The Elusive Yard Crane

awesome pic, again, equipment time and imagination.
There is a place near where I work that attracts hundreds of sandhills every spring and fall as they migrate. They make a funny sound but very destinctive as well.
We shoot them out in North Dakota. We try to target them at least one day every year. About 75% of those hunts we really suck them in good. We filled out one morning in 10 minutes. All over decoys at 25 yds. They are the BEST eating of any fowl we have ever shot.
I have heard they can be hunted in some states (IN isn't one that I am aware of). I have never eaten crane lots and lots of crow, but never crane! May have to add that to the bucket list. I want to try snow geese and a flooded timber duck hunt as well. Most of what I can do in my area is field layouts for canada geese and small ponds for puddle ducks (mallards, woodies and blue-wing teal). I can't call or shoot worth a crap, but I have fun trying! Awesome photo.
Wisconsin talked about creating a season for them, not sure if that went anywhere.
They remind me of broken kites when they fall. You think geese are smart!! These guys are the smartest of them all.
Nothing like fowl'n when the snow is flying! I never said geese where smart! We have found essentially it only takes one dumb one in the group and the rest pay the price! We mainly hunt resident birds early in the season and they are dumb as posts! We have shot more geese over 2 floating decoys on ponds than I ever thought possible. If you are where they want to be it's EASY! When your not - well - that's hard! Crane decoys - why not. They make a decoy for evrything else. By the picture someone isn't feeling the cold based on that expression.
They taste like sirloin similar to geese or what?
Jbird, greenheads in the timber is something every duck hunter should experience. Arkansas has some advantages and that one is up near the top of the list. The sky carp need killin but do yourself a favor and make summer sausage with them
Steve, did y'all make the decoys? What do those cranes eat normally? Have always heard they were great eating but all our cranes are fish eaters so I can't imagine they would be fit to eat. That and they are all protected.
I use the silo sock crane decoys for them. They also come to dark geese spreads. Have shot some over snow goose decoys but not normally. Cranes don't eat fish. They eat snakes, mice, frogs, insects, baby birds(yes that is true) and anything they can catch in the summer. But I have never seen them eat fish. They don't even like water deeper than 2 or 3 inches. In the fall they eat grain just like geese. The meat looks like a huge pheasant when skinned and the color is darker than pheasants and lighter than geese. The population at my house and farm are protected but extreme NW Minnesota is open as well as all of North Dakota. The ones in Minnesota are 8 or 9 pounds but the ones in ND are about 5 to 7. Seen flocks of 5000 in one field out there.
Great picture! We usually have 1 or 2 pairs of sandhill cranes around our farm every year. I have friends that have hunted them in North Dakota and they said they were great eating. People have said it is the filet mignon of the sky but I have yet to try it, no season in our area.

Back when we used to plant silage corn the cranes would wait until it is a couple inches tall and walk down the rows eating the little corn plants. It was amazing how quickly 2 cranes could clear a large area.
Ribeye in the sky!!!!!!!!!
Most of the "sky carp" get turned into jery at my place. I just like hunting them - it is a much more social form of hunting than I have been involved with before - I'm used to sitting alone 20' off the ground. I wish I was better at it and had the resources to travel to experiance it in different ways. I want to try green heads in flooded timber, a snow goose hunt (I like to shoot alot) and canada's from a pit as well - canes have been added to the list as well from a waterfowl perspective. The cranes here seem to feed in the cut corn fields.
Jerky works too :)

Pretty much any other way though takes some extra prep to make them decent for the table.
Mine tasted like cr@p but then I hit it on the bike doing 65 mph. The darn thing exploded, blood & guts everywhere. Darn thing flew up out of a ditch & hit just behind the front wheel.
Tooln - at least yo used "steel" to kill it!
Somewhere between a Bald Eagle and spotted owl.
A local poacher who got nabbed 20 years told the warden interviewing him sandhill tasted like bald eagle. I think he was just trying to be funny, but anything is possible.