Today I went on my first teal hunt. It was a long walk in and I worked up quite a sweat, but what a great morning it was.
The early morning sky was streaked with hues of orange and pink. It was cool and crisp and the grass was covered with a heavy frost. There was a light breeze out of the southeast. A brilliant sunrise soon transformed the sky into a cloudless sea of blue.
I waded out into the water to set the decoys. A half dozen Teal a pair of Mallards and a couple of Mojo's and my spread was ready for action. The only thing left to do was to prepare the blind. After setting up the pop up I used some grass from the edge of the pond to camouflage it in.
I grabbed my gun and climbed in. As I settled in to hunt I checked the Mojo decoys and verified that they were responding to the remote. I gave the jerk string the Mallards were attached to a test run to make sure they were creating adequate ripples around the decoy spread.
A short note on the Teal call to make sure I was in good voice and now all that was necessary was for the ducks to cooperate! Looking out across the pond to the northeast I noticed several small groups of Teal milling about.
They looked like they were in no hurry to go anywhere as several of them chased each other around for the sheer amusement of it. I began to wonder if I was going to get any opportunity to have any ducks work my spread or not. A veteran waterfowl hunter told me that Teal don't mess around they come in low and quick . In other words be ready. After about thirty minutes of watching a pair of birds came whistling towards my decoys. I fired twice and managed to drop one bird.
With no duck dog it was up to yours truly to retrieve the bird. Much to my surprise the water was almost over the top of my waders! I have been known to swim for my birds on previous hunts but it was chilly so I decided to stay dry. With the wind in my favor I waited for the bird to drift towards the opposite shore. I then worked my way around the shallows until I was able to make my retrieve.
Thank goodness, it is never any fun to go home empty handed. With only local ducks in the area the two Teal that came in were the only action for the day. However I thoroughly enjoyed my early morning hunt.
Watching a Nebraska sunrise and experiencing Mother Nature " wake up" is a great way to spend a morning
Page 2 of 2 - Until next time,
See you out there.
Mark Pinkerton is the District 1 Commissioner for the Nebraska State Game and Parks Commission.