I just became a member of MAHA in June of this year and even though I was excited about the prospect of hunting KS, MO and eventually IA, I really had no idea of what I had gotten myself into until the first hour that I set foot on MAHA lease properties.
I am from [location deleted] , so I drew into [location deleted] and spent the first few weeks of my membership studying property maps for those counties. I settled on [location deleted] county as my first scout trip since it was only two hours away, and set out to look at those properties. My first stop as soon as I got into [location deleted] was unit [location deleted] and [location deleted]. When I left that property, I called my wife and said I could probably be happy hunting just that one piece of land for the rest of my membership. [location deleted] was almost entirely corn crops, and [location deleted] was beans and [location deleted] was cut wheat. The surrounding properties were also corn. I could barely see a likely looking area from the road that I thought would funnel deer so I got out of the truck and walked out there to spot deer for the evening. I hadn't even gotten out there and three deer had already come out. Within minutes, I was literally surrounded by deer and pinned down in a patch of weeds, trying to make myself small.
I was glad I had my camera with me when the nice buck in these photos walked out of the treeline and into the fields. This buck is a shooter by [location deleted] archer standards! I was just amazed. With barely any knowledge of the properties short of a few maps and aerial photos, I was able to walk out my first time and instantly be on a good deer. I had a great time filming the deer until he eventually fed into my wind. Strangely enough, rather than leaving, he decided to come closer and check me out. He posed for me at about 50 yards before checking on out. I saw another buck that evening at a great distance that would probably book. And I also got photos of a fine 2 year old 10 point that is going to be a great deer. Overall, I saw over 20 deer in the first two hours on MAHA property, of which about 9 were bucks.
To make things even better, the next morning I walked onto Unit [location deleted] at daybreak and once again was immediately on deer. There was a huge corn field just off of the MAHA lease property on the NW corner and I figured that the deer might be coming off of it at dawn. I was correct. It's really pretty phenomenal. The deer actually acted like they had never seen a human. I had a couple of doe that walked within 10 yards of me while I was walking! I had one that went directly downwind of me and I literally thought she was going to ask me to pet her. I wish I could send you the video but it's over 10 Megs.
Anyway, I saw my first [location deleted] Monster on this property. He bumped out of his bed about 30 yards from me on the far northwest corner of the property, just off of the corn field. Unfortunately he knew the drill and he didn't stick around for pictures. He is probably going to be a legitimate 160 class or better by the time his antlers are done growing. He looked like a bull plowing through the thicket as he left. HUGE body. What a sight!
This email is getting long but if anybody wonders what they get with MAHA, they should just understand this is all happening on my first two days on lease properties, again with zero knowledge of deer patterns.
Unit [location deleted] and [location deleted] had a huge alfalfa field that was planted just off of the property that I found as I was driving around. I set up there that evening and video taped the deer movement on that field. I was hoping to catch some nice bucks coming off of the north border fence row of [location deleted], using the trees there as cover to come to the alfalfa. Again, in 10 minutes of looking, I had it pegged. Two potential book bucks came right off the fence row at 8:30PM and hit the alfalfa field and joined a total of 6 other lesser bucks already in the field, as well as 5 doe. I had 8 bucks on video. What a night!
I am attaching a couple of poor photos of these bucks. The distance and light was too poor to get good shots, but it's enough to get an idea.
Needless to say, I am so thrilled right now that I can't even sleep at night. I have to wonder if this is what I can see on my first two days, just how good is this going to be when the deer are really wanting to move and I know more about what they're doing?
Congratulations on putting together an incredible opportunity! I am excited to be a part of it.
I don't know if you guys will find this valuable or not but here are a few more notes on your [location deleted] properties that may help you and possibly other members: While I was on location deleted] and [location deleted], the quail never stopped whistling. Everywhere I walked I was within earshot of quail from every direction.
I also saw a lot of turkeys on [location deleted] but they were not pleased to see me! I'm not a quail hunter, but this would seem like a great quail spot. [location deleted] and [location deleted] are solid corn. Tons and tons of corn. The deer sign there is phenomenal. On the edges, I literally could not take a step without stepping on 4 or five tracks. I have high hopes for that property.
I found a deer stand below the pond on [location deleted] that looks like it's been there since last year. No way of knowing if it's a member's or tresspassers... [location deleted] doesn't have alot planted on it currently. Most of the fields there look fallow as of now except for section 'a' which is solid corn. And that may be all it needs to be good. I am already looking forward to my next scouting trip. I'm not sure if I will hit [location deleted] county next or just learn more about [location deleted]. It's a hard decision. If you have any advice, I'd love to hear it. I have to say though, that as good as these properties are, a fellow could probably walk onto a property blind and find deer in the first day and have legitimately good chances for big buck success inside of a week.
What an incredible deal you guys have going! Anyway, thanks for your time and your read. Sorry about the length. Enjoy the photos.
Or, the Next Hunter