Last year when we were heading back home from south Texas we noticed a lot of sandhill cranes along the highway in the panhandle area. At that time we commented on how cool it might be to hunt birds as big as some of the animals we chase. After getting home as usual I started looking for a new place to hunt hogs and maybe a deer hunt for the next year in Texas. We have gone for hogs twice now but have never been really satisfied with the service received on these ranches.
Anyway a couple of months after I gambled again and set up a deer hunt in the panhandle I remembered the cranes we had seen and started searching the net. Two days later we were booked about 40 miles south of Amarillo for our first crane hunt on 12/2/2010.
We arrived in Texas the night before after a 10 hour drive in anticipation of the next morning. We met the outfitter at his house at 5:30 and helped hook up his trailer and explained to him we had never really bird hunted before. He just laughed and said not to worry as he would bring them in so close we couldn't miss.
After we got to the area it took about 30 minutes to get all the full body fully feathered mounted cranes and blind set up. Must have been about 75 of them. We could hear the cranes calling in the distance before the sun was fully up and what a sight as they started flying. Big flocks everywhere. Although the guide did call once in awhile it was not needed as flocks would come swooping in to check out the spread. And he was right about the shooting as most shots were about 20 yards as they flared to land.
The limit is 3 apiece and we were only there about 2 and a half hours to get our limit and pick everything up again. We were also able to harvest 2 lesser Canada geese and 1 snow goose as they flew over for a look. We had no goose decoys out or we could have done much better on these also.
This was a great 1/2 day hunt to add to our deer hunt the next day. I was planning to do it again next year but messed up by booking another deer hunt in November instead of December like this year so the season will not be open yet when we get there.
Still thinking about going back in December though and booking a full day of cranes and geese or pheasant. For our first bird hunt it has definitely gotten us craving more.