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762 shooter
November 18, 2004, 21:38
I just got back from hunting sandhill cranes in southeast Arizona. Just south of Willcox to be exact. Anyone else familiar with these guys? Three days and not a bird for me. I was a bit frustrated by other hunters in the area. Biologists had to call the game warden on a few... I was using 3 inch #2s hoping to reach out and touch them but no luck. Couldn't have been my ghillie suit, I was invisible with that thing! Theres always next year.

skfullgun
November 18, 2004, 21:52
We have quite a few of them in the marshes of East Texas. I'm not an expert on the subject, but they are regulated as "waterfowl" and/or "migratory game birds" here and are subject to frequent changes in regulations and bag limits.

'TUDE
November 18, 2004, 21:59
I had no idea they were in AZ too. I tried to hunt for them in SE New Mexico around Loving and too at Monahans Sand Hills, TX. Big ole birds and they spook real easy. We were always waiting at water holes near milo fields, just before dusk to bag them.

MarkBall
November 18, 2004, 22:29
You want Sandhill Cranes?

Come to Nebraska. Between Grand Island & Hastings they over run the fields. I-80 slows for the people to gawk at em.

Tall skinny birds that are as dumb as a rock. Ugly too.

Com'on up & have fun. The challege is to get Snow Geese. They fly in right at sunset, by morning they are 5-10 miles away. I think they got night vision or something.

Mark

762 shooter
November 18, 2004, 22:34
I saw thousands and thousands of crane. And a few idiots. I had 2 fourteen year old morons ruin a shot for me as they fired from at least 250 yards away. They and their fathers were later reported to the game warden by the biologist in charge for shooting without a tag. Idiots. Some idiots sky busting and flaring the flocks off of us. Arrgh. I still had a good time and look forward to next year.
Thousands and thousands. Easily ten thousand cranes.

owlcreekok
November 19, 2004, 05:59
Yeh, what Mark sed! I took a three day weekend when I lived in Colorado, went to Cabelas (of course) and then on out I 80 for some sight seeing. There was a go-million of those cranes. I was amazed. I thought they stayed around Dixie! Yup, the interstate actually stopped in a place or two. The truckers were particularly disenchanted with the event!

Da Nerd
November 19, 2004, 18:45
My sister lives in central Florida on a golf couse community and they have a resident flock of sand hill cranes.. they just stand and 'look' at you as you drive by on a golf cart....local alligators have ready made meals walking around the lake..:-)

skfullgun
November 19, 2004, 23:50
DaNerd,
I really like your sig line. True words, those!

wt
December 06, 2004, 15:55
I have heard people refer to these birds as the rib-eye of the sky. Does anyone know if they have "red" meat like an ostrich does? I guess they are pretty tasty and yeild a couple of nice breasts...

AR Thumper
December 06, 2004, 18:56
As Justin Wilson might say.........."sand hill crain make good gumbo????":) Seriously are they good to eat? What do they look like? :eek: Before you shoot'em that is! This is a new one on me I never heard of hunting crains.,Thumper

762 shooter
December 07, 2004, 01:54
I wouldn't say that he meat is red just darker pink than chicken, not nearly as dark as duck. I'll have to wait 'til next year to find out how it tastes.:(

Da Nerd
December 07, 2004, 10:03
http://wildlife.state.co.us/kids/sand_hill_crane.htm

Forrester
December 07, 2004, 10:44
From endangered species to vermin in fifty years.

Ironic to think that one of the founding lights of the enviornmental movement was a guy named Aldo Leopold who wrote a book about his experiences in the sand hills of Wisconsin called "The Sand County Amanac". The book describes about fifteen years of observation and stewardship on a broken down farmin the '30's and '40's. Leopould spends a great deal of time in the book bemoaning the huge decline in numbers of the sand hill crane and other species and was an early advocate for protecting wild spaces. Actually, a very well written book which espouse a kind of ethos that has been entirely hijacked by the birkenstock crowd.


. . . . and in the end, dollars for donuts, it was the AMERICAN HUNTER who really saved this creature.

By the way, what do they taste like?

I have an expected answer from someone on this board

:)

wt
December 07, 2004, 10:57
I did a little research and answered my own question...


http://magazine.audubon.org/ask/ask.html


As to how they taste, here's a description from one outfitter's web site: "The sandhill crane makes for excellent table fare. Each bird yields about two to three pounds of breast meat. It is red meat, the same as its fellow migratories...similar in texture to a sirloin steak, but less greasy than a duck or goose."


I guess the meat is red, hence the name "ribeye of then sky". I read an article about a taxidermist up in the Texas panhandle that uses very lifelike stuffed cranes for decoys. Apparently, they are pretty difficult to hunt.

Opie
December 07, 2004, 11:18
Originally posted by 762 shooter
I just got back from hunting sandhill cranes in southeast Arizona. Just south of Willcox to be exact. Anyone else familiar with these guys? Three days and not a bird for me. I was a bit frustrated by other hunters in the area. Biologists had to call the game warden on a few... I was using 3 inch #2s hoping to reach out and touch them but no luck. Couldn't have been my ghillie suit, I was invisible with that thing! Theres always next year.

You was in my old stomping grounds.... were you over by the power station? there was some pretty good quail huntin' down there when I lived down that way. Was my Grandparents' place right around in there, just off of 191, about 3 miles south of Cochise.

newfalguy101
December 07, 2004, 17:11
It seems that Slakline may have negleted to include one little itty bit o info about killing cranes in Nebraska

Its illegal, they are protected here.

Still, I would love a crack at some of those birds, theres about a bazillion of em :rolleyes: :rolleyes:

762 shooter
December 07, 2004, 18:06
You was in my old stomping grounds.... were you over by the power station? there was some pretty good quail huntin' down there when I lived down that way. Was my Grandparents' place right around in there, just off of 191, about 3 miles south of Cochise.
We were hunting on the east side of the playa. If that was the power plant I saw off n the distance it was about 8 miles west.
I don't know who considers the cranes pests, the farmers in the area appreciated them cuz they clean up the left over corn. The above picture was of one scraggly looking crane. The ones I saw were much more handsome. And they are BIG. The lessers stood at easily 4 feet, with a 6 foot wing span. I think the greaters can approach an 8 foot wing span but I'll have to wait and see to be sure. The more mature cranes have red head tops. the immature cranes are still brownish grey on top. I have been told by someone that would know that whooping cranes will fly with the sandhills. DON'T shoot a whooping crane. :uhoh:

Opie
December 08, 2004, 11:10
Yep Whooping Cranes are mixed in with Sandhill Cranes. Pretty easy to spot though due to the differences in colors/markings. Whooping Cranes are alot lighter in color then the Sandhills are.

wildwilly
December 09, 2004, 15:51
I once traded four mallards for a freshly shot sandhill. Smelled just like a goose when I cleaned it. It must have tasted like a goose because it went into the freezer and only hunter surprise came out. (Unmarked frozen birds)
That was a 1974 before you have to have a permit around Wheatland Wyoming.
Like someone said the regulations and permit processes are always changing. Maybe next year I can try for one.

phil in indy
January 07, 2005, 11:30
Sandhills are illegal to hunt in Indiana even though we do have a large migration through the state. Tell you though, I sure would like to make North Dakota sometime and go after Tundra Swans. I would love to see my wirehairs try and fetch one of them.