Sand Hill Cranes
Ever heard of or hunted sand hill cranes? Good friend, retired Fish and Wildlife endangered species biologist,Ted Kuch
introduced me, in a conversation, to a hunting experience that I have never enjoyed. I had just moved back to Idaho from New Mexico.
One of the coolest hunting opportunities in New Mexico is sand hill cranes. What’s a sand hill cranes? So most folks have seen like great blue herons in wetlands in urban areas. So those great big, tall, grey blue birds, they're very regal looking. Well, sand hill crane is kind of like that. The sandhill cranes don't fold their necks like herons do when they fly.They're just these stately, tall, beautiful, big, meaty, awesome birds with an incredibly guttural call that carries for a long distance the fact I'm living in Garden Valley right now. And every morning we wake up, we hear the sandhill cranes in the pastures calling. Really? Yeah. And they migrate. And, you know, I lived in Albuquerque was the first and only place I've ever lived that birds fly to for the winter. And so I lived in the middle of the city of Albuquerque, next to 160 acres of farm field open space owned by the city of Albuquerque. And we had hundreds of cranes every day, all winter long, right next door to the house…really cool. But in southeastern New Mexico is an opportunity to hunt them. And it's very difficult. They're smart birds, it’s tricky. You'll need decoys, like, say, with snow goose hunting. So you just put out four to six crane decoys in a field, you gotta get permission. They're all private fields, but they want you to hunt them because cranes. They build up enough on one farmer's field. They can do damage to the crops.