Blue-winged teal. (DNR photo by Lowell-Washburn)

Today marks the start of teal and dove hunting seasons in Iowa. Nate Carr, a conservation officer with the Iowa DNR, says non-toxic shot is required and guns must be restricted to hold no more than three shells.

“Teal season is essentially six bonus hunting days for waterfowl hunters outside of the regular duck season where you can shoot teal only,” Carr says, “so we’re talking about blue wing, green wing, any kind of teal.” The daily bag limit for teal is six, while for dove, it’s 15.

Carr says all forecasts point to a good season ahead for Iowa’s hunters. “We are starting to see some teal come into the area, generally, they move in here around mid-August,” Carr says, “and I’ve been seeing a few groups flying around, so there should be some opportunity out there.”

Hunters need to maintain restraint with respect to the special teal season’s hours. “Unlike the regular duck season, shooting hours don’t begin until sunrise,” Carr says. “Part of the reasoning for that is, obviously, we want people to identify what they’re shooting, especially waterfowl flying in dim light conditions.”

Teal season runs today through September 16th, while the dove season continues through November 29th.

(By Pat Powers, KQWC, Webster City)