Maryland hunters will be able to participate in a special season for blue- or green-winged teal again this year.
"The September teal season is experimental, and DNR employees will be monitoring harvest and hunter activity in an attempt to evaluate the impact of the season on teal and non-teal species," said Sarah Taylor-Rogers, secretary of the Department of Natural Resources. "How well hunters comply with the special teal regulations will determine if the season is continued in the future."
Last year the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service initiated the September season in several Atlantic Flyway states, including Maryland. The special season is in addition to regular framework for duck seasons.
In Maryland, the season will be held from Sept. 11 to Sept. 21 (excluding Sundays) in areas of the state east of Interstate 95. The total daily bag limit is four.
Shooting hours will be from sunrise to sunset, rather than starting 30 minutes before sunrise as in other waterfowl seasons.
"Shooting hours have been modified to avoid the traditional pre-sunrise hunting period when non-teal species, particularly local wood ducks, are most active," Taylor-Rogers said.
According to USFWS surveys, the blue-winged teal breeding population was a record 7.1 million this year, 65 percent above the long-term average.
During the September teal season, the managed waterfowl impoundments at Deal Island and Fairmount Wildlife Management Areas in Somerset County will operate under special regulations. Hunting there will be allowed from sunrise to 11 a.m., and all hunters and gear must be off impoundment waters by noon each day.
A teal permit will be required in order to hunt the impoundments only on opening day.
To apply for a permit, send a self-addressed, stamped envelope along with name, address and hunting license number to: Teal Permit, Wellington WMA, 32733 Dublin Road, Princess Anne MD 21853.
Applications must be received by Friday, and the teal permit is not related to the lottery hunts at the WMAs during regular duck seasons.
For more information, call 410-543-8223.