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Zkight89

Best States for Early Season Teal?

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Zkight89

The Wife and I are planning our annual anniversary vacation that works out about the same as early teal.  Which states do you gentlemen believe are the best for it? Naturally, we'd be looking to hunt public land unguided. Big time bonus for sightseeing or touristy stuff that ladies like also....

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Windrider

I’ve heard the Texas coast is pretty good.

 

Haven’t been down there in years.

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Zkight89
50 minutes ago, Windrider said:

I’ve heard the Texas coast is pretty good.

 

Haven’t been down there in years.

Fortunately ( or unfortunately) I'm working in the Houston area, so I'll likely do some poking around here.  I've got to figure out where the big lizards are and aren't before I do any hunting here when it's that warm though. 

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quailguy
34 minutes ago, Zkight89 said:

Fortunately ( or unfortunately) I'm working in the Houston area, so I'll likely do some poking around here.  I've got to figure out where the big lizards are and aren't before I do any hunting here when it's that warm though. 

During early teal the large lizards are in just about every pond and bayou.  Unfortunately.  So are the skeeters.  
I shot teal for a number of years with a guide out of Rockport.  Used an airboat and did very well in the shallow brackish bays. No large lizards there. 
 

IMHO Texas and Louisiana have the best teal shooting, but precious few public areas from which to do it. 
 

Brad Smythe and the Airboat

DSC00372

 

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Zkight89
8 minutes ago, quailguy said:

During early teal the large lizards are in just about every pond and bayou.  Unfortunately.  So are the skeeters.  
I shot teal for a number of years with a guide out of Rockport.  Used an airboat and did very well in the shallow brackish bays. No large lizards there. 
 

IMHO Texas and Louisiana have the best teal shooting, but precious few public areas from which to do it. 
 

Brad Smythe and the Airboat

DSC00372

 

We stayed in Rockport for a few months to help finish another project up, in Webster now. 

 

 I could see the marshes being pretty productive. We haven't seen nearly as many Gators as we'd see on the other side of the gulf in similar terrain.  The lack of public land in this state really does make things difficult. 

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mccuha

There are public ground on the tx coast. I’m sure it gets hunted hard.  I’ll ask my friend. He went down and hunted tx a couple years ago on all public.  It was very close to LA    You will need a boat and especially a boat with a mud motor.  Where he hunted he did say he had to cross a lot of levees. Said some of the locals had winches mounted to the bow to pull them across 

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Rick Hall

New Orleans was the anniversary/September teal destination that came to my mind, but you'd be well ahead to leave the boat at home and hire a guide, if going that route.

 

Can't think of any public LA land that doesn't require both a boat and time to learn the area, and don't know that any of it salty enough to preclude gators is accessible without both big and little water capable craft - or worth the trouble.

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Zkight89
3 hours ago, Rick Hall said:

New Orleans was the anniversary/September teal destination that came to my mind, but you'd be well ahead to leave the boat at home and hire a guide, if going that route.

 

Can't think of any public LA land that doesn't require both a boat and time to learn the area, and don't know that any of it salty enough to preclude gators is accessible without both big and little water capable craft - or worth the trouble.

 

 If we end up staying in the gulf states I'll likely lean towards New Orleans and just force myself to leave the dogs at home and hire a guide for a few days of our stay.  

 

  However,  finding a place north of the "Lizard Line" would make me very happy. Who wants to hunt without their dog? 

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Rick Hall
45 minutes ago, Zkight89 said:

  However,  finding a place north of the "Lizard Line" would make me very happy. Who wants to hunt without their dog? 

 

A water temperature in the low 60s is what I think of as the "lizard line".  Their cold-blooded metabolizms slow beyond hunger below that mark, and it's safe to work a dog in and around the deep water big gators hunt.  As long as water temperatures are above that line, I keep a tight handle on my dogs, but there's no way we could recover birds falling on the floating marsh around my tiny pothole without a dog.

image.thumb.jpeg.6067ca7ec7ca2b0e29b4b2cc2c0de622.jpeg

 

But, as you can see, we get there by boat.  Even if we're just cleaning up birds that fell a few yards from the blind on its little flotant island:

image.thumb.jpeg.528558f57d410f375cd44510281a378c.jpeg

 

Anything in the water gets a "chauffeured retrieve":

image.thumb.jpeg.1d04bbe4457acc358a2de1021b35f4db.jpeg

 

And dogs lacking the obedience to be stopped cold in the middle of a crippled duck chase best stay clear of big gator country.

 

 

 

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Zkight89
29 minutes ago, Rick Hall said:

 

A water temperature in the low 60s is what I think of as the "lizard line".  Their cold-blooded metabolizms slow beyond hunger below that mark, and it's safe to work a dog in and around the deep water big gators hunt.  As long as water temperatures are above that line, I keep a tight handle on my dogs, but there's no way we could recover birds falling on the floating marsh around my tiny pothole without a dog.

image.thumb.jpeg.6067ca7ec7ca2b0e29b4b2cc2c0de622.jpeg

 

But, as you can see, we get there by boat.  Even if we're just cleaning up birds that fell a few yards from the blind on its little flotant island:

image.thumb.jpeg.528558f57d410f375cd44510281a378c.jpeg

 

Anything in the water gets a "chauffeured retrieve":

image.thumb.jpeg.1d04bbe4457acc358a2de1021b35f4db.jpeg

 

And dogs lacking the obedience to be stopped cold in the middle of a crippled duck chase best stay clear of big gator country.

 

 

 

 I've seen your posts on this topic in other forums.  Retrieving from the boat is very clever and a fine display of team work. 

 

  Growing up in Florida, we had enough run ins with Gators (hog and coon dogs) in the winter that I'd likely not put our dogs in any type of "deep" water in gator country.

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Rick Hall
1 hour ago, Zkight89 said:

Growing up in Florida, we had enough run ins with Gators (hog and coon dogs) in the winter that I'd likely not put our dogs in any type of "deep" water in gator country.

 

I first learned of the low 60s water temp (regardless of air temp) and metabolism connection from Texas Parks and Wildlife shortly after moving to Southwest Louisiana in the mid '80s, but saw it emphasized to the Nth degree just this past year, when Australian weren't just scuba diving with but touching crocs on the National Geographic Channel.  They said the safe water temperature mark is 66 degrees and was supposedly borderline on that during their dive. 

 

Don't know about that, don't cut it that close and don't blame anyone for being more cautious than I.  But even on warm air temp days when gators are out sunning, I've yet to see reason for concern beyond a dog perhaps actually stepping on one such and triggering a reflex snap.  Pound timber.

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Zkight89
15 minutes ago, Rick Hall said:

 

I first learned of the low 60s water temp (regardless of air temp) and metabolism connection from Texas Parks and Wildlife shortly after moving to Southwest Louisiana in the mid '80s, but saw it emphasized to the Nth degree just this past year, when Australian weren't just scuba diving with but touching crocs on the National Geographic Channel.  They said the safe water temperature mark is 66 degrees and was supposedly borderline on that during their dive. 

 

Don't know about that, don't cut it that close and don't blame anyone for being more cautious than I.  But even on warm air temp days when gators are out sunning, I've yet to see reason for concern beyond a dog perhaps actually stepping on one such and triggering a reflex snap.  Pound timber.

 I've had a few Curs taken at various times of year when a race got too close to the water.   The nature of hunting adversarial game with them made the risk more acceptable to me I guess...

 

  Saw a "frozen out" 10 footer laying on a dike road trying to warm up once. Two of my pups were giving it a thorough sniffing while an older male was sitting down a safe distance away and nervously looking my direction. I believe the water temperature is important, though I'm not willing to wager the mutt on it. 

 

 

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shoot-straight

another vote for a NO trip with some guided hunts on the side. most guides will even pick you up in NO- my fishing guide offered to.

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mccuha

It’d be a great time for cast and blast.  LA has some of the best red and trout fishing in the country. TX ain’t to bad itself 

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Chops

I'll throw out an unusual suggestion, New Mexico.  Theres lot of public access along the Rio Grande south of ABQ.  Plenty of birds, great food and sightseeing opportunities, and best of all, no gators!  Might have to worry about rattlesnakes though. 

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