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My 1st Crane


sdkidaho
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I know it isn't exactly waterfowl but I wasn't sure where else to put this.

 

I talked to a guy I had recently met on Tuesday and he offered to take me Sandhill Crane hunting. I hadn't ever really thought about going for one and so I took him up on the offer and last night after work we went out.

 

We walked for a ways to get to where we needed to be and sat on a small pile of lava rocks and began to wait for the cranes to hopefully fly past us. We watched geese taking off and ducks and then came the first group of cranes. Six or seven I think, but they were flying to far away to think about shooting, and then here came a pair of cranes right for us. He noted to me that they were flying faster than what they appeared to be doing and to lead them a bit. Once they got close enough I gave them a six to eight foot lead and shot.

 

We were barely there five minutes I'll bet and here was a Sandhill Crane crumpling up and plummeting to earth. What an experience. I know they aren't really that easy to hunt but essentially he had done his homework and knew where they would be and where they would be heading and at what time. Props definitely go to him because everything I read the night before told me they weren't an easy bird to get.

 

I hope you guys don't mind a few pictures.

 

Here is the crane, just as it landed:

Crane9-12-2007001.jpg

 

Me and the crane:

Crane9-12-2007003.jpg

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Didn't weigh it or measure the wingspan. I can reach almost six feet, finger tip to finger tip, and so he's probably close to seven feet across. And I thought the red on the head indicated an adult bird as well, but I'm guessing it must be the brown flecks in the feathers that shows it's not quite adult?

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Around here you have to draw for a permit, but apparently they don't get a lot of interest and have permits available after the general draw has taken place. We can two a day for a total of nine of them in a two week season.

 

I keep hearing how good they are to eat so if that turns out to be true I might have to do this agian next year.

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