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akaspecials

Archery Sandhill Crane Questions

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I was drawn for the archery sandhill crane hunt. Although I consider myself a bird hunter, I’ve never hunted sandhill crane, and I've never hunted birds with a bow. A few questions:.

  • Any suggestions on how to hunt them? Decoys? Spot and stalk? Fields? Tanks?
  • Where the do you aim for archery? Everything I’ve read says take a head shot using #2 lead because their feathers act like body armor. Will an arrow easily get deflected by their feathers?  
  • Anyone on CWT kill one with a bow? I would like to hear the story.
  • Anyone on CWT have one of the other archery tags? 

I’ve gone through a lot of the old CWT archives and google searches and can find almost zero information on archery crane hunting. Any other suggestions or advice are welcome.  TIA. 

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They have archery crane tags?!?  Whoa.  That’s tough.  They’re tough to get to commit to decoys unless you have really good ones (deceptions or stuffers). My only thought would be decoys and letting one land.  They should die about like a turkey with a bow although they are considerably smaller then a tom turkey.  I use 3” 2 or 3 shot steel for them up in ND.  Never shot at one with a bow though.  You almost certainly can’t sneak up on them from what I’ve found, even to shotgun range so your best bet would be landing them in a field around you in a double bull or something and taking a standing shot.  Maybe pass shooting with flu glue but they would have to be low in order to pull that off.  

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I highly recommend you contact a Josh who has a local Sandhill crane guide service "Fur2feathersaz".  

Josh (Crane Guide)
Mobile (520) 275-9246

 


 

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I had the archery crane hunt last year. I sat over decoys. It was a fun hunt but very frustrating. The birds would fly right over the decoys but not alot would land. If it was a shotgun hunt it would have been over in 15 minutes. I only got 1 shoot and i hit the crane on the far right side of his body, the crane was looking right at me when I shoot. It sounded like a solid hit and there were feathers everywhere. To my surprise the crane flew away like nothing happened.They are big birds but there body's are very narrow. The guy I was hunting with also hit a bird and it did the same thing that my crane did. The best part of the hunt for me was I took my 4 year old son with me and he loved hearing and watching thousands of cranes fly over each morning

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wow that would be cool, killed a few quail on the ground with the 3-4" wire heads and its hard as heck. I did kill one quail flying but in all honesty When I released the arrow it started running and I was way off. it started to fly the arrow hit ground and knocked bird out of the air that was with a rubber thumper. I impressed the heck out of my oldest daughter and a friend we were hunting with they just saw the quail fly get hit and drop. ;)

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On 7/16/2019 at 12:06 PM, akaspecials said:

I was drawn for the archery sandhill crane hunt. Although I consider myself a bird hunter, I’ve never hunted sandhill crane, and I've never hunted birds with a bow. A few questions:.

  • Any suggestions on how to hunt them? Decoys? Spot and stalk? Fields? Tanks?
  • Where the do you aim for archery? Everything I’ve read says take a head shot using #2 lead because their feathers act like body armor. Will an arrow easily get deflected by their feathers?  
  • Anyone on CWT kill one with a bow? I would like to hear the story.
  • Anyone on CWT have one of the other archery tags? 

I’ve gone through a lot of the old CWT archives and google searches and can find almost zero information on archery crane hunting. Any other suggestions or advice are welcome.  TIA. 

Do you really think their feathers would deflect an arrow?

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31 minutes ago, wish2hunt said:

Do you really think their feathers would deflect an arrow?

I've never handled a crane, but I would assume that their body makes a slight wedge shape, especially if you're taking a frontal shot.  If not dead center on that wedge shape, that could possibly deflect an arrow in combination with their feathers.  I keep hearing stories about #2 lead body shots not knocking the birds down. That makes me think their feathers are fairly dense. I don't know for sure. That's why I'm asking. I've seen more than one deflection when the arrow does not go in at a 90 degree angle for whatever reason. 

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1 hour ago, akaspecials said:

I've never handled a crane, but I would assume that their body makes a slight wedge shape, especially if you're taking a frontal shot.  If not dead center on that wedge shape, that could possibly deflect an arrow in combination with their feathers.  I keep hearing stories about #2 lead body shots not knocking the birds down. That makes me think their feathers are fairly dense. I don't know for sure. That's why I'm asking. I've seen more than one deflection when the arrow does not go in at a 90 degree angle for whatever reason. 

Hopefully people weren’t actually using lead #2’s as that’s been outlawed for 30 years.  I cranes have a pretty good amount of fluff, they’re feathers don’t wrap up on pellets near as much as a goose though.  My guess is they just hit feathers only and though it was deflected.  Any arrow that hits meat or bone on a crane is gonna bring it down.  They are probably the easiest waterfowl to bring down pound for pound.  

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23 minutes ago, yotebuster said:

Hopefully people weren’t actually using lead #2’s as that’s been outlawed for 30 years.  I cranes have a pretty good amount of fluff, they’re feathers don’t wrap up on pellets near as much as a goose though.  My guess is they just hit feathers only and though it was deflected.  Any arrow that hits meat or bone on a crane is gonna bring it down.  They are probably the easiest waterfowl to bring down pound for pound.  

Can you provide the regulation that outlaws lead for them? I've attached the legal method of take from the regs and it says nothing about non toxic shot. 

 

My understanding is that sandhills can be shot with lead, assuming they are not in an area that specifically prohibits it, such as a wildlife refuge or wildlife management area. This is because a lot of the hunting is done over fields, instead of water where the lead doesn't have the same negative effects. Someone please correct me if I am wrong. I'm NOT a wildlife biologist or expert on game laws. 

Capture.PNG

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I killed one back in 2007 with my bow.  I knew of a tank that the birds would go to for the day. This greater landed across the tank at 48 yards.   I believe I was using 100 grain thunder heads at the time. 

BB9B72DB-2532-4856-AE4C-23125D4CB2A8.jpeg

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1 hour ago, akaspecials said:

Can you provide the regulation that outlaws lead for them? I've attached the legal method of take from the regs and it says nothing about non toxic shot. 

 

My understanding is that sandhills can be shot with lead, assuming they are not in an area that specifically prohibits it, such as a wildlife refuge or wildlife management area. This is because a lot of the hunting is done over fields, instead of water where the lead doesn't have the same negative effects. Someone please correct me if I am wrong. I'm NOT a wildlife biologist or expert on game laws. 

Capture.PNG

You are correct!!!  I’m eating my words.  I’ve shot hundreds of them in several different states and provinces and from what I can see AZ is a loophole if you will to not require non toxic shot.  They don’t fall under federal regs for non toxic shot, but do for baiting, magazine capacity etc.  Most states and provinces have state laws I guess on the non toxic deal.  Weird.  You could rip them up with 3” #4 lead!!!    

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1 hour ago, akaspecials said:

Can you provide the regulation that outlaws lead for them? I've attached the legal method of take from the regs and it says nothing about non toxic shot. 

 

My understanding is that sandhills can be shot with lead, assuming they are not in an area that specifically prohibits it, such as a wildlife refuge or wildlife management area. This is because a lot of the hunting is done over fields, instead of water where the lead doesn't have the same negative effects. Someone please correct me if I am wrong. I'm NOT a wildlife biologist or expert on game laws. 

Capture.PNG

You are correct. They are regulated as a migratory bird species such as doves, bandtail pigeons, etc., not like waterfowl. So you can use lead wherever it is permitted for other feathered critters that don't swim. Also note that no federal duck stamp is needed. 

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This is a real old poor quality scan of a 35mm slide.

Northwest Territories on a caribou hunt. There were literally thousands flying over everyday on their way south. Many would land on nearby tundra to  feed and spend the night. 

119255031_Sandhillsun1opt1.jpg.f7f081f22b26851531315be54dc3e02c.jpg

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