Why has Sandhill Crane Hunting gotten so popular? First off, the word is out that they are one incredible eating bird that shames anything that comes from the sky. The hunt has defiantly changed from fence post pass shooting to a calling and decoy chess game.
If you think turkeys have a pretty good game, these guys are the next level. Eyes like nothing else and a sixth sense for grass blades being out of place, they are the next level bird.
Top two Sandhill Crane Hunting Tips:
Learn to call.
Like most hunting, there is a communication component and Sandhills are no different. They have probably close to 50 different sounds and some I don’t think could be replicated, but if you can perfect 3 or 4 your odds just went up by at least 70%.
Decoys and the spread
If you can buy the good ones, do it.
Hunting Sandhills is all about the details and trust me they look for the details a thousand times a second. Although every once in a while you’ll get lucky in lowlight with low-quality decoys, we suggest spending a little more and sacrifice the volume if you have to get the quality.
You can set the spread like hunting Canada’s with the wind to your back, but you are running the risk of them picking you out. Very rarely do we position the blinds in the decoys. We do our best to use natural cover or even for the x to use natural cover. If there is zero cover, we will create natural cover by hauling in cover bit by bit so they get used to the cover in the field before we hunt. We want limits and zero flares, to us that is the win.
Crane like to slip just how a fixed-wing tail dragger stunt plane can do. Often they slip to drop altitude quickly or skim the spread at high speed.
My favorite deathtrap is setting the spread perpendicular to the wind and having the flow through runways as a cross-shot for the shooters, plus having your standard V landing area.
Cranes like options.