Where to hunt Sandhill Crane
Various subspecies of Sandhill Crane, a big, long-billed and long-necked bird, that some say resembles a Pterodactyl (fossil remains of Sandhill Crane-like birds do, in fact, date to almost dinosaur time), inhabit most parts of North America. Some populations of Sandhill Crane, including Florida and Mississippi Sandhill Crane, are threatened, and the birds are protected. However, overall the species is growing in numbers and expanding in range, and Sandhill Crane hunting seasons exist in most states and territories across the Central Flyway, from Saskatchewan to Texas.
Sandhill Crane hunt prices usually start at $250 a hunter a day. That doesn’t typically include lodging, only guiding and the use of the decoys, blinds, retrievers and other necessities. The price is often quoted for a team of 5-6 hunters, and as long as you can trust your buddies to sit quiet and shoot straight, teaming up can make your hunt both more successful and more affordable.
Learn more from our blog story
“Numbers decimated by uncontrolled hunting” is a phrase you often meet in descriptions of many species. This sounds plausible, but doesn’t always stand experimental testing. We’re talking about situations when you want hunters to dramatically reduce the population of a species – but no matter how they try, they can’t. Light Geese Special Conservation Order is one such story.8 Feb 2018 White Alert: Light Geese Hunting in North America
When to hunt Sandhill Crane?
Unlike Snow Geese, Sandhill Crane are harvested only during the fall and winter hunting seasons, which depending on the state or territory may run from September to February. The best period for hunting depends on where the hunt takes place; contact your outfitter trough the BookYourHunt.com chat system for first-hand data. But if you insist on a specific “best” month, think Thanksgiving: early October in Canada, late November on Texan wintering grounds, and everywhere in between.
Sandhill Crane hunting, like most waterfowl hunting, is based on the birds’ feeding and resting in different habitat. You can pass-shoot them on the way from roost to feed and back, or – by far the preferred method – set up a blind and a few decoys on the field the birds feed on. Sandhill Cranes can adapt to a wider variety of habitats than even ducks and geese, making scouting essential. In fact, few hunters can hunt Sandhill Cranes successfully in an unfamiliar area without a good locally-competent guide. Avoid the biggest shot sizes, and hold well forward to get an instant killing shot at the neck. A wounded Sandhill Crane should be approached with care: it uses its long sharp beak and claws on the legs expertly to go on the dog’s, or the hunter’s, eyes and stomach.
Why hunt Sandhill Crane?
Habitat destruction and unlimited hunting once decimated Sandhill Crane numbers across North America. Now, owing in no small part to hunter-funded conservation programs, most populations made a spectacular recovery, and are in fact so abundant that they pose a perceived threat to agriculture. Hunting tourism boosts local economies, makes farmers much more tolerant to the presence of birds, and so works towards their preservation, even than a few birds get shot. That will take some doing, though: Sandhill Crane is a cautious and vary bird, which is not at all easy to fool into coming in range. The hunters who succeed at it will be rewarded with some delicious, organic meat, which is said to taste like pork chops.
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