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Little birds, big birds

Nothing like having your cake and eating it too.

Hunters anxious for the opening of another waterfowl season will be treated to a double header with both the fall teal season and resident goose season opening September 13.

Bluewing and greenwing teal are the first ducks to migrate through Oklahoma each fall and a little scouting can go a long way in improving your hunting success. Teal prefer shallow water and rely on tender vegetation to provide fuel for their long journey. Large migrations can occur through the state as the days grow shorter and northern cool fronts give hunters the first taste of fall. Hunters will have the opportunity to pursue the small birds September 13-28 as they migrate southward on their traditional journey to wintering grounds in Mexico and Central and South America.

As an added bonus, the resident goose season (Sept. 13-22) opens the same day as teal season. Sportsmen in the right place could have the chance at bagging both the largest and smallest waterfowl species in Oklahoma, all in the same day.

Non-migratory Canada geese can be found all across the state and for the past three years sportsmen have had the opportunity to harvest the big birds. Although the birds may be full time residents that does not mean they are not a challenge to hunt. Sportsmen will meet with more success if they spend some time scouting and patterning the birds’ movements before the hunt.

To participate in the fall teal or resident goose season, you need a resident or non-resident Oklahoma hunting license, an Oklahoma waterfowl hunting permit, a federal duck stamp and a $3 Harvest Information Program (HIP) permit available from any license dealer. For complete regulations, consult the “2003 Oklahoma Hunting Guide" or log onto www.wildlifedepartment.com.

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