Sandhill Crane Hunts

Discussion in 'South Dakota Flyway Forum' started by Matt Robinson, Mar 20, 2017.

  1. Matt Robinson

    Matt Robinson New Member

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    Anyone having any luck on cranes? We're looking into heading up to South Dakota for a hunt but having a heck of a time finding anyone that hunts them.
     
  2. Juvie Juke Box

    Juvie Juke Box Senior Refuge Member Sponsor

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    They rarely stop long enough in the state to get a chance at them. You have to be west of 281 to hunt them. You're best bet for trying to decoy cranes would be Canada, possibly North Dakota then Texas/Oklahoma.
     
  3. Matt Robinson

    Matt Robinson New Member

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    Is it pretty much just a season up there in-case some land in your goose spread you can shoot them?
     
  4. Juvie Juke Box

    Juvie Juke Box Senior Refuge Member Sponsor

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    I'm sure if you aggressively attempted to hunt them you may run into them on the ground long enough to have a hunt. A few times west river during duck season I've seen them stick around for a few days.
     
  5. jpallen

    jpallen Elite Refuge Member

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    I don't one person that has set up specifically for cranes in SD and I only know a handful of people that have even ever shot one in SD. They migrate thru the central portion of the state and rarely stop for more than 24hrs.
     
  6. tornadochaser

    tornadochaser Elite Refuge Member

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    A sleeper state to hunt cranes is MN. Not very many guys target them but they do tend to get into predictable feeding patterns. Much more so than when they come through SD.
     
  7. nebgoosehunter

    nebgoosehunter Senior Refuge Member

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    I wish we even had the chance to hunt them in Nebraska. Tourism and whoopers are the main reason why not but if that is the deal then close a certain stretch of the Platte and open it statewide. There were several times while going to school up at Chadron State that I could have shot some in the duck spread. They would even stay for two or three days if the weather was nice.
     
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  8. Matt Robinson

    Matt Robinson New Member

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    I completly agree, I have been told that since something like 75-80% of the population passes through Nebraska is why we won't open a season, and I agree that the Tourism $$ is a big reason also.
     
  9. Dean Nelson

    Dean Nelson Moderator Goose Hunting/North Dakota Moderator

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    It's a sleeper because it's only had a season for a couple years now. With a daily limit of one and possession limit of three it's hardly worth it.

    Thing with cranes is they tend to come down super late now days. Used to be they would start rolling into ND the last week of August and would peak in September. Now days they don't show up in my area till mid to late October and peak in November along with the snows and little Canada. Must say they are by far my favorite bird to hunt especially if you can get them to decoy which is normally insanely difficult. Most guys just wait for the first flight to come off and then get under their flyway since they tend to all track the same way and generally fairly low. They are pretty easy to bring down due to them being built like a big *** pheasant with no down or fat layer and like Canada they come in a few different sizes with most being either the little guys or midsized type and the Giants being the lightest in color and distinctly larger then the other two. Nice thing is you can normally pop a swan in the same areas as the cranes are since they favor the same marshes.
     
  10. Juvie Juke Box

    Juvie Juke Box Senior Refuge Member Sponsor

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    We worked some huge groups down to about 20-30 yards this past weekend snow goose hunting. First time I've actually had cranes work a spread in the spring. Watching them big things maple leaf and get vertical like a snow was awesome to watch. Them big legs hanging down looks goofy as hell. Decoying them is on my bucket list for sure. Could of tried the last time we were in Canada but hard to get motivated to chase cranes when snow goose hunting was lights out.
     

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