Upland bird hunting with Mid-America Hunting Association is season long primarily for wild pheasant and Bobwhite Quail with some Prairie Chicken and dove hunting on private land for the self guided foot hunter in Kansas, Missouri and Iowa. Hunter owned pointing, retrieving and flushing dogs are all welcome.
How our self guided hunts are managed is frequently a question from non-members. Foremost we are not a club, and the rest of the details:
Our system has been tested over time since 1965 and represents the best method that ensures the most parity that can possibly be created. It is not a perfect system for all hunters and we do not claim to be the right option for all hunters. We do make our management system easily understood on this page and in our rules as we want everyone to apply for membership with a clear understanding of what it is we offer.
We lease private land for our exclusive use. We do not have any affiliation to any other group. We do not franchise our land and do not allow any other hunting use by any other.
Access to this land is by means of an annual membership fee paid in full before membership material is issued, most notably the land location maps. This land access entitlement is to all Association lease lands that are available for the all members to hunt in one form or another (exceptions, wetlands for example are for waterfowl hunts only).
The other membership entitlements allow upland bird hunting during any portion of the state authorized seasons, for state regulated bag limits as often as desired. No additional chargers per field day or birds harvested.
Upland Bird Habitat is Key
For good hunts habitat is the key.
Second, is having that right habitat in the right region of the state. We take that mystery out of the equation by getting the hunter to the right region and to the right lease of where to park his truck, step out and hunt.
Edge habitat. A bean field in a quail region. Easy walking and a mixture of open sky and woods shooting. Mild winter temperatures. We will hunt through the entire season as snowfall is not a hunt stopper in our locality. Winter means to us firm roads to travel to the better spots.
First limit. We offer family discounted memberships for those that are dependents. All others have the same membership as this organization survives on parity of a business towards its customer/hunters rather than bias that may exits in a club.
We Recommend Where To Hunt
Knowing what is where is one more piece to knowing where to hunt. We watch birds 12 months of the year.
When a bird hunter sends in photographs like this that shows pride in his bird dog it is clear that he has found the tranquility of a good upland hunt. This intangible aspect is the hardest to quantify and what most desire.
We also recommend to the first year hunter where he should spend his time upland bird hunting for his bird and habitat of preference.
Land access and subsequent upland bird hunting is through a telephone reservation system where "units" of land may be reserved at the hunter's discretion and in accordance with hunter management limitations listed below.
A unit of land has a variable amount of acreage depended upon how much land may be posited on a single map sheet and in terms of habitat type or lease area. Each unit of land or leases has a set gun limit meaning the total number of pheasant and quail hunters that may reserve any one unit per day. An example would be a 5,000 acre unit may have a six gun limit meaning a total of six hunters may reserve that unit for one day of field time.
Unit gun limits come into management at two period during the upland season. The first annual period is the Iowa state upland bird hunting season opening weekend before Missouri and Kansas seasons have begun. During this weekend the Association hunters converge on Iowa and they are limited to the unit gun limit. With the Missouri and Kansas season not yet open there will be more hunters attempting to access our Iowa upland bird hunting units than space available. After Missouri and later Kansas seasons open the hunters are spread across the entire inventory of acreage rather than just the limited amount of this one early opening state.
The second period when unit gun limits affect membership reservations is the opening weekend of Kansas pheasant season. This is the one two day period of the year when the one weekend a year pheasant hunters hunt. Most dedicated bird dog hunters take a more relaxed approach and discount the opening weeks waiting until the more reliable cold weather of early December sets in for the better dog work. Or, they hunt Iowa as after the Iowa opener as there is little pressure on that land after the opening weekend.
Our upland bird hunting land units server a greater purpose than gun limitations.
The season long purpose is that units distribute bird hunters to avoid unnecessary hunter pressure in any one area. In the case of our quail predominate units we prevent any one hunter from overly pressuring any coveys to include that of hunting them to extinction. We manage this by two means.
The first is illustrated by way of an example. Any given county in any of our states may have anywhere from 1 to 6 units. For any member that is the first to call in his reservation to hunt any particular upland unit on any given day he has his choice of all the county's units to select from for the days he wants to hunt. The next member wanting to hunt that same county as the first on the same days has the remaining units to select from and so on.
Should all the upland units have one hunter or party and the gun limit not been reached (Iowa and Kansas opening weekend) then the gun limit per unit comes into effect. This means that the 5,000 acre unit with a six gun limit may have two or three parties of three to two bird hunters each.
At this point should anyone become concerned they will not gain the upland bird hunt they desire should have a look at our last several years of actual upland bird hunter pressure.
This chart allows comparing the number of hunters to season length to acreage amounts to make evident there is not the pressure that one may imply from this frank presentation of our regulations. This reflects back to the opening paragraph of this web page where we promise to ensure all have a clear idea of the type of hunts we offer before purchasing a membership.
Further proof our upland bird hunting is as good as we say it is may be found in our hunter testimonials where a multitude of perspectives about our upland bird hunting are offered for review. Final proof will be talking to the MAHA staff themselves who are trainers and hunters of their own dogs. They will be able to speak from first hand, boots on the ground experience on the land covering 12 months of the year to ensure all are in the right place for what they are after.
After that conversation and if both we and the potential member agree we may be able to work together then we will offer up more reference names and telephone numbers of our upland members than anyone will be willing to call. If any more proof is required by anyone exploring our paid hunt service then we choose not to conduct business with that hunter.
Background: Traditional family last day of the season quail hunt where dad takes pictures and TJ gets to do all the shooting.
The hunting story:
"...late start, ended early...three coveys...fair bit of shooting...three quail in the bag...bonding with TJ the best part..." -- wild quail hunt
Where we lease our upland bird hunting land is based first on the right region of the state that has historic production at above state wide average levels. Within those regions we select for the right pheasant or quail habitat. That habitat must be in propinquity to the other to make for better bird hunts meaning more time on the ground than driving from spot to spot.
There are limitations to what we provide in terms of upland bird hunting. Our land locations have been selected with the ringneck pheasant and the bobwhite quail as our upland birds of choice. There are other species within the three states where we lease land and in every case of the other species they do not exist in huntable numbers to provide reasonable chances at a good hunt. There go we do not advertise them although if on our lease land they may be hunted compliant with state hunting regulations.
Our self guided upland bird hunting is just for that, the hunt. We do not allow any pre season dog training. Our land is for upland bird hunting only.
It has come to our attention every so often a comment that readers of this web site feel a bit intimidated by its content. The many limit pictures, fine looking dogs on point, many bird in mouth retrieving pictures bring some to question their hunting skills, dog training ability and shooting. As a self guided hunter organization the only judge present in the field is the hunter himself. No one can be intimated by himself.
It takes only a handful of hunters to send in a limit, retrieve or fine point picture but once a year for there to add up over the many years of Mid-America Hunting Association what appears a good many fine pictures to the point it seems like all shoot limits, or should. That is not true. There are more one bird and less than limit pictures. As that is the reality of wild pheasant and quail hunting. This web site covers the entire range of upland bird hunters from the first dog owning hunter to that senior citizen on his 20th dog.
We impose further restrictions on dogs by limiting each member to not more than two dogs on the ground at one time and not more than 3 per party regardless of the number of members in that party. The rationale is we are an organization for hunters that enjoy working their dogs as the primary activity and the harvest of birds a necessary secondary effect to what we really seek. If this is in contrary with any hunter's objectives than the hunter need not apply for membership. This is the understanding that it is the quality of the hunt and not the number of limits achieved as the real value for our hunts.
We have other screening criteria for our membership that we do not advertise and those criteria largely make the difference between those accepted for membership and those we simply inform do not meet our criteria without any explanation.
We are and have been for a long time in position not to have to accept all that apply. We have a good organization, we know why it is good as expressed by our high renewal rate and we know how to maintain that level. We are committed to this and have employed the screening criteria that has sustained our do it yourself hunter organization since 1965. The benefit to the wild bird hunter is the opportunity to avoid all the issues with knock on door and public land access. That is for those that truly enjoy bird hunting for the value of the hunt itself.
Bobwhite Quail Hunting
|Kansas Upland Birds
Missouri Bobwhite Quail
Main upland bird section