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Wisconsin Hunters Battle For Sandhill Crane Season

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April 12, 2012

Wisconsin Hunters Battle For Sandhill Crane Season

By Chad Love

The state of Wisconsin is currently embroiled in a debate over sandhill crane hunting, but according to numbers released by the state department of natural resources, Wisconsin residents overwhelmingly support the idea.

From this story in the Green Bay Press-Gazette:

Outdoor lovers overwhelmingly endorsed the idea of hunting sandhill cranes, according to a tally state wildlife officials released Wednesday. The Wisconsin Conservation Congress asked everyone who attended its annual statewide spring hearings Monday whether they support a sandhill season. Attendees approved the idea by more than a 2-1 margin, according to a count the state Department of Natural Resources released Wednesday afternoon.

The vote promises to give conservative legislators more leverage as they advance legislation authorizing a hunt — and ratchet up an already bitter debate in a state that both prides itself on its hunting culture and serves as home to the International Crane Foundation, one of the world's premier crane conservation organizations.

Thirteen states already have crane seasons, including several that have approved hunts in the past several years in response to growing crane populations. Wisconsin farmers and sportsmen are all for the proposed season, but much like the ever-smoldering mourning dove debate, opponents say there's no good reason to hunt cranes. The arguments for and against are remarkably similar, except one is the "symbol of peace" and the other is a tasty Pterodactyl.

Thoughts? Think Wisconsin will ultimately have its crane season?

Comments (9)

Top Rated
All Comments
from Ontario Honker ... wrote 2 years 1 week ago

The farmers here are trying to get a season on the darn things. About a dozen years ago the first three pairs showed up. Now there are hundreds. And they are quite destructive. The farmers tell me the cranes are much worse than geese. Every hunter I have met who hunts them back in Montana has confirmed that sandhill cranes are excellent eating! Tundra swans on the other hand, not so much. Both were first opened to lottery tags back when I was in high school and that is a VERY long time ago. I believe Utah paved the way then as I recall. In some states I think crane tags can now be purchased over the counter. The big argument againsst expanding the season is that it may endanger recovery efforts for whooping crane. Sadly, yes, there is always going to be a few morons who will shoot a Packard thinking it was a tom turkey. But I believe the whooping crane population is coming along well enough to sustain very few losses due to very rare fatal encounters with complete idiot hunters.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from larson014 wrote 2 years 1 week ago

why does everyone say that the mourning dove is a symbol for peace? i thought it was a white dove like a turtle dove... or am i wrong?

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Walt Smith wrote 2 years 1 week ago

I'd love to try what everyone says is "The Flying Ribeye"!!!!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Equack wrote 2 years 1 week ago

I remember growing up 12 or so years ago, and we saw Sand-hill Cranes, but only on the entrance to Hartman Creek State Park. Now, just last week, we drove up the East shore of Lake Winnebago. We saw them by the 100's. Everywhere you looked. There was one dead on the side of the road. We need a Season soon or I feel the population is going to erupt like the deer population 6 or so years back. Then some sort of disease, like Chronic Wasting Disease in the deer, will take over the population. Not to mention the fact that they are a Pain in the A** for the farmers!

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Hunter_Fass wrote 2 years 6 days ago

I would like to see the crane season happen in Wisconsin. Not only would it bring in more revenue for the state but would also provide proper management for crane which have greatly increased in numbers from where they used to be. I’ve also heard they are quite good on the table as well. I’ve also got to see first-hand some of the crop damage these birds can do, especially during the fall season when these birds start arriving in large numbers.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from philbourjaily wrote 2 years 6 days ago

I have shot a few cranes over homemade silhouettes in North Dakota and on duck hunts in Canada. They are tasty birds on the table. They make a trilling sound you can imitate with your voice, and while they look gray in the air their feathers all are different shades of gray and tan when you see them up close.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from scratchgolf72 wrote 2 years 3 days ago

never even saw one up until about three years ago i saw two on a golf course, now they are everywhere in my part of MI, and holy crap are they annoying. they have such a loud call. i spent last spring turkey season with my ears bleeding because those things were always in the fields and wouldnt shut up!

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from bounty1 wrote 2 years 1 day ago

I'm gonna have my Wisconsin wolf mounted with a Wisconsin sandhill crane in it's mouth '-)

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from bounty1 wrote 2 years 1 day ago

I'm gonna have my Wisconsin wolf mounted with a Wisconsin sandhill crane in it's mouth '-)

0 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment

from Ontario Honker ... wrote 2 years 1 week ago

The farmers here are trying to get a season on the darn things. About a dozen years ago the first three pairs showed up. Now there are hundreds. And they are quite destructive. The farmers tell me the cranes are much worse than geese. Every hunter I have met who hunts them back in Montana has confirmed that sandhill cranes are excellent eating! Tundra swans on the other hand, not so much. Both were first opened to lottery tags back when I was in high school and that is a VERY long time ago. I believe Utah paved the way then as I recall. In some states I think crane tags can now be purchased over the counter. The big argument againsst expanding the season is that it may endanger recovery efforts for whooping crane. Sadly, yes, there is always going to be a few morons who will shoot a Packard thinking it was a tom turkey. But I believe the whooping crane population is coming along well enough to sustain very few losses due to very rare fatal encounters with complete idiot hunters.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from larson014 wrote 2 years 1 week ago

why does everyone say that the mourning dove is a symbol for peace? i thought it was a white dove like a turtle dove... or am i wrong?

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Equack wrote 2 years 1 week ago

I remember growing up 12 or so years ago, and we saw Sand-hill Cranes, but only on the entrance to Hartman Creek State Park. Now, just last week, we drove up the East shore of Lake Winnebago. We saw them by the 100's. Everywhere you looked. There was one dead on the side of the road. We need a Season soon or I feel the population is going to erupt like the deer population 6 or so years back. Then some sort of disease, like Chronic Wasting Disease in the deer, will take over the population. Not to mention the fact that they are a Pain in the A** for the farmers!

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Hunter_Fass wrote 2 years 6 days ago

I would like to see the crane season happen in Wisconsin. Not only would it bring in more revenue for the state but would also provide proper management for crane which have greatly increased in numbers from where they used to be. I’ve also heard they are quite good on the table as well. I’ve also got to see first-hand some of the crop damage these birds can do, especially during the fall season when these birds start arriving in large numbers.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from philbourjaily wrote 2 years 6 days ago

I have shot a few cranes over homemade silhouettes in North Dakota and on duck hunts in Canada. They are tasty birds on the table. They make a trilling sound you can imitate with your voice, and while they look gray in the air their feathers all are different shades of gray and tan when you see them up close.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from scratchgolf72 wrote 2 years 3 days ago

never even saw one up until about three years ago i saw two on a golf course, now they are everywhere in my part of MI, and holy crap are they annoying. they have such a loud call. i spent last spring turkey season with my ears bleeding because those things were always in the fields and wouldnt shut up!

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Walt Smith wrote 2 years 1 week ago

I'd love to try what everyone says is "The Flying Ribeye"!!!!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from bounty1 wrote 2 years 1 day ago

I'm gonna have my Wisconsin wolf mounted with a Wisconsin sandhill crane in it's mouth '-)

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from bounty1 wrote 2 years 1 day ago

I'm gonna have my Wisconsin wolf mounted with a Wisconsin sandhill crane in it's mouth '-)

0 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment

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