The Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) announced that the September teal hunting season will be from September 16 to September 30, 2009.
“The teal season provides a unique opportunity for hunters to pursue these early migrants before the regular duck season opens in mid-October,” said Larry Hindman, DNR’s Waterfowl Project Leader. “The early teal season is offered to states that derive more than 80 percent of their annual blue-winged teal harvest from birds migrating from the prairie pothole region of the north-central U.S and southern Canada. In 2009, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Breeding Waterfowl and Habitat Survey recorded about 7.4 million blue-winged teal, which is well above the long term average.”
The daily bag limit during the September teal season is four teal (blue-winged or green-winged teal singly, or in aggregate). The special teal season will be held only in the following areas: Calvert, Caroline, Cecil, Dorchester, Harford, Kent, Queen Anne’s, St. Mary’s, Somerset, Talbot, Wicomico, and Worcester counties; that part of Anne Arundel County east of Interstate 895, Interstate 97 and Route 3; that part of Prince George’s County east of Route 3 and Route 301; and that part of Charles County east of Route 301 to the Virginia line.
Shooting hours for the September teal season are sunrise to sunset. Shooting hours have been modified to avoid the traditional pre-sunrise hunting period when non-teal species, particularly wood ducks, are most active. Hunters are prohibited from shooting at non-teal duck species during this special season.
All hunters who participate in the September teal season, including landowners who are license exempt, are required to obtain the Maryland Migratory Game Bird Stamp/HIP Permit. Hunters must possess the printed receipt showing proof of purchase of the Maryland Migratory Game Bird Stamp/HIP Permit while hunting migratory game birds.
All waterfowl hunters age 16 and over must possess the Federal Migratory Bird Hunting and Conservation Stamp (federal duck stamp). Hunters are still required to sign the Federal Migratory Bird Hunting and Conservation Stamp and have it in their possession while hunting waterfowl. Hunters may obtain federal duck stamps at U.S. Post Offices, National Wildlife Refuges, DNR sport license agents, or online at www.duckstamp.com.
Hunters can purchase hunting licenses and Maryland Migratory Game Bird Stamps/HIP Permits online through DNR’s website, https://www3.wildlifelicense.com/md/ or over the phone at 1-800-918-2870. These new services compliment the existing 320 retail vendors that currently sell licenses, permits and stamps.
Waterfowl hunters are reminded that nontoxic shot is required for hunting waterfowl and coots. Hunters may not possess or use nontoxic shotshells containing shot larger than size T or use or possess any lead shotshells while waterfowl hunting. Approved types of nontoxic shot and other information on migratory game bird hunting are listed in the 2009-2010 Guide to Hunting and Trapping in Maryland or on DNR’s website at http://www.dnr.maryland.gov/huntersguide/index.asp
Hunters are encouraged to report banded migratory game birds by calling toll-free 1-800-327-BAND (2263). Banded birds can also be reported online at: http://www.pwrc.usgs.gov/bbl.