From Camouflage to Cuisine:
Pursuing blue-winged teal can be a thrilling experience for hunters and a delicious experience for connoisseurs of Cajun cuisine.
By Matthew Waguespack
Sportsman Outreach Coordinator
A successful hunt with Capt. Ryan Lambert of Cajun Fishing Adventures.
How is teal season looking in Louisiana?
Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries recently released information on how Louisiana’s ongoing drought is affecting wildlife – including migratory waterfowl. With 90% of the state experiencing excessive heat and drought conditions, it’s no surprise food sources for many species have suffered.
For Louisiana’s blue-winged migrants, this heat and drought may impact southwest Louisiana significantly, where hunters rely heavily on flooded agricultural fields for teal season.
The flipside is: If you have healthy wetlands and a food source in September, you’ll have teal. Reports from southeast Louisiana show a heavy concentration of birds around the Wax Lake and Mississippi River Delta, with flocks distributed sporadically among the freshwater marshes between those two deltaic tributaries. Considering all of this, Louisiana should still have a pretty good opening to the 2023 teal season.
Teal on the Table:
Blue-Winged Teal Popper Recipe
Teal Poppers fresh off the pit.
One of the most enjoyable aspects of hunting is turning your harvest into a bountiful feast which can be enjoyed with family and friends. Here is my go-to duck recipe. Not only is it a crowd favorite, it’s simple to pull together for even a beginner cook.
- 6 deboned teal breasts (substitute with any duck breast)
- 6 jalapeño peppers
- 2 cups of milk
- 1 block of cream cheese
- 1 pack of bacon
- Cajun seasoning
- black pepper
- skewer or toothpicks
- Rinse 6 deboned duck breasts in lukewarm water.
- Slice each breast in half longways, going with the grain, to make 12 individual duck strips.
- Soak the 12 strips in 2 cups of milk for 15 minutes to help withdraw blood from the meat. Remove from milk and pat dry. Season to taste, using a mixture of Cajun Seasoning and black pepper.
- Cut the top off the jalapeños, remove seeds and slice longways in half.
- Divide cream cheese into 12 slices to fit comfortably into the hollowed-out jalapeños.
- Place duck strip onto the cream cheese stuffed pepper and wrap with one bacon strip.
- Use skewer or toothpick through the center to hold the pieces together.
- Grill over medium heat until bacon is done.
More Resources on Teal Hunting in Louisiana:
For more on teal, check out our Bayou Wild TV episode featuring our VP Sporting Council member, Ryan Lambert of Cajun Fishing Adventures. Ryan gives a great personal take from a lifelong duck hunter on the abundance of life and habitat that is created by reconnecting the Mississippi River to its wetlands. This episode also includes a special cooking segment with Chef John Folse as he prepares a special teal recipe from his After the Hunt cookbook.
Finally, check out our tried and true checklist for success for a promising teal season here.