Iowa Pheasant Hunting
Self guided wild pheasant hunting for those that enjoy pheasant hunting with their own dogs.
Member and upland bird hunter feedback is always welcomed. Two are pheasant hunter dogs are shown below.
Nine month old, first season pup with his catch of the day. Starting out this strong this early in his life will make for years of fine pheasant hunts to come.
Another Association Hunter sends:
With another season behind us it's nice to look back at some of our photos to remember exactly what occurred leading up to and after the photos were taken...Jada and Brooke are 2 Setters that can keep up with the best of the pointers on quail, but able to settle down and work close when switching over to pheasant.
Iowa pheasant hunting with Mid-America Hunting Association is in southern Iowa with overlapping pheasant and Bobwhite Quail populations on private land and on wild birds.
Iowa pheasant hunting is well known throughout the upland bird hunter community and deservedly so in spite of recent laminations by magazine article writers about the demise of tall grass CRP land . What many must be reminded of is that there was good Iowa pheasant hunting before there was CRP.
At this point another set of pundits enter into the fray stating that before CRP the farming practices left more wildlife areas and that made Iowa pheasant hunts what they were before CRP. Undoubtedly so we must agree. However, in spite of the bulldozer land clearing another impact has been the large corporation farm, especially that within the hog industry and the farming practices that type of operation employs with the secondary effect of enhancing upland bird habitat.
The Iowa corporate hog farm focuses its effort on hog production in the form of interior to a barn hog rearing and large grain crop fields. These corporations do not forage their cut crops with cattle and do not expend fuel and machine hours on fall crop stubble plowing. Both of these practices enhance pheasant populations.
These same Iowa corporate hog farms do not hay lesser crop land and do not graze waterways leaving cover habitat further enhancing Iowa's pheasant hunting. This corporate farm is a specialist farm unlike the small farmer that diversifies to use every possible land resource he may have. Such diversification is often at the expense of pheasant habitat.
Now enter MAHA into this equation towards land lease paid do it yourself hunts. MAHA brings to the corporate farm operation the pieces of the puzzle missing and inhibiting the average Iowa pheasant hunter's access to what is now prime wild pheasant habitat.
MAHA assumes responsibility for self guided pheasant hunter land access freeing the corporation from being annoyed (actual words used by a corporate member) by pheasant hunters entering sanitized hog operating areas and distracting employees with requests to hunt. These requests were routinely denied.
The suburbanite may relate to the Iowa farm owner and the hunter in terms of Saturday afternoon door to door religious advocates seeking to covert the homeowner to their brand of religion. Neither the hunter seeking the farmer's time is any more welcome than the religious advocate ringing the suburbanite's door bell.
A second Iowa pheasant hunting MAHA advantage is our coverage of the corporation, as we do all our landowners, with a multi million dollar insurance coverage compete with certificate. That is the final minimum requirement to sit at the negotiating table and work out the lease contract specifications.
This then leads to further amplifying how the average Iowa pheasant hunter cannot access these corporate Iowa farms. The insurance premium is expensive and beyond the means of any one average hunter. Add that to the land lease dollar per acre costs of these farms that run into the tens of thousands of acres and the cost far exceeds what the average pheasant hunter can afford.
This is one value of MAHA. We get the pheasant hunter on land of good Iowa pheasant habitat that would otherwise be beyond their reach and more importantly on pheasant hunts of wild birds.
Our Iowa pheasant hunting land is over agricultural land left fallow, brushed in drainage's and other than farming wildlife areas.
Iowa is for those upland bird hunters seeking more Bobwhite Quail than pheasants. For a better pheasant hunt our Kansas tall grass land holds more pheasants.
For those that like to hunt predominately Bobwhite Quail will find our Iowa hunting land well covered in crop edge that holds coveys as well as an occasional pheasant.
Classic Iowa upland bird habitat. In this case more likely quail than pheasant cover.
Edge cover such as this may yield a pheasant as often as a covey anywhere along its length. Most that enjoy our Iowa pheasant hunts do so just for this extra bit.
Upland Bird Hunter Pictures
When it comes to do it yourself bird hunters the most prized pictures are of their dog, not of dead birds. In this case a fine looking setter pointing an Iowa quail while on a pheasant hunt. That is the hunter we choose to want to work with.
The annual membership dues paid by any one of our members does not cover the cost of much acreage compared to that which each hunter will hunt in a day's time and on any single trip.
Each hunter will cover about 400 to 600 acres of pheasant ground in a day. He may not actually hunt that much land, but will cover a good portion of it pheasant hunting along with his dogs.
To have 400 acres of huntable Iowa pheasant habitat may require 1,500 acres or more gross Iowa acreage. If we were just to pay a $1.00 per acre that would be a cost of a fifteen hundred dollars per day per hunter. If that pheasant hunter hunts a typical week of vacation time from Sunday to the following Saturday, 7 days having used the earlier Saturday and latter Sunday for travel, that Iowa pheasant hunter would access $10,500 worth of land. Compare that cost to our annual membership fees and the entire year's membership costs does not pay for one day's worth of pheasant hunting land at $1.00 per acre.
Add to the MAHA advantage that the pheasant hunter can be pheasant hunting a different field each time stepping from the truck of every day of every pheasant hunting trip. And, he can do so in Iowa, Kansas and Missouri. That little bit of added adventure of being on new ground beats walking the same field every weekend as often occurs for the traveling pheasant hunter back in their home state.
Self Guided Kansas Pheasant Hunt
Within our Association each upland bird hunter may hunt pheasant and quail in Iowa, Missouri and kansas all for the same cost. With our having upland bird productive habitat spread across three states there is always one region or more with good bird populations regardless of any one localities bad weather effects that year.
I just got back from [location deleted] and thought I would share some pics. The hunting was really good up until the ice storm.
This picture of tall grass is deceptive as the grass is every bit of five feet tall.
Iowa does have some CRP in tall native grass well suited for pheasant cover. When placed near crop fields, a frequent occurrence in Iowa, the pheasant hunting is very good. In the case of Iowa compared to the more abundant grass lands of Kansas, Iowa's better pheasant hunting cover is far more localized.
With our hunting lease land approach not limiting us to the driving distance around a fixed lodge we can lease land in the region of the state that gives us the best return for our money, meaning better upland bird hunting for quail and pheasant. Having several such regions across Iowa, Kansas and Missouri further allows us to have regions of better hunts when managing the details of variable weather conditions affecting hatch success. Those that seek just one social hunt a season will find none of this of value. Those that train, hunt and live with there bird dogs year round will quickly agree that such flexibility is required to sustain years of hunts.
Tall grass pheasant hunting is what many self guided pheasant hunters seek and this motivation has been heavily reinforced by many hunting magazine articles featuring such hunts, because they are easy.
Hunters will hunt the tall grass, however those with pointing dogs will also hunt other habitat types. That is the distinction of the tall grass pheasant hunter.
The tall grass hunter is more often than not either dog less or has a flushing/retrieving dog. Pointing dog pheasant hunters hunt the grass as well as brush filled draws and crop edge for a pheasant hunter that enjoys the dog work above that of birds in the bag. In this case of the pointing dog tall grass pheasant hunter he does so for the enjoyment of cover variety.
This variety of cover habitat is a do it yourself hunter advantage as the hunter picks where to hunt rather than follow a guide around. In the case of Iowa's pheasant hunting cover the more open blue sky shooting of the grass and brush filled drain will leave any for less excuse on missed shots. When along the wood line that added bonus of quail makes it all the better not knowing what will come out of the cover.
For our Iowa pheasant hunting we include a good number of hunter testimonials from Iowa and the other states where we lease habitat. Not all are pheasant hunters such as the pheasant picture and accompany text below in the green box.
A research method for those that may be thinking the hunts we offer a right choice for them would be to read several of our hunter testimonials with the latest posted on the update page. Reading the rules would then be next. Between those sources that prospective member may develop some test questions to call and ask us about. If during that initial telephone conversation we believe we could work together we will offer many member names and telephone numbers to call and ask the same set of questions. The consistency of answers will give the degree of reliability of what may be expected of our hunt quality.
While our Iowa lease land does not have the tall grass CRP acreage that exists in Kansas there is some and always a benefit to the wild upland bird hunter as a bonus with the brushy draws that have both pheasant and Bobwhite Quail. While Iowa draws plenty of hunter attention, Kansas has season long hunting quality sustainability due to more tall grass acreage.
Iowa Pheasant and Quail Hunter
Hunt one day or every day of the season for the same cost. While this may initially seem to be the ideal many will find that after two days of all day long walking a more leisurely pace will become the standard.
It is far more the norm to hunt one full day than a short day tapering off to a string of casual field days. Both dog and hunter will find fatigue and hard going if attempting to hunt a week straight.
We have an understanding that tall grass is not the only pheasant hunting habitat.
From Steve traveling from West Virginia while on deer stand. Notice the cover. Cut wheat with weeds, a very good pheasant hunting spot. Such habitat requires a slow working dog. Too much motion, noise or other predator pressure will simply push the pheasant out rather than hold for point.
Routine picture for Kenneth and his dogs. In Kenneth's approach each dog is credited in the pictures with his own birds.
When we lease land for our pheasant hunts use the type of land use practice places it on a scale of habitat value. That value determines if we lease that land and if so how much we will pay.
The value of the habitat in the waterways is that should we have a dry year the best grass will be in the waterway, hence the best spots. This illustration is simply meant to show we discriminate for what land we lease and in terms of pheasant hunts we have first hand, year long, boots on the ground experience to know what is the best and not so good pheasant habitat. The result is that we have done the research to know where our hunters need to park their truck to hunt.
One comparison of our approach to paid pheasant hunting for the do it yourself pheasant hunter to that of a guided pheasant hunting lodge or outfitter is tall grass habitat acreage.
A pheasant hunting guide operation will maximize its tall grass acreage due to the tall grass characteristic of concentrating large numbers of pheasant in a relatively small area and hold them from day to day in spite of pressure, both planted and wild birds. The value to the pheasants hunting outfitter is getting their clients into as many pheasants as soon as possible to gain a limit and have a satisfied customer.
Guide hunters seek bird numbers quick and at the least expense of energy. They want that picture and reward of many pheasants in a pile. Guide clients will evaluate the hunt simply by the number of limits achieved. The faster a limit is achieved the faster the pheasant hunting guide can be done with that client and move in some more high dollar clients and maximize his income.
Now compare the above description to that of the do it yourself pheasant hunter with his own bird dogs. The do it yourself pheasant hunter will also hunt the tall grass to gain a pheasant limit quick and quicker hunting over his dog than that of a line of non-dog owning guide hunters being escorted around. The difference comes in that for the bird dog owning pheasant hunter working the grass is fine for getting birds and very poor for daily hunting enjoyment and watching his dog work.
After a day of tall grass hunting that same hunter will seek a brush filled draw or soft crop edge habitat to get away from the monotony of single habitat type grass hunting and the opportunity to see his dog in action on less thick cover. Add to this the opportunity for a mixed bag quail and pheasant hunt and it gets all the better to hunt the tall grass but once in a while and spend more time in the draws and crop fields.
The difference of course is based on the motivation for the pheasant hunt. Is it strictly bird numbers or enjoyment of the hunt. Most of us with dogs would never think of pheasant hunting without a dog. We chose to work with bird dog owning upland bird hunters and simply tell those that call to hunt and do not own dogs that we are not for them.
Do it yourself wild pheasant hunts for those upland bird hunters with their own dogs. We provide the land, recommendations where to hunt, a lodging list and the hunter simply hunts. It is not free. It is reasonable trade of dollars for time in the field especially that for wild birds.
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