Caribou Gear Tarp

Sandhill crane, worth the time and investment?

Coyotes-R-Us

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Sep 6, 2014
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I'm planning on putting in for a permit Mt someplace for crane.
The areas are a LONG ways from the homestead , sizable investment. Deer Lodge, Ovando, Dillon, Broadwater Co, Golden valley.

The question in my mind is would it be worth the $$$. 200 miles one way then flop around looking for some place to hunt. I have never hunted any of the crane areas.
It would be cool to shoot one but the cost and time...
Talk me in to it please I have to have the app in very soon.
Thanks :hump:

 

ERSS

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Jan 23, 2008
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Eastern Idaho
I would like to shoot a few around our place just to shut them up, their "call" is obnoxious at best. No way would it be worth it to me. Can't see it as a quality hunt, wouldn't want to eat one either.
 

NoWiser

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Feb 12, 2013
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Minnesota
Supposed to be the best eating bird there is. Here in MN I'd have to drive about the same distance to legally hunt them. Between knowing nothing about them and not having anyplace to hunt ahead of time, my chances of success would be slim to none. Someday I'll give it a shot. Until then, I'll just pretend to shoot them when they are sailing overhead, croaking away. I've heard it's like dropping a lawn chair out of the sky when you get one.
 

Cm7727

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Oct 19, 2014
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TX
They are fantastic eating birds. Either pounded out and chicken fried, or cut the breasts into cubes and make toothpick kabobs with chunk pineapple and sliced water chestnuts. Soak the kabobs in soy sauce and pineapple juice for an hour or so and grill them up!
 

jvanderlinde

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Jun 13, 2012
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Mayer, MN
They are kinda hard to hunt, either try to decoy or find a feed and roost and pass shoot them. Ive shot a few and there sure good to eat.
 

Wally Dog

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Jun 26, 2002
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Boise,Idaho
I have 3 full body decoys and had great success decoying in SE ID. They look like a lawn chair when they are falling! They eat very well.
 

Rat Fink

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Aug 17, 2010
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Helena, MT
My experience was very different. I shot one on a Broadwater County Permit. The hunt itself was pretty easy on the Canyon Ferry WMA. It was fun and interesting to get one, but mine tasted TERRIBLE. To the point that I won't even bother with another permit and I can be down there to shoot one in about 25 minutes from my house. Definitely not worth traveling 200 miles for IMO.
 

glass eye

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Sep 3, 2012
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El Centro, CA
Travelling to hunt is always worth the time and money regardless of the game being pursued. To me it's all an adventure. I shot my Sandhills in SE Arizona, about a 7 hour drive each way.
I've travelled to NZ for waterfowl and Adak Alaska, closer to Siberia than it is to Anchorage. Always worth it. Always DIY

Go for it
 

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NKQualtieri

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Bozeman, MT
Personally, I think every adventure is worth it, if we're comparing it to sitting at home. I'd rather go broke on the road than pile up the money while watching Netflix in my bed.

Also, I've had sandhill, and it's phenomenal. They don't call it the ribeye of the sky for nothing, and anyone who says different prob cooks their meat well done. Do. It. Brother. And cook that meat mid-rare at most.
 

Rat Fink

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Helena, MT
I cooked mine med. rare over a bed of hot coals, seasoned with my own proprietary blended steak rub. It tasted like mud and liver, whereas the elk steaks we cooked the exact same way at the exact same time were wonderful. I eat a lot of birds and my Sandhill Crane ranked right up there on the terrible taste scale with Swan. I was severely disappointed because I was expecting "Ribeye of the Sky" but got "Feathered Dog Turd".
 

Nemont

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Oct 22, 2003
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Glasgow, Montana
I have found the cranes to be mediocre table fare at best. I have learned to cook duck and goose with the best of them and cranes have never ever been as good as the "ribeye of the sky" claim. I killed a young one in Sask and it was definately better than the old shoe leather ones I have killed in MT.

Having said all the that they are fun to hunt and rather than not go, I would go and put their meat in the sausage pile and enjoy the hunt.

Nemont
 

stillkickin

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Aug 26, 2009
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Location
Upper Michigan
I shot a few sandhills in ND a few years back, one of my most memorable hunts ever. Both were outstanding on the grill also.......
 

NKQualtieri

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Jun 4, 2015
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Bozeman, MT
I cooked mine med. rare over a bed of hot coals, seasoned with my own proprietary blended steak rub. It tasted like mud and liver, whereas the elk steaks we cooked the exact same way at the exact same time were wonderful. I eat a lot of birds and my Sandhill Crane ranked right up there on the terrible taste scale with Swan. I was severely disappointed because I was expecting "Ribeye of the Sky" but got "Feathered Dog Turd".

Ugh, that sucks. I wonder what the difference was? The one I ate came out of Lubbock, perhaps it's something that they're eating. Where did you get your bird?

And to be fair, elk almost always wins :)
 

Rat Fink

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Ugh, that sucks. I wonder what the difference was? The one I ate came out of Lubbock, perhaps it's something that they're eating. Where did you get your bird?

And to be fair, elk almost always wins :)

Mine came off the Canyon Ferry WMA in Townsend.
 

Cm7727

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Oct 19, 2014
Messages
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Location
TX
Ugh, that sucks. I wonder what the difference was? The one I ate came out of Lubbock, perhaps it's something that they're eating. Where did you get your bird?

And to be fair, elk almost always wins :)

For what it's worth my only experience has come from birds from Lubbock/Leveland a well. Maybe it's the milo they eat around there? Dang good to me medium rare!
 

1_pointer

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Dec 20, 2000
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Indiana
We get 10s of thousands of them in Indiana during the migration and no season on them...
 

1_pointer

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Indiana
I'm hoping that its coming in the future. IIRC both TN and KY have seasons on them now.
 

gwm

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Jan 12, 2013
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25
The few I have shot here in ND tasted great. I ended up passing shooting them as decoying never worked for me. Might have to get after them again this fall.
 

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