Opened up my email after a day away and three duck reports were waiting. Thanks guys we were needing some.
From Alex, A photo of a mixed bag taken on a warm day early season on a farm without blinds. The birds seemed to work much easier than the areas with more surrounding competition. It was mainly a diver day, but none the less an enjoyable hunt.
Jon, Duck limit 1. On one of the last days of deer season, while sitting my stand I noticed the ducks were really starting to come in so I decided to take a break and duck hunt. I've never really hunted out of a blind, but was impressed with your set up. I was all by myself during the week, so I could take my time and pick out what I wanted. Great time! Ron
Jon, I came home for the week, had a great day getting away, got soaked, here's a picture. If I can do this on one random day anybody can! Chip
Success continues for Jacob traveling from the deep south to hunt with the added bonus of an early snow storm. Jacob is one of those easy to work with hunters as he simply makes his own hunt each trip.
One of our landowners sent in a picture taken last summer of the habitat planting he developed as after retiring from farming he could not sit still.
This picture shows the results of years of effort to establish wildlife habitat for the animals. Many wildlife conscious landowners wouldn't lease their land for hunting, but this landowner understands the impotence of hunting to maintain a balance and keep the populations in check.
Common in the fall to see flocks seemingly unconcern about the presence of a hunter. This one we photographed while out patrolling some Missouri leases. Fall turkey along with our Mule Deer hunting are the two least hunted disciplines.
Any organization can claim they have great members or even the greatest. Ask those same organizations to define a great member and the common answer is they pay their dues and are lifetime, 25, 15 or 10 year members with pins to show it. Our definition is very different. Dog hunters will describe how they have two or several dogs and not all are good hunters but all will remain part of the family until the end. Deer hunters report seeing plenty of racks without a shot and have a good time watching the show go by. Duck hunters frequently comment how they just sit and watch sometimes and those with dogs let everyone else shoot just so they can work their retrievers. Turkey hunters comment on the difficulty of calling a tom that stops short and what a great time it was trying to get him in those last few yards and losing that game. This is probably the only type of organization where 98% failure is acceptable.
Pat, a member for over 12 years was kind enough to share a photo of a buck he harvested after putting in his time.
At 12 years old I hunt him the first field each day and that is about all. Cold days he can go longer. This day the first field, one that we never before hunted, gave us these four birds. A good day for this dog that in his prime would hunt every day for the week long trip we would make.
My neighbor that thinks he is a bird hunter with a lab the size that would make two of my dog, is amazed that I don't get limits every time out especially since I pay to hunt. He says that is the reason he will not join MAHA, but "...would go with me if I ever needed a partner..." Although I know my neighbor hasn't a clue what a good hunt is, he still makes me pause to think about the things he says. This day was a prime example. One field, one old dog in less than two hours hunt and four birds. That was a great hunt and we both took a nap that afternoon.
Kansas Firearms Deer
For those that will be traveling out next week this picture was taken by a bird hunter from this week showing a decent buck on what any deer hunter would probably call "bird ground". One of four respectable racked bucks observed and the only one willing to stand for a picture. Two bucks with racks that gave the impression of being brothers were bedded together without any doe being present. Observed scrapes from this past week show a drop off of attendance. Many doe were observed without attending bucks.
Long Time Member
A photo that was sent from a member that has been in the club since 1984. Jerry is a hunter that only hunts deer a couple weekends out of the year but has renewed his dues year after year knowing the opportunity is there but it takes patience and hard work. Note the vehicle he uses to haul out his deer.
Trophy Hunters Are Grown
TJ had an opportunity on a much nicer buck the 1st day but the deer got lucky and slipped away. He settled for this one early the second morning to regain his confidence and was happy doing so.
This is his 4th buck and he's only 12 years old. His favorite part of the hunt is walking to the stand in the dark. I sure hope he continues to hunt on his own when he gets older. It's been some of the best memories of my life hunting with my boys at an early stage. They have had great success but have definitely learned the art of patience and staying with it to the bitter end. Some our best stories on the way home have been shared on days that we came home empty handed.
Pheasant and Youth
For those that want to know the true value of a father and son being alone together on their own self guided hunts and fishing trips. Mike and Colt tell and show over a couple of seasons where the true value in hunting together lies.
Thanks Mike and Colt you seem to get the most out of your time.
Richard traveling from Texas sent in a picture account of his first pheasant hunt of the season. This is the same hunter that has given us the pheasant hunting articles over the summer.
Thanks Richard for the update as we count seasons rather than years.
From Rod: "...my best bow harvest to date...The habitat on all the properties I visited would make any half-experienced outdoorsman's mouth water..."
Thanks Rod for the great account and feedback.
Steve G and crew traveling over a thousand miles harvest three bucks. Just say wow!
Thanks Steve and Crew for having such a great hunt.
This was Joe's and Daisy's first pheasant. It was a great weekend. We saw a lot of birds, but only had 3 roosters in shooting range. Joe bagged only one, but it was a great shot and retrieve for the team.
I was very pleased with Daisy this weekend (opener). We got 4 birds (three pheasant, one quail) in the bag and could have had 3 more easily. I lost one and just outright missed 2 easy shots. Six or more birds got up in each of the two misses and I just got too excited.
The wind was terrible. Only when it calmed down a bit was she able to pick up the scent, track it down and flush it. She had numerous perfect flushes. I read her all the way and she ran the birds down and flushed them. She maintained in control throughout. It was great. She's going to be a great bird dog.
Good luck Joe and thank you for sending in your pictures and text.
First Season Pup
He sent us a detailed feedback email covering a good number of topics that included bulldozer activity, signage and impassible mud roads. However the best part was his comments about these two pictures.
To paraphrase: The pup is 8 months old, never saw a pheasant in training, in one two day period he pointed and harvested four roosters and as Jason describes became a pheasant hunting dog.
For The Non-Resident Members:
For the Kansas opening week the weather was too hot, too wet, too cold, too windy, too calm and too dusty. We had it all and all from Saturday to Friday. Part of the variety of Kansas. Pheasant numbers in Kansas are as strong as anticipated and the quail count in Missouri and Iowa higher than anticipated.
4 wheel drive went to 4 wheel spin in the length of the vehicle on most mud roads recently.
Right on schedule the classic rut activity of bucks with doe or tacking doe through open fields during the day has been reported by several from all three states.
Duck hunters are conspicuous by their silence and that silence is amplified by the seemingly inconsequential comments from the upland hunters that report seeing a good number of ducks on the farm ponds.
A picture from this week from one trusted duck hunter who simply hunts and doesn't worry about anything.
The weather has finally cooled down and the mallards beginning to arrive, so if you are planning to duck hunt now is a good time to get started. We have had positive feedback from both the North and Middle Zones. The areas without blinds have also been productive.
Your Association staff does not manage for coyote hunting. Any coyote harvested are incidental to a hunt that we manage for. We do not permit coyote hunting by dogs or repeated setups/calls.
A big thank you to all that send in pictures and hunting accounts recognizing it takes more than money to make your Association work.
I once had an office job where the building parking lot was full of SUV's and suburban driveway pickup trucks. Each had an intimate relationship with turtle wax several times a year. One day my immediate boss called me into his office and spoke of my potential for a job promotion and expressed that his boss was concerned about my possible low standards. The higher boss came to this conclusion as my truck was always dirty and frequently mud covered. I assume the boss felt that my lack of washing and waxing meant I had low work performance standards in spite of my flawless job record at that point. I though for a moment and replied: "My truck is dirty due to my standards. I bought a 4 wheel drive to use it. Why did you buy your 4 wheel drive except to help the economy."
Non-hunters haven't a clue.
Kansas Deer Tags
Three Kansas Firearms Deer Tags Available. If you are interested in hunting the 2005 Kansas Firearms Deer Season we have 3 tags available from our landowners. The cost has been reduced to $400 each. Two Rooks County muzzleloader any deer tags which includes mule and whitetail deer. One Republic County whitetail either sex tag.
These tags are in prime locations where we have a lot of land. If you have a friend interested in purchasing one they are available, but land is not included unless they join the club. Call Shaun at the office if you are interested 1-888-797-8264.
We have made several last minute changes with several of the maps. It's a good idea to check the date on the map on the map website before you leave for your trip to confirm you have the most current map.
Always remember safety comes 1st. Be careful and enjoy your days in the field.
The quail hunters love that Kansas gets much press on its pheasant hunting with nearly no mention at all about quail.
Opening weekend was less than desires with Saturday's winds a sustained 25 MPH and gusts up to 40. Sunday was better with less wind and both days were T-shirt warm by noon at the latest. In any case whatever scent cone there may have been for the dogs it was probably 6 inches rather than the 6 feet that makes for more birds in the bag. Monday found spotty rain and falling temperatures forecasted to continue to get colder.
Below is a sampling of some of the feedback we have received. We selected this one as it comes from a first year member that went out blind on his first bird hunt with his Association to a region of the state he never hunted before and on a variety of habitat.
"Just a quick thanks for your recommendation for KS pheasant. I have hunted roosters for 39 years and I have never enjoyed a hunt as much in my life. My boys had an awesome time and my 11 year old bagged his first two roosters. The habitat is excellent and there are tons of birds! Also saw a 160" deer on the Southeast property. Met the landowner and he was a class act."
From Steve M., thanks Steve for the feedback.
Gary from Louisiana
"...From 12:00 noon I rattled about every 1/2 hour and at 4:20 after a rattling sequence this pictured whitetail came to within 10 yards of where he heard the rattling and found an arrow wedge in his chest cavity. He weighed 255 lbs. (I carry a 300 lb. scale with me so this is not just a guess) and has a 21 inch inside spread and good mass. He is a nine point that green scored 146 3/8 gross and 142 2/8 net B&C..."
Thanks Gary for a great accounting of your experiences and the pictures. That kind of detail and coverage is well appreciated by many.
Terry Adds Another
"...Hunting conditions were miserable but this buck showed shortly after 7AM..."
Thanks Terry, your picture and text additions over the years certainly must have helped someone by now! Good luck with the rest of your season.
Upland bird season has been open for a couple of weeks and the conditions have been extremely warm and windy.
We've always suggested to those that travel a long distance to wait until the weather cools down and the crops are harvested to quail and pheasant hunt Iowa and Missouri.
This photo was taken after a long day of fighting the warm weather, but it's proof if you cover enough ground the birds are there.
Occasionally, when the weather is mild a woodcock (far left) can be found in Missouri, but we don't encourage a hunter to set his sights on woodcock, because they are few and far between.
We certainly enjoy each and every email feedback we get right down to the mundane as most will agree do it yourself hunts are 98% failure and we all work toward that occasional special day when it is all 100% success. Most of the emails and telephone conversations we do not post to this page and when we do it is frequently in the form of the summary or rollup of details such as we posted on 11 November. This email however is far too good not to post. Its value is for all those that may feel traveling is not worth the hunt and that not getting limits is not a good hunt. Thank you Holly for leading the way and making all realize the hunt is always worth the effort.
I wanted to write and let you know how much I enjoyed my first hunt in [location deleted]. I went to [location deleted]. I met [the landowner]. He was very nice but seemed a bit surprised (as well as everyone else I met) that I was a "little lady" out bird hunting all by myself. hahaha
The maps are great. I drove right to the place and the boundaries were marked well. The first day, however, was hotter than absolute hell.
The 2nd day was much cooler. That morning my Llewellin (2 yr old) had his first point on a wild bird. He came to a screaming halt on the edge of a bean field and held the point while I kicked around in front of him. I released him and he went nuts. He ran about 30 yards, circled, and pointed again. It was a Woodcock. I had no idea if Woodcock were in season in Missouri, so we watched it fly away.
This was mainly just a short trip to figure out how all this works. We are really excited about going out at Thanksgiving. We are probably going on into Kansas in hopes of finding more quail and pheasant.
I took a few pictures using my video camera so they aren't that great. But, I'm enclosing them anyway.
A non-resident member was hunting while his wife took the pictures. Here is a sample of their harvest. This picture is looking straight up out of one of our blinds.
Great pictures Joanie! Thanks to Bob who did the calling. Joanie is the same lady that collects bird pictures with a specialty of eggs in the nest pictures for an album that must be bulging by now (17 July 2005 update). There is more than just hunting in the Association and Joanie shows us what that is.
Oh, and yes Bob did say that they had a very good hunt as well.
This was an early season duck hunt in mild weather before the mallards arrive. A chance for father and son to share more days together in the bind talking about the important things.
We have plentiful shallow water habitat for a variety of early season duck hunting. The picture below is a blind with an open shooting pool to the front and surrounded with Japanese Millet.
11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month Thank you to all our veterans and current military service men and women.
We have received a good bit of feedback by email and telephone and offer this summary.
Bowhunters report mixed results with eyes on wall hangers and evaluation of the rut phase. Reports appear immaterial to weather or region with some seeing plenty while other report few sightings. Individual bucks as well as those chasing doe have been observed.
The season started fast with a lot of early success and quickly settled down to the typical early season feast or famine with more famine as the days wore on. Most agree the migration is a ways off and hope for a cold winter.
Not many hunted and those that did had fair to good success.
Weather and crops lead the comments for making tough early season hunts in Iowa and Missouri. In general pheasants are down and quail more prevalent than pre-season forecasts implied. Beyond the weather, most hunters readily admitted dog power made or broke the hunt. Most notable were the senior dogs that had great mornings and fell off by noon's heat.
Immaterial there are only 4 quail in the picture. This was from the first field of the day of opening week that was 'T' shirt hot by 10 AM and no wind. We also passed on all the jump quail that had we bagged even half would have made a limit + on the first part of the day. Further, that dog is 8 months old and on his first wild quail hunt. That alone makes this one for the album. These four represent his share of the harvest that was a sportsman's limit of six in the bag all off point and two we dropped but could not find (too hot, no wind and deep grass). We found the coveys easily and on most fields.
Wanted to forward you a picture of my first deer of the season. I shot this one in [location deleted] yesterday (Sat.) at about 7:45 a.m. He is the biggest deer I have ever shot & killed with a bow, but I have the rest of the week off for vacation so maybe [location deleted] will produce a larger one. Hopefully you all will have a successful season. Good Luck! Eric.
Thanks Eric, it is great to see such success!
County 911 systems are driving the posting of county road signs in areas that never had signs before. This sign posting effort leads the county maps and the reason why our maps do not have road names/numbers posted. Once those maps become available then we will be able to use them for our lease land maps.
The weather has remained warm and the 10 day forecast is showing an average temperature in the 60's, which isn't great news for the waterfowl hunters, but most of those that have participated enjoyed the opportunity to get out with or without harvesting ducks.
A few mallards have arrived, but it looks like the best hunting will be a little later in the season.
Bo, Ed and Alex were kind enough to share a photo from a recent hunt of a mixed bag of teal, mallard, widgeon and woodduck.
The number one issue raised by members is from those not using MSN, Netscape or IE browsers. The other browsers out there frequently do not open the maps.
Iowa Upland Opener
From the number of reservations on the books, it appears the bird hunters have learned from past experience to back off a little from opening weekend since it's a long season. Once again, this year mother nature brought us 70 degree weather from opening day through most of opening week with just one day of spotty rain and a lot of standing crops. Several groups of hunters had good success, while others discovered they and their dogs wore down quicker than anticipated from the unexpected hot weather and heavy cover. Once the cold weather moves in and the thick cover dies down, things should pick up quite a bit. We have some new leases with very good cover, so be patient, the best hunting is yet to come in Iowa.
A member sent in some pictures from opening week showing a fine Brittany on point, backing and in this case taking a break from the heat. This is one of his dogs that would run from shady spot to shady spot waiting for his master to catch up. One comment worth passing on was the morning dew was non-existent making for much dust with the heat.
One of the new leases spoken of in the text above. The near ground is a filter strip that reappears on the far side of the corn running along a small wooded drain. Taken on 3 November. At this point about 80% of the crops have been cut.
The standing crops provided similar to the upland hunters spoken about above benefits and consequences. The combine can make or break a deer stand and both happened this past week with the cut corn pushing deer into the creek bottoms while the stands on the edge found themselves overlooking clean fields. The general feedback has been the combination of warm temperatures and the rut seemingly on hold slowed down movement.
A photo sent in from opening day in Kansas. One mallard and 3 Canada geese from a duck hunter hunting on his own without an Association built blind using his own portable one.
North Zone Duck Opener
Last weekend was the opening of the North Zone in Missouri. Our primary wetlands had good water and there was a fair number or small ducks, but the mallards are still waiting for cold weather to start their push south. It's still a little early, but conditions can change overnight.
Some our leases without blinds have a good number of geese as well as ducks that don't receive the pressure that the birds get around the large refuge areas, but scouting and locating the birds takes some effort.
From archery hunter David L., the buck he passed on working and waiting for a larger one. It didn't happen, he returned home with a tag unfilled and said "...a very good hunt..." Thanks David for the reminder.
Our hours are well consumed during this time of the year and the updates from hunters are stacking up in my email inbox and we certainly want every one of them and many more. Part of the discussion with David and the picture above was he intended to make some kind of contribution to the update section this year because he never had and he certainly enjoys checking and reading them "several times a week"' throughout the year. This picture is an excellent addition and as are the ones waiting my attention. For those of you looking for your additions, I ask for your patiences and each time getting back to home base I'll get some out. Thank you to all and keep them coming.