Pheasant hunting with Mid-America Hunting Association is self guided on 100% wild pheasants on private land within regions of mostly Kansas where sustainable, reproducing populations exist. Our Missouri and Iowa pheasant hunting is less than that of Kansas. Kansas pheasant hunting also overlaps with wild Bobwhite Quail making a mixed bag pheasant and quail hunt possible each hunt.
Pheasant Hunting For Those That Enjoy The Hunt
A picture sent in by a traveling turkey and pheasant hunting Association member showing the results of his hunt, his hunt alone enjoying his dog.
When it comes to pheasant hunting there are two pheasant hunter types each with different hunting ideas about what a quality pheasant hunt is or should be. We offer this article to use as decision criteria about the pheasant hunting we offer.
Pheasant Hunting Through Winter
The upland bird hunting adventure continues in the winter as the sign, pheasant tracks in this picture, is far more evident allowing the dedicated pheasant hunter the opportunity to learn more about his game. More tracks were on this lease than can be captured in one photo.
Seeing this kind of pheasant movement record enhances the hunting and may even make it more challenging as it is clear the pheasants were here, the photographer (member and pheasant hunter) had moved them during his hunt and the dogs were reported to be intense.
On this hunt the tracks were discovered, pheasants pointed, roosters flushed and not one bagged, however the hunters were having a good time of it all the while.
This is a good snow for us. Deep enough to record movement, cold enough to prevent the dogs from getting heat fatigue and not too deep to inhibit the hunt. Notice the pheasant's body is not plowing through the snow, just deep enough to record the leg movements.
Then From Darrin.
A hunter that enjoys the day with his dog. Thanks to Darren from MN that sent in pictures from his first year as a MAHA member.
Our model for paid hunting lease land access is designed for the do it yourself hunter that seeks to hunt over his own dogs on wild upland birds. Having said that there does still remain those we chose to work with and those we do not as we do not simply allocate memberships to all that have the means to pay. This article separates those that we will offer memberships to and those we will not accept payment from.
Pheasant hunting encompasses two basic methods.
The first pheasant hunting technique and the one that appears to be the most common are drives with or without dogs. The second method is the individual or small group hunter with one or few dogs. We cater to only the individual or small group pheasant hunters and loathe the drive hunt. Additionally, we offer only self guided pheasant hunts.
The pheasant drive hunt piles up dead birds for those that measure pheasant hunting quality in terms of score card numbers. Frequently, one bird will get up and two to three hunters will fire one or more times at it.
Such a pheasant hunting techniques we regulate to the novice or the incidental pheasant hunter rather than one seeking the quality of a good day in the field. While some may attempt to render this distinction irrelevant it is paramount to us. That subtly alone says much about the quality we seek in our hunters and that of the hunts we seek to provide. To not understand that difference is to miss entirely the purpose of this article.
And, for those that require things more plainly do not continue with this article or even think of calling us if the reader is a gang or ditch pheasant hunter.
The individual or small group bird dog running method of pheasant hunting quality is measured in the amount and quality of pheasant hunting dog work and birds harvested with one shot.
The ideal all strive for in this second method is on each pheasant hunting day a limit of roosters, off the dog (either pointing or flushing), a single shot per bird and every bird shot at goes in the bag.
This technique describes the hunter that seeks a quality experience. That experience is a special tranquility that only a dog working its heart out for his master can achieve. That is the pheasant hunting that respects the pheasants, dogs and the hunting activity representing the best of hunters.
The pictures at the end of each of these pheasant hunts, drive & individual, typifies these two pheasant hunting methods.
The drive pheasant hunt stacks the birds up to show quantity. Conversely, the individual bird dog do it yourself pheasant hunter takes pictures setup to highlight the dog and the serenity of the hunt. Another pheasant hunting subtlety that will be lost on some that read this article.
Fortunately, the drive pheasant hunter is a single hunt per season pheasant hunter that does so to boost his ego as those that participate can claim great hunter status as they are pictured with a pile of birds they may or may not have shot.
After that one ego picture is displayed that pheasant hunter rarely sets foot in the field again that season. He will wait until next season’s pilgrimage of spending the day with the boys under the rigors of field conditions.
This pheasant hunter does have a singular advantage over the do it yourself upland bird dog hunter. That advantage is that pheasant drive hunter can wear the same clothing from season to season for many seasons to come as at the rate of one weekend a month his field clothes are more typically for image than function. This is the case until the belly expansion of these pheasant hunters exceed the extra size they were purchased at as just in case additional warm clothing is required on the cold years when the pheasant hunting is tougher.
We, your Association land staff, Jon Nee the owner/operator and John Wenzel partner, are on the land a lot throughout the year. This is a spring pheasant photographed on such a land run.
Our field time is not hunt time. Our field days are ensuring our current contracts are complied with through landowner land usage, scouting potential lease land and in general keeping an eye on what we have paid for. This translates into knowing where our hunters need to hunt for what they are after. We also enjoy pheasant hunting and do so behind our own bird dogs that we train ourselves. Add this difference to all the other intangible fine points of what our organization is structured for and the true bird dog loving pheasant hunter finds much value.
Pheasant hunting as an individual or with a close companion be he youth in training or a seasoned pheasant hunter/friend and doing so behind a bird dog or two brings a serene sense of tranquility of being outside, in the field and watching an animal, the dog, work his heart out for the hunter. Without the dog these pheasant hunters probably would not be hunting. And, because of the dog, and the special connection that exists, these pheasant hunters hunt their dogs every chance they have and in doing so typically wear out a pair of boots and pants each season. It is not the pheasant hunting, it is the dog hunting. The pheasant only a required element for what is truly desired. Again, another subtly frequently lost on the not so dedicated pheasant hunter.
These individual and small group pheasant hunters ambling along behind the dogs require little coordination. A drive pheasant hunt with its convoy of vehicles, various undisciplined dogs and those that may be a just a bit too quick to shoot piling out to stomp the fields while closing in on those on stand require contro9l equal to a kindergartner class. The pheasant hunting methods dissimilarity is as dramatic as the words make it appear.
The small group hunter will spend twice as long and walk much further to cover the same size field as the drive hunt. Moreover, the small group bird dog pheasant hunting hunter will be far more efficient at it moving in concert with the wind, habitat conditions and in response to the dog with its powerful nose at finding birds hidden deep in the cover. The drive hunter must rely on the luck of stepping on the birds to get them to fly for shot.
The individual do it yourself bird dog pheasant hunter seeks to enjoy the day in the field for his dog not the birds. The pheasants are a means, the end is the pheasant hunting activity itself available through a bird dog. One particularly tough running pheasant causing the dog to relocate and point 4 to 6 times with the hunter in tow a quarter mile down a tall prairie grass field brings a sweat and satisfaction the drive hunter would never understand. That one tough pheasant will bring a quiet smile to the hunter’s face just as a quick limit of several roosters pointed or flushed by his dog in quick order, single shots fired and camera retrieve from pocket in time to catch the bird in mouth dog on retrieve. That is quality pheasant hunting!
After many such picture taking attempts to capture a well composed picture of the dog with brightly colored pheasant on retrieve one will be especially lucky to have captured that one with all the right elements and that pheasant hunting picture will go on the wall. A single dog with a single bird, retrieving to its pheasant hunting partner. That is the picture that will bring a smile to the hunter’s face 10 years from when it was taken and long after the drive hunt dead bird stack picture has been regulated to a storage box.
Know yourself, know who we are and then decide to call us or not for the only kind of pheasant hunting experience we provide.
Attached are a couple of photos from our first bird hunting trip as MAHA members. My wife, Donna, killed the three roosters in [location deleted] and my first eastern wild turkey was taken in [location deleted]. We hunted and viewed a number of properties last week on our trip and were impressed by their diversity and quality, although disappointingly, several CRP fields had been mowed by the landowners, I assume under emergency drought measures.
Thank you Bill and Donna for sharing your hunt account. New member's first hunting trip always brings a bit of pressure on us. This year being a tougher than average pheasant year didn't slow you two down much.
Our response to Bill's observations
Thank you for your courtesy at sending in pictures and hunt feedback. Every one counts and helps keep the ball rolling. It is certainly enjoyable for us and the others that will read your account and see your pictures. They also help develop reasonable expectations and filters out the less dedicated hunters that seek to hunt with us only during prime years. Those less dedicated hunters are also the ones we do not like to work with either as they will tell of seeing many birds, shooting a lot and complain in the same conversation they did not harvest what they think we should be able to deliver to them. A parallel with the less dedicated hunter includes part of our screening process for upland bird hunters that started many years ago was to identify if the applicant has spent most of his time on preserve hunts. Those hunters we found best to leave on the preserve and not include in our organization. Look for your update next week as we have some ahead of yours and we simply publish in the order received.
The NC & NE CRP cutting was not part of the first release as it was in NW Kansas where we held back on contracts as we knew it was coming. The NC and NE Kansas release was not due to drought as my alfalfa in NE Kansas while down did just fine. The NC & NE Kansas release was developed more out of motivation other than farm use. Most of the CRP owners sold their grass to other farmers rather than harvested for their own use. Texas and Oklahoma buyers took entire alfalfa harvest and wanted even my junk round bales for grinding. Most of the prairie grass went the same.
The reports out of SC Kansas also have drought impact lessening the quality of CRP pheasant cover. What we experience is that the lower quality cover holds birds, just not the 20, 30, 40 birds at a time in a small spot as it does during up years. The secondary effect is that pheasant will not hold for as long for flushing dogs or pointing dogs with short standoff in the shorter, thinner grass. Even on these "bad" years, my good dog continues to out perform my two lesser dogs and he as a 6 - 12 foot standoff on a single rooster in grass with a 5 - 10 mph wind. The bottom line is the thick tall grass will concentrate the pheasants and the drought years disperses and distributes them across a range of cover making them more difficult to find.
Quail hunter reports up in Iowa and in Missouri, however the better quail hunters have not hit the fields hard at all yet this season due to the warm temperatures. With the cold snap coming Thursday, we will see and hear more from the quail hunters.
Good luck with the rest of the season.
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