Best Chokes for Teal Hunting (Try These FIRST!)

Video best choke for teal hunting

The ability to hit a fast-moving bird is the most important aspect of teal hunting, but having the right choke in your shotgun when the bird finally commits to the decoys is second. In this guide, we’ll take a look at the three choke tubes that work well for hunting teal and why you should consider them.

The most popular steel shot sizes for teal hunting are #6 and #4. Choosing a choke tube that can deliver uniform patterns at the right distances is critical for early teal season success. Carlson’s Modified choke happens to pattern #6 shot extremely well, producing consistent results at 30 yards.

Blue winged teal

Top 3 Best Choke Tubes for Teal Hunting

These are the three chokes that you should consider for your next teal hunt that can provide dense and consistent patterns downrange with steel shot. As always, patterning your shotgun is extremely important to find out which choke tubes and ammo work best out of it.

1) Carlson’s Modified Choke Tube

Carlson’s is one of the most trusted choke tube brands in the industry and their extended modified choke is perfect for teal hunting. It delivers a dense pattern out to 35 yards with steel #6’s and makes for a versatile all-around choke tube for most teal hunting situations.

Regardless if you’re hunting the rice fields of Texas or the rivers of Arkansas, this choke performs exceptionally well at medium ranges over decoys for teal. #4 and #6 shot happen to be the sweet spot with this choke, and fast flying teal just can’t escape it. This is the TOP pick.

2) Patternmaster Code Black Choke

The Patternmaster Code Black is a top-of-the-line choke tube that provides unmatched performance for long-range teal hunting situations. If you’re thinking of picking up a new choke not just for teal, but to use all season long, this is the choke to consider.

The Patternmaster Code Black is great for field hunts, ponds, lakes, and rivers where the range of shots varies and you’ll be able to handle it all without having to change chokes mid hunt. Patternmaster works with internal studs that halt the wad just before it exits the barrel, resulting in a controlled wad seperation that increases pellet distribution and limits flyer pellets. Expect it to pattern closer to a full choke. This is the TOP pick for MAX range.

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3) Carlson’s Cremator Choke Tube

The Carlson’s Cremator choke tube is an excellent choice for teal hunters who need a versatile choke that can perform well with a variety of shotshell loads. This choke tube uses a unique design that consists of multiple tapers, which work together to provide a consistent shot pattern. This makes the Cremator ideal for hunting situations where you need to be able to adjust your shooting style quickly and accurately.

The Cremator is equipped with triple shot technology which gradually compresses the shot column as it exits the barrel to prevent deformation. This is the perfect choke for medium range teal hunting with #4 and #6 shot. Carlson’s Cremator can produce 80% of pellets inside a 30-inch circle at 40 yards with the right ammo. This is the BUDGET pick.

Why a modified choke works best for Teal Hunting

Modified chokes are the middle ground of choke diameters (0.705”) and because of this are versatile in many different hunting situations. Chokes in modified can handle teal decoying close as well as long fast-moving passing shots as they attempt to exit.

Modified choke tubes work especially well with #6 steel shot and it’s not uncommon to pattern this choke and ammo combination and receive 80% coverage in a 30-inch circle at 30 yards. Steel shot also works well with an improved cylinder choke tube like the Carlson’s extended choke mentioned above.

How to hunt Teal

Teal are some of the easiest waterfowl to hunt during the special early season. They typically decoy with reckless abandonment and are suckers for spinning wing decoys. Your choke setup will likely need to be tailored to the types of teal you will be hunting and how they react to decoy spreads.

Teal hunting in tight spaces can limit which chokes are best. If most of your shots are in thick brush or dense vegetation, shots within 20-25 yards where an Improved Cylinder (0.715”) which opens the shot up quicker will be the top choice.

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For teal in open terrain like rice fields where birds may pass from further out, the modified (0.705”) or improved modified (0.695”) are the top choices that will keep your pattern together for shots between 30 and 40 yards.

Teal Choke Tubes and Ranges

  • Improved Cylinder (10-20 yards) – Up close decoying shots
  • Modified (20-40 yards) – Decoying and medium passing shots
  • Improved Modified (35-45 yards) – Long range decoying shots
  • Full Choke (40-60 yards) – High flying birds over 40 yards

Ballistics show that a 1300 fps load of steel #6 shot enters 0.90″ of gel penetration at 30.5 yards, while a 1300 fps load of steel #4 shot enters 0.90″ of gel penetration at 33.4 yards. These are the max ranges for #6 and #4 steel shot while teal hunting.

The chart above shows the recommended choke tube and range in yards for teal hunting. Modified is the best choke for typical teal hunting shots that include close decoying and bird exiting scenarios. Improved cylinder is the best for close flushing shots just as the teal rises. Improved modified (IM) and full chokes are best for longer range shots after the bird is exiting and gained full momentum.

Teal Hunting Field Tips

  • Get a set of improved cylinder, modified, and improved modified chokes
  • This will let you switch chokes as conditions change
  • Steel #6’s and an IC choke tube work well on close birds
  • Keep shots below 40 yards, know your ammo and choke limitations
  • A full choke may be needed for those days where birds are skirting the decoys
  • Windy days, especially those with cross winds, you may need to up your pellet size
  • Pattern your shotgun to find out what choke and ammo work best
  • If using a tight choke, allow a bird decoying close to get distance before shooting

Modified choke tubes can take a lot of the guess work out of teal hunting. They usually work well with most ammo and won’t damage the birds at close ranges.

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Having a set of choke tubes in your hunting vest or backpack is the best option that works well for changing conditions. You can tailor your setup to how teal are responding while in the field and changing a choke only takes seconds with a good choke wrench.

What to expect

When it comes to choosing the right choke tube for hunting teal, Carlson’s Modified choke stands out from its competitors. The Carlson’s Modified choke is engineered with a unique design that provides consistent and even shot patterns, resulting in better accuracy and a higher precision. Unlike most of its competitors, the Modified choke ensures that the shot is evenly distributed, reducing the chances of having holes or gaps in your pattern. Overall, the Carlson’s Modified choke is a top performer, delivering outstanding results that set it apart from the competition.

Bottom Line

Teal hunting requires a choke size geared toward the situation at hand. #6 and #4 steel shot are popular pellet sizes most teal hunters use. Naturally, finding a choke tube that patterns these loads well is key to success in the field.

A modified choke such as the extended chokes that Carlson’s offers work well for an all-around teal hunting choke tube with small steel shot. The Patternmaster Code Black and Carlson’s Cremator choke are two options for chokes you can use for teal season and also rely on in the general season as well.

Hunting teal and figuring out how the birds are responding will help determine which choke size you may need. Shots on teal in open terrain tend to be longer where a modified or improved modified are best. Teal in dense vegetation and brush may only require an improved cylinder for shots inside 20 yards.

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Last update on 2024-11-08 / Affiliate links / Product Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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Ethan Smith is a seasoned marine veteran, professional blogger, witty and edgy writer, and an avid hunter. He spent a great deal of his childhood years around the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest in Arizona. Watching active hunters practise their craft initiated him into the world of hunting and rubrics of outdoor life. He also honed his writing skills by sharing his outdoor experiences with fellow schoolmates through their high school’s magazine. Further along the way, the US Marine Corps got wind of his excellent combination of skills and sought to put them into good use by employing him as a combat correspondent. He now shares his income from this prestigious job with his wife and one kid. Read more >>