Sandhill Cranes are the longest living survivors amongst birds, They are also the most thrilling type of waterfowl to hunt. Not all states permit crane hunts. Cranes pose significant challenges and frustrations to the inexperienced hunter.
When walking a line during a bird hunt such as pheasant, quail, chucked, guinea fowl or etc. stay within your line walk at a pace set by the group. The hunter ahead of the line is referred to as a "Field Hog" thinking they will be first to harvest the bird.
Canada geese don't typically nest until they are two to three years old. Juveniles (young geese) begin their migration earlier because they do not have nesting privileges. They are easier to call during hunting season.
Concealment! Concealment! Concealment! Sandhill Cranes have excellent vision and flare the second something doesn’t look right on the ground. Blend into natural setting with face painted and being total camouflaged - head to toe!
Pattern your shotgun prior to turkey hunting. Patterning you shotgun results in shooting at a board or turkey target at 25’ yards and knowing where the majority of your shots are hitting. Success will be within reach!
Sandhill Cranes fly fast and glide long distances. They are heavy bodied and have a dup wing beat like a great Canada Goose or Swan. Lead the the key. I always suggest to give at least a school bus lead to women & 8’ to men hunters.
7 1/2 or 8 shot for dove...at close range, there are so many pellets in shells that you can pulverize your birds. I upsize my pellets for dove - 4s, 5s or 6s. There are still plenty of the larger pellets for a dense pattern and the knock-down pattern is better at longer range.
When I mentor new inexperienced huntresses or youth in the field and/or blind, I explain etiquette is really important and being respectful of others is key to being successful harvesting game. If a bird is closer to opposite end do not shoot over or crisscross a shot of another hunter. It takes only one to ruin the hunt.
Exaggerate your lead: Over shoot like you are going to miss. Most doves cross in front of you. Work at over exaggerating your lead by 6 feet or more, which means your barrel needs to be 6 inches in front of the dove. One inch of barrel movement equals about 1 foot of distance when shooting targets in the air.
Space four or five decoys out and double up a pair or two. Place decoys into the wind. Use spinning-wing dove decoys also to offer an added attraction from a distance (check state laws if moving decoys are legal).
Hand signals are used in the blind and/or field while walking silently or light on your feet is a good thing. Animals have a keen sense of hearing or movement on the ground. Alligators can feel movement five miles away.
Coming in shots at doves require a different sight picture. As a dove descends over decoys or about to land on a fence, power line crop field or trees, let it begin to descend and begin your swing below it. Just as the gun barrel blocks the bird from sight, squeeze the trigger.