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Mid-America Hunting Association
A Kansas cut milo field. It may not look like much. It is private land cover and food at the same time.
Always a hunting season long into spring food source of waste grain.
Those that have raised quail for dog training know that if offered milo they will show excitement. If different hoppers of different grains are available the milo is always consumed first.
Kansas quail hunting is based on hunting even the least likely looking protective cover around and through crop fields. Every lease has some.
A Kansas self guided hunter, Mike a long time quail hunter. His approach is not to shoot on covey rise.
Notice one of his dogs below and in the other pictures. No electronic caller, no beeper, no bell. A rare hunter that has the ability to have such dogs.
The value he brings is that if shooting on covey rise what the hunter sees is just the one he has shot at. Or, any others that may have flushed in that direction.
While the covey flush frequently offers a great shot for a one in the bag it is better to watch and not shoot the covey on flush to see where it breaks up. The various singles and groups fly to different spots. Each covey segment is easier to watch if not sighting down a barrel.
This is to understand Bobwhite behavior. It is often the case a covey when flushed frequently breaks apart into small segments and singles.
With most of Kansas hunting being on widely open country the attentive hunter will be able to watch where the various segments and singles land in several directions. If that hunter had shot on covey rise he would only be aware of where that segment shot at did land. Having knowledge of the other covey segments then allows for many more points as the hunter who can control his dogs will simply walk from one covey segment or singles landing to the next. The understanding of Bobwhite Quail behavior continues.
That after covey flush and landing, the various singles and covey segments typically stay relatively close to where they set down. What makes this understandable is the next behavior of their motivation to reform the coveys. That reformation will be to the group of the strongest calls. Hunting dogs on that covey calling group first to silence the covey call keeps more of the covey dispersed and available for dog action.
More Kansas field to hunt than any picture can capture in a single snapshot.
Long ranging dogs with direct sight check-back do well. Over the ridge hunting dogs make for long periods without dogs.
For those that have hunted Blues this return to covey Bobwhite behavior is much in contrast. It is also a good example of when traveling out to our Kansas hunting land that hunter’s hunting style needs to change.
The value of not shooting on covey rise, spotting where the multiple direction covey segments and singles land and then controlling dog work to those spots simply means more dog on quail work, points and action. And, for those stuck in the ego satisfaction stage of hunting, this approach will put more quail in the bag than shooting on covey rise. For the more seasoned hunter the less aggressive covey shooting approach makes for more picture opportunity. The hunter that seeks pictures of his dogs on a good point or retrieve often is the hunter that also has more limit harvest pictures. The hunters that send in only their harvest limit pictures have fewer of them.
For the seasoned hunter that has matured into quality dog work this approach of watching the covey break up and flydown easily allows one shot in the bag for each dog on the ground. Typically not more than two then leaving the covey to be hunted the next trip. This hunter like may in the Association practice this type of covey conservation.
For those concerned about stressing the covey take another look at the terrain we are talking about. Mild weather, cover and food in the same spot, coveys that can reform. We do agree with the caution statement not hunting the last hour of daylight thereby allowing covey reformation before dark. However, for the hour or so the hunter and dogs will be on parts of the covey, rarely the same bird over and over again, the stress is limited.
This covey conservation approach allows the hunter to have a collection of such farms. The next time that hunter starts a pup. He will be able to get that pup onto more wild quail action that first season than most.
Just to put that into perspective. It is common for most hunters to include locals that have hunted a couple of years in their Association to take more than two years of trips before they make the rounds hunting all their known quail spots. That is often more hunting than most have previously had available to them.
We also monitor Association hunters.
No one hunter or group of friends are permitted to repeatedly hunt the same Kansas unit through any one hunting season. We consider that an extinction effort. We prohibit it to the point of forcible dis-enrollments for those that do not willingly comply. When this occurs and it will every so often it is always a hassle.
That hunter we tell is no longer invited to hunt in this Association will seek to defame the organization. This reaction is contrary to the truth. This Association is a private organization with a limited range of who is acceptable. We seek to establish that in this written form well advertised to the world. We seek to screen to this standard during the initial telephone conversation long before money is exchanged.