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What ammo for Sandhill Cranes? #7252611 08/11/18 10:42 PM
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I hunted sandhill's for the first time last year & had a great time & I'm ready to go back again this year. The way we hunted was setting up a straw blind in an open field & placed out decoys. When they birds got in range the guide said now & we stood up & started shooting. No sky busting going on, the birds were in good range.

On that hunt, the friend that invited me provided the shotgun & the shells. The gun was chambered 3-1/2" & we were shooting steel BB's that he had bought for geese. This year I need to take my own gun & ammo.

My shotgun is a Rem 1100 12ga with 2-3/4" chamber - my dove buster! I have a full choke tube for it. My buddy says that it is not enough gun for sandhill's. Wouldn't 1-1/4oz HiVel shells be enough? What size shot would be best? Isn't it legal to shoot lead shot at SH's in Texas?

Your comments & recommendations are most appreciated.


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Re: What ammo for Sandhill Cranes? [Re: pertnear] #7252658 08/12/18 12:08 AM
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Well I would still shoot BB's if you can find that in 2 3/4 which is dicey. From there man I guess it's 2 3/4 2's. Watch your range and it's still cheaper then a new gun but I have seen some 3.5" Mossbergs on Gunbroker going under 500 or look at a Stoeger.

It is a federally protected migrating bird, lead is not an option.

Last edited by 4Weight; 08/12/18 12:09 AM.

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Re: What ammo for Sandhill Cranes? [Re: pertnear] #7252711 08/12/18 01:05 AM
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It is actually legal to use Lead shot for Cranes. Just cannot shoot geese if they happen to appear. I have never had the opportunity to shoot Geese the same time while Crane hunting so I wouldn’t be too concerned. If you are shooting decoying Cranes I would think 2-3/4” BB would be fine.

Re: What ammo for Sandhill Cranes? [Re: ken starling] #7253032 08/12/18 02:15 PM
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Originally Posted By: ken starling
It is actually legal to use Lead shot for Cranes. Just cannot shoot geese if they happen to appear. I have never had the opportunity to shoot Geese the same time while Crane hunting so I wouldn’t be too concerned. If you are shooting decoying Cranes I would think 2-3/4” BB would be fine.


Thanks for the lead info. I did not know that but did confirm. Non-toxic has to be used on Federal Wildlife Refuges though.


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Re: What ammo for Sandhill Cranes? [Re: pertnear] #7253144 08/12/18 04:32 PM
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3 inch heavy shot dead coyote will knock em stone cold Steve Austin at 60 yards
On my first shot I used defense rubber bullets loads, just to pizz em off

Last edited by beaversnipe; 08/12/18 04:34 PM.
Re: What ammo for Sandhill Cranes? [Re: pertnear] #7253191 08/12/18 05:42 PM
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Remington Nitro Mags, 2 3/4", #4

Re: What ammo for Sandhill Cranes? [Re: duckhunter888] #7253267 08/12/18 07:24 PM
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I’ve hunted them several times and have always shot #4 or 6 lead or hevishot turkey loads. If they will kill turkeys at 50+ they will do the same to cranes. Last hunt I shot my .410 with #6 lead. Guide doubted me so he made me shoot solo on the first pair. 2 in 2 down. Aim head/neck and bazinga, dead craniums.




Re: What ammo for Sandhill Cranes? [Re: pertnear] #7253343 08/12/18 09:26 PM
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If I were limited to 2 3/4 12GA and had to use non tox , I would use #2 - #4 Tungsten or Hevi Shot. Cost would not be a big deal considering you can only take 3 cranes a day and your shooting decoyed birds. If you use the Turkey loads just know they are usually loaded for a slower fps, so on longer shots or pass shooting might require a little more lead than some of the duck/goose loads.

Re: What ammo for Sandhill Cranes? [Re: pertnear] #7253990 08/13/18 02:55 PM
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If I'm crane hunting, especially with smaller shells there's no chance I'm shooting steel. Lead 4's crush cranes. Tight choke and aim for the head/neck.

Re: What ammo for Sandhill Cranes? [Re: pertnear] #7254098 08/13/18 04:36 PM
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Originally Posted By: pertnear
I hunted sandhill's for the first time last year & had a great time & I'm ready to go back again this year. The way we hunted was setting up a straw blind in an open field & placed out decoys. When they birds got in range the guide said now & we stood up & started shooting. No sky busting going on, the birds were in good range.

On that hunt, the friend that invited me provided the shotgun & the shells. The gun was chambered 3-1/2" & we were shooting steel BB's that he had bought for geese. This year I need to take my own gun & ammo.

My shotgun is a Rem 1100 12ga with 2-3/4" chamber - my dove buster! I have a full choke tube for it. My buddy says that it is not enough gun for sandhill's. Wouldn't 1-1/4oz HiVel shells be enough? What size shot would be best? Isn't it legal to shoot lead shot at SH's in Texas?

Your comments & recommendations are most appreciated.


Your buddy doesn't know what he's talking about or needs to learn to shoot better.

Re: What ammo for Sandhill Cranes? [Re: pertnear] #7254121 08/13/18 04:48 PM
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Hunted them a lot in college while going to West Texas A&M. We didn't have any gear or anything so we'd just set up on the tank dams and wait for them to come in to roost for the night and pop em. We mainly used BB, BBB, or #2 and always had pretty good luck knocking em down.


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