To take advantage of September’s Delta double of dove and blue-winged teal hunting on the same day, it is necessary to create proper habitat for the two different species of migratory birds.
Just don’t do so too closely in proximity.
“The last thing you would want to do is put a teal hole right next two one of your dove fields,” said Jacob Sartain, an avid wing-shooter and waterfowler, as well as a professional recreational land manager. “You don’t want to have a lot of shooting going on next door to a pond where you are hoping to attract teal. That won’t work.
“The teal will hear all the shooting and just keep flying to another area.”
Sartain said he often creates dove fields and duck holes on the same property, but never in shooting range of each other.
“A benefit of having them nearby, obviously, is that you scout for teal every day that you are dove hunting,” he said. “Personally, I can check my fields almost every day, but not everybody has that luxury, and you do need to know when the teal are arriving.
“And believe me, you want to shoot the teal as soon as you see them and as often as you can before they move on. Of course, I say the same thing about dove, too.
“A lot of people will tell you not to overshoot a dove field, like two or three days in a row. But, I’m telling you that you hunt them wherever you find them, whenever you find them.”
The reason is quite obvious.
“Nobody knows exactly what a bird is thinking,” Sartain said. “A lot of time, there is no obvious reason to explain why dove or teal just might up and disappear from an area where they’ve been for days. They just do. The slightest change in weather may be just enough to move them.
“So, with that in mind, if you have an area or field that has dove or a pond that has teal, by all means, go shoot it. I don’t care how often you’ve shot it or how scared you are they may leave.
“If they’re there, shoot them.”