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Mid-America Hunting Association
We do present much about Kansas native grass hunting that includes grass that is truly native, or volunteer, rather than being all CRP land.
Classic Kansas protective cover of tall or native grass hunting land. This is fallow land in a region that only supports native grass growth. The part of Kansas where annual rainfall is limited and only the deep rooted grasses survive long dry periods.
Tall Kansas grass cover is what holds the most pheasants. However, not all pheasants. It is also the native grass that allows the easiest hunting due to the pheasants willingness to remain frozen in this cover when higher pressure is applied by dog or hunter. That is native grass next to a food source. High grass without a food source does not hold pheasants.
In each grass picture there is a dog hunting in the grass somewhere not seen by hunter or camera. This is the illustration of the high grass that holds pheasants.
Same field as the previous picture on the high ground showing what appears to be a deceivingly indistinct background. What is not seen is the low land in row crop.
Not all MAHA Kansas hunting land is pheasant huntable habitat.
Like most of our better Kansas private land it is within the agricultural region of grain farming, not cattle ranching.
As good as the cover appears in these web pages not all ground in the Association inventory is huntable. Land use in the better pheasant regions is 55% in farming. That translates to at best for every 1,000 acres, five hundred may be suitable for wildlife. Of that 500 not all will be suited for pheasants. Of that which does support pheasants not all will be native grass. Other cover type will be part of any Kansas pheasant hunting map sheet. Those that can hunt other than grass will find more pheasants to hunt.
The picture below of the 1/2 mile post on a 320 acre field is such an example of Kansas land to drive by. In this case of this one spot the grain farming is very efficient and leaves little protective cover for any wildlife.
Our land is on both sides of this fence. Had the wet, wind driven snow not blown down the weed corners (pivot irrigation right side) it would have been a hunting spot as it was before the snow and probably will be next season. This is an irrigation field where the corners are not planted in native grass.
Pivot irrigation corners in tall grass (below) provide cover habitat regardless of winter weather. Be prepared to walk as this pivot irrigation is 1/2 mile on the short side. A 1/4 mile crop gap then another set of corners. A hunt of such a spot would exceed three hours walking time. That may not seem possible by looking at such pictures, however each corner must be walked and each pivot ranged a 1/4 mile (160 acres). Only the quality of the dog power makes the hunt harder or easier.
What the Kansas irrigated crop field picture above looks like from above.
This aerial is a good example of multiple good spots in one large field of five 1/4 mile center pivots. That is a lot of walking to cover it.
The outside perimeter of these five pivot irrigation fields is 5 miles walking a straight line. If walking a direct line as possible to each grass corner by the shortest interior route the most efficient walk would be 4 miles. Add to that any meandering around reacting to pheasant presence, dog work or terrain contour that efficient 4 mile walk is a good bit longer. If we are generous and say that hunting speed is at 20 minutes per mile this one spot is only an hour and 20 minutes hunting. No one has hunted all of this one farm in an hour and 20 minutes.
This shooting pool is 40+ acres of water with 2 blinds, no wade-in areas. Surrounding this marsh edge is farm ground and timber. The key facet however is location along a key micro flyway. It is part of a larger watershed that aligns with the migration from the Central Flyway. Dominating this locality is the Missouri River watershed out of Montana to where it joins the Mississippi Flyway. Just how refined location can be with the better Missouri waterfowl areas is illustrated by what we do not spend money on. Just three hours drive east we turned down an offer to lease a large WRP development at half the cost of the one pictured. That decision was entirely based on location off the local micro flyway.
Pictured are two hunters that have been in the Association for over 20 and 10 years respectively. They make an annual trip getting together for their Missouri duck hunting event of the year making memories and friendships anew each season. At this point in their hunter career it is a matter of enjoying the day.
The hunter on the left starts his hunts in Canada in September works his way south with Missouri his primary focus especially so for the last 8 – 10 seasons.