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Old 12-15-2021, 08:14 PM   #1
keystone
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Default Sand hill crane hunt January 2,3- can't wait !!

Going with Aviant skies , never been and looking forward to it . Anyone have any pros cons for me ? Thanks
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Old 12-15-2021, 08:18 PM   #2
lmartin5
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Good luck!


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Old 12-15-2021, 08:21 PM   #3
Greenheadless
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Just go and have fun.


And, don’t walk up on a wounded crane without a shotgun in hand.
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Old 12-15-2021, 08:40 PM   #4
speck1
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Panhandle? Take warm clothes for sure. If they are decoying them in most shots will be pretty close. 12 gauge lead 4ís are all you need. I shoot 6ís a lot of the time. Lead works much better than steel just make sure you donít shoot any ducks or geese. Pass shooting is fun but you waste a lot of shells. 3 inch 4ís pretty much a must for pass shooting. Itís a blast.
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Old 12-15-2021, 08:40 PM   #5
diamond10x
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Go and have fun it’s a blast. Like said above, do not walk up on one without a shotgun.

Also if hunting in an A-frame don’t be that guy moving his head and shoulders all around trying to watch the birds when they’re straight over head, they’ll pick you off real quick and flare.

I like 3.5” BB and BBB, puts them down. Some will say that’s ridiculous and too much but I like dead birds and not have to worry about injured dogs.

Last edited by diamond10x; 12-15-2021 at 08:42 PM.
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Old 12-15-2021, 08:43 PM   #6
kruppa24
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I’ve never eaten one but have heard they are great.
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Old 12-15-2021, 08:44 PM   #7
3ChordTruth
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Quote:
Originally Posted by keystone View Post
Going with Aviant skies , never been and looking forward to it . Anyone have any pros cons for me ? Thanks
Would for sure like to do this kind of hunt, good luck.
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Old 12-15-2021, 08:48 PM   #8
DRT
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Iíve never eaten one but have heard they are great.
I have, they're not.

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Old 12-15-2021, 08:49 PM   #9
Burwabit
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I usually bring more bullet than needed. Suckers are hard to bring down. Leave no doubt.

I tend to prefer the layout style over ground blinds. Usually ground blinds are crowded and everyone tends to just blast as fast as possible. You can spread out a little better when you're laid out with decoys.

Yes, it's cold in my part of the world. Southwest/West of Lubbock are huge flocks... Brownfield, Levelland, Littlefield. Good times.
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Old 12-15-2021, 08:51 PM   #10
Burwabit
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I have, they're not.

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Disagree. My picky kids thought they were eating steak and I didn't tell them any different.

Pan fry in cast iron is best way. Chicken fried not bad either.
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Old 12-15-2021, 08:52 PM   #11
kruppa24
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I have, they're not.

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So there not the Ribeye in the sky lol
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Old 12-15-2021, 08:52 PM   #12
Greenheadless
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kruppa24 View Post
I’ve never eaten one but have heard they are great.
You will hear rib-eye of the sky. I call them sirloin of the sky.

If comparing to a ribeye, they suck. But what does compare to a good ribeye?

If comparing them to all other ducks, geese, etc., they are awesome! Like all wild game, cook them rare to med rare. I like them. Will even keep the thighs and legs to make crane and dumpling’s.

People mistake shooting at them like you would other birds. Don’t. Picture their heads as dove and put 100% focus on killing that dove.

I hunt them with a 28ga most of the time and sometimes a .410. Usually shoot #4 or #6 lead.

Last edited by Greenheadless; 12-15-2021 at 08:56 PM.
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Old 12-15-2021, 08:55 PM   #13
Shane
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We shot a few Sunday morning. Saw TONS of them, but they kept flaring just before getting into range. Those flat silhouette decoys look great from a distance, but as soon as the birds get overhead all they see are skinny cardboard cutouts. If 3D decoys weren't so expensive, it'd be a lot better.
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Old 12-15-2021, 08:57 PM   #14
Shane
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And they don't taste like ribeye. They're not full of juicy marbling and fat. They're lean like venison. They're venison in the sky. Tastes more like deer than anything else. Similar to axis, but slightly stronger flavor. Very good. Cut the breast into strips and cook it seasoned and sauteed in butter in a cast iron skillet until medium rare. It's GREAT. Chicken fried is too.

The thighs are good, but really tough. Breast is tender. Drumsticks are filled with hard tendons. Just keep the breasts.

Last edited by Shane; 12-15-2021 at 09:05 PM.
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Old 12-15-2021, 08:58 PM   #15
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Their is a reason they are called the (Rib-Eye in the Sky). For years we never hunted them on our farm. We never new how to cook them correctly. A close coon-*** friend corrected that problem, and now it is game on. Hell, I have had high quality beef ruined by folks that don't know how to cook steaks.
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Old 12-15-2021, 09:06 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shane View Post
We shot a few Sunday morning. Saw TONS of them, but they kept flaring just before getting into range. Those flat silhouette decoys look great from a distance, but as soon as the birds get overhead all they see are skinny cardboard cutouts. If 3D decoys weren't so expensive, it'd be a lot better.

Divebomb makes some windsock crane decoys priced right look way better than the silhouettes
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Old 12-15-2021, 09:08 PM   #17
Shane
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Saltaholic View Post
Divebomb makes some windsock crane decoys priced right look way better than the silhouettes
We had a few of those in the spread. Needed a lot more.

Last edited by Shane; 12-15-2021 at 09:10 PM.
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Old 12-15-2021, 09:09 PM   #18
Greenheadless
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Saltaholic View Post
Divebomb makes some windsock crane decoys priced right look way better than the silhouettes
We use Silosock’s and they tend to work well except for in howling winds. I will have to look into the one you mentioned.
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Old 12-15-2021, 09:15 PM   #19
DRT
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The flavor beats duck or goose but is nowhere near a ribeye or even a shoulder chuck.
We have quite a few around our place and get a crack at them now and then. They are big birds.

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Old 12-15-2021, 09:15 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Greenheadless View Post
Just go and have fun.


And, donít walk up on a wounded crane without a shotgun in hand.
When we hunted cranes in Canada, our guide, Twitch, ran out there to get the birds. One stood up and faced off with him. He round house kicked that crane in the neck just like Chuck Norris would a Vietnamese Commie. It was a great laugh. Killed it dead.
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Old 12-15-2021, 09:17 PM   #21
unclefish
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We shot a bunch Thanksgiving weekend. Great lean meat....rare to medium rare is best. Tastes like sirloin to me.

Our guide carried a 9 iron with him to take care of cripples. He does not take his dog with him on crane hunts.
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Old 12-15-2021, 09:19 PM   #22
DapperDan
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Hardest bird Iíve ever tried to take down. Like said above, they are tough. Weíve shot them with 3Ē buckshot and had them fly 500 yards before dropping. And we hit them at 30. If itís windy they can get some distance quick with those giant wing spans. These would get attributed and then lock their wings out and glide until they fell. Was the craziest thing Iíve ever seen bird hunting. As far as fun, itís a blast. It really is under rated in my opinion. Iíve done it once and canít wait to do it again.


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Old 12-15-2021, 09:42 PM   #23
asu-indian
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1. Get out of the way when you knock one down. 2. They are nothing like a ribeye. 3. Like an old Cajun done told me one day “you gotta cook da goose til da goose give up”.
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Old 12-16-2021, 04:56 AM   #24
hully1029
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When you're in the blind, be still. Keep your head down and dont even look up until the guide says to.

Their eyes are as good as any raptor or turkey. You get caught trying to move around the blind to get a better look, they're going to bust and flare off.

Easy bird to shoot, when they do it right. Literally feet from the blind, slow to react, slow to lift off. We shot them with federal sea duck loads (3" 4-6 duplex) and it was money.

Dont expect a texas roadhouse ribeye when you cook one. They're absolutely good, but not a ribeye by any means.

Good luck and have fun!

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Old 12-16-2021, 04:58 AM   #25
hully1029
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Quote:
Originally Posted by unclefish View Post
We shot a bunch Thanksgiving weekend. Great lean meat....rare to medium rare is best. Tastes like sirloin to me.

Our guide carried a 9 iron with him to take care of cripples. He does not take his dog with him on crane hunts.
Our guide used a softball bat. He buys a new one every year.. haha.

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Old 12-16-2021, 05:39 AM   #26
Quackerbox
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Greenheadless View Post
You will hear rib-eye of the sky. I call them sirloin of the sky.

If comparing to a ribeye, they suck. But what does compare to a good ribeye?

If comparing them to all other ducks, geese, etc., they are awesome! Like all wild game, cook them rare to med rare. I like them. Will even keep the thighs and legs to make crane and dumpling’s.

People mistake shooting at them like you would other birds. Don’t. Picture their heads as dove and put 100% focus on killing that dove.

I hunt them with a 28ga most of the time and sometimes a .410. Usually shoot #4 or #6 lead.
all of this

Ive killed them with turkey loads pass shooting but killed them with steel 4s over decoys

heres one getting crushed with 2 3/4 steel 4s over decoys

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Old 12-16-2021, 07:57 AM   #27
eradicator
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DRT View Post
I have, they're not.

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Crane breasts cooked rare to medium rare is great table fare.
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Old 12-16-2021, 08:00 AM   #28
eradicator
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shane View Post
And they don't taste like ribeye. They're not full of juicy marbling and fat. They're lean like venison. They're venison in the sky. Tastes more like deer than anything else. Similar to axis, but slightly stronger flavor. Very good. Cut the breast into strips and cook it seasoned and sauteed in butter in a cast iron skillet until medium rare. It's GREAT. Chicken fried is too.

The thighs are good, but really tough. Breast is tender. Drumsticks are filled with hard tendons. Just keep the breasts.
We cook the legs in crockpot until all of the tendons/bones let loose. Shredded crane tacos are wonderful. Season however you like
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Old 12-16-2021, 08:05 AM   #29
CEO
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We tried booking a hunt this season but waited too long I guess. Try again next year.

Quote:
Originally Posted by RockTippedStick View Post
When we hunted cranes in Canada, our guide, Twitch, ran out there to get the birds. One stood up and faced off with him. He round house kicked that crane in the neck just like Chuck Norris would a Vietnamese Commie. It was a great laugh. Killed it dead.
Note to self; tip Twitch well so as not to end up like the crane.
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Old 12-16-2021, 08:17 AM   #30
Mr. Stickers
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Friend of mine that guided hunts for 20 yrs turned me onto Sandhill Crane meat. He slices breast into strips puts in a ziplock with a large can of pickled jalapenos juice & all...& a bottle of hidden valley ranch throw it in the fridge for a couple days then over mesquite coals till med rare.... DATS MONEY !!!!
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Old 12-16-2021, 08:45 AM   #31
speck1
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With the right guide,decoys and dog itís one of the easiest hunts you will ever do. The guide we used for years had a trailer full of real crane mounts that he used as decoys. His dog would run down every cripple and bring them back to the blind. We probably averaged 6 man limits in 20 minutes. If your guide can get them in close you are best off using 4 and 6 lead. Shooting BB at close range actually makes it harder. Pic of his crane mount decoys.



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Old 12-16-2021, 08:49 AM   #32
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Originally Posted by eradicator View Post
We cook the legs in crockpot until all of the tendons/bones let loose. Shredded crane tacos are wonderful. Season however you like
We would BBQ the thighs! Those were my favorite part. I had some crane windsocks but we never used them much. Killed all ours over a dark goose spread. I miss those days.
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Old 12-16-2021, 09:05 AM   #33
gonzaleziam
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shane View Post
We had a few of those in the spread. Needed a lot more.
I took some turkey decoys and painted them grey and red on top of head. Come to decoys every time.
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Old 12-16-2021, 02:18 PM   #34
TWarren
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Quote:
Originally Posted by speck1 View Post
With the right guide,decoys and dog itís one of the easiest hunts you will ever do. The guide we used for years had a trailer full of real crane mounts that he used as decoys. His dog would run down every cripple and bring them back to the blind. We probably averaged 6 man limits in 20 minutes. If your guide can get them in close you are best off using 4 and 6 lead. Shooting BB at close range actually makes it harder. Pic of his crane mount decoys.



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Was that with Mark who owned Panhandle's Best?
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Old 12-16-2021, 02:21 PM   #35
Shane
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Quote:
Originally Posted by speck1 View Post
With the right guide,decoys and dog itís one of the easiest hunts you will ever do. The guide we used for years had a trailer full of real crane mounts that he used as decoys. His dog would run down every cripple and bring them back to the blind. We probably averaged 6 man limits in 20 minutes. If your guide can get them in close you are best off using 4 and 6 lead. Shooting BB at close range actually makes it harder. Pic of his crane mount decoys.



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Those decoys are awesome.

Quote:
Originally Posted by gonzaleziam View Post
I took some turkey decoys and painted them grey and red on top of head. Come to decoys every time.
I thought about buying some pink flamingos cheap and painting or flocking them to look like cranes.
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Old 12-16-2021, 02:26 PM   #36
npe001
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I would take lead shot. They are awesome to hunt, you will have a great time.
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Old 12-16-2021, 02:28 PM   #37
BobbyJoe
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Theyíre fantastic table fare, donít let anyone try to tell you differently. Like someone else said... they taste most close to a good sirloin, just donít overlook them.

This is from Monday nights dinner... we shot 55 of them this past weekend up near Lubbock. It was so easy itís almost boring
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