March 2004 Updates

31 Mar

Whitetail. Jim with a P&Y buck from the 2003 season. Congratulations Jim for your determined efforts to earn this trophy whitetail.

If anyone needs a quality taxidermist call Jim's brother Dan at 816-587-1556. There are several mounts at the Club's office for samples of his work. Dan will ship mounts out of town to non-residents.

Iowa state legislature is considering new game laws that include for many types of hunting that hunters be required to wear an article of orange clothing. While in Kansas legislation is in process to stiffen the trespassing laws with language that states to the effect: "hunting license application denied, or their current hunting license revoked". And, in Missouri a trial telephone check in system during the 2004 spring turkey hunting season will be tested to ease the requirements for all to conduct physical check in of their harvested game. As game laws are dynamic from season to season all, even the veterans, will need to review the state hunting regulations pamphlet before hitting the fields.

Turkey. For our northern states members be aware that ticks and flying insects are viable and seek out human food sources. A can of bug spray will be useful this spring turkey season.

29 Mar

Lodging. The MAHA Yellow Pages of county services for every county where we lease land listing the local motels, B&B's, tow truck services and meat lockers has been verified and updated as every number listed was called to ensure its accuracy. Using the MAHA Yellow Pages link at the upper right corner of the update page will take you to a search web page and by typing in the county's name a one page listing for that county will be available for printing. Any additional links that show that county's name will be for the local useful chamber of commerce website.

24 Mar

Deer Tags. When planning your deer tag application strategies these are some of the points raised by members and our own observations over the years:

Kansas: The first is that Mule Deer tags are very competitive. Gun hunters will do well by placing as their first and second choice of the four options the Mule Deer tag units every year they apply for Kansas deer tags. Put as the third and fourth choice the whitetail tag units and maybe after a few years a Mule Deer tag may be issued. It is unlikely anyone will get a Mule Deer tag the first several applications. For those that do get a Mule Deer tag put all your effort into pre-season scouting and all available hunting time during the season as the reward potential is great.

Do not chase whitetail units based on the number of tags issued to that unit by the state. This is a very common strategy by most that apply for Kansas deer tags to include non-members. It has been our observation if any of the four options includes one of the high tag units it will be that unit the applicant will receive a tag for. The implied is that the four choices marked by the applicant are not necessarily a priority listing as it would appear.

For the few that have hunted unit 10 in the past there is potential for good deer and we are sure some of you will return, however we do not recommend anyone hunt unit 10. We have had far greater success in our other units. Unit 10 is a high tag issue unit and if that unit is a selection on the application it will likely be the one issued.

The number of available Kansas non-resident deer tags is increased 2% each year, however the number of applicants increased well in excess of 2%.

Ebay continues to be the best source of secondary market transfer tag sales source.

Archery hunters, reminder the transferable archery tag is no longer state wide and restricted to county areas.

Tag applications are secured through the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks website.

For Iowa deer tag applicants:

Do not necessarily look to where the Association has more land as to which unit to put as your first choice. We have had quality deer harvested from both units to include from some of the most unlikely looking habitat.

The Iowa point system reflecting earlier year draw rejection is a working and viable system. Continue to apply each year and eventually most can plan on getting a tag.

Iowa does not have a transferable deer tag.

Never rule out Missouri as a quality deer state. The tags being over the counter seems to prejudice hunters away. Almost half of the top 10 highest scoring racks in the Association have come from Missouri. Missouri is surrounded by Kansas, Iowa and Illinois and if Missouri should ever become a draw state it would gain the reputation of a quality deer state similar to the states that surround it.

Waterfowl. Randy sent in some pictures creating his second web page. Both web pages shows a consistent hunter that has had very memorable days due to a lot of game and some from simply a great day in the field. Read both pages for the best to hope for and what real hunting frequently produces.

Thanks Randy, it is always good to hear from you.

23 Mar

Kansas Deer. MAHA Kansas transfer deer tag has been posted on the website for two years and has been updated to reflect the latest legislative changes. Those that are interested at applying for non-resident landowner transferable deer tags need to read that web page, follow the instructions and not as has occurred the last two years repetitively telephone for information. The vehicle for tag applicant is that web page and status updating will be this update page.

We are not trying to be nasty and appear unresponsive to membership concerns it is that we cannot let the less than 3% of the Association hunters that participate in this program occupy hours on the telephone detracting from all other members.

A strength of this Association has always been its low overhead and that includes time occupation away from land management and in this case during a very busy time of the year. The overlapping deer application period with spring turkey season and land contracting makes for some long work days and 7 day weeks. An example of what your membership dues pay for that is just part of these many types of behind the scenes activities rarely thought of by the membership is the latest and currently ongoing updating of the MAHA Yellow Pages. We are individually calling each service listed to ensure accuracy as the listings found in rural telephone and online directories are often inaccurate. Calling nearly 700 business is as time consuming as it does appear to be. The benefit of us performing this service we have found through the years is a much satisfied membership that has ready access to the information they need to enhance the hunt quality.

So the point reiterated for those that want to participate in the transferable tag program is to follow the instructions on the link posted above, sit back and relax as your Association staff is working hard to get what you want.

Upland bird hunters we are holding in reserve a good bit of new land bird habitat acreage in a couple of key regions pending the May - June rainfall. Good rains will mean more bird ground, otherwise we'll save that money.

Fishing update includes the recent winds making for muddy water conditions and the water temperature being 8 to 10 degrees lower than what we like for the best action. The forecasted warmer weather this upcoming week will enhance water temperature, but it will take more than just this week to make a significant difference. Overall, we are above average year to date on rainfall making up some of last year's lower water levels. This higher water now covers dry land vegetation that we all like to see for better food source production.

Turkey hunters the wheat fields are greening up just fine as are the weed areas with the Maple trees just beginning to bud out. For the most part the camouflage color of choice currently is brown. We heard the first gobble on February 28 which is early compared to the past years when the initial sustained gobbling typically starts in mid March. And, they are gobbling just fine as well as competitively strutting for the hens making for some easy afternoon scouting. Many of the past year turkey spots scouted so far continue to show toms with a few that did fail to produce as they had last spring.

18 Mar

Quail. Time lag from hunt, to film developing, to sending in the pictures. From this past season a happy quail hunter. We have seen his pictures throughout this season and he says he still has one more partial roll in the camera. We certainly appreciate those that can show that a good hunting day is possible throughout the season and not just a chance occurrence. Thanks Kevin and good luck with your new dog.

Youth Hunter. Speaking of time lag...Picture from last spring season found when preparing for this spring's scouting trip. This is what we love to see, kids and success. Matt with a fine looking bird.

Pheasant. Just a quick look at one of our successful days last November. 3 pheasants - 4 quail. We had 3 out of 5 great days and am sorry I didn't get to return this season. I plan on many more days in the field next year when I'm finally retired. Thanks, CJF

A very nice note from a hardcore bird hunter:
"Last day of the pheasant season. Besides these birds also moved several roaring coveys and saw many hens. All birds shot over point, picked up a few quail but with heavy snow went light on them. Great day and dog work. Nice to have the birds on a modest comeback. Thanks for a great organization - I think my son in law and new grand sons are going to consider joining. Best Wishes Don"

Scouting. It appears a reminder is in order that all who want to scout must have a reservation. There are several administrative lease contract requirements for this and we will not take kindly to those that scout without a reservation. It only requires a telephone call.

When scouting outside of any regular season the entire unit of land is available. If there has been a change to any land in that unit the member will be informed at the time of the reservation.

Within a week of turkey season and during the season none of the prime turkey lands will be available for scouting. They are for hunting only. There are many other places to scout so all will have plenty of land to cover.

Some have asked how much land they can realistically scout in one day. It has been our experience for those that slow walk scout they can plan on a maximum of three 1/4 sections per day before running out of daylight. Generally 2 to 4 hours per 1/4 section. Have more planned to scout and be satisfied covering as much ground as you can. And, all scouting and turkey hunting is on foot. Those that call and ask permission to use 4 wheelers do amaze us thinking it is an advantage.

11 Mar

Quail. Take a look at Gaylen & Sons' to see what family hunting fun is all about. Your pictures are on the way back to you and thank you for sending them in. It appears you all are good quail hunters and great shots! Its great to see the youth hunters. P.S. to anyone out there with a quality Brittany as Galyen is in search to breed his female. He has show his dog is certainly a good hunter.

8 Mar

Whitetail. Hi Jon how's it going? Here are a couple of pictures I've been meaning to send you. The first pic is from last year a nice 3half around 130. I let this deer pass for 2 reasons. First, it was only the 2nd day of the season and 2nd I talked to the guy at the local sport shop and he said that there had been a big one seen in that area. But he didn't show up. This year was a little better. I got this one on the 6th afternoon of my hunt. I was sitting in my popup blind watching some does feeding and a couple of little bucks came out on the edge and he was the 4th buck to step out he turned his head and I seen 5 on one side so I knew he was a shooter! He gross's 149 at 4half. My biggest whitetail so far! Next year I'm looking for bigger! Can't wait ti'll season starts. Let em Go Let em Grow! We'll that's all for now. Thanks Steve from the U.P.

Thank you Steve for sharing your pictures and hunting account. A good reminder for all of us to wait for the right deer.

5 Mar

Waterfowl. A photo of a successful late season goose hunt from a property that was never known to produce waterfowl.

Many of our leases have "honey holes" that are never discovered by members because the habitat and game are in areas that don't appear productive from the road. Every year we receive feedback asking why we lease certain pieces of property that don't look productive. This picture shows just one answer.

Another is that several of our leases are from large farming families and they want all or nothing included in the lease. If the most productive land far exceeds the less productive we pursue the lease. Occasionally, several 1/4 sections or 80's are not ideal habitat, but we map them because we would be foolish to overlook or waste the opportunity for the unexpected.

3 Mar

Scouting. Prime time scouting starting in February and continuing into March. Many have shared reports with us and we share this one with all as the member sent in pictures as well. We certainly appreciate this kind of feedback.

We just returned from 4 days of scouting and driving. Greg and I put 2200 miles on the truck and made a great scouting trip in [deleted]. Also saw more than 100 turkeys that day and jumped 2 coveys of quail. As you would expect we found some great property and some that we didn't care for that much. Each to his own. One thing I could not believe is how remote that state is. Better pack what you plan to eat, as there are no stores or anything after you leave a big town. I loved that. We didn't pass another car the first day. Not one.

One other comment. The mud in that state is without a doubt the slickest and stickiest stuff I have ever seen. If it rains plan to walk because nothing can go in this stuff.

We plan to be back in a couple of week to scout [deleted] and back to hunt turkey in all states.

Forgot to mention there are TONS of geese and ducks out there. I was in several corn stubble fields and had them trying to pitch in right on top of me.

The largest deer track I have ever seen. This track is on flat ground and is almost 5" long.

1 Mar

Upland Birds. A proud bird dog owner sent in a great picture of his dog in action. No reason not to add another dog! This picture is worth more than that day's bag.

Turkey. While we do our best to provide everyone the best possible spring turkey hunt there will be one hunter that will experience the affects of a controlled burn. We would like everyone to be aware that a lot of our landowners burn their pastures and CRP grass to improve the quality of their grass and pasture. The time frame to burn is typically between March and April, but this may vary a little depending on the weather.

Last year a couple of hunters were disappointed when they arrived and saw the property they reserved was freshly burned. This is not always a bad event. Turkeys feed on dead bugs and fresh sprouts a couple of days after the fields are burned, especially after a fresh rain, so burning is definitely advantageous to turkey hunting, but it is not to the advantage of the hunter during or the day after the burn.

To avoid the chance of hunting a property that has been freshly burned we recommend you make plans to hunt the very end of April toward the end of the season. This is also a time when the weather is more stable and the birds are more active. Otherwise call the office when it opens and reserve another property.

As burn permits are issued based on forecasted humidity and winds for the day of the burn and not before we never know and cannot expect to schedule when any particular farm will be burned.

Whitetail. John N., a member for 17 years with a really nice 10 pointer he harvested last year. The photo doesn't do the deer justice but it's an impressive mount on his wall at home.

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February 2004 Updates

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