May 2005 Updates

27 May

Spring Turkey. Tom S., and John L with just two of their toms on one happy day. Congratulations guys, from the picture and the reports you told you all had a great time of it this spring. Thank you for sending in the picture.

Lease Land. Just as a side note of what your Association staff has been up to over the last couple of weeks is the story behind this farm.

We renewed a lease this week that was originally contracted for its quail production and has been a consistent covey producer. During the contract renewal land walk/ride sufficient singles and pairs were put up on the farms and roads to indicate continued good quail hunting. The interesting point about this collection of farms is that they are frequented more by deer hunters than quail hunters.

This one property pictured here is shielded from road observation by the small ridge from which this picture was taken. The ridge and the west strip of the farm has excellent quail nesting weed growth extending from the fallow pasture through the eroded cattle lane to the far property line. Pictured in green is this summer's wheat and in the far ground this fall's corn. The wooded creek bottom to the center right is at a fork that has produced some good racked bucks. The deer hunters that reserved and hunted this farm last year did so based on our recommendation. Two (one archery and one gun) of which made recurring reservations indicating potential success. We did not ask of their success as we know what racks we have seen in this area and this farm has the habitat to hold deer. The key elements are crop food, ground cover and isolation from human observation - a good lease.

Traveling Turkey Hunters. Robbie and crew with some of their birds from one hunt. Thanks guys it seems like you did well from your report and harvest pictures.

Upland Birds. Bill traveling from Ohio makes a quick review of the bird hunting this past season as limits were typical, that is typical for Bill with his good dog power.

Spring Turkey Hunt. Was reminded this one missed the update page. One of our annual spring season hunters (asked we keep him anonymous) and not sure if this was his first or fourth. He has probably lost count as well as he is one of our hunters that always fills all tags. He did say this spring was different. The toms did not gobble as much, the flocks broken up more than past seasons and the toms harder to bring in. Thanks for the feedback. If you are having trouble, it's bad news for the rest of us.

Lease Land. Two great pictures from a land run from a new lease we picked up. It is way too early for an upland bird forecast, however this rooster is here to say he will do his part. Jon is back on the road tomorrow.

Traveling Deer Hunter. Ellis all the way from New Jersey, has two for two years of membership.

Fishing. The fish, both bass and crappie, continue to bite and seem to be picking up some. Most are reporting that jigging continues to be the most effective approach.

Fishing the larger irrigation and watershed lakes during spring may be difficult with the wind being an obstacle but some of the larger fish have been traditionally caught during these months. Just keep in mind that fishing is always good, but some days you catch more fish. Spending the day with the wife or children is a good method of refreshing your relationship. If fishing from a small boat always use a life vest.

Lease Land. May through September are the months we spend the most time on the road evaluating leases and scouting new land. Right now, we have our hands full with more land to scout than we have time to look at. The coyote crossed our path while on a potential land lease.

After the early summer rains settle we hope to plant some food plots on and around a handful of our duck leases. We also have several blinds that need to be repaired and relocated that will keep us busy on the weekends provided mother nature cooperates.

Turkey Hunt. Some of the best things are some of the simplest things. A phrase long said and always great to see in pictures. Thank you Mike and Colt for sending in your past hunting and current fishing report. This picture is as good as any turkey hunt could be.

Turkey Hunt. As always, turkey season has been a breeze for some but difficult for others with limited time to scout and hunt. In this case Bob D. was able to do his homework and fill both tags in a couple of hours the first day out, but he hasn't forgot the years that filling a single tag turned into a brutal task.

Turkey Hunting. For those that have not yet gone spring turkey hunting or have a tag left do not think the good hunting is over. Have a look at these hen seeking strutting toms all working for a single hen. What more proof can there possibly be that later season hunting is easier to call in toms that are getting desperate for hens rather than early season when many hens are seeking every available tom. Jon captured these pictures on a land run late last week and these toms are for hunting.

Admin. Shaun, the Association secretary, will be taking a noon time college course for the benefit of all and those that call in during that time may find an answering machine rather than a live voice should the two John's be out on the road. Leave your message and she will call you back on her return.

12 May

Lease Land Run. Being out on the land as much as we are gives us plenty of opportunity to see a lot and here is an example of some of the unusual things we see. Two fallow deer apparent escapees from a deer ranch.

11 May

Hunters. Some people try to ascribe expert hunting status to us because we staff a hunt organization. The truth is that we find hunting to be as challenging as for any one else and this tom proved it by working us for nearly 2 hours just out of range before vanishing allowing us only a picture. It was the only one seen all morning. From one of the MAHA staff better left anonymous to help preserve that expert persona.

Turkey Hunt. Just thought I would drop you a line on our spring turkey trip to [location deleted]. As I expected, the turkey action was as it was last year, fast and furious. I scored on a nice gobbler the first evening and was done in [location deleted]. So we decided to look for some mushrooms in our spare time, wow, we struck it rich. We found aprox 5 to 10 pounds (half of a cooler full) as shown in the picture. What a bonus after a great turkey hunt to find that many mushrooms, man were they good that evening for dinner at the camper.

Went to [location deleted] for a few days after done turkey hunting in [location deleted], and the luck wasn't to be as good for turkeys, however, the mushrooms were very good and plentiful there also. Notice the decoy doubled as a mushroom hauling wagon. I should have taken a tom in [location deleted], but I opted to use my Tk 2000 muzzleloader and I had a nice one come into my spread and when I went to fire, the gun didn't go off. I forgot to unscrew my second safety on the pull back pin, the gun went click and the bird went bye bye. Oh well, I had my chance and that's why they call it hunting, sometimes you win and sometimes you come up short. None the less, I had a great time and brought home a nice gobbler and several pounds of morrells.

Thanks again for the well managed club, its organization, and all the staff, from Shaun who is always very polite and helpful, to the guys who secure wonderful turkey hunting properties. As always, god bless and we will see you on our next trip this fall for the ever elusive whitetail monster bucks. (sorry about the picture of the turkey hanging from the camper's canopy, it didn't look very good because of all the rain and it was completely soaked when I got it back to the camper)

Thanks so much, Rex and Dan A

6 May

Fishing. Thought I'd send a photo of a 23 inch bass I caught recently from a farm pond that has baffled me for the last couple of years. I knew it had big bass, but they eluded me on several occasions, so I decided to change my tactics. I always fished from a small boat and noticed the further I threw my lures from the boat the better luck I had catching fish, assuming since the water was so clear. This time I decided to switch from a white to black spinner bait and quietly work the shallow water from the shore. I caught 4 bass within a short period of time and one felt like a really nice one, so I continued and caught and released this beautiful bass for someone else to have the opportunity to catch in the future. Fishing is MAHA's best kept secret! It's about the fishing and not the eating. Allen G.

5 May

Youth Turkey Hunt. 2 beards, largest 10 1/2" 20 lbs 1 1/4 spurs 16 year old Matt at 6:30 am thanks to dad hunting without a gun. Congratulations Matt and well done dad!

Lease Runs. With the good spell of dry weather we have been having we will be a bit more difficult to contact as we are on the road taking advantage of the mud free conditions to reduce some of the backlog of land we need to look at for potential lease contracts. It is best to get this done as early as possible as in years past a stretch of rain can put us back starting a string of delays for the next map update. If you are planning a late spring turkey season hunt do try to call us as early as you can so we may have time to return your calls.

Pheasant. We found a photo that was lost in the shuffle from last fall to remind everyone the pheasant population made a come back last season. Let's hope for mild rainfall the next couple of months for an even better 05 season.

Fishing. A spring turkey hunter went fishing the day the toms gave him the slip. He said the water was clear, the sun bright and he had enough for a meal well before dark. He used a variety of spinners and plastics with variable results. Not any one bait did better than the other. Thanks Robert W., for the fishing report.

2 May

Turkey Hunt. A husband and wife that both harvested two toms on the same hunt. Thanks Brad and Stephanie for a great hunting account and picture, truly distinctive from all others.

Waterfowl Update. We talked to our Holt County landowner and they are moving their machinery to the bottoms where we pump water for the duck marsh. They are planting the fields to corn this year unless mother nature decides to not cooperate.

We also have plans to drain a good part of the west marsh in Linn County to plant some food plots of milo, but it will totally depend on rainfall since the ground is so wet and hard to keep dry. Worst case scenario we will use our 4 wheeler and seeder to spread some Japanese Millet across the mud flats.

In Henry County we're in the process of draining Frogs Lake to repair the dam from beaver activity that caused a wash in the levee. This will be a job for Bruce so let's cross our fingers he and Jon will be able to dig out the mud and trees the beavers have packed around the drain pipe to open the gate.

Once the lake is drained volunteer smartweed should take it's course as it always does. If it dries up enough to work a few patches we will make an effort to plant some food plots of milo for the ducks and geese.

Deer Hunt. Rhett, a regular Army officer between Iraq tours, took some hunt time this past fall while attending to family and unit ramp up for another combat tour and harvested this deer. Congratulations Rhett for anyone to have so little free time as you to do this well is either great luck or probably great skill borne of dedication. We hope for you and your family the best in the year to come.

John-
Been meaning to shoot you a note for a while. Attached is the deer I stuck last fall in [location deleted] county - was a meeting engagement. I was walking into a ground blind about 2 PM and he showed up through some cedars - all I had time to do was take a knee behind a tree. He went down about 200 yds away - at the bottom of a draw. I was kicking myself for not buying a deer cart. About 18" inside spread, 8 pt'er.

No luck in [location deleted] Cty on turkeys last weekend - not for lack of birds though. Had one tom in range but he never quite got clear of some hens. No problems getting them to gobble throughout the day.
Rhett

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