It’s about that time of the year when Sandhill Cranes start making their way towards Texas. Some will hang-up in the Texas Panhandle while others will head straight for the coastal prairies located just off the Gulf of Mexico. And much of the state does have a Sandhill Crane Hunting Season. In fact, there have been three hunting zones in Texas for as long as I can remember, and here are the season dates for the 2011-12 hunting season:
Sandhill Crane Hunting Zone A: Nov. 5, 2011 — Feb. 5, 2012, daily bag limit is three and possession limit is six birds.
Sandhill Crane Hunting Zone B: Nov. 25, 2011 — Feb. 5, 2012, daily bag limit is three and possession limit is six cranes.
Sandhill Crane Hunting Zone C: Dec. 24, 2011 — Jan. 29, 2012, daily bag limit is two and possession limit is four sandhill cranes.
Sandhill Crane Hunting Zone C Closed Area Description: Everything to the Gulf of Mexico from a line beginning at the Kleberg-Nueces county line and the Gulf of Mexico, west along the county line to Park Road 22, to State Hwy. 358, to State Hwy. 286, north to IH 37, east to U.S. Hwy. 181, north and west to U.S. Hwy. 77 at Sinton, north and east along U.S. Hwy. 77 to U.S. Hwy. 87 at Victoria, east and south along U.S. Hwy. 87 to State Hwy. 35, north and east along State Hwy. 35 to the south end of Lavaca Bay Causeway, south and east along the shore of Lavaca Bay to the Port Lavaca Ship Channel, south and east along the Ship Channel to the Gulf of Mexico.
Sandhill Cranes are actually a challenging bird to hunt. In fact, most hunters think of them as big, slow birds, which can cause some shooting problems in the field. John Sheckly, Sandhill Crane hunting guide said, “Because of the bird’s body length and huge wingspan many hunters think the cranes are flying closer and slower than they actually are. As a result, many will shoot behind the sandhills or way too early. There is definitely a learning curve for first-time Sandhill Crane hunters.”