Author Topic: Just got back from Texas.... a long drive from Ohio!  (Read 3502 times)

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Offline JOHN T

Just got back from Texas.... a long drive from Ohio!
« on: January 09, 2015, 06:06:17 PM »
Hunted Texas with outfitter, Avian Skies.  They were top notch, pre-scouting all the birds and really putting us on the "X".   We did not have a bad hunt.  Here is a couple of photos of the crane hunts which were phenomenal.



Working Decoys Forum

Just got back from Texas.... a long drive from Ohio!
« on: January 09, 2015, 06:06:17 PM »

Andy H.

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Re: Just got back from Texas.... a long drive from Ohio!
« Reply #1 on: January 09, 2015, 06:46:20 PM »
That's awesome! Are they tasty? I have read good things and bad things about the the meat.

Working Decoys Forum

Re: Just got back from Texas.... a long drive from Ohio!
« Reply #1 on: January 09, 2015, 06:46:20 PM »

Offline benp

Re: Just got back from Texas.... a long drive from Ohio!
« Reply #2 on: January 09, 2015, 07:12:48 PM »
thats so cool and looks like a great trip. definitely on my bucket list to do.
Benjamin Pendleton
NE NC

Offline RickC

Re: Just got back from Texas.... a long drive from Ohio!
« Reply #3 on: January 10, 2015, 04:31:00 AM »
That's awesome! Are they tasty? I have read good things and bad things about the the meat.
We get them here Andy and they are the best eating bird around.
Blessings,
Rick

Offline JOHN T

Re: Just got back from Texas.... a long drive from Ohio!
« Reply #4 on: January 10, 2015, 08:51:16 AM »
I've heard they are called ribeye in the sky ... I'll let you know

Working Decoys Forum

Re: Just got back from Texas.... a long drive from Ohio!
« Reply #4 on: January 10, 2015, 08:51:16 AM »

Offline JOHN T

Re: Just got back from Texas.... a long drive from Ohio!
« Reply #5 on: January 10, 2015, 08:55:50 AM »
Every bay hunt we shot our four man limit of redheads, it was pretty easy with 5000 plus birds in the area.  Really an incredible sight to see!

Offline steve.seedorf

Re: Just got back from Texas.... a long drive from Ohio!
« Reply #6 on: January 10, 2015, 09:03:19 AM »
Congrats on a nice trip!

Rumour of ribeye-in-the-sky is true...

BenP, I definitely recommend chasing them, challenging bird to hunt, and the great table fair is a nice bonus.

I hunted them in '99 w/ Panhandles Best...Over Stuffers, very cool way to hunt a very cool bird..

http://www.panhandlesbest.com/craneman.php

Offline JOHN T

Re: Just got back from Texas.... a long drive from Ohio!
« Reply #7 on: January 10, 2015, 09:08:59 AM »

Offline Dave Speer

Re: Just got back from Texas.... a long drive from Ohio!
« Reply #8 on: January 10, 2015, 11:31:26 AM »
John, on my last bay hunt I was only a couple hundred yards from a gazillion birds... the raft was at least 1.5 miles long... it was cool but I couldn't get birds to look at my decoys, I thought the raft would bust up late afternoon and start flying but they decided that was where the roost was for the night.  Looks like a great trip.

Offline JOHN T

Re: Just got back from Texas.... a long drive from Ohio!
« Reply #9 on: January 10, 2015, 03:03:32 PM »
Dave, I know you might have known I was after a nice drake pintail.  Apparently the flooded fields were full of them two weeks prior to my trip.  And of course, when we were out of the blind adjusting the decoys at about 9 am a flock of nice drake pintails tried to land on top of us.  It figures!!!!

Well maybe next year on the drake pintail!  Shot some nice drake gadwall which we forgot to photograph.  Along with some of these.  I truly fell in love with Texas hunting... you're lucky!





Offline benp

Re: Just got back from Texas.... a long drive from Ohio!
« Reply #10 on: January 10, 2015, 04:21:33 PM »
My friend shot a shoveler yesterday I did not realize just how pretty those birds were, it's in excellent mounting condition and I was looking at all the colors on it and when the light hit the black feathers right before the tail feathers it lit up neon green! I might like that duck more than a wood duck now
Benjamin Pendleton
NE NC

Offline Tom Rowe

Re: Just got back from Texas.... a long drive from Ohio!
« Reply #11 on: January 11, 2015, 04:36:29 PM »
Very nice John.  Those cranes must look like a Grandmas davenport falling out of the sky when you hit em.  And yes I said "davenport" ;D

Offline RLigman

Re: Just got back from Texas.... a long drive from Ohio!
« Reply #12 on: January 11, 2015, 06:18:01 PM »
Congratulations, looks like excellent eating across the board.

There are actually two sub-species of sandhill crane that are legal game. Those look like greaters. We have never been able to do much to make the thighs and drumstick meat edible other than to cold smoke it and grind it up to make it into sausage. The breasts are top notch eating. They are also good smoked with mesquite wood chips.

Did you call birds into the decoys or just pbooty shoot birds working? We modified some short reed calls during our intial crane hunting years in NoDak to call birds in.
« Last Edit: January 12, 2015, 06:39:34 AM by RLigman »

Offline RLigman

Re: Just got back from Texas.... a long drive from Ohio!
« Reply #13 on: January 13, 2015, 08:39:44 AM »
I inventoried the chest freezer yesterday, found two vacuum packed crane breast packages. When I checked my smoking notes I found that I did do some breasts in apple wood as well as mesquite...

Also, in fog and poor visibility situations we have used our dog whistles to mimic the nasally "peep" of juvenile birds to bring cranes into the decoys. One caveat, don't try this when visibility is good. They will make you every time.  I have blown several flocks of birds coasting the last hundred and fifty yards to the decoys when I tried this call to finish them. Crane flocks will routinely work to decoys, but drift right or left just out of range in the last hundred yards. Like geese, as they turn away behind you, hit them with some excited crane "rattle calls" when they start "talking" amongst themselves. Most of the time they will circle and come around again. Just drop your calling cadence to mimic theirs, returning whatever sound they make. As they get tight to the decoys they truncate that loud, long, rattle call to a much shorter clipped version. When you hear that and they are lined-up, life is about to get exciting!

Don't leave dead birds out in the decoys between flocks;they see VERY well...

Hevi shot #2, B, or steel BBB work best. A crippled crane can coast a looong way;satisying to recover them, but not a fun walk back to the decoys wth that much weight slung over your shoulder. Also, don't use a retriever. We routinely have gun barrel fencing matches on the ground with wounded cranes;with two of us getting nailed. Just keep circling them, using your gun barrel to parry any beak thrusts until you can get behind them and step-in to pin the bird.

Sorry about the lengthy post! I Really enjoy crane hunting...!

Offline tom modin

Re: Just got back from Texas.... a long drive from Ohio!
« Reply #14 on: February 04, 2015, 06:57:50 AM »
I prefer to shoot lead when shooting sandhill cranes.
Decoy carving is not a point and click hobby