diehard waterfowl hunters suffering from withdrawal, a brief
respite is right around the corner. The September Teal Season
offers hunters an opportunity to harvest early migrating
green-winged and cinnamon teals – but primarily the
blue-winged teal (Anas discors).
teal are highly migratory. By the time the regular duck
season opens in November, most of the early migrants will
be long gone. As cool fronts begin to move south out of
Canada, the teals take flight. With each subsequent front,
another wave of birds will be swept southward. If the front
is strong enough, many of the birds will move on, as if
they vanished from Louisiana’s coastal areas over
night. However, some are around throughout the winter.
been learned through banding studies that their final destinations
include Mexico, Central America and as far south as Argentina
birds don’t stay put long as they begin showing up
in coastal Louisiana in large numbers again in late December
and early January on their return migration to breeding
and nesting grounds in the northern plains states and Canada.
However, they have been known to breed and nest throughout
their range including here in Louisiana.
health of waterfowl populations is important to coastal
Louisiana. Not only is it a part of the social heritage
and seasonal activities along the coast, it is also significant
economically. In 2003, the total economic effect of waterfowl
hunting in Louisiana was more than $164 million. According
to U.S. Fish and Wildlife harvest surveys, blue-winged teal
were the most common species in Louisiana hunter's bags
(22 percent) during the 2003 and 2004 seasons.
coastal communities, this can mean lots of money flowing
through in the form of expenditures on groceries, fuel,
supplies, lodging, land leases, etc. It can also mean jobs
and salary earnings from guide services, processing facilities,
cooking and maintenance at lodges, etc.
sales tax revenues generated from waterfowl hunting and
associated activities was more than $4 million. Federal
taxes are also collected on supplies associated with hunting.
These funds are used to support wildlife management and
land management which benefits coastal mashes and waterfowl.
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