John & Jon,
Hammered this hog this morning at 0822 hrs at [location deleted] during an absolutely gorgeous morning.
I watched five monster gobblers fly off the roost at day-break (all sported 10-12 inch beards), and within 30 minutes, the bucks started moving. This beast was the third one that came in after I hit the rattlin' bag. I shot him at five yards, but for some reason the arrow didn't pass through which resulted in me having to follow sporadic pinhead-size drops of blood for the next 2 1/2 hours. I focused more of my attention on his tracks (something I picked up from the PHs in South Africa a few years back), and although I went down a few false trails, I eventually walked right up to him...not without a few stressful moments. The arrow had stayed in him and, although it tore through his heart and lungs, it barely punctured his underside, hence, very little blood. He's a 6x4 that grosses over 145 inches, and I'm tickled because he's the seventh buck that I've rattled
in this week and the fact I spotted him two weeks ago after dark and had enough patience to back-off until the conditions were right.
On to Kansas now.
Taking the oldest one out tomorrow for the youth hunt.
Congratulations Doug on a great deer. Good luck with your daughter's hunt. We can feel the pressure on you now.
Farm Economics and Hunting Linkage
"...a combination of forces -- including plummeting grain prices, slumping demand and persistent high production costs [fertilizer and chemicals increased and sustained a higher increase than did crop prices] -- is quickly eroding the comfortable margins enjoyed by farmers in recent years and adding an element of fear to the future. The coop has extended more credit to its customers than ever before in its 70 years in business, and thus a bigger bank loan is coming due...the extraordinary profits of 2007 and 2008 are gone...values for land and crops erode...operators of a new ethanol plant filed for bankruptcy ...sharp slide in commodity prices...Wheat prices are down to $5.00 or below $5.00 and right now with production costs our break even is $7.50 a bushel...I don't think any of us have ever been through something like this before..."
Formerly bright U.S. farm economy could be fading, Fri Oct 31, 2008, by Carey Gillam Kansas City, Missouri (Reuters).
Such past farm cycles have brought:
Increased cattle and hogs due to lower feed crop prices, bad for hunters.
Increased diversity in farm income as more landowners seek hunting lease buyers and government conservation program payments, good for hunters.
Increased buyer selection for land leases means lower lease costs, good for hunters.
High farming costs lowers land values, good for land buyers. In the case of MAHA with our collective buying power the more efficient farm operations adding acreage often makes that land out of reach for individual and small groups of hunters. MAHA's collective buying power brings us these large acreage contracts with more acreage at a cost per acre typically lower than that of small acreage operators.
A follow on to that last analysis about increasing acreage farm operators was a lease contract not too long ago that was the latest in several where the farm operator was very explicit he wanted no contact with hunters. In these cases the farm operator had experimented operating his own lease operation to multiple hunters as he could find no one with the financial wherewithal to lease his entire acreage. These operator used much colorful language describing their experience with hunters, none of it positive. The farm operators perspective change to using MAHA much like they do their coop, a single source business entity that handles all the minutia and simply hands the operator a check.
"If this was the deer I wanted, I have him down cold, not just on camera...the two big ones on this farm do not have a definable pattern...I have multiple pictures of this one in several locations along a 1/2 mile trail...the two big ones I have one picture each, some sightings and no pattern..."
It is highly unusual to encounter another hunter when on MAHA land. If a member does encounter any other hunter please secure their name(s) off their membership identification card (do not accept stated names) and their vehicle description and plate data. It takes our hearing a name only once to take action.