Matthew

Hey Jon and John...had a good time this past weekend during the opener of deer gun season...my two sons, my brother, and I hunted a farm up north that I had never been on before and it was a real treat...I like hunting that real open county where you can see for miles. We ran into so much wildlife that I'm anxious to get back up to that county later this year during quail season and then maybe next spring for turkey season – lots of deer, more turkey on a 1/2 section than I've seen anywhere else, coyotes, rabbits, quail, etc. We saw a total of 7 bucks, 5 of which could be considered "shooters" including two real pigs…both 10-pointers...that we couldn't quite get a shot at...they were chasing does to the exclusion of all else and I couldn't get either buck to stop long enough for a decent shot. My oldest son Jarod killed his first buck – a respectable 8-pointer (one busted G3) – that he made a great shot on…he was hunting on his own for the first time and was pretty excited about it. I've included a couple of pictures from the hunt and a photo of my youngest son Yance with "Taco" a soon-to-be-quail dog (I have grand expectations). Talk to you all later. Matthew

To Jon and all MAHA staff: I wanted to share some thoughts with you folks - finally, as these have been rolling around inside my head for some time now. I think I've been a member now for 3 or 4 years. I first joined after losing access to approximately 6,000 acres of prime hunting ground in Kansas, Missouri, and Oklahoma over a 5 to 6 year span. Generally, access was lost when the landowner passed away and the land was left to children or spouses. Typically, the property was either subdivided and old or leased. In any event, I found myself without hunting properties and with family and career, little chance to replace or find new properties. I began looking into leasing and stumbled around for several years, talking with landowners and other hunters before accidentally "discovering" Mid America Game Bird Association (back then). Following several discussions with Jon and John I, somewhat reluctantly I'll have to admit signed up and paid the dues. The following paragraph is a feeble attempt at describing to you and the MAHA staff why that has been one of the better decisions I've made.

I have found MAHA's philosophies to fit nicely with mine. I admire the organization's management style and the steps you take in providing opportunities to members for accessing quality properties in an organized and regulated manner. As I gracefully age (I hope) I find myself caring less and less about the kill and more and more about the opportunities to walk new properties and see what's over the next rise, down the next ridge, and across the next holler. I have found that the opportunities to hunt and walk properties in parts of Kansas and Missouri, that I would have otherwise ignored or missed out on, is very much appreciated.

I have harvested very few animals on club land this 2001-2002 hunting season. As a matter of fact, one big doe in Kansas has been it...no other deer this year, no ducks, geese, dove, turkeys, squirrels, nothing. I have, however, had many chances to sit up in trees in October and November (one of my most favorite activities) and read many fine novels, watch the world slowly drift by, and solve many important and critical world problems I have also had the opportunity to see wonderful sunsets, brilliant sunrises and look out over acres and acres of beautiful country and just sit and watch. I tend to select properties to hunt alone. Without the potential for interrupting other's hunts or others interrupting my solitude and idle wanderings.

I find myself caring less each season about scent control, perfect stand placement, or wearing the best camouflage pattern I can find and more about all the other parts - seeing, watching, smelling, feeling and all that other touchy, feely stuff - its hell getting old. In all seriousness, I have appreciated and thoroughly enjoyed my time with the club and look forward to many more years and bringing my kids into the club to continue their education as responsible, honest, ethical, skilled, and humane hunters and fishermen (and women, my little redheaded daughter is quite the fisherman and already looking forward eagerly to her first deer hunt). I also hope to take more advantage in the future to spend more time on association properties... walking if nothing else. So...keep up the good work –you all can count on my continued support.

Many thanks to you and your staff, Sincerely,  Matthew

Hey Jon and John...great turkey season so far...lots of gobblers on every property I've been on this spring - both Kansas and Missouri. The birds are gobbling a lot and have been very responsive throughout the morning and into early afternoon. I had a nice big gobbler working yesterday morning (Missouri opener) at 11:30. He had strutted to within 80 yards and was putting on quite the display before two young coyotes pushed him back and away from my setup. Up to that point, the big gobbler had been strutting for over 30 minutes, gobbling nearly non-stop (or so it seemed) as he eased his way across the pasture towards my decoys. I had taken an inadvertent bath crossing a rain-swollen creek doing the tightrope trick across a slick-ass sycamore to get to within calling distance of this bird, so I was content to sit there in the sun and watch the show. I saw 7 different gobblers on this property and heard 2 more, plus 5 jakes and 3 hens.

This morning's show consisted of one of the loudest, most constant gobbling mornings I've experienced in some time. Another member had reserved the area where most of the gobbling was originating, so I had the pleasure to sit and listen from afar, waiting on fly-down and the birds to start moving around. By 7:30 I had several different gobblers responding to my calls. By 8:00 I harvested the bird pictured. He and a buddy had sneaked in to within 15 yards of my setup from behind while my attention was on another gobbler about 150 yards out front. This big guy never gobbled but his spit and drumming could have waken the dead. I was able to ease around until I heard his alarm putts, then turn and fire - 18-1/2 lbs, 11-inch beard, 1-inch spurs. I estimate that there were at least another 12 to 15 gobblers (some jakes) sounding off on our property and another 3 or more on the property immediately west of ours. This season looks like its going to be a dandy.

Matthew

Hello John and Jon...here are a few photos from our youth deer weekend. My oldest had decided he was only going to shoot a doe or a buck if it was bigger than last year's. He ended up with a nice doe Sunday morning. My youngest just wanted to tag a deer. He ended up with a small racked 8 - his first racked buck. We didn't see many deer Saturday...only 4...but three were bucks including one nice racked buck that I only glimpsed for a couple of seconds. Neither of the two kids with me saw him though.

We saw plenty of deer Sunday...the weather turned out overcast with a light drizzle and the wind finally settled down some...it seemed to have them moving about better that morning. My two youngest and I were hunting from a natural ground blind and saw 10 deer Sunday morning, 6 of which were bucks...no big ones though. My youngest made a nice shot at about 60 yards after the buck finished working a scrape along the field edge and, along with a small racked 6, wandered out into the field. We had numerous close encounters with turkeys too. One flock worked it's way down the edge of the corn field we were hunting Saturday evening and passed less then 20 feet behind us going to roost. Nice weekend.

I picked out photos that showed the whole crew with each deer. I also picked out one photo of my kids goofing off (I'm certain it will embarrass them) only because I think it shows why and how I choose the properties I do for hunting...the view. It helps that the properties have plenty of game, but if all I had was a great view, I'd be content. Talk to you guys later.
Matt

Had a great hunt this past weekend...lots of critters to keep us company and entertained, plenty of deer, and the weather certainly cooperated. We also had the opportunity to meet the landowner during this trip...they came in with their equipment Friday evening and starting combining their beans. Worked until midnight then back again around 9:00 Saturday morning until around 10:00 that night. We didn't seethem again before we left Sunday, so I expect they may have taken the day off. They were picking the fields adjacent to and on both sides of the creek bottom we were hunting and I panicked at first but then accepted the fact that these were the circumstances and I couldn't do anything to change them. Some might believe this would ruin the hunting but we found it was just the opposite...all the activity seemed to do nothing at the least or maybe even had the deer up and moving around more at best. Each of my two youngest kids were able to hang their respective tag on a nice doe Sunday morning. Although we saw plenty of bucks, they both seemed to be very satisfied with taking a big doe. The landowner expressed a keen interest in seeing more does taken on this particular property so I expect they'll be happy to hear of our results. However, for the record...based on what I saw this past weekend, I really wish I were back up there in a bow stand right now...

This area of the state has been very good to us....we always seem to find the hunting very productive and sometimes almost easy. I don't like using that term because I know there's always more to it, but I can't express enough how much we enjoy these particular farms. Can't wait to get back up there at the soonest opportunity... Matt

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