Fishing. This photo was recently taken from one of our irrigation lakes in Cass A and Bates D. Due to extremely dry weather the last 3 years the lakes were pumped down to water the crops. The lakes appeared less desirable with low water levels and usage by members was minimal. This year all of the lakes are full with bumper crops surrounding them. This should produce some excellent waterfowl hunting. Both properties are wade-in areas, which are a prime set up for layout boats and makeshift blinds.
Maps. With tens of thousands of acres of hunting lease land to manage, there are map changes occurring 12 months out of the year. This year we will not be mailing maps by CD. The maps will be available with the same format as the current CD online. This will give us the opportunity to provide additions and deletions in a more timely and economical manner. Each member will receive a newsletter within the next 10 days explain the details of the process. This has been a long term goal and we're pleased to announce the transition.
Turkey. Jim from new Mexico hunted with his buddy Dick C. and harvested a fine bird to record his first hunt with his Association. Thanks Jim for taking the time to send in your pictures. It certainly is rewarding to see your success.
For those that recognize him the young man with the tom is Jon Jr., future Association land manager, with the very first tom he scouted and called in on his own after several years training with dad. With Jon Jr's. history from long before becoming school aged fishing and hunting with dad throughout the three state area Jon Jr. will make a fine land manager after college and some time in the work force.
Admin. We did our late summer membership count as part of the membership primary and secondary hunting interest profile comparison to on going land contracting and land production profile and the results have only reflected a slight change of little significants to overall operations. The map at right shows our membership distribution with red of course indicating non-resident member home states to the states where we lease land.
Our small membership representation from Montana and Nevada declined to renew their memberships (one family in each state) while we recorded our first member ever from Rhode Island. Most states membership counts remained steady with Texas showing a decline and more than a couple of states taking up that slack with additional hunters. Overall the red state count of non-residents amounts to 38% of the total membership of 818 members. This is a continuation of the slow, steady increase in overall non-residentmemberships we have experienced every year for the last 9. Missouri accounts for the most overall members with St Louis and the immediate surrounding area closing in on Kansas City for the largest single urban member area.
Turkey. Joe hunting by himself and with his son. Thank you Joe for the great picture and letter lay out covering the last two seasons. We certainly appreciate those that take the extra time to share with the rest of us.
Traveling Hunters. Dick from New Mexico, has a string of hunting success pictures on his web page that rivals any on this website. Thank you Dick for such a great run of pictures. Good luck this deer season.
Waterfowl. We are a short ways away from cutting the rippy grass and asking for volunteers to help cover duck blinds. Email Shaun with your name and telephone if you would like to help and she will add you to the list to be called when we schedule a wetlands for work. This picture is from a blind looking out onto the shooting area of this pool. We have lots of water and very good vegetation both natural and planted this year. Perhaps if the cool summer turns into a cold winter it will be like past years when the migration peaked early.
Deer hunters both residents and non residents that plan to hunt Association lands must have a copy of their deer tag sent into the Association before any reservation will be accepted. The Association FAX number is 816-765-5464. Or, snail mail to: MAHA, 11922 Grandview Road, Grandview Missouri 64030. Every year there are a few members that attempt to make reservations without a copy of the tag in the office and like before as this year those reservations will be denied.
Family memberships reminder that dependent children must hunt on the same propertyas the adult member and that each parent/child pair may only reserve one numbered property per day.
Fishing. Matt and family said the fishing has been good. A highly successful bass fishing family sets its sights on catfish and bring in a stringer. Thanks Matt for yet another fine series of pictures. We'll have your web pages update soon.
Reservations. No land use reservations are accepted by email. All reservations are taken from 9AM through 530 PM, Monday - Friday only by telephone 816-761-3636.
Safety. Dove hunters shoot only when doves have a blue sky background as many dove hunters will employ full camouflage and set out decoys as high as they can reach. All dove hunters should carry hunter orange to flash should another hunter enter the area.
Fishing. While fall fishing is very good it seems like everyone shifts gears to get ready for the upcoming hunting season and they completely forget about fishing. September and early October have traditionally produced some of the largest fish since they feed aggressively preparing for the dormant winter months. Tom L. with a 5 pound bass caught and released. Notice his shorts and jacket. Our mild summer has been as unusual as our warm spring. Most of us are looking forward for a cold winter to come.
Leases. Every year during land contracting we run into this situation that involves a hunter from the previous season talking to a landowner. In this case the Association hunter thought he was being nice and told the landowner that his land has some of the best habitat he has seen and his land is some of the better to be found in the Association. This hunter's observations were based one his one week a year experience hunting Association land and largely a comparison based on habitat and game quality within his own home state and did not accurately reflect overall Association land. The landowner used this conversation as leverage to raise the contract price by a $1,000.00. We declined the offer and dropped the contract. We dropped the contract as the land while having acceptable habitat was not the best that was available from other landowners in the area and this farm was on the fringe of the better neighboring region. If we could have leased this landowner's acreage at the current rate we would have, however at the higher cost it was not productive enough for our standards. We did lease a farm some miles away of almost the same acreage and with better habitat for nearly the higher price wanted by the landowner of the lower quality ground. The real cost of such misadventures is the increase in membership annual dues to pay for the time lost finding replacement land and the higher cost of that replacement land.
The next misadventure that typically will befall us just about every season will be the hunter that tags a quality racked buck or the bird hunter that harvests a limit will run into the landowner and believing he is just being nice report to the landowner the great buck or the abundance of game to be found on that acreage. The landowner will typically use this information come contract renewal time to up the price.
We offer these stories not dissuade members from talking to landowners, but rather just to bring to surface some of the motivations for conversations. Additionally, when comparing land or game quality always remember trophy bucks rarely as lighting strike twice in the same spot and bird numbers shift. Also, comparisons to home state hunting is not a correlation to that ground's quality compared to other Association lease land.
Waterfowl. We're slowly making our rounds to assess the conditions of the waterfowl blinds and have several blinds that need to be replaced. We started by building a new one to replace blind #2 in Henry County. Those that hunted the blind the last couple of years will be glad to see a fresh blind. This blind stood for 20 years and was the last one remaining from the early 80's.The next ones on our list will be Henry A Blairstown Lake #2 and Linn A #4.
We'll begin calling blind volunteers as soon as the rippy grass is cut, which should be within the next two weeks. We'll start with covering blinds in the north zone and most likely move our way south. Feel free to call Shaun at the office (816-761-3636) if you are interested in covering blinds on the weekends in September and October.
Teal hunters. As before we do not cover the blinds for teal season. We do not have the manpower or money to cover the blinds more than one time per year. Feel free to use the blinds as is or set up on your own within 100 yards of the blinds, but be careful not to interfere or get too close to others that are hunting the same lake or property.
Right now, we have water in about all of our waterfowl leases for teal season except Cass A and Holt A. These two locations will not be available for teal season because we have to wait for the crops to mature before they can be flooded. Cass A is closed to scouting until we get water and the water will depend on fall rainfall. Holt A is open to scouting, but as always you need to make a reservation before scouting. Holt A will be pumped prior to the regular season in October.
Hunters on occasion might encounter hidden wasp nests during the early teal season. We recommend packing a spray can of wasp or hornet killer in your bag as a solution to the problem.
Snakes are also common in the waterfowl marshes until the weather cools down. 99.99% of all the snakes are common water snakes and they are completely harmless. Like all wild animals, if you don't bother them they won't bother you.
Traveling Hunter. Greg from Arkansas, hunts late spring turkey season and tags two. Congratulations Greg! Greg also sent in a report card on the Association and that is exactly the kind of feedback we like to receive as an indicator of how well we, the staff, support the Association hunter. With this as Greg's third season hunting within his Association he shows on his web page success evaluations and why he continues to come back. We recognize how much effort it takes to write a letter and send in pictures and those that do are greatly appreciated. We believe each one is a rating of the hunter's valuation of the Association.
Turkey. Steve opens our 21st turkey gallery with a double beard 19 pound spring bird pictured next to a pretty good bass lake on a blue bird perfect spring weather day that simply makes it all seem just too good. Thank you Steve for sending in your picture. Good luck with the season to come, we hope to see more of your success.
Waterfowl. Two young men starting the transition from always hunting with dad to branching out of their own taking control of their own hunts as both dad's watch from a distance. We all remember this time in our hunting career where everything was a trophy and a special accomplishment. That fond memory is now tempered as these dads begins to see their sons taking control of their own lives and another time is passing never to be regained. Jon and James, both dad's are long time friends and their sons are on the same track. One Canada, 2 Speckle Bellies and 2 Snows and they harvested them on their own. -- from an outside observer.
Fishing news. This summer we've seen less fishing pressure than in the past years. Some of the ponds need a few fished culled each year to keep the population in balance. If you like to fish for channel cats, the irrigation lakes in Cass B and Bates D have been sitting idle and the water level is just right. If anyone catches any bass or crappie in Cass B, we would appreciate if you would relocate a few to pond #5. The best method to dothis is to keep the fish in a fish basket and move them in a cooler filled with water from the pond. It's very simple and a few fish can turn into hundreds of fish in a matter of a year or two. Reminder, we do not allow jug or trot lines on our lakes or ponds.
Family. Father and son members since 1982 Matt and Drew show Drew's deer from last season a nice 10 pointer. Thanks Matt and Drew your pictures start to get us ready for the up coming season.
Lodging. To all it has been just 5 months since we updated the lodging listing in time for spring turkey season and we are back to checking each and every listing by calling them one at a time and so far they have been very much on the accurate side, however there are some changes. Every member is encouraged to throw away any lodging listings printed from this past turkey season and ensure he/she has an up to date listing before this fall's hunting trips. To determine how up to date a lodging listing is for anyone county the date imprint at the page top is of the last revision.
Turkey. Roger now has two seasons of spring turkey hunting accounts on his web page and they are polar opposites covering the range from a hard turkey hunt nearly to the point of failure to one where it was simply too easy and too quick. His two examples pretty much cover the entire season for all the Association hunters that also range from the hunts that seemed to be just as good as it could be to those that had to work for their birds each day. Thank you Roger for real hunting accounts that only a real turkey hunter could write. Good luck this deer season, somehow I don't think you'll need it though!
Sonja from Pennsylvania tells about her and her husband's second spring turkey hunting season with a twist of humor every lady hunter can relate to. Thank you Sonja for graciously writing us such a good letter and for sending in your pictures. We have placed them with your previous season's feedback and they are in our "Women Outdoors" section. We hope your contribution will motivate more ladies to join their husbands in the field.
Dove. For those looking for dove spots, the answer is simple. Pick a county with a lot of acreage, reserve an entire unit of land and drive the farms looking for a good dove field. Traditionally, the counties in central Kansas seem to have the highest concentration of dove. SW Kansas is also a good area. In Missouri it's anyone's guess where the dove can be. They are everywhere; it just takes some scouting by vehicle to locate a good field.
With the mild weather we've had and good rainfall, hopefully some of the corn fields in Missouri will be cut in September and those with water will be productive. Also, standing cut wheat fields are areas dove will concentrate.
September is the month the farmers cultivate their wheat fields to plant for next years crop. If you see a field that was recently run over with a disc this will be a good field to scout early in the morning and late in the evening.
Cut milo fields can be great dove hunting, but our observation is that due to the low temperatures this summer, the milo has been late to mature. It appears it will be until at least the first frost until the majority of the milo to be combined, unless you find a field that was planted early.
Farm ponds with dead trees, dirt and sand around them are something to keep in mind while scouting for dove. We have so much ground and so many ponds, it's up to the hunter to make his choice. If you are a new member, this is a good time to become familiar with the maps and the lay of the land in different regions.
In short, if you are looking for a good dove area, this is the answer you would have if you call the office looking for a good place to dove hunt.
Traveling Hunter. Skip from Pennsylvania, a central mid-west deer and turkey hunter, sends in a letter that tells about fitting the hunt into his schedule, how some hunts go slow and most interesting the 24 egg turkey nest that had a sitting hen earlier in the season than we expect. Thank you Skip for taking the time to share this hunt experience with us. Many, like us, will enjoy having one more piece of the spring time puzzle filled in.
Feedback. Some questions we have answered recently. The first is about winter snow fall. It generally is not a consideration and as I drive 4 wheel drive I have not shoveled my driveway for the last 10 seasons at least. What will hurt in the wintertime is the wind driven snow that will drift and close some rural roads that do not see a snow plow unless there is an occupied dwelling on that road. Our southern Iowa and northern Missouri regions receive more snow than does Kansas. For the most part snow fall is a welcomed event that allows for a traceable record of game activity during our mostly dry winters.
Some deer hunters, especially those from big woods states, have an interest in White Acorn production as a favorite deer food. These same hunters would like to find an isolated White Oak stand as a means of patterning deer. In the central mid-west the predominate Oak is the Bur Oak, White Oaks are rare. The Bur Acorn does have the same deer attracting characteristics, however the tree's distribution is mostly linear following along streams rather than as isolated stands within a larger wooded area. This linear distribution spreads the deer forage about rather than creates anyone area of significant concentration. This year's acorn production is good and this picture was taken on 9 August for this update. These acorns will drop around middle September coinciding with Kansas muzzleloader and Missouri's early archery season. After they first drop there is an interest in them by both deer and cattle. This interest at foraging the acorns seems to be of less duration than available supply with many acorns left on the ground undisturbed later in September and into October. Before the acorns drop the favored deer food source appears to be the bean fields with any sheltered from direct observation from the road and farm yard along a wood edge to be heavily browsed upon.
The next question from deer hunters that have hunted Association lands during previous seasons centered on where they should hunt this year and the answer in general is to return to those areas they are most familiar with. We have watched it over the years that those hunters with the most success are the ones that concentrate in a relatively small area and hunt just a few properties during a hunt. Conversely, those that quit a property too soon and try to cover too much ground seem to have far fewer successful hunts for both deer and spring turkey.
For those interested in fishing if you find a water body or stream on a property it is available for fishing unless it is specified to the contrary on that unit's map sheet's special instructions. The exceptions are the Association managed wetlands for duck hunting. They are off limits for fishing and left to waterfowl hunting alone.
A recurring comment about non-resident deer hunters relying too heavily on aerial photos to select a hunting property. The common error appears to be that many believe the larger the wood patch the better the deer hunting. Let's refine this viewpoint a bit further as year's of watching successful hunters indicate that it is not the size of the wood patch it is that wood patch location that enhances or degrades its deer cover potential. Rather than using the single selection criteria of bigger is better add to it the criteria that a wood patch that cannot be seen from any nearby road or active farm yard or cattle feed lot. Then add water source, row crop (meaning grain fields) for earlier in the season hunting and forage crops (meaning wheat, alfalfa, clover) for later season hunts. The point being to find a cover area of brush and or wood lot that leaves the deer plenty of cover while being isolated from recurring human encroachment as subtle as country dirt road tractor traffic. This leaves many areas out of sight over the ridge requiring the hunter to get out of the truck and walk the 1/2 mile just to get to the stream bed to take a look at what the 5 to 12 year old aerials do not show.
Family. A father and son turkey hunting team that returned from Louisiana for a second spring turkey hunt. They tell why traveling to hunt pays off for them with well written concise letters and a picture layout showing two satisfied hunters. Thank you Jacob and Greg for sharing your great letters and pictures. It sure is a good thing to work with real hunters that know all they have to do is get out there and hunt.
Missouri Deer. We have had another request from those with youth deer hunters for preferential treatment referencing reservations to land outside of Missouri's new point limitation areas as a means to enhance the potential success of their children harvesting a scrap rack to grow them into trophy hunters. This request as all for special considerations has been denied even though many may argue for the benefit of our sport we should cater to youth hunters beyond the state youth only season. The answer remains that within this Association parity is exactly that and it will be nothing less than the same opportunity for all members. Every member will receive the same map issue and every member will receive the same reservation system.
Scouting. We found this deer picture apparently from a motion detection game camera lying on the desk stuck between land contracts. We believe it was sent in last year, fell from the envelop and simply misplaced. Who ever has this picture good luck at bringing this big boy to the truck or maybe you already have? The rack appears to be a wall hanger. If anyone recognizes the picture and has a story for it feel free to share with the rest of us. Thanks.
Fishing. John, The bass is 5.5 lbs, 21" long and it easily had the 7" bluegill in its mouth (with mouth closed), 1/3 its body length. The other is a 10 lb Channel Cat which is pretty common at the farm ponds I fish. I was trying to catch catfish when I caught the Bass. Randy
Thanks Randy for a fish story with picture proof! Far more convincing than the many others we hear about.
Randy also wrote: You probably have enough pictures, but your last update talked about harvesting does reminded me of this photo. This is opening morning the last time I deer hunted on MAHA property. Not everyone hunts for bucks. I filled both tags within 5 seconds of each other, so I could get back to bird hunting.
Randy practices what many talk about. The bass was CPR'd and the does harvested for the freezer rather than a scarp racked buck. Also, Randy is retiring from the Army this month after a career of service in multiple locations throughout the world. Congratulations and thank you for your military service and good luck with your retirement.
Traveling hunters. Steve C., a turkey hunter from the heavily wooded state of Alabama, was able to get done on a combination Eastern and Rio Grande Turkey hunt this spring. Thank you Steve, your short hunting account and pictures show two significant points about central mid-west turkey hunting that frequently throws those new to our area. Good luck this fall, it appears you will not have any trouble at all.
Steve G. writes a letter and picture layout that will satisfy every deer, upland and turkey hunter out there and tells that the central mid-west is not too far to drive for better hunting. Steve hails from West Virginia. Thank you Steve for such a great letter covering an entire year of multiple hunts.
Buddy Hunt. Those members wanting to participate in the buddy hunt program email your name, telephone number, hunting interest and if you have a dog and if so the type, either pointing, retrieving or flushing. The program is simple. We collect the information on who would like to hunt with other members and compile a list to send out to all on that list. The members then call others on the list and schedule their hunts.
Traveling Hunter. An Association hunter from New Jersey speak of his trials and success. Thank you Ellis for a great hunting account telling about the benefits of traveling to hunt.