All new Association hunters should expect to be able to talk to either Jon Nee or John Wenzel prior to their first trip, scouting, season, hunt, to insure they are going to good land for what they are after.
The partner's motivation is to insure new members have as good of a start as possible. Value to new members is the partners are out on Association land throughout each year and do get to see much. They will pass those observations on.
After anyone's first season they have experience necessary to make their own plans independent of the Association partners. Occasionally however, a hunter may feel he requires additional assistance. In these cases we will work with all to a point. If that point reaches as has happed a hunter feeling the need to call for recommendations for each trip then we will have a talk about parity.
That talk centers on in this organization we do for all, never just for one or a small group. No one hunter receives anything that all others do not. We are a self-guided hunter organization. That means the hunter does his work. If the Association partners talked to just 80% of the Association hunters each season there would be no time left to work land. Reality is that 99% of Association hunters after their first season enjoy being on their own, making their own success. The other 1% we will coach along to a more independent approach.
Steve, Kansas quail hunting.
All the pictures on this web site are sent into the Association at the courtesy of the hunter.
As a self guided hunter organization no one on the staff side is running about with a camera taking pictures of hunters and their success. This type of interaction of the partners taking care of the hunter and the hunter willingly sending in pictures is desired for all Association hunters.
Those hunters who do send in pictures often find one of the staff's responses will be a discussion of latest in the field observations. Many times over Association hunters would not have hunted spots identified by the partners had that discussion not occurred. Many times those observations result in good hunting success.
Mallards on one of our private Missouri wetlands.
A highly detailed account containing jewel's of information.
We also accept his criticisms as well.
All feedback is welcomed and useful. We recognize the world is not perfect. We do try to hammer out any rough spots.
My name is [name deleted] and I hailing from the state of SC. I've seen MAHA's web site and thought I would send a synopsis of my first experience hunting on MAHA properties. After a couple years of wavering whether to buy into MAHA, I finally bit the bullet and joined earlier this summer. Unfortunately I was unable to pre-scout for my first hunt, instead I rested my hopes on a little luck and past experiences hunting farm lands in Georgia. My trip was planned for November 1st thru November 9th. My goals were centered around a bow hunt hoping to take a mature animal in 130+ inch range. Here is my account.
Driving from SC to [location deleted] was a grueling trip to say the least. I arrived at my [location deleted] location around noon on the 1st of November. After checking into a local motel, I headed out to look over a parcel I reserved with no idea of what I might find. Internet hybrid maps in conjunction with MAHA maps were all I had to go on. Immediately I was disappointed in my first selection which was a small sliver of land behind a white farm house mainly consisting of a 30 foot deep ditch encased in a heavy mass of tangled locust and cottonwood. I did see some positive sign, but since I was bow hunting, I decided to forgo this parcel and search several other options I printed out. The parcel next to mine was inviting, but after calling in, I found it was already checked out, so I drove to look over a couple neighboring parcels with the last being what I considered bow friendly. I changed my reservation and started scouting. The parcel would easily have been overlooked from the highway because it looked like a huge field reduced to corn stalk nubs by recent combining, but a short walk to the crest of the hill revealed a virtual whitetail paradise consisting of about 30 acres of wood line lying in a hidden valley. I suddenly felt much better about my situation.
As I walked to the timberline I immediately saw good sign. On the far left of the timber, I could see a patch of corn which was not entirely mowed to the ground and I decided to start there. It wasn't long before I jumped two doe bedded near the edge of the small corn field. They leapt down a trail which led into a deep and wide trench containing a considerably sized drainage pond. I caught glimpses of a rub line following the timber's edge leading to where I was standing. I decided to look no further, luck appeared on my side.
I returned around 3:30 with my climber and scaled a tree some 35 yards from the corn and 15 yards from the trail where the doe had escaped earlier. Around 5:30, I looked to my right in the adjoining cove of the field and watched three young bucks cross the open field. Twenty minutes later, I had 6 doe pushed by a decent 7 point in the corn plot before me. I grunted the young buck over to within 14 yards, after closer inspection revealed he was much larger than I had anticipated. He had a really nice rack with at least a 17 inch spread, his left G3 was just forming and his right G3 was missing. I watched him lick a sagging branch and eventually walk back to his harem. To say the least, my blood was pumping with anticipation of the upcoming week.
The following 2 days allowed me to hang another stand and to hunt several other spots on this parcel. I saw deer every day with a couple mature bucks presenting themselves, though not in bow range. A local farmer started combining a corn field just adjacent to the land I was hunting, I was amazed at how the deer were immune to his presence. After 3 days on this tract, I decided to look over another parcel and try my luck elsewhere, keeping in mind I wanted to return after I let the deer rest a couple of days. I sensed the deer were starting to catch onto me as I was seeing less deer each succeeding day.
My next reservation was on a tract about 12 miles away. From the road, it looked very deerish. A violent windstorm cropped earlier in the morning, so I decided I could probably get away with some slow moving scout hunting. I immediately had an opportunity to take a young 8 point who was doing some scouting himself. He was working a shallow ditch lined with large cottonwoods and covered in knee deep green grasses and bordering a uncut plot of corn. I saw him coming before he saw me, so I jumped into the ditch and clamored up a large stump. Nose to the ground, he trotted to within 10 yards of me with no clue I was there. Not quite what I was looking for. The next 2 days ended with me seeing several young bucks and a few does but the weather turned colder and sign of rut was more prevalent. I was now ready to return to my other tract. I pulled my stands and headed out, but as I neared my truck I did get to view a mature buck working a ditch line which lead directly to where I was parked. He was a really nice buck and would have been an easy target if I were a rifle hunter, unfortunately I'm not.
I tried changing my reservation back to my first lot for my last 2.5 days, but I was informed I could not have the tract for my last day since it was adjoining a section checked out by a firearms hunter for the first day of rifle season. I was unaware this was a MAHA rule and was a little miffed because it would cut my hunt down by one day leaving me the current evening and the following day. During the week I had passed on 4 eight points and 1 really nice seven points and now my time was nearing. I grumbled all the way to where I was going to hang my stand, grumble being a polite word for what I was really doing. The good news was the rut was picking up.
My first evening at my old location resulted in a nice, but young, eight point who passed directly under stand. Again, nose down and cutting trails. The next morning started with a young six point early in the morning. Around 9:00 AM a doe came barreling in followed by a mature buck hot on her trail. I could not guess his points as I was too busy trying to stop him, but he had a really nice rack which I imagine was at least a 135. He chased her directly under and around the tree I was sitting in and I failed every attempt to slow either of them down. I bleated out loudly about 6 to 8 times with no avail. They ran up and down the bottom two times, but I couldn't stop them. After they finally skirted off, I immediately commenced to bleating loudly and often hoping to lure any surrounding ears. At 10:30, I noticed movement in a grassy field next to the bottom I was in, which was where the six point came from earlier that morning. I picked up my call and bleated two times, and what happened next is more of a blur than reality.
The approaching vision quickly covered the hundred yards and his heading was straight toward my stand. He slowed to a trot and immediately turned on the trail which lead to the bottom I was in. He stopped once thrashing his adornment in a young sapling no more that 22 yards away. I salted the bottom with doe estrus and he was taking the bait. The trail turned and came straight toward me and he followed right in. I waited patiently knowing he would come directly under stand, which is not my favorite shot but it would have to do because I had no chance at a shot once he passed. Then, like a Disney fairy tale, he turned left about 17 yards away presenting a great opportunity for a broad side shot. I drew, centered, aimed and released resulting in a distinct splat as the arrow penetrated the backend of the shoulder. He leapt forward and stopped 15 yards away directly behind a mesh of locust clutter, seconds later I heard the rewarding thud as he dropped to the cold ground without another hint of movement.
Minutes later, I lowered my bow and descended the tree. I walked over to the locust clutter and marveled at the stately brown ruminant laying upon the ground. I worked hard all week for this one shot and my reward lay directly beneath me. He was truly a mature animal on his downward slide, but a fitting end to my first MAHA hunt. I'm enclosing a picture, though the picture does him no glory. He had a double brow tine and a double G2 on his right beam. His left brow was broken and his body was marred with scars from previous encounters. I finally ended my hunt and satisfied my goal, now I had to get this big boy out by myself, which is another story in itself. I'm looking forward to many more hunts in the future, thanks for the opportunity.
Great feedback and congratulations on a fine deer. Thank you and good luck.
Bob, a rare duck hunter who carries a camera.