DNR Announces September Teal Season Dates
ANNAPOLIS ó The Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Wildlife and Heritage Service today announced the dates of the special nine-day September teal hunting season.
The season dates are Sept. 9 - 18 (excluding Sunday). The daily bag limit is 4 teal (blue-winged or green-winged teal) singly, or in aggregate. The September teal season will be held only in the area east of Marylandís portion of I-95. Hunters are reminded that shooting hours during the nine-day teal season are from sunrise to sunset.
Shooting hours have been modified to avoid the traditional pre-sunrise hunting period (half hour before sunrise) when non-teal species, particularly wood ducks are most active. Hunters are advised to avoid shooting at non-teal species during this special season. Other waterfowl species, like black ducks, mallards, wood ducks, and other non-teal duck species are not legal game birds during this season. The exception to this is the September hunting season for resident Canada geese, which is open from Sept. 1-15 in the eastern part of the state.
This teal season provides a unique opportunity for hunters to pursue this illusive game bird on their southward migration before the regular 60-day duck season that opens in October. The teal season is offered to states that derive more than 80 percent of their annual teal harvest from the prairie pothole region of the north central U.S and southern Canada. During the annual U.S. Fish and Wildlife Serviceís Breeding Waterfowl and Habitat Survey, about 4.1 million blue-winged teal were recorded. This estimate was about 10 below the long-term survey (1955-2002) average in the traditional survey area. Green-winged teal were at 2.5 million, down 8 percent from 2003 levels but 33 percent above their long-term survey average.
All hunters who participate in the September teal season, including landowners who are license exempt, are required to obtain the HIP (Harvest Information Program) permit and the Maryland Migratory Game Bird Stamp. All waterfowl hunters age 16 and over must also possess the Federal Migratory Bird Hunting and Conservation Stamp (Federal Duck Stamp).
Migratory bird hunters are reminded that they are no longer required to sign and attach the Maryland Migratory Game Bird Stamp to their hunting license. However, hunters must now possess the printed receipt showing proof of purchase of the Maryland Migratory Game Bird Stamp while hunting migratory game birds. At the time of purchase, hunters may choose to receive the actual stamp by mail. Hunters are still required to sign and attach the Federal Migratory Bird Hunting and Conservation Stamp (Federal Duck Stamp) to their hunting license.
HIP permits and Maryland Migratory Game Bird Stamps are available at DNR sport license agents and DNR Regional Service Centers. Hunters may obtain Federal Duck Stamps at U.S. Post Offices, National Wildlife Refuges, and some DNR sport license agents.
Hunters are reminded that nontoxic shot is required for hunting teal as well as other waterfowl and coots. Hunters may not possess or use nontoxic shot larger than size No. T or use or possess any lead shot while waterfowl hunting. Approved types of nontoxic shot and other information on migratory bird hunting is listed in the free booklet Hunting and Trapping in Maryland 2004-2005 or on the DNRís website: http://dnr.maryland.gov. Hunters are encouraged to report banded migratory game birds by calling 1-800-327-BAND (2263). Banded birds can also be reported via the Internet at: http://www.pwrc.usgs.gov/bbl.