Republic County addition. Hunting Accommodations, Furnished 2-bedroom, Belleville, KS 66935 (785) 527-2544
Camping. Shady Rest RV Park, Belleville, KS 66935, (785) 527-2544.
Livingston County. Local House in Livingston County near Hale Missouri and suitable for Linn County access, looking for hunters to stay in her basement, (cheaper than hotel rates) room for three hunters with a bathroom and kitchen. Her phone number is 660-565-2521.
As of Friday, we completed all of the Missouri leases, which include several last minute leases to accommodate all of those that have not made reservations, especially Missouri deer. If you are traveling from out of state to hunt, we recommend you review the maps and print the most current ones. If the map shows the same acreage but was revised, there might be a change in the special regulations, etc... which are important to follow.
Camping is not allowed on a lot of our leases. Campgrounds are listed on the lodging section of the website. We recommend using those areas if you like to camp.
Reminder Iowa now requires hunter orange. And, that shooting hours are 8 to 430. Also remember the fallback time change weekend.
Cass A does not have water since the beans have not been cut, but as soon as the beans are combined we plan to close the gates and wait for rain.
On our other wetlands, the water is just fine with early season ducks.
We showed this last one to a duck hunter that happened to come by the office and he immediately and correctly identified these birds even with this poor picture caused by too much back lighting. Had we not seen them in person we readily admit this picture is not good enough for our on-the-wing identification. They are White-fronted/ Specklebellies.
Allen sent us a photo of a nice buck he harvested last weekend and said they are chasing the does earlier than the last couple of years.
With just a handful of fall turkey hunters we find those that send in pictures exceptionally valuable. Jim's account summary: "A photo taken just before the bird with the longest beard in the center was harvested. The jakes were passed on over a 3 days waiting for a mature gobbler. It paid off with a 22 pound fall gobbler with a 11" beard and 1 1/8th" inch spurs".
Last year we added flip fronts to the blinds to help improve late season hunting when the cover gets worn down. Many of the blinds had single flip fronts, but we cut all of those in half per the request of several hunters. Pictured is Bruce Johnson putting the final touches on the rippy grass on the last blind before flooding this wetlands.
We advise everyone to wear eye protection while hunting the blinds to avoid injury from rippy grass, nails and wire.
At this time the only waterfowl property without adequate water to hunt is Henry County, Unit D. The blinds are covered and there is an excellent stand of smartweed with shooting pools mowed around the blinds. This summer, we had to drain the lake to repair the dam and replace the drain pipe. The bar ditches are holding water and the ground is primed, so let's cross our fingers for rain the next couple of weeks.
The weather has been unseasonably warm since the beginning of the archery deer season, but this week we were glad to see cool weather and rain moved in to help turn things around.
The bucks have not been very visible during daylight hours, but this photo of a good rub getting started is an encouraging sign.
There are numerous small farms in all of the regions getting overlooked by the deer hunters. Scouting the larger parcels of land with the most timber on terra server is not the most effective way to scout for big deer. Talking to farmers working their fields the last couple of weeks we've heard feedback our hunters are overlooking small patches of brush and narrow funnels along creeks and rivers in open farm land holding quality deer.
The weather in the Mid-West has been ideal the last 4 to 6 weeks for the farmers to harvest their crops, which should be a positive note for both the deer and upland hunters, but they still have a long way to go.
While scouting the back side of an old lease looking for undiscovered deer opportunity, we discovered another pond that reminded us almost everyone has forgotten about fishing. October is one of the best months out of the year to fish and club leases see very little, if any pressure this time of the year. This farm also has what appears to be a declining alfalfa field running along the wooded creek bottom.
Land and Maps
We're still in the process of scouting a handful of small farms for the 2005 season and it looks like the process will continue for another week or two. Once again, if you have a map CD dispose of it and start fresh with our online maps, they are the ones that are up to date. If you are not familiar with the process feel free to call Shaun and she will be happy to walk you through it.
We would like to encourage everyone not to print a complete set of maps because they are all subject to small changes for the next couple of weeks. From now on, before you print any maps or make a reservation, double check the map on the website to see if any changes have been made. That can be easily accomplished by the update date on the map line on the website opening page. We were very impressed how so many people, from all walks of life were able to adjust to the transition of maps online. This is a major step forward and we would like to thank everyone for their patience and ability to adjust.
This year 95% of our lease renewals were successful and only a couple slipped us due to unavoidable circumstances. A lot of land was sold and changed ownership between the 2004 and 2005 season. Some of the new owners chose to continue the lease, but a few were bought for the purpose of hunting, so a new lease was not an option. The beauty of the Association is we are making contacts and scouting new land 12 months out of the year, so we will always be on top of any turnover of land.
Missouri Firearms Deer
Thursday was the first day to make Missouri firearms deer and Kansas pheasant reservations and to say the least it was a busy day. The morning found the lines occupied and by lunch the calls dropped off fast and by 2 PM hardly anyone called. Please remember firearms deer reservations are final and not subject to change. To do so would to leave land that others would have reserved by others go unhunted. For those that want to change there reservations do so after hunting that original property selected for the days scheduled.
Kansas pheasant reservations were light as is typical at the 30 day mark with most waiting a day or two before their hunt before deciding where to go. For the new members that called in 30 day reservations we were fast on the telephones due to the higher volume of deer hunters. Currently, it looks like most upland bird hunters are spreading themselves across Missouri and Kansas.
Fall turkey season in both Kansas and Missouri are currently open and we only have a handful of reservations on the books for both states. The seasons are more liberal now than ever before. While posting land and renewing leases we are seeing turkeys in every region of every state. If you are looking for a good excuse to get out and enjoy the outdoors, we recommend you take any map that has turkey posted under principal game and go, but be safe. Turkey hunting can always be dangerous.
We would like to thank everyone that volunteered to help cover the duck blinds. Bruce and Jon finished Linn County last week, which completes the task. All of the blinds except for Cass A have been covered.
We're waiting for the crops to be harvested in Cass A before we do any work and Bruce and Jon have that project under control.
While covering the blinds in Linn County we discovered a leak in the levee by blind 4. There is enough water to wade-in, but we recommend choosing another area with more water to hunt.
We're planning to move some water from the marsh round blind 1 an 2 to the marsh around blind 3. When the water recedes, we're planning to fix the leak in the levee by blind 4 but that will depend on how fast the ground dries, so we might have to wait a while.Blind 9 is also low on water, but everything else looks real good.
Linn County A and Henry County B Warning!
While working on the blinds in Linn County A and Henry County B, we used an ATV to haul the rippy grass, etc... and noticed some large holes in the dams from beavers that could be very dangerous in the dark. Do not drive ATV's [wetlands only access, no dry land offroad vechicle use] across the wetlands dams in Henry B and Linn A. It's dangerous and could cause bodily injury.
A sample of the water conditions in Linn County, blinds 5 and 6.
Reference to Linn A. We decided to designate blind 8 in the West marsh as a wade-in area since the pit blind was so tight and in bad shape.
The reports and pictures are coming is pretty strong. It appears the early goose season has been going as well as teal.
A photo taken of a flock of teal working one of our wetlands when we were covering blinds.
Cass irrigation lake.
Earl season, early morning goose hunt well before crop cutting.
Another day we picked the right field and set up 180 degrees wrong. They preferred the crop field behind us out of range rather than the water with our spread.
Wetlands Water. At this time, we will have adequate water for all of our blinds and wade-in areas in the North zone, except Linn A, blind #9. Holt County is planted in corn and the plans are to have the corn combined and pump running 2 weeks prior to the season. In Linn County the holding lakes on both the east and west marshes have plenty of water to move as we get closer to the season.
In Henry County the majority of the leases have water, except for Henry D. This summer, we drained Frogs Lake to repair the levees and replace the pipes. The lake bed has an excellent stand of smartweed with mowed shooting pools around the blinds and wade-in area, but we need some more water. The bar ditches are full, so it's primed and ready.
Last month, Big Creek had an overflow and filled all of the marshes in Henry A and C. While covering the blinds on Blairstown Lake we discovered a leak in the dam and had it repaired immediately. Blind #1 is a little short of water, but it won't take much to fill. The good news is we discovered the leak and it's fixed.
Cass A is planted in beans and the pipe on the east marsh have been replaced. The beans were planted late so it will be until after the 1st frost that the crops will be harvested and the gates will be closed. From there we will just have to wait for rain. Reminder, Cass A is closed for scouting until the marsh is huntable, which it is not at this time.
All of the irrigation lakes in Cass B and Bates D have a lot of water and good crops surrounding the lakes, that should be harvested the opening of the season.
The majority of the fields in Holt A are planted in corn, which should be very productive once the geese arrive at Squaw Creek.
Field goose hunting on MAHA land is typically an event that slips by and is overlooked by the majority of our members that steer towards the easy blinds once the cold weather arrives. We'd like to see a change in this trend and have some new faces step forward, especially the fields in Holt County.
The waterfowl maps have been polished and posted on the map website. We realize how outdated they were and apologize for the some of the errors and sloppiness.
Bates County, Missouri Unit D has been changed to Vernon County, Missouri Unit A since the property is in Vernon County, not Bates County.
Some maps showing recent update dates did not have any acreage or property changes. these updates reflect enhanced road clarity.
Also posted to the map website are the Association rules.
Quoted from the September 30 "All Outdoors" newsletter supplied by Jim Low from the MDC. "...quail numbers were up in surveys conducted in August. Preliminary survey results show a substantial increase in the number of broods. The average number of chicks in each brood was up, too. The only downward trend was in the number of mature quail..."
Derrol and Bill headed out for early goose and had a good time. Thank you Derrol for taking the time to send in your pictures and hunting story.
The wetlands work continues with blind covering. This one pictured is Bruce Johnson working on our flooded crop field blinds before harvest and pumping.