Teal hunting provides a challenging aspect of waterfowl hunting, as they are fast birds and provide a test of hunters’ skills. Species typically harvested in Illinois include Green-winged Teal (Anas carolinensis) and Blue-winged Teal (Anas discors). Recent adoption of September teal seasons by some state agencies, plus expansion of daily bag limits throughout the U.S. have raised questions regarding participation and harvest rates for this season. We examined data gathered from the annual Illinois Waterfowl Hunter Survey for the 2011-12 and 2012-13 waterfowl hunting seasons to compare demographics, participation in waterfowl hunting, duck and goose harvest, days afield, hunter effort (days/hunter) and hunter success (harvest/day/hunter) between hunters who participated in the early teal season and those who did not. Teal hunters were younger than non-teal waterfowl hunters, though no significant difference was found for years hunting waterfowl. Teal hunters were more likely to participate in waterfowl hunting every year than non-teal hunters. Illinois teal hunters harvested more birds during September goose season, regular duck season, and regular goose season during both 2011-12 and 2012-13. These hunters also spent more days afield during these three seasons during both 2011-12 and 2012-13, resulting in similar hunter effort and success with non-teal hunters. Similarly, though teal hunters harvested more mallards and wood ducks during the regular duck season, hunter success for these species did not differ from non-teal hunters; teal hunters’ success was greater than that of non-teal hunters for other ducks. Teal hunters were more likely to use spinning-wing decoys when hunting ducks than non-teal hunters and agreed more with statements gauging commitment to waterfowl hunting such as “I would rather go waterfowl hunting than do any other recreation.” Our results suggest that hunters who pursue teal are more avid waterfowl hunters than those who do not.
|Original language||English (US)|
|State||Published - 2014|