Deer. See the trophy deer this youth harvested hunting with dad. Congratulations Dustin and what a great dad to bring a youth to this kind of success. Thank you for sharing. Each youth picture reminds many of their first one, a good memory.
Pheasant. Thank you Steve your simple and to the point email should make all understand the quality of pheasant hunting to be found. Good luck the rest of the season.
Bobwhite Quail. Kevin seems to always find the coveys. His comments included 4 coveys in one day, wet conditions and a lot of walking to include some higher and dryer pastures to avoid the mud.
For those that remember the early 90's when the bird numbers were at an all time high we also had wet hunting conditions during those years as well. Could be a good sign of things to come. Thank you Kevin for the first quail picture of the season. It appears quail hunters are as likely not to take pictures as duck hunters.
Upland Birds. Another bird report form a Tennessee deer hunter: "I decided to not take my shotgun to [location deleted] but wish I had. I am not a real hard core bird hunter but do enjoy it. I was there 15 days and I promise that I jumped several covey of quail EVERY day along with I don't know how many pheasants. I am sure I could have shot a limit of birds each day just scouting without dogs. Anybody that can't kill birds here just isn't hunting hard enough. I can't imagine what it will be like in [locations deleted]. I will take my shotgun on my next trip, Gary"
Duck. What a great day. His first mallards and calling them in himself with a call he picked out at the duck show! The weather was cold, plenty of ducks and Blackie worked great. It could not be any better. The blinds made it possible to hunt as we could stay warm and out of sight. Thanks MAHA this picture is gong in a frame on the wall.
Waterfowl. Jon Jr. the up and coming MAHA land manager, that is after college and working a real job, shows his one morning harvest. Well done Jon Jr.!
Waterfowl Update: The warm weather has slowed down the waterfowl hunting the last couple of weeks, but we're hearing some reports of new ducks moving in. We spoke with the landowner in Holt County the day before Thanksgiving and he said the snow geese have not arrived yet and traditionally, that's the time the ducks arrive. Things can change quickly, but that was the report we heard. As always, the bulk of the waterfowl follow the freeze line and it wasn't until Thanksgiving day that the temperature reached a freeze level, so the best should be yet to come. Don't give up if you have been on a dry run or two since opening day. The season runs through December and we have plenty of time left to hunt.
Happy thanksgiving and safe hunting to all.
Upland Birds. A good looking setter with a limit well before dark. Birds on every field, quail, pheasant or both. If our shooting was better we would not have gone beyond the second property.
Whitetail. Andy makes it two wall hangers in one year. Thank you Andy and congratulations!
Whitetail. Gary C from Tennessee harvests what he hopes to be only the first for this season. Good luck Gary we wish you the best. Thank you for sharing and we look forward to the story to come.
Maps. What should not need be said, needs be told. All members must use the up-to-date map sheets as posted on the website To do otherwise may leave hunters hunting land no longer under lease in some cases with landowners calling us to express their displeasure. We sympathize with the landowner, encourage them to call the sheriff and offer to assist with prosecution of any member that hunts any land no longer under lease. Nothing unusual here except a few members will be lazy this year and not exercise the effort it takes to print a map sheet that is available at their leisure. The second item is that leaving deer stands in trees is at the hunter's own risk, just as it is anywhere else in the world. Most will not experience any issue with lost stands. Those few that may lose a stand through theft need not call us for assistance that we cannot render.
Whitetail. Brian from Nebraska during his second season harvests his second wallhanger. Congratulations Brian for another good looking symmetrical rack. Thanks to Brian for sharing with us all, it is certainly a pleasure to work with such hunters that enjoy the hunt and not just the harvest.
Whitetail. Cobenn from West Virginia shares a photo of another successful hunt and text description. His letter is one that sometimes surprises others that we would publish it as it describes a less than perfect hunt. We have always been careful not to oversell this organization and advertise it for exactly what it is and as stated in the rules. To that end when reading Cobenn's account remember due to lack of time, his pre-season scouting was limited to aerial photo scouting. Regardless of the disadvantages he experienced he did leave after a very short hunt with a deer that met his expectations. Congratulations Cobenn, dedicated deer hunters always come through regardless of any adversity. Thank you for the feedback. We always want to hear it all.
Police. Speaking of how life is not perfect, it's that time of year when the bad behavior comes out of many hunters. It's our obligation to police both our own members as well as others that take it upon themselves to intrude onto our leased land. As of today, the efforts of the Association staff combined with landowners paid to patrol account for 11 trespassing incidents on club property that have been addressed and resolved. This is a bit higher than typical and partially brought on by the increased number of upland bird hunters attracted to Kansas from all the bird forecasts read in the various hunter publications.
A while back we received feedback from a salesman member discouraging us from publishing negative topics about the product we provide such as Cobenn's letter and trespassing. Negatives are a reality in the hunting industry. We feel if we publish the bad with the good it will help everyone understand we are aware of what is going on in the field 7 days a week from the first to the last day of every season. We do feel it is noteworthy to our members to know we do take action and we recognize we do not catch all the transgressors, however when we do it is not ignored. To that end all should know that three members ranging from duck, to upland, to deer hunters have been dis-enrolled from the Association this season and two more are being reviewed at this time. The cause for dis-enrollments have been limited to hunting without a reservation and sneaking illegal guests onto Association lands. The point is the rules are immutable and stand for all.
Another topic is how to handle a trespassing issue. If someone is on the property you reserved feel free to ask for their ID card. If they are not a member kindly ask them to leave. Under no circumstances should you get involved in a heated confrontation. If the trespasser does not leave all we need is the vehicle make, model, color, license number and state of issue. With that your Association can take action with the proper law enforcement agency.
Also, while in the field if you suspect a member is acting suspicious and might have an extra hunter as a companion, feel free to check him for his ID card or report his hang tag number to the office. Any feedback while hunting is encouraged to help make the hunting better for all.
Now the good news as there is never any topic strictly within the negative category. The overall number of trespassing incidents when compared to Association hunters in the field remains statistically below 1%. For that 1% we understand the ruination of a hunt, however keep things in perspective as it is unlikely most hunters will have a trespassing incident during their hunt. Another source of confidence is the higher number of Association staff actions resulting from patrolling areas that we suspect may have issues. We will continue to pursue only the legitimate use of Association lands seeking law enforcement assistance for all discovered transgressions.
Whitetail. Shawn sent in another picture from this season of a rifle hunt success that complements his earlier bow harvest. A great season when two wallhangers come within a short while of each other. Shawn has had so much success with his hunting and that including his wife and daughter that this family has several pages in the turkey, deer, youth and women outdoors sections.
Pheasant. Kenneth from Arizona has turned the corner from retriever to pointer and shows his fist season pointer pups first pheasant hunt. Congratulations Kenneth, it seems you have done what many do not even attempt. Thank you for sharing your years of hunting accounts.
Pheasant. Your Association staffer, John, finally made it out for a first for the season bird hunt and found a new land contract to fulfill expectations. While your Association staff may have a lot of field days during the entire year they are not all hunting days during the season. However, this day John took a break from members and landowners to enjoy his dog in action.
Mud. For those non-resident hunters planning on coming out we have had rain enough and enough forecasted to turn the mud roads into slick and in some cases impassible tracks. The worst case this season to date involve those that bring 4-wheelers on trailers. Roads that may allow a 4 wheel drive pickup to pass on its own sink a pickup with a trailer into the ditch. The first hunting day may require an earlier wakeup to allow for a longer walk into a stand where the road does not allow access.
Pheasant. Charles adds a bit of humor to his web page about his pheasant hunting experience, a greatly appreciated type of feedback due to its deeper meaning. When we receive this kind of feedback it is special to us as it shows that this hunter, who represents many in his email, has excelled beyond the competitive type of hunting mentality that is prevalent in public or "knock on door" land and has a relaxed, leisurely attitude about his hunting. A goal we desire all our hunters achieve and a level of maturity that makes for a great Association. Thanks Charles, this is one of those pictures that means a lot.
Youth Deer Hunter. Matthew K and family continue a great line of success this past deer season with a youth hunter harvesting his first buck. What a great day it is when a young hunter does well, something we all appreciate and brings memories back of our first deer and its heart pounding thrill that cannot be explained. Thank you for sharing with us Matthew. We would normally extend to you a "good luck" however I don't think you or your family needs it!
Deer. See what Shawn P. has done this year so far. And, his daughter, Kelsey. Great going dad. Thanks Shawn for sharing and give our congratulations to Kelsey. You two always seem to do great!
Pheasant. Andrew's group has the feeling: I think we are going to have a fantastic season!
The same group on the same hunt, Rio Grande Turkey on the way out and ending with a pheasant hunt.
Thanks Andrew and crew for two great pictures!
Pheasant. Always good to get a reminder like this: John, I went hunting opening day on WIHA land. This is the first time I have really used WIHA. It was horrible. Every place I went to, except the first place, there was already a vehicle there. We did not see a pheasant the whole day. We did find a covey and got three points off of it, and dog pointed a flock of prairie chickens, but I didn't get a shot off. As we were driving around looking for WIHA that didn't have hunters, we would drive by MAHA properties without any one in it. All that, once again, confirmed my decision to go with MAHA. Randy
Missouri Quail. Upland hunters remember that during the 2 week Missouri rifle deer season bird hunting in Missouri is highly restricted due to safety concerns. There are plenty of places to hunt in Iowa and Kansas during this time. Iowa and Kansas upland hunting remains open during those respective state gun deer seasons.
War. As many of you know one of your Association staff is retired from the Army. A battalion from his old regiment is currently deployed to Iraq having done so from Korea. A point about this overseas to overseas deployment is that all of these soldiers will have been on two consecutive tours where dependents are not permitted. This means these soldiers will have anywhere from 1 to 3 years, depending on what tour assignments they have had away from family. The secondary effect of these non-dependent type assignments is they do not have the family support structure present in those deployed units coming from a dependent authorized assignment. This means that many of the soldiers will not receive the unit generated family support group type mailings. Mail being a highly important morale motivational event that may not occur but once a week for combat units such as this battalion. To that end we provide the following information sent to me from the Battalion Commander for those that may want to support our soldiers fighting over in Iraq.
TASK FORCE MANCHU'S OPERATION PACKAGE There are currently 782 Soldiers serving as MANCHU WARRIORS of the 1st Battalion (Mechanized) 9th Infantry Regiment at Camp Ramadai in Iraq. All of these Soldiers were serving one-year tours in Korea when the battalion was alerted for deployment in May 2004 and subsequently deployed in August 2004. The battalion's deployment is currently scheduled for one-year. Many of these MANCHU WARRIORS were close to completing their one-year tour away from families and friends. As the senior leader of this organization I have decided to launch a campaign of support, OPERATION PACKAGE. My intent in this campaign is simple; over the course of the next year enlist enough of my family and friends to mail packages such that by the end of the year every one of my MANCHU WARRIORS receives a package from someone completely unknown to them that they never expected to get a package from. I am hoping that family and friends who read this will feel free, and are highly encouraged to do so, to share it with their families, friends, fellow workers, churches, clubs, and any other organization you or they may be associated with. My Battalion Command Sergeant Major and my Battalion Adjutant will manage this program. Packages will be distributed from bottom to top meaning from Private to Lieutenant Colonel. If OPERATION PACKAGE is successful then some day in the future the 782d package would be delivered to me. Every package that is received will receive a personal thank you note from yours truly and I will let you know who the package went to and what number package it was. In order to properly account for each and every package a package must be sent to the following address:
CPT DAVID HARMANTAS
ATTN: TASK FORCE MANCHU OPERATION PACKAGE
HHC/l-9 IN UNIT #15154
APO AE 09395-5154
If there are other items you may want to send, feel free to do so, but the more standardized the package the better. If you decide to support this operation, than in advance, I would like to say thank-you very much.
Take care of yourself, God Bless you and yours, and here is hoping to hear from you soon! Joseph A. Southcott LTC, IN Commanding
I sent the above letter to our own Association member and just returned active duty Iraq veteran Rhett Thompson's whose responded with this message that brings more light on the soldier situation. The Manchu Battalion above was the unit that replaced Rhett's battalion.
John- [I] recognize the name on the letter as their S1. The stuff they want is all legit; all items that the PX on their camp would run low on real quick. Pretty good little list. Magazines are great over there. My 1SG and I had an amazing library of hunting magazines. Maybe throw in a few coffee filters every now and then. We had a similar deal, but our CSM would get the boxes and give a few to each company community boxes as opposed to a box for each soldier. We got a bunch from the 16th Infantry Assoc, schools, women's groups, etc. Realize that there is no CONUS community associated with 1-9; you know leaving out of Riley we'd get stuff from people around here. Had an "adopt-a-company" program with local businesses and deployed companies from Riley - they do not have that luxury. I'd say it would be fine to post on the update page. take care- Rhett
Vets. A thank you to all active duty, reservists, national guard, retired and former service members.
Ducks. Opening weekend and two youths out with their dads, middle zone. Selective shooting for a couple of greenheads and woodys. Plenty of small ducks with many flybys.
The reports from the Middle Zone opener was teal and wood ducks everywhere, but little mallard activity. If the mallards use our leases like the small ducks we're in for a great season. The water levels are the best we've seen in over 20 years.
Deer. The first of many promised archery deer pictures from the first half of the season. Jake with a really nice archery 9 pointer. Good luck, couldn't happen to a better person. Thanks for stopping by the office to visit in person. You are a pleasure to do business with.
Turkey. Eric with a 22 lb. tom harvested during the fall archery season. He said the bucks are starting to move and looks forward to sharing a photo of a nice buck in the near future. Good luck Eric and we thank you for sharing this picture of your tom.
Deer. A skull found this fall while one of your Association fellow archery deer hunters was tracking his harvest.
Upland Birds. It seems the Iowa upland opener update posted earlier raised the ire or support of many Association hunters. Here is a sampling of the many emails sent in.
To share with all reference the upland and deer hunt affecting crops in the field situation in southern Iowa and northern Missouri is this feedback from Pedro R.: "...Was reading the update this morning ...I do a lot of corn business with the Co-op in Red Oak. We have an all-time record corn harvest this year, almost all southwestern Iowa elevators are plugged (full), and are unable to dump additional farmer bushels until they can load trains. 35% of the crop is still in the field, very little progress over the past week, probably Thanksgiving before 100% of the crop is out of field." Thanks Pedro, such insider information has value to many.
And from Pedro on an earlier email: "Drove to Iowa, Saturday morning for the pheasant opener. I'm down to one dog, as one is recuperating from a pretty bad barbwire cut. Hunted...a section that is not cut, for about 30 minutes, dog stepped in a hole and bummed her leg, swelled up pretty bad. So I put the dog up and hunted the grass, by myself, moved 3 roosters and 2 hens in another 30 minutes of hunting. Two of the roosters made the trip back home. Was going to hunt all weekend, but I really don't get a lot of enjoyment without the dogs. 2 roosters for a 1 hour hunt not bad. Please get someone up there to thin out the deer. I jumped 11 deer out of two different creek bottoms. No bucks, but there were some HUGE does. I'm sure big boy is in there taking care of them."
Another from Andrew : "I saw your post on Iowa. I went as well and it was pretty dismal. But I would not predict doom and gloom to Iowa yet. Since we have had Iowa properties, I have never had a decent opener. Our properties rarely have all the crops out for the first couple of weeks of the season, and this year was no exception. Unlike KS, where you don't have a lot of standing corn and a lot more CRP grass, my experience in Iowa is that the birds simply run to the corn or beans when you try to hunt the draws. The only reason I know this is true is that I usually hunt the same properties later in the season (even December) and it seems like opening day! My point, don't give up on Iowa yet, just need the crops out and a little cold weather."
The other end of the spectrum comes from Darren: "I have to let you know that I had one of the worst and most frustrating hunting experiences I have ever had. This may sound dramatic, but it is the truth. I drove down Friday to Southern Iowa, spent the night, and the next day went to my reserved property. The property consisted of almost total standing crops of corn and beans. I had no place to run my dogs. I understand that the crops were still in, but there was no property other than the crops to run dogs on. I then took a look at [location deleted] and found that it consisted of almost entirely standing crops. [It] did have some tree lines and a few small ditches, but that was it. I simply did not have any place to hunt."
Iowa upland opener has shown what we expected and reported earlier in June and July as well as recently. The state issued bird numbers posted down ranging from 24 to 43% decline. Our trusted hunter feedback has the Iowa bird hunting trip performance overall to be much less than what we experienced last season and the state forecast. Last year was also the best year we ever had in Iowa. This contrast by itself between last and this year adds a bit of drama as those that hunted last year when finding a limit a pheasant in the first field as well as up to 7 coveys in a day was a good day. This year we will be hard pressed to do nearly as well in Iowa. Having said that understand there are Iowa birds to be hunted and it will take a good bit of hunting to find them. The good news is that Kansas has had its third good spring and will continue to be the better of the two states for both pheasant and quail.
Our recent reporting on the crops left standing in the field in Iowa continues to be the case and the corn has hidden much of the good hunting habitat from those new to that lease land or the Association. Expectations are this corn will remain standing for some time to come as the weather has certainly been against getting farm machinery into the fields as well as keeping the corn above 10% moisture level, which most consider the maximum for safe storage.
A final point about Iowa was this past summer's increase in upland bird primary memberships was reflected in the higher numbers than past seasons that went hunting the opening weekend. This is a tough issue to handle and is similar to the duck opener when members share blinds. In both case of Iowa upland units and duck blinds come the Monday after the opening weekend half the blinds go empty each week and in the case of Iowa upland units once Kansas opens most of the Iowa upland units go un-hunted from week to week. If we continue the trend of increasing upland bird hunting primary memberships we would like to increase the lease acreage in Iowa, but may not be able to do so if the season long hunting pressure remains light. The alternative may be to keep the acreage at the current level and once the upland bird unit maximum gun limits are reach additional bird hunters may be denied the opening weekend in Iowa. Any feedback on this issue is welcomed.
Missouri upland opener was a tough hunt. The weather the first couple of days in Missouri was very wet, especially opening day. Many of our properties were not accessible because the dirt roads were and continue to be too wet for their mud only surface to allow vehicle traffic. Of those that did brave the rains they were mostly composed of the die hard quail hunters that for the most part make Missouri their season long bird hunting home. Overall, the reports were positive and better than the MDC road counts. This assessment may be slightly slighted as the bulk of these hunters have a reputation for having good dogs and the willingness to walk the entire day. And, unlike Iowa, most of the Missouri quail hunters were long time members well acquainted with the land. About half of the Iowa hunters were first year Association members and hunting the ground cold. (Missouri's opener was on a weekday, Monday, compared to Iowa's being a weekend). Overall, Missouri continues to be a good to the best of the quail hunting states while Kansas this season is expected to continue its reputation of providing the best pheasant hunting and the best overlapping pheasant and quail range.
Take a tour. New Association upland bird hunter pre-hunt questions and post hunt feedback have reminded us of some past successful techniques for where to select to bird hunt. The one method that has received the most widespread confirmation of being a good approach to selecting where to hunt the first season as an Association hunter is to take a tour and sample each region of our upland bird range. This would be southern Iowa, northern Missouri, north central and south central Kansas. By hunting a different region each trip or on the same trip the hunter may find one region's predominate habitat type be it tall prairie grass, brushy draw or crop edge more suitable to his style of hunting and dog performance. Once an area serves a hunter well he may elect to remain in that region the rest of the season and subsequent years or continue to try a different region and ground each trip to enjoy the added adventure of hunting new ground.
Missouri deer hunters. We would like to remind everyone there is a 4 point on one side restriction for both archery and gun deer seasons in the following Missouri counties (excluding the youth season).
Maps and Reservations. Something that should not need be said, however member performance requires it for everyone's sake. Make sure you are using the new maps, the ones online. We have picked up while taking reservations that a handful of members are using the old maps assuming their favorite spots will always be there. Changes occur year after year and all of our hunters must be aware of them. If you hunt a property we no longer have under lease you are liable for criminal trespass and our reputation to the neighbors and new landowner is muddied to do further business in that area. Our good reputation has carried a lot of land deals that we may not have earned without it. Many current landowners refer us to their neighbors and that makes a land contract even more likely than a cold call. Our reputation is far more valuable to the Association as a whole than any one member that does not extent the simple courtesy of ensuring he is using the most current map sheet.
Deer hunters please have your map in front of you while making reservations. And, that reservation is to an individually numbered property identified by state, county, unit and property number/letter. This is opposed to some who have called in property descriptions such as: "...the half section below Centralia..." or "...just pick me a good spot..." Calls such as these are simply confusing as any deviation from our time tested and proven system that works for the majority of the membership and seems completely a foreign language to some. Further, if wanting a recommendation as where to hunt that discussion should occur well ahead of the hunt and not at the time of reservation as Shaun and Nicole are not hunters they are secretaries that record information.
Map Updates. We won't officially start updating the maps online until December so please watch the updates for any map changes. With a sluggish economy and low interest rates many investors are moving their money to land. A lot of our landowners own a lot of land. From time to time small changes may take place that are beyond our control. It is very important for us to accurately pass this information on to the members, so take note when they come up on the update page.
Sullivan CO, MO Unit A section 22 recently sold and we've agreed to terminate the lease November 12. This has been a very high demand property and we hate to see it go. We have many leads to work in the same area and have plans to replace it by spring turkey season.
Also section 24 in Adair CO, Iowa has sold. Delete Section 24 from the map.
North Zone Duck Opener. As everyone knows that participated in the opener of the North Zone it was warm as windy as it could be. There were plenty of ducks to keep everyone busy, but they were mainly small ducks with an occasional flock or two of mallards. The hunting should get better and better as the weather cools, which it is beginning to do.
We had a lot of rain the last two days, so the landowner has closed the first gate in Holt County. If you have an ATV, Holt County is a good place to use one to access the blinds until the road dries out. If the gate is closed it is a 2 mile walk from the gate to the blinds. When you make reservations Shaun will know if the gate is open or closed.
Missouri Deer Hunters. If you are planning to hunt the Missouri firearms season and have not made a reservation there is time to do so. We have many properties still available, but encourage everyone not to wait until the last minute to make a reservation.
For both archery and firearms it appears a lot of members are scouting by terra server and seem to be attracted to Sullivan, Linn and Mercer Counties. Many farms in Cooper, Daviess, Gentry and Harrison County are being overlooked, especially by the archery hunters. If you need any tips in these areas feel free to call the office during the regular business hours.
Middle Zone Waterfowl. Waterfowl season in the Middle Zone opens this weekend. With the ground being saturated from rain the dirt roads will be muddy in Henry County. If the roads are muddy park and walk to avoid rutting the roads.
Also, if you make a reservation and plan to share a blind with another member ask Shaun for the members phone number so they are aware they will be sharing the blind.
Every year members overlook the properties that do not have blinds and at times they are more productive than those with blinds, so let's use them this season.
The main waterfowl properties without blinds in the Middle Zone are Cass A, east of Harrisonville and Bates D, south of Nevada which is actually in Vernon County. Both maps show the location of the irrigation lakes and this year all of the lakes are completely full of water.
We've had several calls about the water conditions in Cass A, which is next to the Settles Ford Wildlife Area. Again, the beans have not been combined so it is closed to hunting and scouting. It will take quite a bit of dry weather to dry the field to harvest the crops, so don't count on Cass A being huntable for quite some time.
As always, be safe while hunting from the duck blinds. Keep control of your dogs, honor ducks working other blinds and don't show up late. If you do show up late, wait until the early flight activity ends before entering an area or blind with others hunting.