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Mid-America Hunting Association
Self guided quail hunting dates back to the first day of the Association back in 1965. The original founders were after wild quail without the need to knock on doors. They were also businessmen. They knew full well long term relationships are based on mutual gain. It was then and is now the best means to sustain the best private land hunting. On this page we define what that relationship has evolved into over the decades.
Successful self guided hunting has specific elements.
The first is as most guess, of private hunting land access. Key is the right protective cover during hunting season food mix in a region that has naturally propagating environmental factors. The long way of saying the right spot.
The next is means by which to base customer service. That is guidance where to hunt.
Otherwise, why travel to hunt as anyone can create his own shooting preserve with pen raised birds. In this regard we would be more accurate with the added description of Wild. No other woods, plains or upland bird we have ever hunted compares to the dog action gained on wild quail.
Private land access is always the toughest part to find. The choices are to knock on doors, public land and paid hunts.
Knocking on doors either before season or during typically requires more time than the time that will be spent hunting that land. Costs are further inflated by giving gifts or outright cash to the landowner for the permission to hunt. The real issue is that during limited time that available time should be spent hunting rather than searching for a place to hunt.
Public land, even that with groomed habitat, is at the cost of many boot prints and pressured coveys if any at all. Even states with a great amount of public access of private land through a walk-in access programs that converts private land to public comes with all of the pitfalls, namely pressure.
Habitat quality also becomes an issue on these private to public places. All the acreage listed in any public lands atlas is not all for quail. The hunter incurs the obligation of time and travel to physically drive to all of these locations and scout/hunt to find what he wants. And, remember those same spots are for every one else as well.
Paid hunts are not always the answer for self guided quail hunting either.
Small acreage operators even with the best habitat cannot pressure their coveys any more than any other covey. After several days of running dogs over the same land that covey will simply move elsewhere. This forces the release of propagated birds to fulfill the hunter’s demands. That real cost is that of being on pen raised birds that further negates the purpose of traveling to hunt.
That cost can be even higher to hunt one of the truly wild quail plantations where hunter pressure is limited. That limitation is through a high cost that simply screens away the average hunter. These are exceptional Bobwhite hunts as the acreage is plenty, the coveys healthy through provided feeder and waters and the habitat easy walking. At this point, however these plantations are rarely self guided. Typically such experiences come as a package deal with loading, meals, guides and dogs.
What is left? There are two more options. Both do cost money. One with outrages cost. The other for the average hunter that has his own dogs and simply wants a place to put his dogs down.
The high dollar approach is to buy sufficient acreage, develop the habitat and then hunt to hearts content. Yes, we agree with most readers at this point that would be living the dream. For most of us that is not likely to happen.
The next option is us, MAHA. We are organized for self guided quail hunting. We lease land for nesting and cover habitat. Food is readily supplied through our heavy grain agriculture of the Great Plains. The cost is reasonable, we provide recommendations where to hunt, we offer a lodging listing where the hunter can select to stay. The advantages continue as all may hunt on their schedule any time during the season and as often as desired. Licenses are available for online purchase. However, the real advantage is we provide self guided quail hunting, at reasonable cost, on wild coveys and more acreage than anyone can hunt.