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Sandhill Crane (and duck): Hunting the roost #7634485 10/16/19 09:26 PM
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RcostaK Offline OP
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I have a hunting lease about 30 min east of Midland with a 150+ acre pond on it. Each year thousands of sandhill crane and duck roost on the lake when they migrate through west tx. They feed in the surrounding cultivated farmland and roost on the water at night. I have heard mixed things regarding hunting or not hunting the water that waterfowl roost on. Is it ok to hunt the lake frequently? Or if you do hunt birds on their "roost water" will they leave and not return? The crane are what I am mostly concerned about, I have heard if you hunt them on the water they roost on they will never come back, and you have to wait for a new wave of birds to migrate south and settle. Anyone with waterfowl experience have an idea of how to hunt this situation if you were in my shoes? Any do's or dont's are much appreciated.


RcostaK
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Re: Sandhill Crane (and duck): Hunting the roost [Re: RcostaK] #7634542 10/16/19 10:46 PM
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Sniper John Offline
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My experience with hunting roosts is it does relocate the birds short term with only one or two hunts. I don't know about long term as those times have been on public land road trips where I would only be hunting for a couple days to a week and not returning to the area during season or ever. I avoid doing so on permission land, lease, or local public unless it is the last day of season. If you have access to the fields around the area, you might want to pattern the birds the day before and be set up to pass shoot them as they go back to the same field they did the morning before. I hunt then with decoys in Young county when they are passing through from roost across our deer lease property to some far off wheat fields and despite me pass shooting and decoying them they will fly the same general route every morning until they are done with whatever fields they are using. BTW, last week there were Cranes in SW Young county already.

Re: Sandhill Crane (and duck): Hunting the roost [Re: RcostaK] #7634543 10/16/19 10:47 PM
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rickym Online Content
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Don’t hunt the main roost area. On a body of water that big you should be able to get far away enough to shoot and not scare them all off. Hell I’d try shooting them in a nearby pasture a multiple hundred yards away.


Originally Posted by Grizz
Wingshooting is like sex for me - I love doing it but I'm just not that good at it.

Originally Posted by Nogalus Prairie
Good hunting leases are like good bird dogs. You dont have them forever, but they leave wonderful memories.

Re: Sandhill Crane (and duck): Hunting the roost [Re: RcostaK] #7634556 10/16/19 11:00 PM
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Originally Posted by RcostaK
I have a hunting lease about 30 min east of Midland with a 150+ acre pond on it. Each year thousands of sandhill crane and duck roost on the lake when they migrate through west tx. They feed in the surrounding cultivated farmland and roost on the water at night. I have heard mixed things regarding hunting or not hunting the water that waterfowl roost on. Is it ok to hunt the lake frequently? Or if you do hunt birds on their "roost water" will they leave and not return? The crane are what I am mostly concerned about, I have heard if you hunt them on the water they roost on they will never come back, and you have to wait for a new wave of birds to migrate south and settle. Anyone with waterfowl experience have an idea of how to hunt this situation if you were in my shoes? Any do's or dont's are much appreciated.


I'd go door knocking and ask to hunt the farmland.

Other than that, you can probably hunt the roost once or twice, but that's it from what I've been learning.


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Re: Sandhill Crane (and duck): Hunting the roost [Re: RcostaK] #7634605 10/16/19 11:54 PM
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shightower Offline
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Hunt coming off the lake. Don’t hunt right on it, you want them to come off in waves
... hunt with the wind in your face. When they get up they will come your way then go to their food source.

If you do it right and they come off in waves you should have lots of fun. If they come off all at one end that’s fun also, but your hunt is over really fast.

Re: Sandhill Crane (and duck): Hunting the roost [Re: RcostaK] #7635255 10/17/19 06:32 PM
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I agree w/ the Post above about hunting them when they come off of the Roost........But my advice is to take it one step further and let probably half or more leave the roost before you start shooting, that way the birds that get to leave unharmed won't even know that the rest of the Flock or Flocks were even hunted. Just my .02!!!!!!!!!


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Re: Sandhill Crane (and duck): Hunting the roost [Re: RcostaK] #7635673 10/18/19 04:07 AM
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Hunt It.. If it’s only you or a buddy... pre position some Tumble weed blinds on 4 different parts of the water... hunt It in the evenings when it’s either cloudy or there’s no moon.... cranes always come back early when this happens... if you have good decoys then shoot em I’m the face landing into you... if you don’t, pass shoot em at a 90 going into the up side of the water... the more wind there is the better, means they’ll fly lower. You can only kill three, you won’t burn the roost. You paid for the place, hint It.

Re: Sandhill Crane (and duck): Hunting the roost [Re: RcostaK] #7636037 10/18/19 04:13 PM
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Leonardo Offline
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I wouldn't hunt it in the morning, unless setting up off to the side. You can probably get a way with hunting it often if you will hunt the evenings. Assuming you can get in and set up, shoot your birds and the let the rest come to roost. Like mentioned above if you allow most to leave without shooting then they will more than likely come back.

Re: Sandhill Crane (and duck): Hunting the roost [Re: RcostaK] #7636175 10/18/19 07:45 PM
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Originally Posted by RcostaK
I have a hunting lease about 30 min east of Midland with a 150+ acre pond on it. Each year thousands of sandhill crane and duck roost on the lake when they migrate through west tx. They feed in the surrounding cultivated farmland and roost on the water at night. I have heard mixed things regarding hunting or not hunting the water that waterfowl roost on. Is it ok to hunt the lake frequently? Or if you do hunt birds on their "roost water" will they leave and not return? The crane are what I am mostly concerned about, I have heard if you hunt them on the water they roost on they will never come back, and you have to wait for a new wave of birds to migrate south and settle. Anyone with waterfowl experience have an idea of how to hunt this situation if you were in my shoes? Any do's or dont's are much appreciated.


I'm pretty sure I know the salt lake/lakes your talking about, hunted that area for close to 20 years, never hunted the lake area/roost. We would set up on higher ground about a half mile to the east and catch the cranes as they were leaving and coming back to the roost.


Yes! A Weatherby does kill them deader.
Re: Sandhill Crane (and duck): Hunting the roost [Re: Leonardo] #7636181 10/18/19 08:01 PM
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Originally Posted by Leonardo
I wouldn't hunt it in the morning, unless setting up off to the side. You can probably get a way with hunting it often if you will hunt the evenings. Assuming you can get in and set up, shoot your birds and the let the rest come to roost. Like mentioned above if you allow most to leave without shooting then they will more than likely come back.


+1 on this.

It also depends on the weather. If we have a good cold front with north winds 2-3 days it wouldn't be an issue to hunt everyday. If it's like last year where we don't get many fronts, you won't be able to hunt it as often. Those cranes are extremely smart and will not come back after being shot at their roost. They are fairly easy to shoot though, so shoot at your 1-2 groups and get out of there.

Re: Sandhill Crane (and duck): Hunting the roost [Re: Sniper John] #7636220 10/18/19 09:13 PM
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Originally Posted by Sniper John
My experience with hunting roosts is it does relocate the birds short term with only one or two hunts. I don't know about long term as those times have been on public land road trips where I would only be hunting for a couple days to a week and not returning to the area during season or ever. I avoid doing so on permission land, lease, or local public unless it is the last day of season. If you have access to the fields around the area, you might want to pattern the birds the day before and be set up to pass shoot them as they go back to the same field they did the morning before. I hunt then with decoys in Young county when they are passing through from roost across our deer lease property to some far off wheat fields and despite me pass shooting and decoying them they will fly the same general route every morning until they are done with whatever fields they are using. BTW, last week there were Cranes in SW Young county already.
+1


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Re: Sandhill Crane (and duck): Hunting the roost [Re: rickym] #7636231 10/18/19 09:33 PM
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Originally Posted by rickym
Don’t hunt the main roost area. On a body of water that big you should be able to get far away enough to shoot and not scare them all off. Hell I’d try shooting them in a nearby pasture a multiple hundred yards away.

Good advice.


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Re: Sandhill Crane (and duck): Hunting the roost [Re: HWY_MAN] #7636587 10/19/19 02:23 PM
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What Mike said. I hunt in that area north and east of the lakes. Watch which way they leave the water and hunt accordingly with them leaving and coming back to water.



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Re: Sandhill Crane (and duck): Hunting the roost [Re: RcostaK] #7639551 10/23/19 03:09 AM
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Never hunt a roost if you want those birds to stay on roost. And never hunt birds in the evening. As long as you do not hunt directly on roost and quit hunting by 2pm you will have good hunting all year. If you want to get rid of your birds then hunt them in the evening. Many studies have been done and many state and federal properties manage birds to keep them on property all year. Most of these properties do not hunt past noon. You can hunt till dark the last couple days of the season. I guarantee after 3 days of hunting till dark you will not see a bird on your property.

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