Bird hunting season to begin later this year for Hoosiers

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — Early teal and early goose hunting seasons will open a week later this year than in previous years.

Teal season will run Sept. 9-24, and early goose season will run Sept. 9-17.

Wildlife officials delayed the beginning of the teal season to try to better coordinate with the migration. In recent years, warm fall weather has caused teal to arrive in Indiana later in September, sometimes after the hunting season closed.

The delay in early goose season also came as a result of hunter input that early September was too hot to goose hunt. Hunter participation in early goose season had been declining in recent years, along with the number of geese harvested.

Recent changes to federal frameworks for waterfowl hunting gave the state more flexibility in setting goose seasons, DNR waterfowl research biologist Adam Phelps said.

“This lets us use fewer days in September and put more of those days in the regular season, when most goose hunters prefer to be afield,” Phelps said.

The delay also will eliminate the potential for conflict between hunters and boaters on Labor Day weekend, when a large number of pleasure boaters are still out.

During early goose season, the daily bag limit is five dark geese in aggregate (Canada and white-fronted geese). During early season, all five can be Canada geese, but in the regular season, only three can be.

During the September teal season, only blue-winged and green-winged teal are legal to harvest. The daily bag limit is six teal in aggregate.

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