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Teal Hunting

An Early Welcome to Waterfowl Hunting - An Introduction to Teal Hunting in Indiana

Early teal season is an excellent time to introduce family and friends to waterfowl hunting.

Because the season occurs in September, the milder weather conditions make sitting outdoors for a long period of time easy. Plus, because teal season occurs earlier than other waterfowl seasons, the pressure and competition for hunting locations is generally lower than later in the year.

To start teal hunting, you need a Harvest Information Program (HIP) number, a Federal Duck Stamp, a State Waterfowl Stamp, and an annual hunting license. Licenses and stamp privileges are available at You can register for a free HIP number at 866-671-4499 and order Federal Duck Stamps at Resident and nonresident youth age 17 or younger are exempt from needing a State Waterfowl Stamp. Anyone 16 years old or older must have a signed Federal Duck Stamp when hunting ducks, including teal, and geese.

For all hunters new to waterfowl hunting, teal season provides extra time to practice identifying the various species of birds present while remembering that blue- and green-wing teal are the only legal species for take. When you go on a hunt, not only can you look for teal, but you can also hone your skills at identifying other waterfowl as you notice flocking behavior, wing beat, plumage color, and more.

As with all hunting endeavors, scouting is crucial to having a quality teal hunt. Before your hunt, look for shallow water areas that are 3-6 inches deep, as teal are small ducks that require extremely shallow water for feeding. Once you’ve found a quality shallow water area, look for mudflats around the water’s edges and areas of sparse vegetation, places where teal tend to flock. In Indiana, cattail marshes are another great habitat to look for. These areas provide teal with great cover from predators and contain many of their preferred foods. Find a list of Fish & Wildlife areas at

Although waterfowl hunting can include all kinds of equipment, you don’t need much to prepare for a successful hunt. Start with a 12- or 20-gauge shotgun, a pair of waders, nontoxic shotgun shells of 5, 6, or 7 size shot, and a spinning-wing decoy. To take the hunt a step further, add a few teal decoys and a teal call. Teal are very responsive to these tactics, and you can maximize your pursuit by laying out more decoys on the water in a spread, in tight groups, mimicking their behavior.

Once you take part in your first teal hunt, you’ll likely have a new favorite hunting season.

After you’ve harvested your teal, be sure to use their delicious meat, which can be part of dozens of unique dinners, whether grilled, roasted, or pan-seared. See Duck-Stuffed Jalapeño Poppers Recipe for our favorite recipe and find more information at