Our Missouri north zone waterfowl areas both wetlands and field set areas have more water than those in the middle zone.
Opening day of all seasons can be hit or miss with Mother Nature always keeping a couple of tricks up her sleeve to favor the game.
Many hunters shy away from the opening day crowds, while others have their calendars marked a year in advance to get in on the action.
Waterfowl season opened in the North Zone on a positive note although we were short of water around several blinds. The bulk of the birds were small ducks, but several blinds harvested a handful of mallards. We would like to thank everyone for sharing blinds with fellow members during a time of need. If you would like to beat the crowds, take some vacation time and hunt during the week or stick with it and hunt the afternoons on the weekends. The majority of the blinds are vacated by 11:00 a.m.
Also, don't overlook the Missouri irrigation and watershed lakes without blinds. At times, they will rival the best of our managed wetlands.
Opening day hunt from a group that invited another to join them.
From all the duck hunter email feedback we received we selected this one for the volumes it speaks. We could post the rest, but have to draw the line somewhere and would ask all to keep the feedback coming throughout the season.
I just had my first duck hunt with MAHA, and I was very impressed. You sent me to [location deleted] and I wasn’t sure what to expect. As I got close to the flooded field, I was greeted with a wonderful sight – nearly 100 birds rafted up and milling around overhead. After getting set up, I was treated to nearly constant action of at least single birds, but more often groups of 5-10 birds working my spread. Unlike the public areas, these birds could actually be worked with the call and I was able to coax a flight of 30+ right into the blocks. Hearing them split the air as they passed right over the blind to pitch in the dekes was awe-inspiring. Now if I can just find the aim on my shotgun… Can't wait for the next hunt – thanks for providing such a great opportunity – MAHA is definitely 'hunting the way it should be'.
Iowa Upland Bird Opener
While the duck hunters flooded us with opening week feedback the Iowa upland bird hunter feedback was scare. From what we did receive, this year's opening week reports mirror previous seasons with a range from bad to good with all recognizing the cover habitat is good and the standing crops a problem.
We recognize that first year members after having paid for a service expect immediate and quality results from first trials and we offer to have a hunt of two before drawing conclusions. Those members with years of hunting with MAHA had the positive reports in bird numbers and dog action recognizing the better weather and cover conditions are yet to be had.
A representation from some of the positive email feedback is this selection from a well experienced bird dog hunter not given to exaggeration or ego [the kind of hunter we would all like to hunt with]:
"Had a good hunt in [location deleted] on Saturday. Had the pleasure of meeting [fellow member, name deleted]. About 1/2 the corn is still out, but they were getting after it pretty good, none of the beans are out of [location deleted], there were about 20 mallards, bunch of teal and 2 hooded mergansers on the pond behind the barn.
Moved 1 covey, 2 roosters, 3 hens, out of [location deleted], moved one covey, 3 roosters and 1 hen out of [location deleted]. Finished the day with a pheasant limit and 3 bobs, pretty much left the singles alone. Had some pretty decent dog work, but then opening day birds are a lot different than January birds. [Pedro]"
A sample of the negative feedback is a paraphrased telephone conversation where the member/hunter said not a bird found or pointed. Again, we are not wanting to disparage anyone, we ask only for a season of hunts until a conclusion is reached. For most first year members, as has been our history, by the end of the season the hunt quality earns a membership renewal.
We believe we have always offered our hunting for what it is and there will be as many "bad" days as good, if there is such a thing as a bad day when out hunting. (A paraphrased wisdom quote from Ward from the Carolina's from about a year ago).
Youth Deer Hunt
We experienced our lowest number of youth deer hunter reservations this year in memory. Always remember youth season is open to all MAHA members with family memberships and we certainly encourage as much family time as possible.
Sorry guys a lot is going on and we made an error when describing blind and wetlands water conditions in the 30 October update reference what should have been listed as: Henry D blind 1 and the wade-in area are huntable but not blind 2.
Here are a few pictures that I have taken of some of the bucks I have killed while archery hunting MAHA lands over the past 7 years. It has been an incredible experience learning the properties and viewing the phenomenal wildlife. Although I have not killed that B & C buck with a bow yet, I have no doubt that it is only a matter of time. Unfortunately I do not have pictures of all my kills. I tend to focus more on the hunts rather than the cinematography. With better planning in the future I can make those available as well. The largest buck taken to date is an 11 point scoring around 150 + points. Last year I killed a nice 9 that was in the 135 range. There are several other bucks that range from 125 to 135 points. What a ride….. Thanks for giving us regular guys the ability to access such super properties.
Best regards, [name withheld as more and more deer hunters want to remain anonymous]
Thank you for the great comments and pictures. Good luck in the years to come.
We would like to remind everyone many of our Missouri landowners are encouraging the members to harvest doe to keep the herd in check.
We do not have a list of properties to provide the members, but recommend all of the agricultural properties in Northern Missouri, especially in the Northwest Region.
These doe harvest pictures are from the current and previous year.