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Mid-America Hunting Association
The Issues Beyond Missouri Deer Lease Land Itself
Missouri deer lease challenges are centered on tags and geography.
Over the counter state wide deer tags allow the same hunter to have both a firearms and archery any sex deer tag. These tags are for up to three bucks. This makes for more hunting pressure than states such as Kansas and Iowa that allow only one buck tag issued through limited draws.
The geography aspect is the best Whitetail Deer hunting is in north Missouri over grain farms. That northern region is surrounded by large metropolitan areas of hunters with money and no land. Hunters from Kansas City, Lincoln and Omaha Nebraska, Des Monies Iowa, Columbia, Jefferson City and Saint Louis, Missouri as well as many satellite communities converge on north Missouri.
The two maps below are of crop planted acreage. The map on the left is for corn and on the right for soybean. The two most prolific grain crops gown. The Ozark Mountain region of south central Missouri is 70% forested and poor for farming due to soil composition and severe contours with equally poor deer hunting.
The better deer hunt is where the better food is. More cropland, less woods.
Each aerial above is a 1/4 section, 160 acres. The heavily wooded quarter is in the hill country of much forested ground. The lower aerial of mostly crop ground is from the better deer production region.
Grain crops are a tipping point when selecting a lease. The reality is it takes much food source acreage to make the more productive lease region.
Cropland and Deer Quality Linkage Verification
A comparison of the USDA agricultural land usage to known states with the best Whitetail Deer hunting shows the better deer hunting states have high usage of cropland.
This food first, cover second approach to deer hunting is greater than a one acre food plot. Food first, cover second to good deer hunting requires regional wide food sources throughout the entire year. This produces a larger deer herd, larger bodied deer and bigger racks.
This picture is from Jeremy a traveling Association deer hunter.
Then again later that winter.
Other Lease Impacts
Missouri hunting lease challenges are not limited to deer hunting.
Missouri’s great waterfowl hunting takes land from the deer hunter with waterfowl hunting only wetlands.
This is no small point. Missouri’s great duck hunting makes any land that is swamp or floodable prime real-estate at rates per acre to rival anywhere else in the country.
Missouri hunting lease land is also attractive giving more bang for the buck with its great turkey hunting further motivating lease competition. It is common as most will agree that the majority of deer hunters also hunt turkey.
Missouri Benefits For Most Productive Leases
State actions of the four point one side zone covering all of north Missouri has matured making for many good bucks.
The orange area on the map at right is Missouri’s antler point restriction zone. More commonly called the Missouri four point one side zone.
Lack of public land in this farming rich north Missouri area enhances the private lease hunter approach. These hunters are typically more selective on the bucks they harvest than public land hunters. This enhances the four point one side regulation in terms that it needs to be a really big 8 to harvest. Otherwise there are enough nice 10s and 12s running about that is what most work for.
Mid-America Hunting Association Missouri Hunting Lease Land Solution
The benefit of Mid-America Hunting Association comes in that we do all the work for that Missouri hunting lease. This leaves the hunter only to hunt.
Association private land hunting leases and a limit on hunters means there is not only a spot for everyone we allocate an Association slot to, all will have a choice form day to day of where to hunt.
Our lease approach is one annual cost to hunt any of the Association’s Missouri hunting lease land.
How Association Missouri Hunting Lease Land Access Works
Not all who have the money to pay for inclusion into Mid-America Hunting Association are allocated Association hunter slots.
It is the case of this Association’s experience that there is a narrow range of hunters that will be successful within self guided deer hunts. This range is further limited by a requirement for courtesy. Courtesy in this case is an understanding the exchange between the Association and the hunter is more than an exchange of money for service. It is an exchange of information, discussions and an understanding there are others of concern such as landowners, neighbors, tenant farmers and other hunters. It is also avoidance of the “entitlement” attitude that is present within a segment of the hunter community. All of this should not require any further explanation. If it does then applicant screening has already begun.
For those allocated an Association hunter position they gain access to an online lease map library of all hunting land in Missouri as well as Association lease lands in Kansas and Iowa. A sample of such a map is shown at right.
It is one annual cost for all lease land in all three of states MAHA operates in. This is a matter of simplicity of administration which keeps the Association office staff down to one secretary. The benefit back to the hunter is more of his money is going to lease land and not job creation.
The hunter draws down from his own favored aerial web site his preference of aerials and then scouts. For those that cannot schedule a separate scouting trip that requirement is typically attached to the beginning of the hunting trip.
Starting with the online lease maps, progressing to the Association partner recommendations, then scouting the leases, the average hunter usually find 3 to 5 spots he would consider first choice. This is typically accomplished after covering 2,000 to 4,000 gross acreage of land. Later, on a week long hunt is is common that most hunt hard 2 to 3 leases and maybe dabble on a fourth. The hunter has placed his own stands.
Not all of these hunter selected first choice leases will be productive. It is that most agree that having multiple places to hunt increases the likelihood of getting on a good buck. The capability of having a choice of where to hunt based on weather, crop rotations and portion of the rut makes for the better quality of the deer hunt.
That quality aspect is the hunter has a range of options to leverage to his advantage of getting eyes-on a buck of choice. Contrast this to what most have in their background experience of having just one or a few stand locations. After several days of limited eyes-on deer how much harder it becomes to wake up early as the hunt progresses. The ability to move onto another stand rather than to continue to stink up a spot of declining buck and doe activity is just the motivation we all need to hunt a bit harder.
Transitional Deer Hunting
Regardless of first Association year map/aerial review, recommendations, scouting and hunting, most by their third season in the Association have covered more ground to the point of finding better spots than they hunted the first season. This is more a reflection of narrowing down hunt locations to personal preferences of terrain, crops and the portion of rut wanting to hunt. This last piece of being able to hunt from pre, to early, through peak, to trail and ending with post rut seasons is frequently a new option to many. This also drives hunters to move on to new leases rather than return to old spots. A dual transition of location and time of season.
This transition follows the Association hunter’s career path seemingly regardless of how much prior experience he may have. That common path is along this transition:
Deer hunters are likely to apply for acceptance from December through March.
Scouting through spring turkey season.
Deer spots selected and hunts planned.
That hunter then returns for his hunt on land he scouted as much as 5 to 8 months earlier.
Turkey hunting becomes more prime than deer scouting in the spring. Deer scouting late summer and just prior to his hunt becomes more common. This narrowing of the scouting to hunting window is the first indicator of the transition many experience in their deer hunting.
As the time period narrows between scouting and hunting the hunter usually discovers his stand location choices to be better with increasing eyes-on quality deer. This then transitions to a refinement in the portion of the rut he chooses to hunt.
The common response is to begin scouting on a shorter lead time from scouting to the hunting trip. As that time period changes to scout in September for an October, November, December to January hunt, that scouting grows to occur just before or as part of the hunt.
The transition enters its final stages as most hunters begin to hunt earlier in the season as they have seen much quality opportunity on the earlier scouting trips. This leads to the final transition.
That transition culmination is most of the long time Association hunter careers sees the hunters having more gray hair and a longer string of mounts are those that hunt more in September and October than later in the season.
It is the discovery that buck movement patterns during this early rut period in September and October are limited compared to peak rut in November. This makes the bucks more predictable in their patterns between food, water and protective cover. Contrast this period to peak rut in mid November and the bucks are where ever there may be a hot doe.
A second appeal is that during September and October is the bucks are willing to breed, but the doe are not receptive. This makes the bucks susceptible to being called into the hunter by rattling, decoying, grunting, attracting scents and so forth much like a spring tom. This advantage when leverage against the large land holding of the Association is the frequently cited reason for most hunters hunting the early season. The first aspect being the ability to go to where the bucks are. The second the capability of attracting those bucks to the hunter.
The year to year deer hunting results seem to support what the more experienced hunters tells us. It comes true in the statistics as best as the Association is able to collect that the ratio of success in terms of tags-on is higher in October than it is in November. It is true that more bucks are harvested in November. However, when comparing the total bucks harvested compared to total hunters the November hunt is lower in success.
A second supporting observation is that more lucky once in a lifetime bucks are harvested in November. Contrast this with the hunters with the longest string of mounts may hunt November, but they also hunt hard September and October.
Private Land Hunting Lease Quality
A common information request is how good is the land.
That good is often defined in the number and size of racks harvested. It is often demonstrated by galleries of deer harvest picture and aerials of large wooded tracks. All of which are inferior evaluations.
Pictures and descriptions can all be embellished and no one really believe the all good information found on any one information source. The search for negative details is equally fraught with misinformation.
Regardless of the amount of research anyone can execute on as broad of a range of deer hunting options that they are willing to explore it does come down to that all must put boots on the ground and judge for himself.
This web site too has a deer hunter success gallery and aerials as shown. We too offer reason why to hunt in this organization. Time and location flexibility being what is most distinctive of our approach.
To further immediate research continue to follow all blue links. All should feel free to call day or evening for a discussion specific to their Missouri deer hunting plans.
Deer Hunting Lease Example
Shown outlined in yellow are the boundaries of one piece of a larger lease within the agricultural region of Missouri well known for its trophy deer hunting.
These paired aerial and ground level photos of the same private land is intended to take away some of the mystery for those that have not hunted this region. This is part of the reasonable expectations aspect this web site attempts to build in hunters of our deer hunting quality.
Total acreage is 280 outlined in yellow. Land use is considered 55% farming in this region although this particular piece seems to exceed that level.
Key aspect of the eastern half of this one piece is that due to ground contour and tree lines. A good portion of it is isolated from direct observation from the roads. The one impacting farm yard can be seen in the lower left, neighbor’s farm to the south of the road.
This picture was taken of the land shown in the aerial above from the east road, south end facing west. Below, later during the hunting season.
Second Hunting Lease Example
We often describe the a common central mid-west Whitetail Deer cover habitat as wooded drainage’s connecting small wood patches cutting through grain crop fields within agricultural regions. This aerial and ground level picture series is an attempt to illustrate that habitat. A small 60 acre spot good for one hunter.
This aerial is of a wooded drainage well shown by the irregular dark line and small wood lot. This aerial we consider average with wooded drainage’s and wood lots larger and smaller than this easily found.
The picture below is of the bulk of the wood lot as seen from the north looking south at #1 on the aerial.
Below, from inside the wood lot looking out to the field marked as #2 on the aerial.
Standing at the bottom of the drainage, in this case a dry drainage, that runs through the aerial.
The intent with these snapshots is just that to take away some of the unknown about our deer habitat, but not intended to be the entire picture.