July 2003 Updates

31 Jul

Deer Tags. For those diligent members trying to FAX a copy of their deer tags to us we seem to have a FAX that no longer accepts data. We will correct and inform when the FAX is again operational.

25 Jul

Turkey. Spring 2003 found us with 424 toms tagged with the youth season accounting for 11 of those birds. The success ratio rebounded from last season to 1.44 toms per hunter. This higher success was believed due to the economy keeping away the less dedicated hunters and with more individual hunters opting to fill more of their possible 4 tags than hunters settling for one tom and hunting more than one state.

The largest tom reported weighed in at 28 pounds. Other than several reported multiple bearded toms no other unusual birds were reported.

Overall hunter numbers declined this season, again some citing the economy, and those that did hunt spread themselves toward the latter half of the season when most believed the toms are easier to call in.

A positive sign were the overall number of youth hunters this season surpassing our previous experience. While their total success rate were lower a good number of hunting stories were enthusiastically retold.

Thank you to all that called or emailed their turkey hunting successes into our office.

22 Jul

Youth Deer Hunter. Amada Owen at 12 years old with her first buck and doe. Congratulations for being such a good sportswoman!

21 Jul

Fishing. We received some text for this picture we featured earlier. The fish story goes: "Even with the heat we are still managing to catch a few quality fish. I [Allen] decided to check out a couple of ponds we discovered while bird hunting and this effort paid off with four bass in the 4 to 5 pound range and ten to fifteen 2 to 3 pounds. We also moved 6 bass and a dozen bluegills to a new pond that was built last winter. Hopefully, in a couple of years we'll have another pond available for fishing."

Thanks for the photo and the time involved moving the fish.

18 Jul

Waterfowl. For those following the waterfowl spring breeding season up north this will not be news. The KC Star, July 17, Outdoor Section, stated (Paraphrased here): This years hatch survival rate is impressive increasing bird numbers by 6 million with Mallards up 6%. Your Association has the same wetlands this year as last and as long as the weather continues as it has we'll have plenty of water. The final element is the right weather during the season.

Between this news on ducks and that for pheasant and quail it should be a good year all around for bird hunters.

Youth Turkey Hunter. What we all like to see, a youth with his very own tom. Congratulations Nick!

Kansas Deer. Alert for those thinking of hunting Kansas unit 10. We currently are aware of 13 non-resident deer hunters (as of 17 July) holding unit 10 tags. No MAHA staffer recommended anyone hunt unit 10 and we told all that we talked to not to apply for that unit as we have far better ground and production in almost all of our other deer management units. For the resident members that have not bought their tag and are contemplating hunting Unit 10 you may strongly reconsider that decision.

Fishing.

Congratulations Jeff on a fine bass!

And, the crappie fishermen continue to do well. A stringer anyone would be happy to catch.

15 July

Safety Cards. Reminder to all that 100% compliance to all state and federal hunting regulations is required of MAHA members. The one that may get some of you soon and there is time to correct is the hunter safety card requirement. Amongst the three states, Kansas, Iowa and Missouri each has different cutoff dates (gun or bow) and card carry requirements. It is a MAHA requirement that all members read the state they will be hunting in regulations first hand their selves (to preempt those that feel it is easier to call us and ask than read for them selves). This may seem like a useless topic, however every year a one and sometimes more than one member has called us trying to figure out how to get a safety card without attending a class. We know of no other method nor do we endorse any other than the legitimate method.

Pictures that require no text.

14 Jul

Quail. The Partridge Pea we featured twice earlier, once last year and the second time early this spring continues to perform as advertised by having re-seeded itself to a greater extent than originally planted, expanded its coverage by a 1/4 to a 1/3 in surface area from last year to this one and promises far more feed for quail.

Weed infiltration has occurred and appears to enhance the cover for this food source and this patch survived last summer's drought.

For all of us that quail hunt this patch is just one small effort to put back some of what is taken. If this patch were replicated in different areas by every bird hunter in the Association there would be an exponentially grater effect. There is nothing wrong and plenty good with planting one patch of this native species, non pioneering (except for its re-seeding) each year in any un-farmed area.

Deer. Every once in a while having a camera in hand when out and about the mid-west country side gives us opportunity to share some insight. What is pictured here is a salt lick in a pasture that has not seen cattle for some time over a year. The tracks in this lick are all deer and of various ages and overlapping each other. Deer using a salt lick is nothing new. What is curious is the minimal amount of salt in the soil required to attract deer.

Scouting. Game camera pictures sent in by one of our members shows what must be a good deer and turkey spot. The photos were taken during the last week of spring turkey season on a farm lane between fields.

11 Jul

Kansas upland bird forecast. The July 10 Kansas City Star newspaper in the outdoor section had an article about Kansas upland bird forecast with comments by Randy Rodgers, pheasant biologist for the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks. His high points are paraphrased here: Good spring rains and wheat harvest late enough to allow for hatch and chick development ensuring an increase to the overall populations. In some regions the bird population decline last season was at lows that may not recover as quickly or were dry having missed the local rain storms that have been the standard for this spring.

Several members responded to our earlier comments on upland birds with the caveat. This spring was warm. The good point is the temperatures allows for increased chick survival. The bad point was the warn weather allowed for a May hay harvest. The May harvest did probably destroy nests and chicks. The evidence that supports this were the number of hen turkeys flushed during cutting. It is assumed that quail and pheasant hens had nests as well with the difference being they would most likely run out and not be seen.

Overall there are a range of opinions on the bird population with all being uniform to the issue that this was a good spring and that birds are on the upswing in spite of any local conditions.

10 Jul

Deer hunters with Kansas and Iowa deer tags are reminded they must send in a copy of their tag to the MAHA office (11922 Grandview Road, Grandview, Missouri 64030) before they will be allowed to make a hunting reservation. Why we do this is that every once in a while a member will attempt to hunt a unit he does not have a tag for or hunt without a tag period. We of course do not allow this as it is a matter of maintaining the good reputation of the Association. We will also assist with the prosecution of anyone in violation of any state game law. We do not like to be negative, however consider this as a warning to that one or two hunters that maybe thinking of this and attempt to degrade the Association.

Also on deer hunting. Those with buck tags will have the first option at reserving land over doe tag holders. Why we do this is to ensure everyone in the Association works friendly. We have been in this business long enough to have experienced all the games a few unethical members may attempt to play. One of the games this system prevents is a member gets his buddy to buy an over the counter doe tag and block up land for the holder of the buck tag.

The results of the MAHA transfer tag program were 94% successful and on track with last year's performance. Those that called in after not receiving a tag in the regular non-resident draw and did not participate in the transfer program it is not likely we will be able to accommodate you all as those tags offered for sale to us by middlemen have been excessively priced far above the $400 we were charging. For all a reminder the MAHA transfer tag program is before the draw, not after.

9 Jul

Deer. As is traditional every year at this time the number of applicants with deer hunting primary interest is up following on the heels of the Kansas and Iowa tag issue. Every year we hold back some on new membership applications deferring to current members sponsoring in their friends and family to ensure we maintain a manageable number of deer hunters. Also, every year at this time we ask those current members who have friends and family they want to sponsor into the Association to do so as quickly as they can so we may better determine how many un-sponsored applicants we can accept. All assistance with this will be appreciated.

Upland Bird. For those new to the Association and planning on upland bird hunting two reminders may serve your vacation time planning. During the Missouri rifle deer season (15 - 25 Nov) we close Missouri to upland hunting for safety concerns, Kansas and Iowa upland hunting remains open during those deer seasons. Those planning on hunting the Kansas upland opener may want to make their motel reservations early.

Buddy List Anyone interested in meeting and/or hunting with other members needs submit their name and hunting interests to the office (816-761-3636) so we can put together a list by the end of August. Many lifetime friendships have been made over the years through this system.

8 Jul

Admin. Yesterday we found that during the past couple of weeks one of our telephone lines did not roll over to the next available person. Hence, we have a listing of folks we will be calling. If you were one of those that called and did not get your message answered we are working on that today.

Upland Birds. Phases of the rut for deer hunters, Missouri watershed potholes for duck hunters and May/June rainfall for upland hunters all have the same degree of importance for that particular hunting interest. In the case of the mid-west May/June rainfall total of 8.67 inches leaves us well below the historical cut line of 10 inches as marking the difference between high and low chick survival rates. This marks the second consecutive season where bird numbers have the right environmental enhancement factors.

May with its 2.64 inches had only 4 days with more than a quarter inch. The general belief from the NWTF study was that it would take more than a 1/4 inch of rain to adversely affect ground nesting birds. Otherwise, if it were only a matter of wetness all the chicks would die off due to the heavy morning dews we have. 

The heaviest rain in May, 0.85 inches, fell during hours of darkness when the chicks are protected by the hen. Additionally, of the first four significant rainfalls (those exceeding 1/4 inch) during the May/June period two were entirely at night and the other two transcended nigh to morning and evening into night making their potential adverse affect less damaging.

June with its greater rainfall should have a lesser affect on the early nests and a greater affect on the late nesting.

What did not happen this season was region wide prolonged rainfalls. This entire spring was characterized by isolated/scattered rain cloud formations that may have given one locality significant rainfall while not too far away little to no rain fall at all.

Overall the upcoming upland bird season is promising.

Upland Birds. Lake Erie walleye fishing and mid-west upland bird hunting have some similarities. During the early 1990's when the walleye numbers were last up to the point that anyone could catch them we would have to wait up to an hour in line during peak periods waiting to launch our boat from any one of the 6 ramps at the Walnut Creek access. Currently, with walleye numbers at a low point, we launch within 10 minutes of arrival and only the most dedicated fishermen catch walleye while others seek different fish.

The similarities with mid-west upland bird hunting include when bird numbers are up and almost any one can harvest them, there are plenty of folks calling themselves upland hunters. When bird numbers cycle down as two seasons ago when we bottomed out the number of upland hunters declined dramatically. Now, with our second consecutive spring with good rains during the critical hatch and brood months of May and June, the upland numbers are increasing back to the good year levels.

At this point the similarities diverge with MAHA. Unlike Lake Erie with its ability to absorb highly variable numbers of boats from season to season our hunting Association cannot. Those upland bird hunters that quit during the down cycle will find less room available to them when attempting to return as the trend was for deer and turkey hunters backfilled the departing upland hunters. This is a bonus for those that remained hunting with the Association as the land leased primarily for the deer hunters happens to be in some very good historical quail regions. The deer properties so to speak, have all the habitat required for quail, i.e., wood/scrub mixture edge on crop fields.

The bottom line is that bird numbers are up, hunter numbers down and plenty of places to bird hunt for those in the Association.

Needless to say that your Association webmaster is back and getting ready to post member photos and notes.

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June 2003 Updates

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