Ohio's 2008 early teal season will begin Sept. 1 with a four-bird limit.
Do you care? Probably not, because few waterfowlers indeed take advantage of this first opportunity to bag some ducks. Most don't know where to find such early arrivals, and the rest are too busy building blinds and refurbishing decoys for more serious hunting. But these small, fast flying waterfowl are worth the effort for several reasons.
One is that they just might be the tastiest waterfowl that flies, so good that back in the 1800s they were shot by market hunters for sale to the finest restaurants in New York, Baltimore and Washington, D.C. I've eaten a good many of the one pound birds, and came to call them "butterballs" because their meat almost melts in your mouth. Just for the fun of argument, I rank wood ducks No. 2, followed by canvasbacks, redheads and grain fed mallards in about that order.
Two, they don't require huge blocks of decoys and laboriously-built blinds. A shotgun, good boots and the necessary stamps are all that's required because bluewing teal and the far more rare greenwings don't care much for big lakes. They feed on the seeds of aquatic plants, the plants themselves, weed loving insects and a little grain or soybeans.