Turkey Hunter Success
A long time do it yourself spring season turkey hunting member from Pennsylvania that travels for the better Missouri turkey hunts that he defined as more turkeys, fewer hunters and simply a better experience.
Turkey hunting with Mid-America Hunting Association is season long for Eastern and Rio Grande Turkey in Kansas, Missouri and Iowa for self guided fall and spring turkey seasons on private land with hunter separation.
Turkey hunting options are as abundant as are the magazine articles written about it. There seems to be far more hunt options in far more states than many of us can remember being the case 25 years ago.
Many credit the NWTF for leading the restoration of flocks and allowing the synergistic effect of the blossoming spring season hunter industry sustaining that interest. There seems to be nearly as many spring season season accouterments as there are lures for bass fishing.
Between these two effects another outgrowth is the booth space at the annual NWTF sports show having a waiting list of vendors for equipment, guide and outfitters that will overwhelm most with selection. This effect is further demonstrated by many more hunters that are willing to travel outside of their home state for either better hunts or simply more of it.
Turkey Hunting Success is based on Habitat and Locality
A picture taken on April 5th.
A wheat field along a small creek bottom. An excellent habitat picture from one of our land runs we conduct year round. This one shows the preferred grazing habitat just before spring season and the brown wood habitat. Most hunters will find the crop of harvested birds well filled with vegetation in the form of sprouts during the spring season. Also a good indication of the color camouflage to be worn.
Our service is private lease land access for do it yourself hunts without competition from others. Our product is habitat. The right habitat in the right region of the state that has a history of production. These snapshots are of just such turkey habitat in north Missouri in February taken while reviewing leases.
Typical agricultural land habitat of wooded creek bottoms connecting wood lots cutting through grain fields.
Common to have the steeper slopes in grass with the hill tops in row crop.
The intent of all of our habitat pictures with and without birds is to take away as much mystery about our turkey hunts as possible through text and pictures.
And then there is the big open of western Kansas turkey country. The flock is dead center of the picture without a tree for more than a mile.
To hunt such open ground is first to scout with binoculars, not run and gun from ridge top to ridge top. Run and gun turkey hunts makes for action packet hunt videos and a dis-service to those that come to hunt open terrain. Any hunter that has pre-conceived ideas how to turkey hunt without considering the terrain, cover and food sources will find that inflexibility the cause for tags remaining in pocket.
This travel to hunt effect seemingly originated by the trophy whitetail deer hunter and expanded to cover spring season hunts. That same hunter for the most part finds the spring season to be just the right time of the year for another trip back to those areas that allow for both good whitetail and spring tom hunts.
What MAHA has is the private lease land in the right regions of Kansas, Missouri and Iowa that allow for both good whitetail and turkey hunt. And, our hunts are on wild turkey for the do it yourself turkey hunter.
That prized combination allowing the same self guided hunter to return to the same leases during two diverse periods of the year give a far more comprehensive knowledge of the land and its wildlife. During any one trip that one golden nugget of a hot spot may be revealed that allows subsequent hunts to be far more productive. This one intangible bit of advantage is well sought after by many and completely oblivious to others.
The tangible and easily measurable benefits we offer include a couple of hundred thousand acres of private land we lease for spring turkey as well as for deer, upland and waterfowl. We also provide a lodging listing and recommendations of where to hunt. However, it is the combined effect of the intangible advantages that make for the better hunts.
For wild turkey hunting these intangible advantages include an Association staff that have many years of turkey hunting experience. This may not seem to be surprising if all we were was a turkey hunt outfitter. We are not.
We provide for mule and whitetail deer, pheasant and bobwhite quail, duck and goose and Eastern and Rio Grande Turkey hunts. Having those that manage a hunt club hunt what the members seek allows for a more intimate knowledge of the wildlife, habitat and how to make a hunt work. The benefit to the hunter is we get him to the spot where to park his truck. Once there the hunter makes his own do it yourself hunt.
The next intangible self guided wild turkey hunting advantage we offer is that our hunts are not limited to a small acreage lease centered around a single lodging facility in one part of any one state. We are statewide and will lease land wherever the region in a state shows to have superior wild flock production.
This statewide advantage continues to have a cumulative effect as with multiple such localities within one state simply makes for more hunt options.
An enlargement of the picture immediately above showing open land Kansas turkeys.
Our Kansas land demonstrates this by offering both Eastern and Rio Grande hunts. Our Missouri acreage is distributed both north and south-west-central allows for less driving time for many traveling to hunt our three state region. The Iowa ground give one more tag. Overall, not being locked into a single lodge location not only allows for more hunters to be distributed over a larger set of acreage, it limits the hunter pressure on any one farm.
This spread out acreage also allows for the turkey hunter that added benefit of the adventure of seeking out new ground in addition to his favorite areas each year. Few experienced do it yourself turkey hunters seek hunts on the same flock on the same ground all the time. Our hunters may do so to secure their first tag from a well known turkey hot spot farm and then explore other farms and possibly find that fall's next trophy whitetail hot spot.
Turkey Hunter Feedback
Hi John, John and Shaun,
Wanted to thank everyone for another successful turkey hunt.
Things started off on a bad note when I found out we lost the lease on the only farm I had hunted the last couple of years.
I panicked, but the office assured me we they would be able to put me on a productive farm.
They recommended 3 farms in the same area and told me to take a look and make a choice for myself. I scouted all 3 farms and only saw one tom strutting the back corner and was a little skeptical.
I entered the field at about 5:30 am hoping the tom would be roosted in the same corner I saw him strutting. At about 5:40 am to my surprise I heard 3 toms gobbling. They all flew down together with 2 hens and worked their way along the edge of the field in my direction, but the hens peeled off to the center of the field and the toms followed them. I thought my turkey hunt was over for the day, but out of nowhere a coyote (I assume) made a charge at them and they flushed. That is when I saw there were more turkeys around than I knew.
After 20 minutes I saw some turkeys so I made a couple of soft yelps. After 5 minutes I caught a better glimpse of turkeys and a tom strutting on the edge and they were easing my direction. After calling I heard another tom gobble and he popped out of the woods and joined the other turkeys. It took almost an hour for all the turkeys to work across the field. The toms strutted circles around my decoys. I picked out the one with the largest beard. When I shot, he went right down and the other tom just stood there watching. I put my sights on him and the Kansas season was over by 7:10 am.
It was a turkey hunt of a lifetime.
Turkey Lease Land
Scenes from one of our pre contract signing lease scouting land runs.
The two Association field staff the owner and operator Jon Nee and the partner John Wenzel are out on the land 12 months of the year as MAHA is their full time employment. They also both own their own farms as a playground to enjoy nature and they both spring turkey hunt. This level of connectivity to the land plus running a business, not a hunting club, means an orientation toward the do it yourself turkey hunter customer service satisfaction. That means getting the member to the right spot to park his truck, step out and in this case go turkey hunting on the right habitat in the right region of the state with a history of turkey flock production. After that it is luck and skill, the land and the birds are there.
Our mild winters allows for high survival rates, retention of body fat through food availability, stronger hens to lay better eggs and have stronger broods.
Compare our approach to wild turkey hunts to a 5,000 acre outfitter with a lodge. In the case of the small acreage outfitter he may have a couple of flocks that he keeps anchored with feeders. Otherwise, by what means can he process enough turkey hunts each season to sustain an income and a reputation for success?
This can be tested by anyone over the telephone. Asking any such guide service his acreage available, number of flocks, number of hunters each spring, success rates and the number of days hunted on average for each tag filled? The higher the percentage in each category the greater the likelihood the birds have the feeders timed and the hunt is on a schedule.
The next intangible advantage is that we are not a guide service. We are a private land access organization giving the do it yourself hunter the resource he needs to make his own hunt as he wants that hunt to be.
We have the land, the turkeys, the reservation system to ensure hunter separation and we have another aspect that further separates us from the guide or outfitter. We are motivated to have our do it yourself hunters return each year for a tradition of hunts with us for years to come. That is made possible by providing the kind of turkey hunts most hunters want, that is they make their own success using Association resources.
Having that opportunity for success is what the true do it yourself turkey hunter seeks, not that which an outfitter offers or that being led by the hand and told how to turkey hunt.
We recognize the turkey hunter will only renew his membership if he has good a good hunt. That is what we want, a returning member over multiple hunts each year illustrating best how we are a business and not a hunting club.
A stable membership means easier budgeting and land management. What the hunter gets is self guided turkey hunts as well as more hunt options than he will have time for.
Throughout this web site there are many examples of turkey hunter letters and pictures from Iowa, Kansas and Missouri. Reading several will give different perspectives about our private land turkey hunt quality.
The turkey hunter letters and our rules that establish the relationship between the hunter and our Association will allow for the development of detailed questions. Call us and listen to our answers and if we agree we can work together we will offer up the names and numbers of more turkey hunter/members to call than most will take the time to do so. The research objective is to determine the degree of consistency to the answers as a means of gauging what may be expected as a member.
After that level of research there is little else to be done except put your money down and take your chances.
Our wild turkey hunting approach is also an opportunity for more turkey hunts under a greater variety of conditions in a shorter period of time than most have prior experience with. Take this one flexibility example about Kansas spring season as representative of our opportunities.
Kansas spring season allows for two toms in one day or spring season to be harvested. Kansas has the Eastern and Rio Grande Turkey and both may be hunted on the same trip. The Kansas spring season is 6 weeks long and allows all day long hunts. We allow the hunter to hunt on his schedule as often as he wants any time during the season. Kansas with its afternoon hunts allows for more strutting area hunts as well as return to roost late afternoon hunts. A variety to spring turkey season some may not have in their home states.
By now the point about our flexible approach to is well illustrated. Not only does the turkey hunter hunt at his own pace he can take a more leisurely approach as he operates on his schedule rather than that of an outfitter. That one aspect alone adds far more to the turkey hunt quality than most will recognize until experienced. That quality aspect is often expressed by others with the special feeling of satisfaction with or without all tags being filled.
What we offer is wild turkey hunting in Kansas, Missouri and Iowa on private land we lease for our exclusive use. The service is oriented strictly toward the do it yourself turkey hunter. Our product is the right habitat within the right region of the state that provides the most return for our costs. That means the best turkey hunting we can provide for the Association hunter pf more birds, less hunter pressure and choice of when and where to hunt.
That "state region" we often cite is within the 45 to 55% agriculture land use region. Ridge runners will find our open terrain to provide for much more eyes on birds than big woods states. However, the advantage of this type of habitat is the combination of large crop field food sources cut by wooded creek bottoms. That combination of food and cover along with our low snowfall accumulation winters makes for bigger bodied birds, stronger hens producing larger broods and older toms. This is the basis for why Kansas, Missouri and Iowa offers the quality spring hunts they do. More birds, bigger birds and older toms.
The confidence the self guided hunter will have a good hunt comes from that we are a business with customer service oriented toward return hunters. We recognize the hunter will only return if he has a good hunt.
Turkey Hunting Recommendations
For the new member we do not let that member flounder by not knowing where to go turkey hunting. We have a lot of land in Kansas, Missouri and Iowa and it covers various regions of varying turkey production. With all areas not being equal we seek to have our hunters hunt the better turkey leases.
The basis for a recommendation of where to turkey hunt is the Mid-America Hunting Association issued lease map sheets showing location of all leases and are posted on a web site. A sample is below.
It takes nearly 200 map sheets to list all lease land and all land once contracted is posted to the web site. map library within 2-3 days of contract signing. All members have equal access to all map sheets and the same telephone reservation system. the advantage tot he first year member is that either John Wenzel or Jon Nee will recommend right down tot he property number where turkeys have been observed. All recommendations come for the two Jo(h)n's direct boots on the ground observation. Trust in this comes from the fact the two Jo(h)ns trust themselves more than any other source of where to send hunters for the best hunts as a means to secure their membership renewal. This marks us best as a hunting business and not a hunting club.
The red boxes show the acreage and common language description of the various sized numbered/lettered tracts any hunter would be recommended to and reserve. A turkey hunter would reserve one numbered of lettered subdivision per day for his hunt. Reservations may be changed during the hunt.
One point about the geography of this part of the world are our rural roads laid out in 1 mile squares that divide land up into many 640 acres pieces.
After the first season or at least by the second, the self guided hunter develops his favorite farms to spring season turkey hunt and should add to that listing of known turkey locations with additional scouting each spring or incidental to a fall deer hunt. As a do it yourself wild turkey hunter organization this first season jump start is not to be confused with yearly semi guided recommendations.
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