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Watch out for wood ducks

It sounds like a lot of teal were shot at Cheyenne Bottoms on the recent opening weekend of teal season.

Unfortunately it sounds like quite a few wood ducks were shot, too.

Teal are all that’s legal during this special September season that’s held so hunters can get a crack at the early migrations of blue-winged teal.

Hunting is always an on-going chore of target identification. Is it in range? Is it a legal animal? Is that animal in a place that allows a safe shot?

But things appear to be particularly complicated this September because of very high numbers of wood ducks at several central Kansas marshes. A good friend said he saw more wood ducks on Cheyenne Bottoms Saturday afternoon that he’s seen in all of the 25 seasons he’s hunted the marsh combined.

But the friend afield Saturday afternoon saw seven illegal birds shot in less than three hours by other hunting parties. What he didn’t see, unfortunately, was a game warden working the marsh.

(Hey, big state, few wardens and only so many hours they can work in a week. It happens.)

Anyway, if you’re heading out after teal be doubly careful this season.  Remember that target identification is one of our greatest responsibilities.