Here are a few very belated pics from last spring in [location deleted]. Last year's pics didn't come out at all. The hunt did last for a few days and all of the land was great and did not see anybody hunting anywhere. The toms came to the call like they had never heard anyone call before. The hunt was pretty short. I pulled up to the property at 11 PM after an all day drive from PA. Caught a few hours of sleep in the cab and got up ready to hunt in the morning. I had an aerial photo since I had never been on this property before. I walked out to where I figured my starting point would be and waited for daylight. A few gobblers responded to an owl call, so I set up at the field edge about 100 yards away. Called in six long beards and shot the biggest one. The other five decided to put the spurs to him, so picked out the next biggest and shot him and watched the remaining four put the spurs to him. Very short hunt, but very memorable. I have never come home with an unfilled turkey tag. Can't wait for the spring season to start. Keep up the great work, I have nothing but good to say about this club. The properties, the staff and the other hunters I have talked with are all top notch. Thanks again, and looking forward to many more seasons in MAHA.
Kevin's pictures are as valuable as proof of hunter success as they are of habitat showing a great deal of the background terrain where the birds occupy during the spring season. Thank you Kevin for some very good pictures.
One interesting point to us on the staff side of MAHA is how many prospective members question about hunter pressure assuming there must be a lot of it. Even after showing the hunter pressure numbers on the website, discussion of season days, acreage amounts and the large number of non-residents that travel for a vacation week or two a year some feel they will not have a good hunt due to other hunters. This discussion typically continues that most renew their membership and they would not if they did not have good hunts. Another intangible and often ignored aspect is the current owner is very likely to pass on the business to Junior who is developing into a very experienced hunter. Senior is not going to pass a low quality organization onto junior. Two recent conversations (one by email and one by voice) touch each side of this issue.
The first comes from a prospective member that has been paying a day hunt operator that decoyed in the hunter with low cost hunts. His recompilation of the hunts told of much hunter pressure and low quality hunting. His reflection centered on the day hunt operator being similar to a hotel where profits come only from high occupancy.
The second conversation was with a local upland bird hunter/member with two dogs that also deer and waterfowl hunts that told he was able to hunt 18 days this past season. Work, family (two teenagers) and other obligations limited his time in the field.
For the first hunter (day hunt experience) he was heavily jaded and came around that we were legitimate due to the references he called. Thank you to all who volunteer to be references.
In the case of the family man hunter/member he shows to the non-resident hunter he too can have a good hunt as local members may not be hunting as much as they are believed to hunt.
To the prospective member reading this update page several others have told us this research process that worked for them. Read our rules and 5 to 8 testimonials. From those sources develop some test questions. Call us and ask us those questions. When you call you will be talking to either Jon Nee or John Wenzel the two that work the Association lands 12 months of the year, we do not have any salesmen or separate land managers. Listen to our answers. At that point if we agree we may be able to work together we will provide a listing of member names and telephone numbers to call and ask the same questions. Evaluation of the answers along the lines of consistency and compliance with non-competitive do it yourself hunter approach to paid hunts should give good indication if we are what we advertise ourselves to be. Good hunting to all!
Wetlands and Pheasants
During a Missouri land run to review a potential lease with the landowner for waterfowl wetlands development this pheasant popped out and watched us as if we were the attraction. He stayed with us long enough to be capture with a camera we carry for land surveys and contract recording.
Regular and Late Goose
From Harry O., one of our traveling deer hunters that went on a buddy goose hunt. From the email message:
"...Im not a waterfowl hunter at all, but after seeing all the geese I went on your buddy hunt and was done with the first group to come in...we spent more time at pre dawn set up than on the hunt itself...those are Jamie R's. calls in the picture. He seemed to bring them in good...a great guy and maybe I can get him on a deer hunt..."
Been watching the update page and wanted to get in on the action. I was hunting for pheasant in warm weather without much luck, due to the birds flushing wild, but came upon a pond stacked full of geese. Since I had all of the stamps I decided to go for it and bagged my limit. I got 2 off the rise and waited for a third since so many were working the area and it paid off. Thanks, C. C.
Thanks guys, it is never too late to send in pictures and stories. Having some spread throughout the year brings pleasant reminders to all. That is something that CNN cannot do.
A Reminder via email from Ken in Mississippi:
"...It [spring turkey season] actually got started here in Mississippi this past Wednesday with youth week and the regular season opening the 15th. It appears that it will be a tough season from all accounts here. Several bad hatches the last 2 years and the woods are still in a mess from Katrina. I know that I have mentioned the damage several times, but it is so frustrating trying to hunt with the damage done. I attached a couple of pictures to try and give you an idea what we are having to deal with. And then the timber companies are trying to salvage what they can and it is just another problem to deal with. I guess that is why I am so anxious to make a trip to the Midwest where things are somewhat normal..."
Hard for us to compare not having seen the before picture. Thanks Ken for reminding us just how good we have it up our way.
Speaking of weather for those planning a deer scout or later spring turkey hunt a good range of clothing is a good idea. This picture is of our Kansas March 21 snow fall.
Anyone that has hunted waterfowl in the club 10+ years has most likely heard of or been involved in some good duck hunting on Blairstown Lake, in Henry County Missouri. Over the past 3 years the lake has produced poorly compared to the past, due to extreme dry weather and bad luck with mother nature. Last weekend, we drained the lake and installed a 6 inch pipe, which will enable us to drain the lake and plant crop each summer. Draining the lake will also give us the opportunity to start fresh with the blinds. Our plans are to keep blind 1, eliminate blind 2 and build a new blind 3. If everything falls into place, Blairstown Lake will be back!
From last week's land run checking out new land, renewing a contract and scouting.
When we see birds, they are usually in bachelor flocks or large flocks of 30 to 50 birds. Last week, we finally spotted some toms strutting and pushing the jakes around to establish their pecking order. If the weather remains cloudy and cool like the forecasts predicts, it's going to be a while until things kick into gear, but it's good to know we have a long season to look forward to.
A flock of 45+ birds feeding on a corn stubble field close to their roost trees, the last hour of the day. The bulk of the birds in this flock were hens with a small group of jakes.
We have received a good flow of emails over the years commenting on this update page. The latest increased picture size and attention to page opening time reflecting some of the latest requests for its presentation. The accompany modification of eliminating the smaller pictures with text links to larger ones posted elsewhere within the websites has simply been shifted to the home page for each hunting discipline. Those pictures and accompany text are still posted to the testimonial sections and other website locations. It is that we, for the most part, will link from this page to others as required leaving the rest to the main pages.
Member contributions are by far the greatest source of satisfaction to be gained and we certainly find all those that contribute to be generous folks that we do not forget.
Another fairly frequent comment has been from those that check the update page several times a week and would like to see more frequent articles, pictures, member feedback and general behind the scenes MAHA activities. On this point we do face time limitations and try as a standard a minimum of two updates each calendar week. Sometimes more and at other times less and those one week a year summer family vacations always brings emails of what happened to the updates. Being as small as we are it only takes one to be gone for much work not to get done.
For those that have sent in updates and yet to see them please be patient as we will get to them all. For those that are thinking of sending in an update please do so as all that read them seem to gain some level of appreciation for the effort. Perhaps one aspect noted by some is that all information is presented as the hunter found his experience. There are not any editors or advertisers anywhere within our organization/website that we must cater to.
On this last note we are redrafting our commercial activities rules to be more comprehensive. The proposed draft is below.
No commercial activities such as professional dog training, field trials, video, guide service, etc., is permitted on Mid-America Hunting Association leased properties by any member. Our only service is self guided hunts for the do it yourself hunter.
On occasion the MAHA staff may permit a selected promotional activity that serves the entire Association and all of its members. Having stated that a notice to all the hunt videographers, credit card companies, magazine article writers, advertisers and any others seeking such an activity are all well advised not to contact us. We also prohibit any form of paid advertisements or promotion of any material item to our members, sale of membership personal information or any other third party commercial activity. This Association, its properties and mission is for the enjoyment of its membership alone, not for the profit of others.
Duck & Goose
A member that saw the diver duck article and wanted to send in a photo from an early December hunt that he called in a drake Canvasback into his goose spread and he's getting it mounted.
Deer, Coyote, Pheasant
David and Joseph made their annual 3,000 mile round trip to hunt deer with the Association. Last year they used their "never give up" strategy and ended up tagging their second deer on day 9. This year, they decided to come early and scout the week prior to the season. They were fortunate enough to locate the deer they were after and tagged out the second day, which gave them some time to relax and hunt whatever else was available.
Deer, Pheasant, Turkey
Tad and Kevin are both 10+ year members that joined Mid-America Hunting Association while attending school. They both moved on to pursue their careers out of state and renew their dues each year, since some of their best memories were hunting together in the Midwest. Despite an overloaded work schedule, the two long time hunting companions unite for a couple trips each year. They enjoy hunting a variety of game, but their main focus is deer and turkey. Over the last 3 years, they have not pulled the trigger on a deer waiting for a deer to mount. They have had several close encounters and seen numerous quality deer, but the last couple of years, the luck always seemed in favor of the deer.
Last fall they returned to a farm they passed several good deer, hoping their management efforts would pay off. By the end of the 1st day they both tagged out with the rest of the week off to enjoy hunting pheasant with their cell phones turned off.
"...250 plus decoy spread consisted of shells and motion based goose decoys which move in the wind to give it a realistic appeal. The weather was nothing compared to the single digits from the day before. The temp was around 20-25. Because it was such a sunny day I figured I would take a picture of our decoy spread to show you what we were hunting in. The birds were moving most of the day and because it is now Spring snow goose season we are able to use electric call which really gets the job done. I had four small groups decoy and I ended up with four snow. I can't complain since I only hunted from 12 to 5..."
One of our hunters that asked to remain completely anonymous sent this picture of a roadside sign post/deer rub found while scouting last week. His email included: "...thanks for the tip...must be a good spot. I parked near this sign and didn't even notice the rub until I walked by it back to the truck..."
One side note about this email the member also included some feedback on recent bulldozer activity on the lease we were unaware of. Such tips are always useful and the reality of farmers seeking increased income, sometimes at the expense of the hunting leases.
Our leases are renewed throughout the year and the risk of change is inevitable since we are dealing with such a wide range of landowners. At his point, the majority of our spring turkey leases have been secured, but there will be a few small changes. Any changes that have been made will soon be posted on the map website, so proof your printed maps with the maps on the website before you hunt or make a reservation. Once again, the majority of the feedback from the landowners has been positive. The number one concern with landowners is typically off road vehicle and/or ATV traffic.
Seth with a fine racked buck from this past season.
Seth, thanks for the photo. We wish you the best of luck in the future.
Enclosed are pictures of last years [location deleted] archery kill (9 pt) and this years [location deleted] firearms deer (10 pt). He netted 138 5/8...I've taken bigger deer (as you know) but these are the most recent. Since 1982 I've taken 36 whitetail and 5 doe with bow and firearms. I'm looking forward to my 25th year with you.
Thanks for everything.
Thank you Tim for sharing. If these are your small ones we are sure you have many larger ones. Good luck in the year to come.
Andy is a third year member that has scouted and hunted numerous farms with a bow. On several occasions, he saw the whitetail he was after, but the big ones just seemed to slip away, like they are so famous for doing. This year, he decided try his luck with a gun and it worked, but archery is definitely his hunt of choice.
Dear Jon & John,
Thanks for a great January quail hunt!!!
We had very nice weather for our hunts. We generally kept busy with good coveys, mostly late in the AM and again late in the PM. I am learning more each visit.
Things are some different in the Carolina's, mostly quail habitat. But some thing never change, as crossing creeks and property lines as soon as flushed. This always gives us plenty to talk about later!!! I will try to learn the email route before next season.
Again thanks and I totally enjoy the website. Have enclosed a snap shot of the end of our last afternoon. This was typical for the three days we hunted.
Thank you Don for the great feedback, such an account shows you must be a good dog trainer/hunter.
I have considered in the past providing a source for turkey calls that I have relied on for 10+years. I feel these calls are of high quality and are available in few if any local stores. The call line is Ozark Ridge. I always purchase a model called Pro-V Raspy which is a raspy call that is great for cutting that is easy to use. I always call Billy Green in March and order 5-6 calls for myself and a another 6or 8 for some friends. They make several types of calls but I have found no reason to switch from the Pro V Raspy.
Just wanted to share this information so other MAHA members might try these to see if they work as well for them. Please pass along the information as you see fit.
Contact information: (I usually call in the evening, because he works during the day. Ozark Ridge Calls .... Billy Green of Lebanon Mo. P.O. Box 802, Lebanon, Mo 65536. PH# 417-532-4188.
Thank you Terry for being generous to everyone else. Every bit helps.
For the rest of us, Terry has a long track record of deer and turkey hunting success. His success also includes passing on the hunting discipline to the next generation. If he says he found something that works better than another he should be listened to.