First Self Guided Upland Bird Hunting Trip
Self Guided Upland Bird Hunting Execution
As a do it yourself upland bird hunting organization we are set for execution of wild pheasant and quail hunts. No other wild upland bird huntable populations exists. Save fall turkey hunting allowing dogs.
Upland bird hunting execution nothing else. We do not train hunters, dogs or conduct propagation. Simply, just execution of private land self guided upland bird hunting. However, we have observed a good many new to our Association passing on what has been time proven successful methods. We share these.
Take Away Mystery With A Plan
This is our attempt to remove some mystery from any first time Iowa, Missouri or Kansas hunter. Those who have find only less competition having much alone time with their dogs on our private land.
Those who try us have a plan long before leaving home. All know exactly where they will be hunting each day any trip. Plus have a place to stay. Each hunter can have an adventure of new spots, hunt his bird of prefernce while learning a variety of habitat. That same hunter may feel confident when finding a favored spot of returning there each hunt.
Self Guided Hunter Upland Bird Hunting Mistakes
Once hunters find our wide range of options we offer it is common to many to try to do too much right from their start.
A common misstep is to try to cover each of our three states as seasons open. By doing so sequentially from Iowa to Missouri to Kansas. Or, an opening week in succession covering three weeks. Why this often fails is due to weather.
Opening week hunting is often poor due to warm to hot temperatures. By mid-season we have reliably cool winter temperatures with all its advantages of better scent cones, no dog heat fatigue, plus more.
This multi state approach does have advantages of offering a type of tour of three states. A tour shows our range of habitat. Within a variety of habitat most hunters find one more suited to his dog power or preferences than another. If this discovery of ideal cover idea is a goal, then that is a good course of action to take. A good course for any first membership year. That is as long as a hunter's attitude is to learn regions, not any better farms within any one region.
To learn any better spots is to cover ground. Time being a challenge. Any quarter section under ideal efforts require two hours to walk, if having minimal cover. Four hours more likely on average cover. On a map sheet of 2,400 acres or basically 15 quarter sections in this example means anywhere from 30 to 60 hours hunting. Take half that time away due to our best upland bird hunting is on grain cropland where half will be row crop not huntable leaving 15 to 30 hours wlaking time. Even with nine hours of daylight this time works out to two to three days if walking non-stop each 9 hour day. A tough day if doing so.
Our point being it is better to go to a recommended region and learn farm to farm rather than quickly try to sample anyone county by a quick run through. Coveys and ringnecks alike pick their golden nugget spot. Any first time on a farm will require a good bit of walking to find their choice of cover.
Fast Track To Wild Coveys Or Wiley Pheasants
Those who seek a successful field day on a fast track possibly may do better by taking a more concentrated approach to breaking into Association lease land.
A concentrated approach begins with settling on one species between wild quail or ringnecks. Then contact either Jon Nee (he runs pointers almost exclusively for quail) or John Wenzel (setters and brittanys spread between pheasant and quail). They will recommend a choice of regions of where to spend any trip.
Once a region is selected a hunter is well advise to spend his first season within that region. Not necessarily covering any one farm from day to day. But concentrate on a region's predominate habitat type. Key point, cover type, nothing else. Learn a habitat including how one species occupies it.
If concentrating on a particular habitat type within one region most soon find increasing levels of success on subsequent days. As success grow so does satisfaction. Once a certain level of satisfaction is achieved a hunter should expand his horizons by repeating his effort in another region. Doing so gives options when any hunter who has made a study of his pursuit later shows successful characteristics have change due to natures constant season to season change.
It may seem like work. It is often a case where older hunters return to well known land regardless of any prior success or failure due to knowing a collection of farms. Their viewpoint it is better to run dogs on known spots even if expectations are degraded than take time required to develop knowledge of new ground. All are welcome to do so. Others who enjoy walking new ground will also find their desires met.
Create Choices - Key To Continued Satisfaction
Expanding horizons is development a concentrated understanding of habitat in a nearby region. Having knowledge of a second area allows for choice of where to hunt on subsequent hunts or seasons.
Having a choice will become valuable when a specific region's spring nesting or brood period experiences adverse weather one year while another region does not. Having conducted preparation work in more than one region allows for flexibility of having a choice of where to put dogs out based on population cycles. A way to salvaging a trip during a bad localized weather year. It will happen to all. It also a good way of maximizing a first season pup's exposure on a bad season to more coveys/singles or pheasant than most have had before.
That last point about first year dog exposure to wild game is an ideal fit to our self guided hunter approach. This aspect of working with folks capable of their own dog training makes life a lot easier than those who required a guided effort. A reflection of most self guided hunters also being their own dog trainers.
Once a hunter has at least two regions of good boots on ground time for his first bird of choice then expanding out is his next step. That stepping out is to new habitat types which allows for an added bit of adventure of exploring new ground.
Under this concentrated approach to breaking into MAHA leases it will take 1-1/2 to 2 seasons. That can only be paid for by upland hunters with his walking much land.