Deer Hunting Recommendations
Association hunters may speak with either of the two Association partners, Jon Nee or John Wenzel, any time for ideas where to hunt. This is a courtesy outside of the rules. While the rules serve as the basis for the relationship between the hunter and the Association there are additional relationship actions taken to make a better organization. On the hunter's part sending in pictures and feedback about their hunts is certainly enjoyed by all. Those hunters that understand the value of such reciprocation always find such courtesy gives back more.
Where To Hunt
Any lease recommended by either Jon Nee or John Wenzel is based on their through the year travels. As such all recommendation while based on eyes on good racks, good sign or the right habitat within the right region of the state, the recommendations are nonetheless historical. In spite of this historical characteristic any hunt recommendation is intended to give the hunter as good a start his first year as a member as possible.
For the most part recommendations are well received. Most Association hunters understand the MAHA partners have a value incentive to insure all have as good of a hunt. This is contrasted to taking recommendations from another deer hunter. Serious deer hunters are like bass fishermen about any good spots. They are simply the best liars around. Or, at least avoider's of the whole truth!
Deer Hunter Feedback
"...hunting choices alone do not make for better hunts, concentrating within those choices makes the better deer hunt..."
-Long time traveling deer hunter that has been a MAHA member for 12 years
2 Bucks 2 States 2 Days
A long time traveling deer hunter/member that no longer relies on our recommendations to make his own good deer hunts.
Hello John and Jon, How are things going? I just wanted to send you guys some pictures from my latest hunt. I was very fortunate this year and was able to tag 2 nice bucks in two states. I had hunted hard for nine straight days, dealing with about every obstacle one could run across. I figured my hunt was going to end without any opportunities. However, my luck turned for the best and in 30 hours I was able to harvest 2 dandies in 2 states. The remarkable part of this is the 30 hours included pulling stands, one night of rest, 5 hours travel, purchasing another license, finding a hotel, taking deer 1 to a processor, and finding a new farm. You can imagine my surprise when I looked up and saw Buck #2 coming over the knoll after only being there for 1.5 hours. I just wish I hadn't packed my deer cart at the bottom of the truck, because I decided to drag him out and that was not an easy task. The larger buck scored 142 3/4 and is my largest archery buck to date.
There are two further understandings about these recommendations.
The first is they are based largely on deer sightings. Second, they are often different than what any one hunter may have selected as a deer hunting spot.
In terms of the former, it is deer that we are after. Not necessarily the best looking to the human eye habitat. To test this differential, seek feedback from any upland bird hunter as to the habitat that surrounds some of the biggest racks they put up. Most quail and pheasant hunters will have a list of large racked whitetail from the most unlikely cover. Most of these spots deer hunters would call “bird ground”.
The latter understanding is that our recommendations are just that. They can be taken or discarded by any one hunter. All hunters may hunt where they see fit to do so.
The value of a self guided hunter organization is that all may make their own hunt. From the hunter perspective, recommendation are largely to which lease to deer hunt. A secondary set of recommendations include which state to deer hunt. Largely based on which season gives the best opportunities.
When Not To Hunt
A frequently not considered decision criteria is for the traveling deer hunter to hunt that portion of the rut he has the most experience hunting.
Those that try to cross over to an unfamiliar portion of the rut often do so because any one state has a deer season that fits the hunter’s schedule. This approach will most likely find the deer hunter not getting eyes on many deer.
Pre rut, early rut, peak rut, trail rut and post rut hunts are all possible across the range of available MAHA seasons and states. However, not all hunters fit well into all deer behavior patterns. An illustration to make this point would be to hunt the early rut for those hunters that have skill with rattling, decoying and scents. For those that do not have a these tools in their kitbag then hunting the early rut will not be as effective as it could be. This is a time period where additional hunting skills pay off. A contrast is during the peak rut when more luck of a hot doe being nearby is all that is required for eyes-on.
Any one can draw similar illustrations of the changing hunting techniques and skills required for deer hunting throughout the range of deer behavior. Each phase has its own set of rules and those that attempt to take those behaviors outside of their specified season will not have a good hunt. Those that stick to what they know the best always have a better time of it.
Bachelor group just before early archery. Another two weeks and these bucks will be gone onto reproduction motivated behavior.
In terms of Kansas Iowa or Missouri each state has trophy whitetail potential. Each with habitat differentials that drive archery hunters to some regions. Other regions well suited to long range rifle shots. Life is long and we have been around a long time. To select from among the three states where we offer deer hunting is to work towards setting up for years of deer hunts to come. Eventually, planning to hunt two of our three states every season will become the norm. That is after breaking into each sequentially rather than biting off too much and try to cover them all the first year.