July 2004 Updates

31 July

Trophy Whitetail. Shannon S brings in two very nice racked bucks. Thank you Shannon for sharing your pictures with us.

30 July

Fishing. Two recovered update pictures. The first from May, Martin L., with one big crappie. From the member that took the picture he said the picture did not do justice to the size of that fish.

The second from the Association leader of the Women's Outdoor effort, Kim.

No $20,000 bass boat required for success. If it does not fit in the back of the pick up it's too big. 26 keeper crappie. It does appear that the fish are biting just fine. Some credit the mild temperatures of our cool summer for the increased activity, meaning the fish. It does appear the cooler weather is allow more fishermen/women to enjoy being outside. Others that do not take pictures have told us of similar catches and mostly from the farm ponds rather than the larger watershed lakes.

28 July

Fishing. A good day's family fun fishing with a stringer of crappie, some bass and a few bluegill all from the same pond. Dad say's the kids released all the bass with each one being a fighter compared to the many small crappie and the 23 keepers eaten that night. He also said that while you could not tell from the pictures that by early afternoon they were soaked from wading and catching fish. Hot summer days and water a great youth combination.

Archery Turkey. A recovered update from last May's fiasco. Will J., one of the few hunters in the Association that hunts spring turkey with recurve bow, sent us this photo of nice tom from last spring. He manages to harvest at least one mature bird every year. That's quite a task for an archery hunter!

26 July

Trophy Whitetail. Terry H., a 17 year member sent us a photo of a 160 class whitetail he harvested during the 2003 season. Terry and his two sons joined the Association to hunt waterfowl and upland birds but discovered the quality of our deer hunting and are now avid whitetail hunters with several trophy bucks on the wall at home. Thanks for the photo and good luck with your hunting for many years to come.

Turkey. Earlier reported the turkey picture to be Terry H when it actually was Bruce J. Congratulations Bruce on a fine looking tom.

Traveling Hunters. Three hunters from Georgia accomplished their first year in their new hunting association. What is unique about their success is they hunted one of our least productive units and harvest three wall hangers out of the four that hunted. That is great hunting that great hunters can make happen. Thank you Grayson, Michael and Michael for the pictures and hunting account. Looking forward to you all coming back again.

Admin. New members I know some of you out there are getting frustrated with our slow response to telephone inquiries. We are not ignoring you, we just have not made it that far down on the call list. Just to give some insight here is this week's schedule: Run to NC Missouri for one land contract the landowner wants to meet over before signing. That is a 2 hour trip one way. Lunch in the office, pizza delivery, and return 7 telephone calls from 1015 to 130. These were return calls to landowners as it is during this time of year we write 80% of the contracts. The same landowner wanting to meet issue in Kansas for another 90 minute one way trip in the afternoon. Tuesday through Thursday on the road to NC Kansas to look over new land and get some current contracts renewed. Friday will be spent finalizing the typed version of any contracts verbally agreed to and sent out while updating maps of the contracts renewed to reflect and any land deletions/additions. After that there will invariably be some landowner calls to make that we did not get to while on the road and then on to new member messages. In the case of new member messages the first to be responded to will be the ones that gave Shaun a detailed message of wants and both a day and night telephone number. We will return calls while on the road between landowner meetings, however that usually amounts to one and possible two every couple of hours and frequently the number called leads to a voice mail rather than a live telephone conversation. One more note about emails, if we respond to your email please give us the courtesy of a second reply indicating it made it through and did not get trashed as spam. Good luck to all and remember Shaun is in the office from 9 to 530, M-F and if you get the answering machine during that time it is due to all the lines being tied up with current calls.

Turkey. Brian S., harvested two very nice toms with beards over 10 inches and spurs up to 1 5/8s. Thank you Brian for sending in such fine looking toms to add to the turkey gallery, good luck this fall.

24 July

Waterfowl. Duck hunters pictured is one of our wetlands that was drained at the close of the last season. We just recently sealed the outlet pipe and in a matter of just more than a day it filled right back up. This is the same waterfowl area two summers ago we further developed with an additional levee to increase the surface area. The increased water surface area sustains the previous open water without much added depth keeping it chest wader accessible and adds a greater weed filled shallow water area surrounding most of the shore edge.

It looks like we will have plenty of water this fall over all of our wetlands.

Feedback. We have many members of many different statures that have graciously taken the time and effort to write us letters and send in pictures. Each offers a unique perspective and analysis of the value they gain from the Association. Each and every one is prized, kept in a book contained within archive protectors and proudly posted to this web site. They now number well into the several hundreds causing the large ring binder not to close properly. Each letter, note and email contains at least one golden nugget or tidbit of information that if all put together must easily provide all there is possibly to know about the many varied circumstances, habitats, seasons, game types, techniques and equipment combinations of experiences that may occur within the Association.

While we have a lot of letters there will never be enough and each one contributes to the flow of feedback that keeps the ball rolling. We have encouraged, asked and asked again to many to put to print those things they tell us in person or over the telephone as they speak of what others ask while attempting to determine the value to be gained from the Association. These letters also, and probably to the betterment of all of us more than any other result, assist with the screening effort most notably keeping away those that belong better to a guide service rather than a hunt on your own organization. That facet alone is enough to keep us wanting more letters.

It is without any hesitation at all that we refuse membership to those hunters that just do not meet part of our profile of what we believe hunters should be, however it is easier when we simply do not have to speak to them in the first place. To that end we have another letter from a member entering his 11th year that concisely states what it is to upland and waterfowl hunt within the Association. The nuance in his letter about how not every duck hunting day is always a good hunting day and the same for upland is exactly the type of filtering that is created by those that read the many letters and come to understand that they will not bag a limit every time out. Even with the many letters such as this one that are real hunting accounts by real hunters it remains to our surprise the number of "hunters" that call us and ask us exactly that, how many bag limits can they expect.

Thank you for your letter Jim, it is very well written and a fair and balanced review that separates us from the overly ideal stories in hunting magazine articles and fault free hunts seen on videos of perfect shots, great dog points and retrieves and limits by noon. We have always been committed not to oversell the Association and your letter along with many others come through very well to the real hunter and shuns the pretenders. It is always better for others to tell the Association story than for the staff to do so.

Hello Jon and John,
Thanks for including the field run and hatch reports in the "Updates" on the web site. They start building my enthusiasm to get out in the fields. Here in the KC area in midsummer with lousy hot weather I start getting real interested in following my bird dogs on a cool fall day!

I just sent in my dues for the 12th consecutive year and continue to be very satisfied with the opportunities you provide. This past year I hunted both turkeys and pheasants/quail. The Kansas turkeys outsmarted me, but I did get 2 in Missouri. And, as usual, the dogs and I found pheasants and/or quail on almost all properties visited in both Kansas and Missouri.

I take only a few pictures in the field but wanted to pass along one that shows dad in the foreground on point and his son in the background honoring. Dad has been around longer than I have been a member so he has senior status and will be very part time this season, maybe 1 or 2 fields per hunt. The enthusiasm and nose are there, but his legs just do not work like they used to! Regardless, I know he will try to jump in the truck and want to be along on all hunts.

Thanks to all at MAHA for continuing to providing excellent quality hunting opportunities and hopefully our paths will cross in the field like they did last year in [location deleted] County.
Jim M

22 July

Traveling Turkey Youth Hunter. The Machia family of three generations on the same hunt along with a friend harvest 8 turkeys in a matter of days. That alone is a great hunt. But, wait it gets even more phenomenal. Not only a lot of toms -- two were harvested by the youngest at age 8. And, 2 by bow by an archery deer hunter that never turkey hunted before. What makes this even better is the Machia family travels from Vermont. No pre-hunt scouting and just by picking a spot they are successful. While Kevin, who pioneered this family hunt starting three seasons ago, credits the quality of land and un-pressured birds for their success, we believe the real success factor is the high quality hunters they are. Congratulations to the Machia family at getting done in one hunt what no other three generation family members have ever done before. Thank you for the great story and pictures, they are one of a kind.

Turkey Hunting. Jerad gives a no nonsense accounting of how difficult and diverse a hunting trip can be. A real hunter telling a real hunting story that tells the good, bad and the unplanned actions of when nature takes a vote. Thanks Jerad, great string of success especially as late in the season as you hunt!

Deer hunters a reminder to please get copies of your Kansas and Iowa deer tags mailed, emailed jpg or FAXed 816-765-5464, in as soon as possible. If we have a problem area of a unit with more hunters than we would like knowing that now allows us to react with land acquisitions.

21 July

Kansas Deer. From all members that participated in the MAHA Kansas transferable landowner tag program and the regular non-resident draw we have some surplus tags. These are tags where the same member successfully drew for landowner as well as regular non-resident and state law only allows each hunter to have one buck tag or members that declined their landowner tag. With the operating principle being fairness to all and special treatment to none these tags are offered to the membership and will be awarded through a lottery.

To participate, email Shaun and provide your full name, telephone number and if there is a preference for a specific county not later than noon on 30 July. She will collect all names and that afternoon conduct a draw where every name will have one chance at being drawn. Results will be posted to this update page soon after. Once notified of being drawn for a tag the member must telephone Shaun and provide credit card payment (no checks) of $462.04 (the original $429.90 plus 7.475% sales tax. Secondary sales do require cumulative sale tax.) at that time before any transfer paper work is processed. If by 3 August we do not have payment any successfully drawn name will be deleted and another selected.

The conduct of the draw will be that the tags will be made available in the order listed below. The first name drawn will be assigned the top tag and so forth. In cases of those that specify a specific county, if that county remains open when a name with county specification is drawn that tag will be assigned to that drawn name regardless of the order it appears on the remainder of the list. If that county has been consumed by an earlier drawn name(s) that drawn name will not be assigned any tag and another name drawn.

Sponsorship. Members that want to sponsor their friends into the Association that have tags for units that the Association has limited deer hunting acreage may find it is too late. We are committed not to have more hunters than acreage available to ensure a good hunt. Units 1, 7 and 10 have just about reached capacity and as we continue to receive member tag information we will know better. The point is that we may soon be cutting off applications for any new member with a tag for these three units whether they are being sponsored or not.

20 July

Missouri Deer. Now that Kansas and Iowa both have issued their deer tags for the year there are some disappointed folks to include the one member that wanted his membership money back as he did not draw a tag and refuses to hunt Missouri! Missouri is a trophy rack state with the last 4 200+ Association deer over the last 3 years coming from Missouri. Other hunters are far more realistic in that they realize the year to break into Missouri deer hunting is on the years they do not draw a Kansas or Iowa tag as that is when they will have time to hunt another state. Hardly anyone can do a good job of trying to hunt two states in one season and those that have a Kansas or Iowa tag are not likely to build their knowledge of our Missouri properties. These are the hunters that will be starting out behind on those years they do not draw.

Kansas Deer. For those that participated in the MAHA transfer tag program be aware we are currently in the process of collecting the tag transfer paperwork from the landowners and once we have them we will issue to the successful member/applicants. We are also collecting from the state those on the list that have a Kansas tag through the regular draw. It does not appear at this time that we will have any extras.

Email. For all members that email and expect response be well aware that every time I have checked the "trash" folder of our email account I have found one or more legitimate member email messages tagged and trashed as spam or other type junk email. Largely these trashed emails are there due to free email accounts where the provider embeds advertising into the email message in addition to the text and those email addresses that have been hijacked and shown up as spam previously. AOL, Hotmail and the new Google email accounts included. The filtered email system is here to stay as that our email address is posted on our web site. it has been "harvested" by many spam email address providers and without the filters the inflow to our inbox would be over a hundred a day of junk burying legitimate email communications. The one sure method of communication remains the telephone from 9 to 530, Monday - Friday when Shaun and or the rest of us man the office. We do extend the courtesy of a reply to all inquires by telephone and email, just be aware that the mere fact you sent an email does not mean we received it.

16 July

Turkey. Hi Shaun, I could not remember if I sent these pics or not. Anyway, here they are. Both of these gobblers were taken on a MAHA farm in [location deleted] in one afternoon. Pretty darn good hunt. They were both HUGE!!!! Thanks for all your help in the office. It's greatly appreciated and you probably don't hear that enough! Talk to you soon. Season is just around the corner. Joe H Thanks Joe it's good to hear from you and congratulations on two in a hunt.

15 July

Lady Hunter. I have been a member for 5 years now and its been a great ride. My last 2 years have probably been the most rewarding with the addition of my daughter in the club. We are both avid bow hunters and spend as much time as possible in the woods during hunting season. Angela rifle harvested this beautiful buck last season in [location deleted]. I took this handsome 9 point in [location deleted]. We enjoy deer turkey and bird hunting and the quail are on a come back! Anyway just wanted to say that John is always so very cool when it comes to needing insight on properties and the land I have seen and I have seen a lot is awesome! Thank you so much for having us. Eric and Angela D

Commercial Activities. It is that time of year when the hunting video folks solicit for a chance to film hunts on Association leases trading their willingness to advertise our Association for a free hunt. The major companies that many have watched their videos for several years had long ago have been rejected by us and no longer seek our free services. The hunting video makers that contact us now are mostly the full of enthusiasm, short on skill startups or those trying to sham a free hunt. We also found another sham this year. In this case a group represented itself to sponsor handicapped and terminally ill children providing free hunts sought our cooperation and support. While we would not involve Association assets in this effort one of your association staff offered up his personal farm for a spring turkey hunt. During the coordination and while digging into the background of the group it was discovered this person was probably seeking a free hunt for himself as he did not represent any children or charitable group recognized by any legitimate organization. This is on top of the sham we reported earlier of a hunter researching your Association after having been presented with a stack of sheds by a landowner offering to lease his land that represented the sheds as collected from his property and evidence of the quality of deer to be hunted. The hunter later became suspicious and concluded the racks were purchased rather than found and that hunter was now overly suspicious of all hunting lease options. We essentially agreed he should not apply for membership due to his cynicism in spite of having read the many letters from the Association hunters on the web site.

Then there are the overlay aggressive members that seek to sneak guests, members that attempt to get free hunts for their business clients, dog trainers, members that try to run guide services, manufacture representatives that try to build resumes, those that attempt to fill a duck blind with family members that do not plan to hunt, doe tag holders that seek to reserve land for their buck tag holding friends, those that stack up reservations trying to close off properties from others, etc.

We are not airing dirty laundry in the above write up. We are simply giving a shot across the bow of the 1% of the Association membership that need to be reminded and those non-members that find our web site. and read these updates to not bother with any schemes. We have been through all of them and between landowner checks, members reports and staff patrolling we eventually catch up to all. It is this time of year once the Kansas and Iowa deer tags are issued that some start their planning process seeking to circumvent legitimate members. We have been around long enough to have had played them all and while we do not catch everyone on their first crime we do find generally one member every year to dis-enroll for conduct outside of the written rules or conditions for membership. The benefit of all this is for the 99% good Association hunters and members is protection of what they seek from the Association.

!4 July

Turkey Hunt. Scott T. with a 24 pound tom, 10 1/2" beard and 1 1/4 spurs. This was Scott's first day turkey hunting and the hunt was complete 20 minutes after legal shooting time. Scouting and good land was Scott's claim to success.

13 July

Fishing. More recovered updates from this past May. Pictured left is TJ Bass with a bass, how great is that at age 11! This picture is from a day when he and dad spent the entire day out on the water, just the two of them without another around. TJ is also an accomplished baseball player selected to pitch and man third base. His eye/hand coordination seems to be well above average not just in baseball but quail hunting as well. This past season he harvested his first quail with a single shot .410 with hammer. How many adults could do that? Most of us are 12 gauge 1 1/4 ounce hunters requiring every advantage we can take. Good luck TJ have a great season.

At right is Allen, a long time Association hunter and fisherman that seems to do too well. Allen is one of those guys that we all seem to know somewhere in our background that just has some kind of talent for finding game. It doesn't matter if its bass, quail, deer or turkey, he just does well and never brags about it. The ducks are lucky that he spends his time hunting other than waterfowl. We have seen his pictures many times over the years and certainly appreciate every one of them. Thank you Allen for sharing with all.

Trophy Whitetail. An observation offered by one of our deer hunters about the cause and effect that occurs when a renowned record deer is harvested in any particular area. In this case the reference was to Iowa's Zone 5 world record, the same mount apparently that has made news recently as being stolen.

His observation was that every year when the book deer are published the subsequent increase in applicants for tags in those areas with the highest scoring racks are more likely made up of more trophy deer hunters than average. These trophy hunters typically have sufficient prior success with wallhangers that they are less willing to harvest any smaller racks than what they already have, passing on many bucks that others would harvest. The true trophy hunter. The secondary effect that was the point he was trying to get across is that in those zones such as 5 with its record trophy last year will see fewer bucks harvested this season due to more trophy hunting for exceptional racks rather than folks settling for second choice deer. These same passed on bucks will get one more year's of growth or so and the second or third season after the record rack harvest is when to hunt that area as there will be more overall larger racked deer due to the prior year(s) lower harvest. Those trophy hunters that case the record book will have moved onto the latest big deer harvest location that is always away from the previous year as world record deer are like lightning and rarely strike twice in the same locality.

A contrary viewpoint is the value of bird hunting. Bird hunters do not need to think as hard as deer hunters. Bird hunters simply step from the truck and hunt. A whole lot less pressure involved and a lot more relaxation.

World. Heard from MAHA member and active duty Army Captain Rhett Thompson currently serving in Iraq. Two comments most will be glad to hear is that he and his men are largely bored as not much is going on. A lot of routine with some infrequent short periods of excitement. He also told in an earlier email how when something does happen over there the news media keeps replaying it as if there is a lot of action going on rather than the more accurate very local infrequent activity. To all the military folks we wish the best of luck of keeping their heads low, powder dry and the rest of that widely known, not family oriented saying.

9 July

Fishing. A 13 1/2 inch crappie, while some may consider it a small fish those that seek a mess of these know their value on the dinner plate.

Just a note to all that our pond fishing is no where near being exhausted and the many streams we have access to simply are not getting any pressure. If all someone wanted to do was go to the strip pits or the other fishing lakes on the maps they should find a good time of it.

The report that came with these pictures included the overall water levels are up with more flooded shore vegetation than we have experienced the last couple of summers. This has made a lot of extra food available and we have seen how in some waters the crappie are far more selective at what they will hit. A small boat is also more useful now than shore casting.

Kansas. We agree from first hand observation, landowner conversations and with member feedback received from the earlier spring weather analysis that the actual rainfall in the area shown here in Kansas was less than what the radar storm images projected.

This is the locality where we expect to find good pheasant and quail reproduction overall with pockets where isolated large amounts of rainfalls did occur. In these localities of higher rainfall we also expect lower population densities. This is the fringe area described in the earlier update where some landowners reported they watched the front pass on by and little or no rain fell in their area.

7 July

Fishing. Hey John...here are a couple of more pics of a recent fishing trip with the boys. We camped on the property and survived a series of three strong thunderstorms Saturday night, one of which was throwing nearly continuous cloud to ground lightning our way for over 15 minutes...didn't get much sleep that night. Matt K.

Thanks Matt for the picture update. We'll soon get our fishing section up and operating and will add this series to your previous layout for all to see several seasons of recurring family fun on the water.

Deer. This is the time of year when the deer hunting primary hunting interest members start talking to their friends and family members about applying for Association membership. It is also the time of year when deer primary hunting interest membership begin and over the next month or two come to a close and the waiting list activated. We have in the past withheld memberships from sponsored and non-sponsored applicants simply due to having our fill of total members or within any combination of primary and secondary hunting interests. The point is now that the Iowa deer tags have been assigned and the Kansas tags delayed due to the higher than expected number of applicants we are walking that boarder line between immediate membership or not. If you are a member in the process of talking your buddy into joining you may not want him to wait much longer.

5 July

Lease. Surveying the lease land is the only way to determine its value to the Association. This is a picture of an alfalfa field bordered by a wood lot to the left and a wooded creek bottom in the far ground. It is also out of sight from the road and the nearest farm yard is a 1/4 mile away. While we only saw a doe and some turkey tracks the habitat is right and it is in the right region of the state.

Doe Harvest. Deer hunters, reference doe harvest both youth and regular season we encourage it and would like to see all deer hunters harvest a minimum of a doe each. Not required, just a good idea for wildlife management and landowner relations. The MAHA Yellow Pages does include meat lockers that participate in the Hunters For The Hungry type programs on the same listing as motels. Reference youth and spouses that are new to hunting we understand that deer hunters are grown and it is better for a youth, for example, to harvest a scrap rack for his/her first buck the first season and then learn to work their way up to trophy rack status. The issue is quality deer hunting and not a collection of racks down on the basement floor.

Hummm...one of the early migratory birds, the vultures seen right, continue to use our barn for a favored roost. The Killdeer that always precede them each spring successfully raise to adulthood three of the four they hatched in our large gravel driveway. Quail continue to be paired up and we believe at this time of year to be an indicator of continued brooding of hatchlings. Hen turkeys have grouped up and are trailed by increasingly larger, some nearly half grown, lines of offspring that fly clumsily to trees at the first sight while the hens run off through the undergrowth. The turkeys had a good hatch this year just as the other early nesting birds of the Killdeer and waterfowl as April and early May were dry and warm. Just about every doe we have observe had a fawn, twins seem to be more scare this year. Finally, the Redwing Blackbirds have given up the cattails they return to each spring for nesting.

3 July.

Fishing. John, Here's another of the big crappie Jerry caught. 16 1/4 inches and 2lb. 4 oz. It had already spawned and would have weighed at least a half pound more. Really good fish.

Another of the recovered May 2004 update pictures from an early May fishing trip. This farm pond is no more remarkable than any other in the Association's range of managed waters except this pond does receive additional fishing pressure that has pretty much eliminated the catfish and depleted the bass with the crappie having a good range of age structure making for three times as many being tossed back compared to keepers.

Iowa Pheasant. From the Lacrosse Tribune Outdoors column by Bob Lamb, July 1, 2004:
IOWA PHEASANTS: Iowa's pheasant population could take a hit this year as a result of the cold, wet weather last spring.

Early reports indicate that if pheasants nested early, then newly hatched birds are doing OK. But if the birds nested late, success is questionable, at best. The extent of the damage will be known later this summer during the Iowa Department of Natural Resources August Roadside Survey.

'This weather will have an impact on local communities economically, there is no question about it,' said Richard Bishop, chief of the Iowa DNR wildlife bureau.

Pheasant hunting is worth tens of millions of dollars to rural Iowa and predictions of fewer birds could impact nonresident hunters who traditionally come to Iowa.

Flooding in the Iowa River corridor hit the pheasant population hard. The corridor is a popular pheasant hunting destination for nonresident hunters.

'We need this weather to change. We need the rain to stop and for the temperatures to warm up,' Bishop said. 'There is a chance for pheasants that have lost a nest to re-nest, so we could rebound somewhat, but we have to have a change in this weather pattern.'

The August roadside survey is driven by wildlife biologists and conservation officers across the state over the same 300 plus routes each year. It is the best method to estimate the pheasant population. The results will be available around Sept. 15.

'The survey will show fewer birds than if we had dry weather for this nesting season, there is no question about that,' Bishop said. "Ironically, we were looking at the best spring we've had in 15 years.'

Upland Birds. The rains told in the above news article were referred to by the Kansas City Meteorologists as a "northern rain pattern". Unusual, however experienced before.

The abbreviated map at right roughly shows where the jet stream, northern cold and southern warm weather line governed by high and low pressure areas remained mostly stationary for most of May and into June. Areas in this band had more than average rainfall. The impact south of this band was not rain free, in fact the rainfall for June in the Kansas City area was just over an inch above average, the area south of the band simply avoided the greater rainfall enhanced by the stationary weather elements.

A secondary effect of this northern rain pattern was the sustained up flow of the warmer gulf air creating an above average warm spring. Opening week of Kansas turkey season in April also saw our first sunburn of the spring. This compares to just a few years ago when we had snow flurries on opening morning.

Other effects of the warm spring in Kansas and most of Missouri included the earlier than average wheat and first cutting of alfalfa and clover. The wheat harvest was as early as it ever has been with northern Kansas wheat being harvested the third week of June. This compares to previous years when the wheat was not ready until the first week in July. Some believe this early cutting destroys late nests and it may. However, this spring as we will discuss later most of the nesting had been completed before the wheat harvest.

This chart measures the combine total rainfall for May and June over the past 10 years, the vertical measure is inches of rainfall. For those that have hunted over that time it is easy to compare fall bag counts to rainfall with the lower spring rains correlating to increased fall birds in bag numbers.

Historically the 10 inch mark is considered the break point between above and below average chick survival rates and fall population densities. That assessment is based purely on rainfall. What it does not take into consideration are the spring temperatures. In the case of this spring even though we are just over 1 inch above that historic break point the unusually warm temperature this spring further offset the negative affects of that rainfall.

A second rain pattern that did affect Kansas and Missouri was the more typical weather pattern of a Canadian cold front pushing through our area from the northwest to the southeast. This occurred through early and into middle May and was mostly harmless due to isolated and scattered rainstorms, short duration rain and more night than daytime rains. Of all the May rains the most damaging occurred in the middle of May when we had a cold, 24 hour drizzling and sustained light rain. That is the rain that had the most adverse impact south of the northern rain band. Outside of that one bad day the remainder of May and most of June did not see the region wide, long duration rainfalls that greatly affects hatchling survival. This may be counted by the number of days with rainfall in excess of a 1/4 inch, what is widely accepted as the measure beyond which chick survival is threatened. In May we had 5 such days of the 12 total days with measurable rainfall. Luckily most of the May rains fell during night or transcended day to night or night to day leaving mot of the day to be warmed by the sun. June saw 6 of the 12 days of measurable rain grater than a 1/4 inch. June did receive a good portion of its rain during daylight hours when the chicks would be out and about. While these isolated and scattered rain storms did not affect the entire region, the areas where they did impact will create localized depressed populations. There is more good news.

There are three areas of MAHA leased land where the spring rains did not have adverse affects on nesting and brooding. While these three areas were left with a warm and dryer May and June than as in Iowa there are also the fringe areas between the higher and lower rainfall regions where not only was it dry for good reproduction it was also wet enough to promote good cover habitat.

Then as if planned, right on July 1, the northwest corner of Kansas received a good rainfall with a slow moving pattern producing a very welcomed amount of rain needed by that dry area to start replenishing the deep soil moisture content necessary for the deep rooted tall grass prairie to produce the life sustaining cover habitat. If the northwest and the south-central areas receive at least one and preferably two or more such summer rains the habitat will be strong enough to hold the birds safe from aerial and ground predation. If that does not happen -- those that hunted the Norton area the past two years saw an example of a region that while producing a great hatch did not have the necessary rain to produce good habitat. The resulting predation greatly affected the bird population to the point that hunting was about as bad as it had ever been.

Overall, a lot of discussion about spring rains that deer hunters can never appreciate, but bird hunters watch as intently as deer hunter do wind direction while on stand. The bottom line is that we agree with the newspaper article above that Iowa suffered, especially middle and northern Iowa, from the spring rains and that most of Kansas and middle to southern Missouri was warm and dry enough to allow for good spring chick survival. From these indicators added to the last two previous dryer springs, last year's during season survey and the mild winter we expect bird numbers to be very huntable, in the right areas. With MAHA covering a large area with its leases last year's hot spots in Iowa and northern Missouri may be offset by the rains and increasing bird numbers in other localities.

2 Jul

Fishing. Another recovered picture from the May 2004 update fiasco in response to our Women Outdoors effort. A fine looking string of crappie from late April just after the water warmed up and they started to hit. To all of the Association lady members we are looking for any contribution that would serve to encourage all women to include those of current member husbands that have not enjoy the day in the field with their husbands to get out and try it just once. A chance to get away from work and house to clear the mind.

A fish story that came with the picture told how they quickly caught a good mess of crappie and were placing them into the fish basket. Then the story gets a little vague and some how the spring loaded lid to the basket is stuck open and all the crappie escape. The stringer shown in the picture is the second group of fish caught that day. That is a great day when that many keepers are caught. And, as the fish story and memories are now fondly remembered I bet we will see more pictures of this first season fisherwoman.

Thank You. A note to all the fine members that have emailed and snail mailed in their pictures and letters that have been stacking up on my desk. If your update has not been published on the website it is due to I not having re-built that section of the website or the fact that our pre Windows XP scanners do not work on our new computer. These two issues should achieve final resolution from now to Wednesday next week. Then after that we'll have a higher than average flow of updates just to get caught up. Thank you to all that have sent in pictures, each one is important.

Deer Tags. Kansas and Iowa deer hunters are reminded to FAX, 816- 765-5464 or snail mail ( MAHA, 11922 Grandview Rd, Grandview Missouri 64030) a copy of their deer tag as that copy must be in our files before anyone may make a reservation to hunt. Also, remember we work for the betterment of all. Those with buck tags have preference for reservation over those with doe tags. A doe may be harvested anywhere. A hunting buddy trying to tie up land with a doe tag to get more property for his buddy with a buck tag is simply wrong.

Turkey. Andrew graciously responded to our request for help at restoring the lost updates from the May 2004 Imoutdoors.com web hosting fiasco, yes we are doing our best to advertise to all to stay away from the outsourcing company Imoutdoors.com. Andrew adds three toms to his web page showing a success string right from his first season hunting in his Association. While Andrew does well he also expresses in his letters over the years that it's not about the game harvested, he enjoys the quality of the hunt.

1 Jul

Thank you to the several that called in volunteering to assist with the water willow planting (30 Jun update). Shaun has collected the names and if we do proceed with the planting on a wider scale next year we will look for that list, however it will also be announced on this update page before we launch. It is really great that so many want to make things better for all.

The planting is an "if" as we want to see how it grows and if there is a positive outcome without any overriding secondary affects before we begin to expand that program. If so the plants planted this year, assuming they spread as advertised, will be the stock for other ponds. We will most likely ask for local member support for this project tapping those that fish more frequently than others.

Scouting. Friendly reminder to all that are wanting to finish up their deer scouting this summer and fall that all scouting and stand hanging is on foot. No ATVs. Another reminder is that all scouting is by reservation.

Lodging. The MAHA Yellow Pages link is back at the top right of the update page. It appears this is the best place for that link for members to access the now twice a year checked/corrected lodging, meat locker, tow truck and veterinarian services making it a more accurate listing than any rural telephone book or web based search. Also, a reminder that when making reservations at the office they are reservations for land access alone. Do not expect Shaun to search the lodging listing to find the motel number that you were too lazy to look up yourself. The office is a busy place during reservation periods and Shaun does a lot more for the members than simply take reservations, she keeps all the land contracts straight, members' accounts updated, tag tracking, on and on and on. She keeps your two fulltime Association staff land workers out on the road rejecting about 70 - 80% of the land we look at to sustain the quality hunting we all enjoy.

For those new to the Association Yellow Pages simply follow the link, type in the county name of where scouting or hunting and a one page easily printed listing will be available for viewing and more importantly for printing and storing with your maps.

Lady Hunter. Kristi does well this spring, an impressive young lady. Thank you Kristi for sending in such a nicely composed picture. The ladies always seem to take much better photos than the men. Good luck the rest of the year!

Kristi's picture appears in our new Women Outdoors section of the website where we highlight their accomplishments separately similar to our Youth Hunting section. The overall Women Outdoors section is a little slacking right now and over the next year or so we will be asking the Association lady hunters to send in some letters written for women that are thinking about joining their husbands or children in the field and perhaps the letters telling of such benefits will help motivate that effort. What appears different about our Women Outdoors compared to the many articles written in magazines is that when women are highlighted in the magazines they are so in preparation efforts such as target shooting or on special hunts, sometimes canned, just for women. What the Association brings the lady hunter is the opportunity to hunt just as everyone else does either on their own or in the company of their family to enjoy those special times when memories are made.

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June 2004 Updates

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