Some have inquired as to the changes Kansas has for deer hunting concerning tag numbers, unit distribution and a number of other topics found on web based news articles and worst sources of information such as on deer hunting website forums. The truth as it exists today is that KDWP has announced it will hold public discussions to collect information on suggested changes and is planning on a review to include proposed overhaul of the Kansas deer hunting regulations for presentation sometime around March 2006. After presentation of proposed changes additional reviews may be allowed and then proposed regulations changes sent to the state legislature for enactment into laws.
What this means to the do it yourself deer hunter is that for the next season, 2006, the past performance of KDWP and the state legislature is that any changes proposed within one calendar year have been applied to the next calendar year. Planning for the 2006 season appears to be the same as for the 2005 season.
The hunter group that will most likely influence the KDWP and state legislature the most are the outfitters and guides rather than do it yourself hunters. We have observed similar influences from the KSHA reference CSA's (shooting preserves for bird hunters). These groups are motivated to increase their profit margin by shaping regulations that support the guide hunter ease of access and localized to that guide's immediate area around his lodge. This motivation may very well be at the degradation of the state wide do it yourself hunter.
Any one that desires to influence the KDWP and the state legislature should write their letters to those two organizations. There is not any political interest group representing the do it yourself hunter. This leaves such political actions to groups such as the Kansas Outfitters Association or Kansas Sports Hunters Association and their associated special interests.
If this discussion seems soft on facts that is the nature of KDWP and the political environment it must operate within.
A picture from earlier in the waterfowl season showing just how far behind we are with the updates. The hunting account described the challenge of finding open water during the coldest part of the season to date. Once found the duck hunts went well. Nothing is easy when on a wild hunt on natural habitat.
The number of ducks and geese show this to be a Missouri waterfowl hunt, no surprise as the Association's best wetlands are in Missouri. The comments that came with the picture include: "...late season has been hit or miss with the hit days very good...open water and frozen...take the time to scout before the hunt..."
Dave travels further than any other waterfowl hunter int he Association, from the east coast.
Kansas hunting licenses are by the calendar year. Go to the KDWP website to purchase your 2006 license.
Let's not forget about the turkeys. Almost 90% of the Association's 230,000 acres has turkeys roaming the property. The application period for non-residents to apply for a Iowa spring turkey tag is December 15, 2005 through January 29, 2006. Missouri and Kansas tags are over the counter, so there is no hurry.
"...As new members we just came out to hunt with nothing more then an idea and some hope..."
Well Brent, all we can say is, wow! Coming out cold is always tough and you made it look easy. Thank you for taking the time to show your picture.
A photo of one of our women that participated in the 05 deer season.
It is always good to see first time contributors and especially amongst the rare outdoors woman.
To the maha staff, thanks for the great land. Enclosed are several pictures of a variety of subjects. We (I and my cousin the priest) spent two good days out enjoying our time and catching up on family matters. Have a great holidays.
I don't intend to flood you with pictures. It is that for my first season pup I do take more than normal. This was a great hunt simply as it was the first day my pup out performed his seasoned brace mate. That day is always worth a picture for the album. We also had a good quail hunt. That picture was poor as it was when the snow was melting and the pup has become hard on the quail after having to tackle a number of wounded/runner roosters. The good part of that last quail hunt is the pup turned the corner from rambling around to target cover hunting working the edge and jumping into the brush far more than earlier in the season. JS
Payden and Clause, two male Weimaraner's pose with their "catch of the day" after working the draws.
Melanie the daughter of a hunter that first started as a waterfowler and switched to upland poses with her first pup a wirehair on her first season. May there be many more seasons to come.
Thanks guys and one gal for the good looking dog pictures and hunting account. It seems like we can always count on you all to give us good reports from several regions throughout the season. It also looks like the pointer guys are falling behind!!! Every bit helps!
For all those folks emailing questions please understand we are running 30 to 50 emails every day on top of the telephone calls during this time of year. If all you allow is a couple of days notice you may not receive an answer in a timely manner.
Jim traveling from Pennsylvania sent in a very gracious letter telling of his hunt with words and pictures to include a ground blind comparison between archery and firearms season.
Thank you Jim for the compliments and hunt story.
John: The cold weather and snow makes bird hunting a lot more enjoyable. The birds have been holding to "kick." Attached are a some pics from this year. One is of Jasper on a day hunt and the other is Chris. Hope all is well. Andrew
Thank you Andrew for the weather examples of our upland season. I'm sure we would all like some of those early season days again.
Richard and Bernie team up to create another pheasant hunting techniques article.
Thanks Richard and Bernie -- could there be any hunting techniques left?
Pheasant & Deer
Pictures of my boys, Mike & Kyle with just the pheasant they shot and also Mikey with his first buck. I grunted two in to 20 yards...a six point with a much bigger rack, but it was a much smaller deer. He will never shoot one better. The first one always is so special. I know it was special for me watching him. My oldest took that 8 point we saw in September...scored 132. Will be taking him this weekend for a doe...we don't get out much together, because he plays three sports (basketball right now)...will be nice to be out in the snow. From here on out it will be all pheasant/geese. Have a great Christmas! Steve
Thanks Steve, good luck with your boys!
Upland and Deer
Ever wonder about those couple of hunters we all seem to know that just have more luck or is it skill than others? This is Bill from Ohio. Bill does not seem to put any pressure on himself at all, seems to just pick spots randomly and always has a good hunt. He also has the right perspective on what is important and never is it about bag limits or wallhangers. Bill is by any measure enjoying being a father, has the ability to readily find birds and makes his deer hunting appear to be a sideline activity to break things up. Thanks Bill for making it look so easy -- I think.
Most hunters don't think there is such a thing as a trophy duck or goose, but in the waterfowl world, a banded bird is considered the same as a 10 point buck or 12" bearded tom is to the deer or turkey hunter. The mallard drake on the left had 2 bands, of which one had a $100 reward. This young hunter added the 2 bands to his lanyard for a total of 5 harvested on club land over the past 5 years. A hunt like this makes it worthwhile to break ice and wait in the frigid cold for the next flock of duck to work. Hopefully, after this cold spell passes there will be more late season waterfowl season opportunity to expand your collection.
Bobwhite Quail hunters report feast or famine, a common occurrence for this most difficult hunting discipline. Some report a good day has been one covey while a group from Iowa hunting across the three states told of their better days averaging 5 coveys a day. Jason (L) and Alan (R) hunting two different localities found enough coveys to make for good pictures. Other feedback includes that weather days precluding good hunts to be more frequent this season than last. Light wind days and the cold temperatures this winter reported by local weathermen as an average of 6 degrees colder per day has made for some great field days and dog work. In general the best days seem to be one in three.
The always rare to see and harder to capture on film lady hunter. We always said we had a couple and now we offer this proof complete with eyewitness testimony. Linda and Andrew went on a first ever pheasant hunt as a couple and found some success. It is always a lucky couple to find a common recreational interest. These two probably have a good future ahead of them.
Thank you Linda as we understand it was your fogged lense camera that took the picture. Nice looking dog as well!
Trespassing is an ongoing problem we would all like to see go away, but it's not. We totally understand the frustration after paying good money to hunt and belong to the club, but it's going to happen throughout the course of the seasons. We have found this to be true in the home state for all who we discuss this with from the many states our hunters travel from.
Confronting rough looking individuals with weapons in their hands is not for everyone and we do not encourage paying customers to engage in confrontations in secluded areas of the country, but any type of information, like names and license plates is the only way we can attempt to resolve the problem.
In this case, the member did well and something will be done. Thanks Bart
Bart took a picture of the vehicle and license plate that combined with his eyewitness account gives physical evidence to law enforcement that first supports a citation and second will sustain that citation should we go to court. Law enforcement is always far more willing to write a citation if they have added weight that the citation will not be overturned with a "He said, They said" argument. As it is always said a picture is worth more than words. In this case Bart gave us something to work with rather than just a compliant.
Mark D., with a trophy whitetail deer anyone would be pleased to add to his wall hanger collection. He faced adversity that some would become frustrated with and not make gold out of mud. In Mark's case his skill found opportunity and made things happen exercising plan 'B' rather than 'A'.
Shannon and Steve harvest two more fine trophy whitetails adding these '05 bucks to their collections.
Thanks to you guys for showing two hunting buddies can both be successful on one trip!
Norman B., sent in a brief account and a picture from a hunt that says a lot in a few words.
A sample: "...He pointed all my birds for me..."
Thank you Norman for taking the time to share with us your picture and hunting account, while short it does say a lot!
Picture Taking Members
We receive many comments ranging from one liners to highly detailed feedback on a multitude of topics. Most we keep for our use as they are matters of routine and lease land value. Occasionally, we solicit feedback from several that may have more time on one of our leases or areas than we do. Of all those that send in feedback those that send in pictures and letters for general membership consumption we readily publish to the website with great appreciation. That appreciation is not just from your Association staff. Many of the one liners (mostly email) are compliments or encouragement to keep the updates running, and we plan to. One recurring thought from several is they enjoy reading the updates as frequently as several times a week. These are also many of the same hunters making their first time ever contributions this past year and more so than before. We even have two firsts after all these years that include women participation in the form of bird watching hobbyists, Joanie and Holly, the first ever bird dog hunting outdoors woman willing to hunt on her own and enjoys it more when her husband can join her. We also have a small group of women that accompany their husbands mostly on scouting trips that have met in quilt shops in Kansas or on handmade basket outings in Iowa. From the husband's perspective It seems that some scouting trips may be more expensive than the actual hunt. For all those that send in feedback for our use and pictures both the good and the bad for general consumption keep it coming we all read them all. We, the members and the staff do appreciate them more than these words can illustrate.
Quail and Pheasant
A photo from a recent hunt by a long time member that that has hunted through 5 generations of dogs over the last 25 years. He's seen the both quail and pheasant population cycle through it's all time highs and lows.
Buck and Duck
John/Jon: I just wanted to say thanks for some great hunting this fall and wanted to show you some pictures of some recent hunting success I've had on MAHA leased land. I'd hunted hard all day long on the [location deleted] deer opener on Wednesday on some MAHA land north of [location deleted] and never left the tree stand (I was going crazy by then...) and had passed on a 6 pt early and another mid-day. I shot this buck when he came running across a grassy hill straight toward me about 5 PM and came within 20 yards of my tree in the wood line. I grunted to stop him and had an easy broadside shot.
The next morning, about 14 hours later, I limited out on drake mallards, and thought it might be a good picture of them both together, my buddy Albert who is famous for "mixed bag" pictures. I aptly titled it "Why I love Kansas."
I have really appreciated the fine hunting this fall, especially since this time last year I was in Baghdad and wasn't doing any hunting -- well not this type at least.
Take care and good hunting, LTC Dave S
Thanks Dave and good luck we hear you are taking battalion command soon!
"...peak migration, first week December at [location deleted] we caught the Canadian Artic that blew in and gave us a great hunt...we jumped these on the way out from blind...easily a thousand or more...made for some great pictures we like as much as what goes in the bag..."
Robert went on to say they broke some ice, the blind cut the wind and they did not spent more than a 1/2 day on any wetland trying both the crop and marsh having success on each. Thanks Robert for the very detailed feedback.
Jon- After hearing all the Snow Geese migrating I figured I better get out for a quick hunt. I only hunted until 8 AM. But it was worth it. I was able to get 2 flights of Snows to check out my meager spread and one lone Mallard. My competition was about 10,000 Snow Geese in an adjacent property so it was tough to get any thing to look at what I had. It was a good day. Besides who wants to carry anymore than this anyway.
We like Derrol not just because he sends in pictures, it is more because he simply enjoys the hunt. He always seems to have a good time and luck always seems to go his way. Thanks Derrol it is good to see you are having a good season.
Deer and Turkey
here's my pictures from this past month of hunting in [location deleted]. I'd like to thank you and your staff for being such a great organization. Making reservations was a snap, the properties hunted had great habitat and lots of game. Looking forward to many season's to come and keeping Shaun busy answering the phone.
Thanks again, Steve
Thank you Steve for the compliments. It mostly goes smooth, not always but we try.
South Carolina Hunter
From Matt W.:
"I grunted once and he stopped, looked back toward me, and turned my direction..."
Thank you Matt for sharing your success of one very fine trophy whitetail!
The species is "Barred Owl". For the turkey hunter that hears the cry of the owl in the morning or imitates the call to make the gobbler gobble on the roost, this is what the creature looks like up close. Thanks to Joanie one of the Association's hardest bird hunters with a camera!
Recently we've shown a couple of limit photos, but the hunter in this photo only quail hunts once or twice per season since he is primarily a deer hunter, so his impact on the quail numbers is minimal. On this hunt Allen got into several large coveys and only took a bird or 2 out of each covey. The quail population has been on an up and down cycle the last 10 years, so we encourage all of our quail hunters to be gentlemen and not hunt the same property more than a time or two each season.
Other hunters mixed bag hunt with fewer quail or like Chip does making a quick short day hunt at a time. While some may say there are two dogs and only four quail Chip's entire photo display is far more of the dogs on point than of birds. A subtle difference of importance to those that value dog work above bag numbers. Thanks Chip.
A big thank you to Bob from Vermont for harvesting a doe to help the overall cause. Just as important as trophy rack hunting.
Local Deer Hunters
We have seen Shawn, his wife and daughter many times and each time it is good news. It seems good luck always happens to some people. His accompanying story includes key points like this one:
"It was neat to watch him stand up, look around, doze off, chase off a couple of younger bucks and basically just do what a deer does in his natural habitat. It's rare (at least for me) to be able to watch a buck interact for that long and that is what made the hunt so enjoyable."
Thanks to Shawn for keeping alive the important things!
Duck, Goose, Buck
This is Al S. I (John Wenzel) have known him for almost 10 years. We served together in the Army, that is before I retired. He is currently an active duty Army officer, a Lieutenant Colonel within the Infantry and mostly Light Infantry on top of that, war veteran and someone that know's how to enjoy life. There are at least 9 other Association members (fellow military servicemen or retirees) that will look at this picture and call it normal. Normal that is for Al. He is one of those amazing hunters that always finds success. And, he shares that success with his friends.
A long time ago he passed on to us a tidbit of wisdom about hunting. He said that every farm has a golden nugget. Finding that spot is the payoff. It seems that Al can find that golden spot on a regular basis. Thank you Al, may you have many more grand days ahead.
By the way, the third bird from right has a band!
Map Change Kiowa County, Kansas
Several members have been aware we had a landowner in Kiowa County, Kansas pass away this fall and the lease was contingent on the sale of the property. The sale is closing this week so we will no longer be allowed to hunt her property. The land was on property maps Kiowa A, C and D. The maps were updated last night, so please be aware of the changes. If you have printed Kiowa A, C and D, replace them with the updated maps.
In the mean time, note we have a couple of new farms in Pawnee County and several 2-year-old leases in Edwards County, which are close by. Edwards County is the county north of Kiowa and Pawnee is the county north of Edwards. Note Pawnee A, by the town of Larned is mostly pasture with a small patch of timber for deer, so we recommend not making the drive to Pawnee A for a quick bird hunt.
"John and Jon, This is my first year in the club..."
Thanks Dan for taking the time to share with all your fine trophy, congratulation on being able to make your own success! Have a read of Dan's account and look at a larger picture of his deer.
Summary of hunter and MAHA staff field reports covering the first month of the season about pheasant and quail hunting. Such accounts include this one paraphrased email hunting account: "...hunted a 1/2 section for about 2 1/2 hours...pup's now nine months old...three birds right at the end of the long walk...they all came out of the draw in the pasture...same results several more times..."
And, this one,
"...The first of many roosters seen today flushed when I was about 60 feet from the truck. Daisy flushed it, but I just mistook her birdiness for enthusiasm since the morning was just getting started. I missed him in the excitement. Over the next two hours +, she worked like a pro with numerous hens being flushed and the three roosters you see in the photos..." Joe P.
Joe is an active duty Army officer between deployments. Thanks Joe, it seems you lead the way for the retriever folks!