pressure the USFWS to allow the teal season to go into October because we have no teal; and then an hour later heard from guys that did very well the last 10 days of the season in a variety of spots south of New Orleans. So my thoughts are that the season was fair at best statewide with the normal hot-spots and dead zones.
The good news is that there are plenty of teal far to the north (see previous report) and they should be a staple part of duck hunters’ bag limits when the regular season rolls around at the end of the year.