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Archive for Sunday, August 18, 2002

Early teal season will run seven days shorter than ‘01

August 18, 2002

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— Early teal season in Kansas will be seven days shorter than last year.

The season will run Sept. 21-29 in the Low Plains Duck Zone and from Sept. 21-28 in the High Plains Zone. The dividing line is U.S. Highway 283.

However, good news for waterfowl hunters is the late migrant seasons will be similar to the long seasons of recent years.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife director Steve Williams has signed a proposed frameworks document for the late seasons that includes the "liberal" package, which means 74 days in the Low Plains Zone and 97 days in the High Plains Zone, the same as last year.

The season on canvasback will be closed, including during the youth hunt, and pintail hunting will be restricted to 39 days with a daily bag limit of one pintail. The remaining aspects of the frameworks are similar to last year, and geese frameworks are unchanged.

Although traditional waterfowl seasons open in October, avid waterfowl hunters anticipate the opening of the early teal season because it gives hunters a chance to pursue these early-migrating ducks before they fly south.

Shooting hours for the early teal season are one-half hour before sunrise to sunset. In addition to the daily bag limit of four, the early teal season possession limit is eight.

All teal hunters who are required to have a hunting license need a state duck stamp and a Harvest Information Program stamp. Also, all hunters 16 or older also need a Federal Duck Stamp.

Two species of teal are common in Kansas the greenwing and bluewing. Identification takes some practice because waterfowl have not yet developed the colorful plumage that will come later in the fall. Having just come out of summer molt, both sexes appear drab.

Hunters need to study the size and flight characteristics of teal in order to identify them during this early season.

Blue-winged teal will have a light blue patch on the shoulders of each wing. Greenwings have a brilliant green speculum, the bar of secondary wing feathers.

A mature greenwing or bluewing is about half the size of a mallard. Teal are commonly seen in small flocks, dipping and diving low over the marsh.

It makes no difference what mix of teal are taken to fill the daily bag limit of four, but hunters should be careful not to shoot the other small duck that inhabits Kansas the wood duck.

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