First year Association deer hunter. Traveling far from the east. This gets the wow factor. Many congratulations.
Jon we are not the greatest story tellers so were going to tell it just as it happened. We [Alan, David] started planning this trip last January. This was an experience in its self. We were trying to figure out how we could start hunting in the mid west on our own. You name it we tried it. Then we found your web page and I am surely not alone thinking this is too good to be true. After talking to Jon a couple of times we said lets give it a shot. Once we gained access to the maps we started trying to figure out where we should go and the staff was very helpful in pointing us in a general direction and giving us some helpful tips. Keep in mind we both have bow hunted for many years just not in the mid west. We studied satellite maps and played the what if game from April till the day we left.
We are feeling good. We have our tags; licenses, trucks is packed, and were on the way. We have 1330 miles and 22 hours to go life is good. Five hours into the drive David looks at me and says he needs to go to the hospital, "I have kidney stones". Two days later he sees an urologist they get him into surgery at 7:30 am. I am thinking the trip was over there is no way he is going to be able to sit in a vehicle 15 to 17 hours after surgery. When we left the east coast hurricane Sandy was coming toward our area so we thought we were getting away. Little did we know this same storm was going to hit a cold front and dump up to 10 inches of snow on us. The doctor came out around 8:30 am and said he was good to go hunting and we could leave around noon. Needless to say we were excited once again. Get back on the road at 12:30 in what I thought was a blizzard. We drove about 2 hours in the snow then it began to clear up and what a relief.
The next day we arrive around 12:30 in the afternoon. We had found a place to stay by making some cold calls around the area we were going to hunt. We are going to meet the lady at 7 pm when she got off work so we road around and scouted from the truck to get familiar with the roads and where the land is we have reserved. Around 7:30 we arrived at her house and I bet some of you know where this is going. I am telling this part of the story not to make fun of any one it is part of our adventure and maybe it might help someone. She opens the door three rather large mice [rats] are in the kitchen looking at us like who are you. There were five dogs from 1lb to 50lbs and they had done there business throughout the house. There were no burners on the stove so cooking was not an option. The dogs had chewed a hole in the couch all the way to the floor. There was a hole in the floor that you could see the dirt under the house. There is more but I think everyone can get a picture of what we were looking at. Lucky we had a plan B and C. Made a few calls the next place was like Trump towers in comparison to what we had left and it was closer to our top picks.
The next morning we slept in till about sunrise ate a little breakfast and got on the road. Pulled up to one of our reservations around 9:30 am and saw a real nice buck and 4 does. What a confidence builder after a shaky start. We scouted six or seven places ended up hunting four of them. I was able to get the buck we saw the first mourning and David had several opportunities at 120 to 130 inch bucks and passed on them. I think we hunted a total of 11 days and saw a lot of deer. There were some days we saw 11 to 16 deer. Even on a bad day we would see one or two deer. We saw three shooter bucks on MAHA. Land [140/150] and four more just riding to and from. Saw six bucks that given another year I would like to get a crack at. This to me was not a hunting trip it was an adventure and I would not change one part other than I would have liked for David to have got a 160 incher. Oh and the flat tire and buying four new ones Ha-ha.
To any one thinking of joining I will give my opinions of our experience and maybe it will help you as other member’s letters helped me. You have got to answer the question what are you looking for. If it is a 160 inch buck on every piece of land on the maps do not join. If you want access to some good land that has the potential for some real nice bucks they have it. As you can read above we had highs and lows. There were no surprises on the MAHA end of the hunt, all the surprises were on our end. Bow hunting is not always going to go your way but what they offer is our #1 rule to killing a good buck you have to hunt where they are.
All the staff was very helpful from beginning to the end of the hunt. Read everything on the web site it all works as they said it would. Out of the seven or so sections we called on only two were being hunted. This was a surprise, our worry was that we would get there and all the land would be taken. We did have the pleasure to meet several other members in the field and most were veteran members who had encouraging things to say.
To the MAHA. Staff and all who made this hunt possible and to all the new friends we made many thanks.