June 2005 Updates

30 Jun

Family Turkey Hunt
Jon,
Another great Mid-America Hunt this past spring. Our youngest son Jacob Killed a monster opening morning it weighted in at 26lbs with 5-beards totaling 36 inches total with 1 1/4 inch spurs. Caleb our 18yrs old killed one just minutes after him and it had a 11inch beard and looked like a horses tail. I killed one before 7:00 that same morning, mine was a Jake but it was the biggest of 5-coming in all gobbling their heads off it was awesome. I finished the year out with another mulit-bearded bird this one had 4-beards totaling 56 inches and was at least 25-26 lbs. All in All we had a great spring hunt with Mid-America again this year. Thanks Jon, for all your help in making our hunts Great Hunts! We look forward to hunting White Tail this fall with Mid-America.
Thanks, Becky

27 Jun

Iowa Deer Tags
From initial reports it appears we may have a good number of zone 4 tag holders. We have some new land contracts on hold in Iowa pending tag distribution between zone 4 and 5 and are prepared to execute once we have a better idea of which zone has the greatest need. To that end all are reminded to fax (816-765-5464) a copy of their Iowa and yet to be issued Kansas tags to us.

Fishing
Summer and fishing are for kids! The reports are coming in that even with the hot weather the crappie continue to bite and the fisherman is spending less time on the water not too long after the sun gets hot. In the case of this fisherman the report was light colored weed less jigs with an occasional small bright silver spinner on short casts near the edge being effective. Slow action on the retrieve with a light wrist pop. All artificial, worms and minnows did not produce as well. The bass did come on a plastic worm, the only hit on that bait.

Canada Ducks
It seems it is well advertised lately that Canada has had a very good nesting season to date. This is what a friend had to tell us: "In Saskatchewan by Cut Knife (west-central part of province) any place that can hold water is filled to the brim and covered with ducks...crops are in and in good condition, especially peas...heavy snow pack and relentless rains the past 2 months."

MAHA wetlands work continues with Jon Nee Jr. shown here giving a break to Jon Sr. relocating a floater bind to a better spot determined during last season. This blind relocation along with surface water increase resulting from levee improvements also allows for more layout boat edge lower down the wetlands.

Administrative
It is coming to that time of year once the May and June rainfalls are totaled by region along with the Iowa and Kansas deer tag count that we make the final decisions on remaining/pending land contracts for the coming fall. To make it an even better decision process we would encourage all members with friends that they may want to sponsor or may make application on their own to join the Association to do so this or at the latest next month rather than repeat what has been our history that the 90 day period leading up to the bulk of the fall seasons we face a rush of folks. While land contracting is a year round effort it all comes to a close in the mid and late summer. Having a better idea of where members will be hunting always make the process easier. In many cases we do not wait as was the case for this acreage (pictured) of new land in N. Mo with crp, timbered ditches and adjoining crop mainly for deer and turkey we picked up to replace another contract with a landowner that was just too difficult to work with.

24 Jun

New Mexico Members
Jon,
We weren't as tired as we look! Had a great time as usual. Jim did a second bird. I passed on a jake & the regular toms just would not cooperate for my second bird.
Take care, Dick

New Members Cometh  - General Membership Update
The Iowa deer tag issue, the past great upland bird season combined with the now surfacing favorable bird forecasts, the recent issue of the high Canada duck counts are all coalescing into an increase of folks calling to apply for membership. It seems that every year folks are planning earlier and earlier on their leisure time for the coming fall. And, it all impacts on land in terms of habitat type and region within each of our states.

The wetlands are getting a more thorough working this summer as is required every couple of years in terms of drainage and food source planting. Many plantings will last through volunteer, self seeding for 2 to 3 years before machine replanting. Fortunately, previous year tree cuttings are holding and that labor intensive activity is not planned this summer. Blind locations are pretty well set with just one relocated so far this spring to accommodate increased water surface area from levee enhancement. For the increased use of layout boats we have targeted more of the cattail and other suitable edges for such hunts leaving them free of blinds, some will be new edge due to surface water increase. Recent years increased retriever hunter use of wade-in areas will keep those places free of blinds. Overall, members have been providing general feedback on decoy purchases, referrals to their friends and hunt plans. We ask all to hold off on the wetlands flooding schedule as we will need to get the required work done first.

The archery deer hunter has two facets, first is what has been reported in the past and that is that group along with the duck hunter have the highest renewal rate and the recent years trend has been an increase in the number of archery hunter primary interest members. The greatest bulk of these are sponsored in by current members. A corresponding increase in success rates has also been noted.

Upland bird hunters demonstrate the greatest increase that will be easily absorbed by the first year CRP contracts we leased last year coming into their first season of worthwhile cover grass. Just as a cushion we have several tall grass leases in process for pheasant hunting and some increased deer and quail grain crop farm acreage in one key region.

A gradual increase in Iowa deer hunters can easily be seem on our hunting pressure page over the past years and we encourage all that draw Iowa and Kansas deer tags to inform us of that success as early as possible to allow us reaction time incase we find a surge in any one zone or unit.

We will seek to integrate many into the buddy hunt system this year more so than in the past. It seems more hunters are no longer waiting for their home area friends to join and simply seek more hunts with current members. For the most part those that team up with others report success at subsequent hunts. Others very much enjoy exploring a hunt discipline outside of their norm. The upland bird hunter with dogs continues to be the one most often requested for a hunt and typically so by those without dogs and not much bird hunting background.

22 Jun

Turkey and Deer Hunting Account
Jerad comes through with a detailed season warp up from fall through winter through spring.

21 Jun

Waterfowl
Longevity, 22 years ago this summer..., No brag, just fact.

The photo (right) was taken in July 1983 just weeks after the completion of MAHA's 1st waterfowl development program on one of Missouri's premier waterfowl flyways.

We met with a landowner with 100 acres of land that he described as useless to anything but rippy grass and ducks. We put our heads together to develop a plan that would hold water for a permanent duck lake on a piece of property that the crops would flood out year after year. Not knowing what the outcome would bring, we took the chance and invested weeks of work and thousands of dollars in dozer work to build levees and create an image of the outcome... Within 2 weeks of the completion of the project we had a 4 inch rain and the lake filled up (photo).

This was 1 year prior to Bruce J. joining. Allen and Tom on right were the pioneers to MAHA's duck blind building force... Bruce took over from there...

Kim Nee, center has been a role player with the Association, starting in June 1982, has given good feedback to the operation of the club, has been on countless duck blind projects...answered phones and has helped with many business decisions that have been critical to the success of the Association over the years. Family business...

Turkey Hunting Feedback
The hand written notes on the back of each picture said, photo one:
"Scott -Turkey 05'. My hunting buddies first time hunting Rios, limited out. Not bad for 2-5 yrs old. Longtime hunting buddies. Plenty of turkeys. Somewhere in [location deleted]."

Photo two: "Sid-Turkey 05'. Thanks for a great Rio hunt. First time hunting Rios, plenty of Gobblers, nice landowner Place: somewhere in [location deleted]."

Text for photo three: "Sid -Turkey 05'. Largest Eastern I've ever took, 24.5 lbs, 1 ¾ spurs, 10" beard. Somewhere in [location deleted] P.S. weather was terrible but a great hunt due to amount of birds."

Thanks guys for some great pictures and congratulations on having an enjoyable hunt. We are grateful for the feedback.

20 Jun

Modified Format
Member feedback suggests a title format rather than the three state icon for the updates. Easy enough to give a try. Overall, membership feedback has been higher the last hunting season than average and while mostly dealing with land and hunt quality there have been rule change suggestions and more. The member success updates we all appreciate very much are posted on this page while the many administrative topics and routine hunt feedback are responded to individually by email or telephone conversation. We appreciate all and all are listen to and we want to hear more as the years progress.

Turkey Hunting
Chantz on spring turkey hunting with a detailed, well written hunting account and two nicely composed pictures. Thank you Chantz for describing how fast and how slow it can all happen.

Deer Hunting
Steve from West Virginia builds his second web page covering deer and turkey hunting as well as enjoying the day on mud roads and watching pheasants walk on by. He is willing to travel thousands of miles each year to have the hunt he is after. Thank you Steve, it is great to see your success!

Waterfowl
During a recent visit with a landowner discussing a wetlands project to improve the hunting with a new type of pipe structure, this little critter passed by close enough to get a photo from a small digital camera. For those not familiar, this is a river otter, which was once on Missouri's endangered species list. Through trapping and relocating, the river otter has made a great comeback. The only drawback on our side is they eat fish and live in abandoned beaver dens.

Mule Deer
John,
A picture of my first mule deer shot with a muzzleloader and also pictures of opening day of pheasant season with my hunting partner Norman and our hunting dogs which work really well together. We were limited out by 10 AM that Saturday. Also this was the same area that I deer hunt. I have hunted all my life in Kansas and have never seen the quality of game that I see in this area. I have been very happy being a member of this club.
John K.

Thanks John for sending in your letter and pictures, good luck for the seasons to come!

Fishing
A dad that teaches conservation to his children by setting the example and showing that example all the while the children are having a great time. It is members like Matt K and his family that make it so easy to work for the Association, thank you Matt.

More Fishing
The Association owner and operator, Jon Nee, took a break from land runs for some late afternoon fishing and we had him stand for pictures with a sampling of some of the better ones he caught. All went back into the water.

The skeptical will critique that Jon knows all the best places giving him an edge and that is true, not just for fishing, but also deer, turkey, waterfowl and upland. The reasonable hunter will recognize that Jon requires an intimate knowledge of the land he leases to ensure all members are on the right spot for what they are after. For it is the satisfied member that pays the bills.

The self-employed members will quickly recognize the amount of hours taking care of a business requires. Add to that one teenage and another just entering into teenage years boys and the self-employed family man does not have the recreational time many would like to think he has. Good luck to all this summer and there is plenty of water to be fished.

12 Jun

Fishing success on MAHA property is very similar to hunting success. Those willing to put in the time and explore what's overlooked from the road will eventually stumble into fish and game of a lifetime. Once found, we are not interested in the exact location, but rather interested in knowing a particular area is producing what we have it leased for or has other opportunity we are not aware of. These fish are a prime example of the results from a member willing to gamble and spend a day fishing an area that was not known to have quality fishing.

Price
Recently received an email inquiry from a Texas member about our dove hunting as in his locality the going rate just to dove hunt private land is $50/day. His comment was for that cost a drive up to Kansas is a better value. Thanks Richard for reminding us how good we have it up here.

10 Jun

Youth Hunter
Jon,
Here is a picture of Michael's Youth hunt, My Spring hunt, and a nice Waterfall on Club property.

16 year old Michael D. with a tom from his last eligible youth season. His father Bill has developed the best memories of his hunting career spending one on one time with his son since an early age. Being able to harvest 2 mature gobblers on the same day with a bow is an accomplishment any archery hunter would dream of. On top of 2 birds in one day, one of the birds had a spur measuring 1 7/8ths inches. Bill D. is a local member that has been in the club for a long time, does his homework and hunts hard for a variety of different game.

Duck Hunters. This past May we were up in South Dakota and every puddle, wet hole, pond (both farm and constructed pothole) or anything with water held one to many ducks, in some cases more than we were willing to count. Far more than our previous year's visits. Add to this the recent Canada Board DU meeting has given a similar healthy report for this year's waterfowl production. In short the rains have been good and there has been plenty of nesting cover to support successful nests and brood survival rates. The consensus is that surveys show the counts to be as good or best since the middle 1990's. There are some surveys in different areas that equate this year's hatch to the 1970's. Overall, the count numbers are up compared to the last several years and historically high compared to longer time periods. And, for those that play the weather voodoo cycles, both the Pacific El Nino/La Nina and Atlantic Hurricane numbers show we are set for another central midwest winter when the ducks will hold over in Missouri much like our better years. This information comes to us from two disconnected Association friends assisting with different report writing and offered us this advance peak and what most others will read later.

8 Jun

Andrew once again says he cannot understand why so many people choose to fish the large lakes with expensive boats when such an alternative such as MAHA is available. This 20+" bass and 15" crappie were among many other fish caught and released Memorial weekend without ever seeing another human the entire 2 day trip.

Great member. A great turkey hunt feedback from an anonymous member (we honored his request for anonymity) that is easy to please and a pleasure to do business with. Three beards: 11.5", 9.5" and 7.5" with 1/2" spurs. He did pass on: "Shaun, thanks for all your hard work. I always enjoy talking to you as you are patient and personable."

Land Lease. As we continue the land contracting process for the year we repeatedly reassess based on membership reservations by hunting discipline and continuing new membership allocations. Currently, the trend of this past winter and spring continues with increasing numbers of upland bird primary applicants based largely of new members from last season telling their friends. Space for these new members mostly comes from the handful of current deer members that went inactive pending Kansas and Iowa deer tag draw outcomes. These deer hunters are reminded that inactivation is for a year as that is how the land contracts are paid for. At the current rate of new memberships we will not have space available within the Association should they attempt to reactivate if successfully drawn. In the case of the upland bird hunters and additional upland bird land contracts, we are waiting pending the end of June rainfall totals by region before we pull the trigger on a number of contracts we have in reserve. We simply will add land where the hatch and brood months indicate better production.

6 Jun

Youth Whitetail Hunter. A great youth whitetail deer hunting account covering several seasons to include this fine trophy whitetail. Thank you Larry and congratulations to Derek on the start of a great deer hunting career. What a great way for father and son to share time.

Spring Turkey Season Overview. Pressure numbers on 232,000 acres: MO-176 KS-140 IA-13. Missouri, Opening day-93 reservations Opening weekend-83. Kansas, Opening day-62 Opening weekend-65.

First of all, we would like to thank everyone that participated in the spring turkey season for their patients and congenial attitude throughout the season. This was Shaun's second turkey season handling turkey reservations and she impressed with the determination and endurance of the members hunting turkeys.

As always, for some hunters it was a breeze and for others it was a difficult year. Traditionally, the birds are more cooperative later in the season, but this year, especially in Missouri, it was more difficult for a lot of hunters after the first week. Many reports indicated the toms had hens with them most of the time and they were tough to pull away from the real thing. The gobbling was quick early morning and shut down once the hens met with the toms. But several successful hunters reported some of their best success hunting mid-day and another made the comment he only uses a decoy 20% of the time after the first or second day.

The total number of daily reservations was down almost 20% while the total number of hunters was only down slightly from 345 in 04 to 329 in 05. This year only 56 members hunted multiple states, while last year we had over 100 hunt multiple states. The total amount of birds harvested was 308 (respondents only, 26 failed to return calls), which is below our 4-year average, but that is still an incredible number of turkeys and well above the average state success ratios. (In reality, this is a 1.12 bird per member ratio- 308 birds to 273 hunters).

The heaviest bird reported was 26 pounds and the longest beard was 11 1/2 inches. Various multi-bearded birds were harvested, but one with 3 beards totaling 27.5 inches ranked at the top. For those interested in spur length, we have a new record at 1-7/8ths inches, taken with a bow.

Only 2 hunters attempted to fill 5 tags and both of them harvested 2 toms each. The quickest a member filled 4 over the counter tags was 3 days. His 13-year-old son also filled 2 tags, but their joint quest to fill those tags took an additional 7 days.

The most days for a member to fill one tag was 18 days and the most days spent hunting without filling a tag was 14 days. This is a good reminder of the degree of difficulty involved in hunting spring turkeys.

One of the most unusual sightings was three hens that passed a members decoy followed by a hen peacock that must have joined the turkeys from a neighboring farm.

While gathering the statistics, it appeared everyone heard and saw plenty of turkeys.

Several members encountered point blank misses and jakes were passed randomly, so it appears there will be plenty of 2-year-old toms to work with next year.

A lot of local members hunted the counties closest to Kansas City, where the success ratio was the lowest. Many of the local members filled tags much easier in fewer days by traveling further to hunt.

3 Jun

Summer Fishing. Andrew, one of the Association's more successful fishermen, shows a stringer from a new pond he fished this past week. He found the pond while hunting the past season.

Notes. From the end of the regular seasons, through spring turkey and now into fishing we have received a good many email and telephone updates that fall into the routine category and do not get posted to this update page. We certainly appreciate both types of feedback, those that contribute to this update page as well as those that simply keep us informed. Thank you to all.

2 Jun

John,
Just a little note: Had a great hunt in [location deleted] and [location deleted]. Got 4 mature toms in [location deleted] and 2 in [location deleted].
Thanks for letting us in the club, Semper Fi. Larry

Youth Hunter. Attached is a picture of the turkey William S., shot during the Missouri youth season. Congratulations William, it is a grand accomplishment to harvest a spring tom!

1 Jun

Upland bird hunters, from AccuWeather.com comes the May 2005 rainfall totals for the first of the two critical hatch and brood months that for most years is the greatest single event that determines the subsequent fall's bird numbers. With the exception of the eastern corridor of Kansas we look in very good position entering June for a high chick survival rate. Central and western Kansas had the highest bird numbers last season and with that carry over plus this good May weather should mean better hunting than even the good hunting we had last season. Southern Iowa seems poised for a rebound and we may get back to the bird numbers of the season before last that was the best we ever had making easy days for most. North central Missouri appears set to continue to carry most of the quail hunters. The one heartbreak is southeast Kansas that had been showing a gradual increase in quail numbers. Should June fair better perhaps that trend will continue.

Last year we added 13 quarters of current or future tall grass CRP to our land lease inventory anticipating increased bird hunting from current and future members. That proved to be a good decision. This spring we have several more contracts in various regions waiting the outcome of rains. These contracts in many cases will also serve the dual purpose of providing increased deer hunting options as this one pictured that has a thick windbreak separating a tall grass from a crop field. That combined with the wooded creek bottom on the far side makes for some good habitat and in the right region of the state.

Fishing. The lake in the photo was always muddy and showed sign of having very few fish if any. A retired member volunteered to move bass and pan fish from an overstocked pond an did so 2 years ago. He has years of experience stocking ponds and managing their growth and reproduction. His feedback was the pond might be overrun with small bullheads that keep the water muddy, so he moved over 200 bass to the pond. We moved 30 more fish last weekend and observed the water is now much cleaner. If his theory is correct, the bass should be very healthy and ready for the members to fish.

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