The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department says conditions are excellent for this Saturday's opening of teal hunting season.
Waterfowl biologists with the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department said early migrations of birds into the state mixed with forecasts for more rain have set the table.
The 16-day statewide early teal and Eastern Zone Canada goose season in Texas will run Saturday, Sept. 15 through Sunday, Sept. 30.
The daily bag on teal is six, with a possession limit of 18. Bag limit for Canada geese will be three and a possession limit of six in the Eastern Zone only.
While hunting prospects heading into the season continue to improve with rain, TPWD waterfowl program leader Kevin Kraai remains cautious in his optimism.
“Despite the recent rains, it is quite dry in most places of Texas,” he noted. “The shallow water rich in aquatic invertebrates and plant seeds is not as abundant as we would like to see less than a week away from the teal opener. Although high chances of rain is forecasted across much of the state, much can change in a very short period of time.”
One thing is for certain, success this season won’t be for a lack of birds, the parks department said in a news release. The waterfowl breeding grounds in Canada and the northern states have seen temperatures well below normal in late August and early September, triggering an early migration of teal into Texas.
“We have already seen very healthy concentrations of teal in flooded rice fields along the coast, playa wetlands in the High Plains, and moist-soil managed habitats across Texas,” Kraai noted. “In addition to abundant teal already in the state, it looks like we should follow up the second weekend with another strong push of birds migrating with the full moon on the 23rd and well below average temperatures forecasted up north in the breeding grounds.”
More information about waterfowl population trends is available online and the TPWD reminds hunters that licenses are required and are available at more than 1,700 retailers as well as online at www.tpwd.texas.gov/buy or by phone at 1-800-895-4248.