OUTDOORS: Teal season closing soon

BILL WEHRLE, C-T/LCL Outdoors Sports Editor

By BILL WEHRLE, C-T Outdoors Sports Editor

It seems like Missouri’s early teal season just recently opened, but already it will be closing in just over a week (on Sept. 26). It’s only a 16-days season and it goes by pretty quickly.

Local and area teal hunters have had some pretty good days and some not so good, but there still are some of these little ducks in the area, so chances are pretty good you can find some in the next week.

When teal season closes, you won’t have to wait very long for another early waterfowl season.

The early Canada goose season will open on Saturday, Oct. 2. It also is a pretty short season, closing only eight days later (Sunday, Oct. 10).

These “early” geese are resident, non-migratory geese that nest here, and the local area goose hatch was pretty good this year (have you seen the geese at the Chillicothe Country Club golf course?), so hunters who find the fields where these geese are feeding should be able to set up at “dark-thirty” some morning and have a pretty good shoot.

You can use the same shotgun for the geese that you did for teal, but you might consider changing to heavier (non-toxic) shotshells. These local geese get pretty large, with some weighing in excess of 12-14 pounds.

I’ve found that steel shotshells in Number 1 or BB put them down pretty good. And the newest in shotshells – Tungsten heavy loads – will really do a number on them.

The early Canadas season is a short preview for the “regular” goose season that doesn’t open until Nov. 11, but it’s a great opportunity to hunt geese in good weather.

Archery deer and turkey season opened this week (Sept. 15) for its extended run.

The first segment runs through Nov. 12. It then closes temporarily during the firearms deer season (Nov. 13-23), but reopens on Nov. 24 to run through January 15, 2022.

The deer rut won’t really get going for another month or more, so hunting near deer food sources may be the best way to locate a deer. Bucks might still be running together, so you might have an opportunity to pick and choose the one you want.

Hope you’ve been practicing, so you won’t blow a chance at a big one.

Good news for hunters and shooters is that the ammo shortage appears to be showing signs of slacking off. Local shops now have some rifle, pistol and shotgun ammunition available, although prices predictably have gone up.

It would be a great idea to get some new ammo and shoot a few practice rounds before hunting seasons get really rolling. I can’t think of anything worse than planning a hunting trip and finding you have no ammo.

Tonight (Saturday, Sept. 18) is the Grand River Ducks Unlimited chapter’s big night, its 50th-anniversary banquet!

This area’s chapter is one of very few DU chapters nationally able to boast having 50-consecutive fund-raising banquets and is receiving national recognition.

As one of the three local committee members (Tim Reger and Ken Lauhoff are the other two), I’m pretty doggone proud of the chapter’s accomplishments over the years in continually being one of the top local groups in the country.

Hope to see you at the banquet!

(Bill Wehrle’s “Outdoors” column appears in the C-T every Saturday and LCL every Monday)