Versatile Dog Hunting

Versatile dog hunting with MAHA is all about hunt execution on duck, goose, pheasant, quail, Prairie Chicken and turkey.

A Vizsla that broke shore ice to retrieve.

self guided private land versatile dog hunting waterfowl upland birds

Dog hunting is over dry land crop edge, brush and tall grass. Wetlands hunting is from managed wetlands permanent blinds, wade-in, open water and layout boat waterfowl areas.

This is an opportunity to see how all the yard work and hunt tests pan out on wild birds over a variety of private hunting land in Iowa, Missouri and Kansas. And do so as a self guided hunter working his own dogs at his own pace on a schedule of his choosing any time during the entire range of seasons. A chance to see just how skilled of a trainer the hunter is and how much enjoyment that can be had from a single dog.

It cannot be over stated the value to be sought and gained is the enjoyment of the day watching dog work. This comes free from the anxiety of hoping to find a place to hunt. That dog work is free from mixing dogs with those of others. Free of crossing the boot prints of other hunters and avoidance of the public lands hunter mentality. Motivation to hunt is further enhanced as no one hunter is limited to just one spot. The range of duck blinds over a variety of wetlands habitat alone would fill a season. Add to that when upland bird hunting each hunter may step from his truck onto a different field each time of every day on every day of the hunt. That alone often gives that little extra that makes us hunt just a bit more.

A good versatile dog hunt of pheasant quail and ducks.

This organization offer the versatile dog hunter the flexibility of much private land acreage picking and choosing on the hunter's schedule to waterfowl or upland bird hunt his dogs. That flexibility is further enhanced by a selection of seasons across our three state region. Seasons start with dove and Prairie Chicken, moving onto early waterfowl with teal, fall Kansas turkey hunting allowing dogs, regular duck and goose season, closely followed by pheasant and quail running to the end of January. Capping off the bird hunting with late season goose that rolls into spring snow goose season. Each MAHA hunter may hunt any of it. No one hunts it all as no person has yet shown to have that level of energy. The added value of this range of hunts is as for all of us our interests change with age and dog power. This organization allows for that change should the interest be more upland bird and less waterfowl or the other way.

We will take care of the traveling hunter. The MAHA staff does not expect any hunter to know where to hunt for what he is after. All will get recommendations right to the point of where to park their truck, step out and hunt. An always available online lodging listing of local motels, campgrounds, veterinary and tow truck services round out the support requirements for the do it yourself hunter. Even with this support it does come down to the hunter must pay one price that only he can pay and that is time on the ground.

Have a look at our wild Bobwhite Quail hunting.

That cost of time is consumed in such activities as we want the hunter to scout out our wetlands and duck blinds in daylight every before trying to find them in the early morning dark hours. Other time consumption's include hunting the dog over quail and pheasants to see what works. Pointing Labs with short standoff may be found entirely enjoyable with any quail pointed. That same dog may be a complete source of frustration on the less likely to hold pheasant for dogs with short standoff. That first season is as much a break-in season setting that hunter and dog up for years of hunts to come as any thing else. As with all endeavors they all get better over time and an unguided hunter covering new terrain needs to take the time and have the patience for a trial and error period to find his balance.

pointing labs versatile dog hunting

A rare pointing lab that effectively hunts quail.

What we have seen through the years for those with the dual hunting interest of waterfowl and upland bird hunting is one to have predominance over the other. The issue is less than having a dog that will hunt both. It is more a matter of time limitations that drive the hunter to spend his available time on that enjoyed the most. The value of MAHA is we hold no limiting distinction. No hunter must be exclusive to one hunting interest. Our approach is simple and of wider scope. One price paid once a year to hunt any season on any of the private land we control. As hunting interest wax and wane along with dog power changes so too can the hunters plans on what and when to hunt.

Most hunters will find their current dog power and hunting style more suited to a particular hunt. That hunt may be a wetlands duck hunt, field goose hunt, pheasant, quail or what is unique to many a Kansas fall turkey hunt where dogs are permitted to hunt turkeys. MAHA allows each hunter to hunt to that current dog power and hunting style. At the same time allowing the exploration into other hunts often gives more motivation to hunt more. This has been especially frequent when a first season dog is brought to the field. That first season dog will often show higher and lower skills compared to the previous dog. That skills set difference may allow that hunter a wider range of hunts during any one season. This is part of the adventure at how things always change.

The hunt itself will offer much variety. Waterfowl hunts may be over marsh lands, sloughs, open water, flooded crop and some brown timer along sloughs and some potholes. Open water hunts are also available on farm ponds and watershed lakes with adjoining crop stubble fields for combination wet and dry sets.

Goose hunters with dogs will find the dog unnecessary. That is save for the pleasure of watching the dog retrieve. If by now that pleasure of good dog work has not yet come through in this article as the entire basis for a better hunt then we have lost the point of the discussion.

Those goose hunters with dogs will frequently tell how if all they wanted was a goose they would have been satisfied with the collection of geese during the regular waterfowl season. Those that continue to hunt with their dogs over large decoy spreads frequently adjoining deep water ponds and lakes say the hunt is for the dog. The goose is only a necessary requirement to allow for that good dog work. That is the type of hunter that has the most success in this organization.

Upland bird hunts for quail are predominately along miles of crop edge within grain farming regions. Occasional brush filled draws offer a chance at a combination quail and pheasant hunt. Some of the best quail hunting to be found is in close proximity to our better waterfowl wetlands. For any one capable, it is easily done to have in one day a morning duck hunt and an afternoon quail hunt. Such a schedule for too long would result in a sleep-in morning soon enough.

versatile hunting dogs on quail

Wire Hairs are the most commonly hunted versatile dogs in the Association. These are pointing quail on a crop field edge.

Pheasant hunting is best within our tall grass regions. Many flushing/retrieving dog owners find the tall grass well suited to keeping their dogs in range for some good pheasant shooting. Read more about our pheasant hunting.

Advance to our Kansas fall turkey hunting section.

Kansas fall turkey season allows the use of dogs during the turkey hunt. The most frequently used dogs are pointing dogs. Hunters allows their dogs to point the occasional tight holding turkeys just as they would pheasant or quail. Unlike spring turkey the fall turkey may be shot on the flush. What is required is to have one or more of the several fall turkey tags in position during the hunt.

One aspect of why more pointing dogs are used to harvest Kansas fall turkeys is the turkey is more likely to have overlapping distribution in quail regions. Those that have reported successful pheasant hunts with turkey in the bag encounters have been more so with flushing/retrieving dogs on mixed grasslands and brush cover. The latter being less so than the former.

During a Pheasant hunt back in November Pepper the GSP went into a solid point. I stepped in to flush the bird and up went this nice Gobbler. I shot two times at it's head but it showed no sign of being hit and flew about 400 yards into a CRP field. I continued to work out the field and flushed several more birds but did not shoot at any of them as I felt 2/3/4 inch number six was too light of a load for Turkey. As I worked the CRP Pepper went on point again and to our surprise there was our very dead Turkey over 500 yards from where we had shot it with a pellet in it's head. The most entertaining part was watching my 12 year old GSP who weighs 50 pounds try to make a retrieve on a bird half his weight. The Tom had a 9.5 inch beard and weighed 24 pounds. It was another great season. Looks like I will be in Afghanistan next year but will just have to wait and see what the future holds. I hope all is well in your world.
Take Care Tom

kansas versatile dog hunting fall turkey.


A common dog affliction from hunting MAHA land.

One aspect of all this dog hunting availability, especially on the upland bird side, is that MAHA has enough land readily available every day and all day long that many dogs get more run in than they have run in them. The end result is beyond the tired pooch. Pads do get sore to the point of dogs refusing to walk away from the truck. A full set of four boots with spares is to be part of the kit bag. Those concentrating on waterfowl rarely report pad issues.

Other misfortunes afflicting dogs are largely limited to skunk encounters. Porcupines are unlikely and badgers more so. While we have rattle snakes on the dry lands most hunters will have to spend much time before seeing one. Copperheads may be encounters on the wetlands. In both cases of the dry and wetlands snakes they are if encountered at all an early season on the warm years event. We offer no cactus with barb wire fences being the source of occasional dog wounds. The best dog care advice is to carry much water when upland bird hunting in Kansas. Less so in Missouri as Missouri has much more available water. Kansas on the other hand has little water to offer dogs during the hunt.

Read about Dog Power.

For those with versatile dogs MAHA offers a grand opportunity to maximize that versatility over a wide range of waterfowl and upland birds. The added bonus of being a private land self guided hunter organization makes it all the more appealing to those who enjoy their dogs above all else.

Have a look at another versatile dog hunt.

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