OUTDOORS: Teal season ends Sunday

BILL WEHRLE, C-T/LCL Outdoors Sports Editor

By BILL WEHRLE, C-T Outdoors Sports Editor 

Missouri’s 2021 early teal season ends tomorrow (Sunday, Sept. 26) and for most local area hunters it wasn’t a “biggie” this year.

There were reports of some 6-teal limits taken the first weekend (it started Sept. 11), but there wasn’t a big migration “push” of the sporty little ducks during the season, so teal hunting was pretty boring.

I heard stories of large numbers of teal on some south Missouri wetlands, but they apparently skipped over our area on their annual trip south.

There don’t appear to be any large flocks of doves around this area either, so our earliest hunting seasons are pretty much history.

Bur not to worry; there are plenty of hunting seasons still going on or about to open, so keep your alarm clock set on pre-sunrise.

For waterfowlers, there will be an early Canada goose/brant season Oct. 2 (next Saturday) through Sunday, Oct. 10. Trade those small-shot/light-load teal shells for some big-shot/heavy-loads; the resident giant Canadas are really big, tough birds.

Archery deer and turkey season opened on Sept. 15 and, with some cooler daytime temperatures, deer are moving around to feed.

The annual deer rut won’t begin for another month or so, so patterning deer as they move from sleeping locations to feeding locations (think green soybean fields) can help you ambush them on the way. You might even be able to harvest a velvet-antlered buck, kind of an unusual trophy.

The annual fall firearms turkey season will open Oct. 1, too, and run through Oct. 31, giving turkey hunters a full month to find some flocks, scatter them, and call them back for an exciting hunt.

The fall season is a great time to bring home a tasty, tender young jake for some delicious fried turkey. The fall firearms season limit is two turkeys of either sex, and you can take both on the same day. A couple more turkeys in the freezer will provide some delicious meals this winter.

I know squirrel season opened way back in May, but, for me, it’s not really fun squirrel hunting until the leaves turn and start to fall, so the furry little critters are more visible.

I like to hunt fall turkeys with a lightweight 20-gauge, a pretty good gun for a combo hunt of squirrels and turkeys.

By hunting both critters on the same trip, it’s never a boring day in the woods. If there aren’t any turkeys to be found, watch for some squirrels, and you might walk into a flock of turkeys while looking in trees for squirrels.

The local Grand River Ducks Unlimited chapter held its 50th-anniversary fund-raising banquet last Saturday night, with a big crowd of DU supporters in attendance.

This DU chapter is the first one to be chartered in Missouri and one of very few DU chapters nationally to have held banquets every year for 50 straight years.

It has enjoyed great community support for all those years and I salute all those folks who gave up some of their precious time to work on the DU committee, as well as the area for its great support. Good job, folks!

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