JACKSON – The fall's first duck hunting opportunity for Mississippi will begin when the early teal season opens on September 15. Teal season is growing in popularity as hunters learn how fun it can be to pull out their decoys and calls and watch blue-winged teal rocket through the air.
Blue-winged teal prefer shallowly-flooded wetlands with natural vegetation like wild millets and smartweed, which produce seeds and harbor invertebrates, but concentrations of birds may also be found on reservoirs, oxbow lakes, catfish ponds, farm ponds, and other permanent waters. Houston Havens, MWDFP Waterfowl Program Biologist, explained, "We've already heard a few reports of the first birds arriving in mid-August, but we expect larger numbers to arrive in early September. Breeding populations of blue-winged teal were again at an all-time high this year, so we hope to see good numbers during the early hunting season."
Hunters need to be sure theirhunting license is current for the 2012-13 hunting season, complete with Harvest Information Program (HIP) certification, and possess state and federal waterfowl stamps. The bag limit for the September teal season is 4 per day (all teal species) with no more than 8 in possession. The season begins on September 15 and ends on September 30. Shooting hours are from 30 minutes prior to sunrise until sunset.