Iowa Quail hunting within Mid-America Hunting Association is in south central Iowa.
Our private land hunting is within the Grand River Watershed. This area has low rolling hill grain farms dissected with wet and dry drainage's making much edge cover. Predominate farming is soybean and corn.
Iowa State Highway 2 is the fastest east-west travel route. North-south access is by Interstate Highway 35.
The nearest larger country towns near Association hunting land are Bedford, Corydon, Leon, Decatur City. Sufficient local motels and campgrounds are available through the hunting season.
This is a foot hunting only Association of self guided hunters.
This Association has in excess of 20,000 acres of land in south central Iowa.This area has overlapping pheasant and quail hunting. Most hunters will bag some of each just about every hunting day. When that does not happen is early in the season when crops are standing or when Iowa has a down year. During those times this Association has other options for where to go upland bird hunting.
A Good Day
The kind of picture all who quail hunt would like to take each hunting day. Each hunter's dog power, willingness to walk and shooting ability will determine each bag. We will never say that every hunter each day will bag a limit.
Iowa Quail Cover
Some of Iowa's prime upland bird habitat. The one above is at opening day. Notice the standing corn. That makes for some tough hunts. The bright sun was as warm as it looks. By noon most are through with their early season hunts. By mid winter all these adverse effects have changed. Reliably, dog friendly colder weather and concentrated habitat exists to a better degree.
Iowa does have some tall grass. While not prime quail habitat this field did have a covey.
Our southern Iowa hunting leases are large grain crop fields of corn and beans cut by the mostly dry drainage's. That is an in-field drainage center to left in the picture.
Another view of a must hunt spot. There is more cover habitat just barley visible separating the near and far field.
Our Iowa quail is a bonus for those quail hunters from the northern and eastern states seeking a shorter ride for wild quail hunting.
The hunter will be well pleased with the easy to walk fields and frequent blue sky shooting.
While the flushing and retriever hunters pass on quail in favor of the pheasant, the pointing bird dog hunters enjoy a full day of both. Those with the bird dog power to cast along the miles of drains for quail as well as the point stand off required for pheasant will find our Iowa land a good to great hunt.
The chance to work a single dog on both wild pheasant and quail while on the same hunt, the same day on the same habitat as well as every day of the hunt will make it more enjoyable to continue the hunt.
Our Iowa quail land while a surprise to some. As weather environmental limiting factors change, our Iowa region allows for good or bad year flexibility of where to hunt.
When To Hunt Iowa Quail
Iowa has a split ending for its upland bird season ending the pheasant season in early January when its seasonal upland bird license expires. But allowing quail hunts until January 31. What occurs is that most do not hunt the quail only middle to late January period.
This time period, in our most northern of the three states of leases, typically allows for colder dog friendly weather and plenty of tree covered drainage's to block any wind. This allows hunting regardless how cold that overall winter may be.
Few hunters actually hunt Iowa during this late January time. Most by this point of the three month season have walked and hunted plenty. The hunt intensity has waned. An additional motivational degradation is the psychological block of having to buy another license at the season's end even though it is good for the subsequent fall as well.
For those that truly want to chase bobwhites and do so when seeing another hunter is at its least probability this 20+/- day period is the time to be hunting.
More About Iowa Quail Hunting Land
Iowa hunting is largely in the grassed waterways and soft edge of the many drains that cross the farm fields. That is the key to this south central region.
As many will agree it is the right quail habitat that makes for the better hunts. In this case the key factor is the watershed and the secondary effect of the non agricultural areas the watershed creates. This exemplifies as well why we have land in some very specific locations and no lease land in larger areas elsewhere. Our not operating a hunting lodge allows us to make the entire state available to the Association hunter of where to hunt. In the case of Iowa it is this south central region. Or, that area where we get the most return for the money spent.Quail Hunting Value - Our Approach
A brace, plenty in the bag.
We offer only the opportunity for private land hunting on wild Bobwhite Quail for the self guided hunter. All may hunt any time during the season. They hunt at their own pace. All will have more land than time to hunt. This brings a tranquility of the quail are there. The land is available. The hunter looses the anxiety of if he will have a place to hunt and if that hunt will be good. Within this Association most of the hunters have good and better hunts. The hunters that have bad hunts soon stop hunting.
For the traveling quail hunter the question is often asked why pay for the entire season. Most travel to quail hunt a week hunt. Many two 1 week trips during the entire season. This argument continues that our approach is great for the local quail hunter and the traveling hunter seems to miss out. This is not the case.
A contrary idea is that most that travel to quail hunt do so as they can accomplish in one short trip far more than they can the entire season in their home state. And, in terms of the local hunter yes he does hunt the entire season typically at a two day weekend at a time rate spread across three months with two family oriented holidays taking away from that time.
The local hunter with the luxury of proximity further does not hunt in anything but the best weather conditions thereby cutting down his days in the field. The local hunter due to his weekend hunts rarely takes a "hunting vacation" as does the traveling hunter.
The average local hunter hunts around one half the available weekend days each of the three months of the season. That would make for 12 hunting days. Close to the two 9 (Saturday to the next week Sunday) day travel and hunt twice a year that is common to the traveling hunter.
This similarity between local and traveling quail hunters continues.
One other view point about our local hunters is that many of them also travel elsewhere to hunt, grouse, huns, chukar, as well as other quail. They too travel to hunt more of one upland bird type on a short trip. They do so for the same reasons as those that travel our way. That is hunt what they cannot hunt in their home state.
In our attempt to remove as much of the mystery about our Iowa hunting as we can in pictures and text we offer a lot of cover photos. These two represent reasonable expectations of just how open and closed-in any of our Iowa land may be.
We have always operated since our beginning in 1965 as a do it yourself quail hunter operation. The original 4 local businessmen that started MAHA were all quail hunters. They wanted what we all want. A more efficient method by which to enjoy their quail hunting.
One aspect we cannot overcome and probably should not is that every first year Association hunter will experience a twinge in his gut the first several times stepping out of his truck. This comes from hunting on land that he himself has not personally met with the landowner. There is not anyway around this effect and we have a long time tested method to overcome it.
We use the same county road maps to mark our lease land location as the county sheriff, utility Co-Ops and township road crews use to navigate. They are the most accurate around to include key features as local land marks and road surface quality. These two last features alone are missing from all of the commercially available alternatives we have explored. Trust in the maps we issue as we have been mapping our hunting leases for a long time. Our maps will get all who can read a map to where they need to hunt.
The next thing we do is to post our leases with a unique MAHA sign that gives the hunter confidence he has found the right spot.
After these two aspects there is nothing for the new Association hunter to do except get out there and experience the hunt. That twinge in the gut will attenuate and later disappear entirely.
Bad Quail Hunting Guaranteed
We offer this illustration of how we can guarantee a bad Iowa quail hunting experience.
The common conditions that make for a bad hunt include:
The hunter lives in a non-native quail state.
The dog has experience on pen raised, planted or field trial quail - only.
The dog is beyond the early stage in life where learning gains higher standards of performance.
The hunter is out of shape. Physically capability and shooting skills.
What We All Know and Should Agree To
Wild quail hunting is our highest risk, toughest hunt. It requires specialized dog power that is best developed with a first season pup and all the discoveries only possible when learning all things is new. The best dogs will run downwind edge only. They run the narrow edge band of cover coveys occupy. Wild quail hunting also requires hunter effort of willingness to walk and have the energy for accurate shooting. This is all so easy to read about and tough to do. All will find their swing lacking after three days of all day long cross country walking regardless of how much pre-season preparation is done.
The first hunt and season wild quail hunting will be the worst.
It is likely the first season to be very unsuccessful when compared to later years. It appears those that stick with it for three consecutive seasons hunt for life. Anyone that says no quail and quits before three years typically only dabbles in wild upland bird hunting.
Why life long quail hunters quit quail hunting has been shown to us for many years. Two factors above all others in isolation or conjunction end a quail hunting career.
The first is the hunter's body no longer can take the rigors.
More commonly, that hunter no longer has it in him for one more dog. All the more so if having that special connection with the current dog that certainly leaves us all too soon.
Please continue to have a read about this Association. Always feel free to call any day or evening. Our telephone number is at the bottom of every web page.