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huffinpuffin2
WGA Member



Joined: 2009-07-17
Posts: 2650
Location: Puffindoofer

PostPosted: Fri Feb 03, 2012 9:52 am Reply with quote Back to top

While on the caching trail, we always welcome and cherish encounters with Bald Eagles and Sandhill Cranes (and Puffins, of course...) The Cranes, in particular, can be both silent residents we travel among in the wild, and startling awkers that wake us up from our day-dreamy hikes back our to the highway. That's why we find the following article to disturbing. Shocked Shocked

Does anyone have any Sandhill Crane-related caching experiences they care to share? Thanks.
 
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huffinpuffin2
WGA Member



Joined: 2009-07-17
Posts: 2650
Location: Puffindoofer

PostPosted: Fri Feb 03, 2012 9:59 am Reply with quote Back to top

http://www.wisconsinoutdoorfun.com/article/20120201/WDH0101/120201076/Wisconsin-lawmaker-calls-sandhill-crane-hunt?odyssey=tab

To bird lovers, sandhill cranes are majestic creatures whose cries hearken back to prehistoric times. To others, theyre the rib-eye of the sky. . . .
 
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RSplash40
WGA Member



Joined: 2006-12-23
Posts: 6262

PostPosted: Fri Feb 03, 2012 12:25 pm Reply with quote Back to top

The omro fitness trail, specifically bus #10, might allow for some crane spotting at the right time of year.

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Accosting pine tree\'s and rendering caches harmless since 2005.... 
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beccaday
WGA Secretary
WGA Secretary



Joined: 2010-09-22
Posts: 3921
Location: Waukesha

PostPosted: Fri Feb 03, 2012 12:26 pm Reply with quote Back to top

I have two! There was one day last spring where I was walking out to an island cache (with a log bridge) in a park with my son. I about had a heart attack when we kicked up a crane. I'm not sure how close we were but close enough to know that they're almost as tall as I am! I hadn't realized that before, having only seen them far away before then. I think we both scared each other pretty good!

Then last summer we came across a few of them out at the Ottawa Lake Rec Area and they had their babies with them. I'd never seen crane babies before. They were so cute!

I'm not really a bird enthusiast, I just think that they're fun to muse over when I see them. But there's something thrilling about seeing a bird that huge up close.

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Not all who wander are lost, some are geocaching.

Disclaimer: This post and the contents of any links or images attached is the opinion of this poster and not that of the WGA or its Board of Directors. 
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CodeJunkie
WGA Member



Joined: 2009-07-21
Posts: 8237
Location: Berlin, WI

PostPosted: Fri Feb 03, 2012 12:32 pm Reply with quote Back to top

I'm going to straddle the fence on this one. As an avid outdoorsman I enjoy seeing the cranes in the field. As a hobby farmer I've had my field completely cleared by the cranes as they pluck the corn destroying it.

The article is interesting because they say
Quote:
They also argue that hunters can't possibly kill enough cranes to make any real difference in crop damage and should instead use chemical repellants on their seeds.

If hunters can't kill enough to have an impact, than why would they oppose it? My inference of this is that the kill number would be small so therefore only a minimal impact.

I also don't advocate using MORE chemicals to control crops which cause a whole different set of issues.

I'm certainly interested and am curious to see how this whole scenario plays out.
 
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JimandLinda
WGA Member



Joined: 2008-08-14
Posts: 5453
Location: Rosendale WI

PostPosted: Fri Feb 03, 2012 1:15 pm Reply with quote Back to top

And treated seed corn is mainly to deter insects in the ground, not a sandhill crane pulling a small corn sprout out of the ground! But they will walk right down a corn row, pulling out sprouts one after another.

We came across a pair of sandhill cranes in the middle of the road once. Their baby had decided to "nest" on the warm road! They would not move until the chick finally got up and staggered into the ditch. I respected the protective nature of the parents and patiently waited out the situation.

I believe Texas has had open season on them for quite awhile.

I enjoyed the Whooping Crane incident, too! They can't get them to continue flying from Alabama to Florida for the winter. They had them trained to follow an ultralight. So they're going to crate them up and ship them by truck?! Shocked
Maybe Alabama is where they would have naturally stopped!

The pelicans came back to the Horicon Marsh without an invitation, ya know!
 
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BigJim60
WGA Member



Joined: 2010-01-02
Posts: 7276
Location: Auburndale, WI

PostPosted: Fri Feb 03, 2012 1:39 pm Reply with quote Back to top

J&L are correct. Texas has had an open season on Sandhills for years. The cranes migrate to Wisconsin, and other mid-west states, to lay eggs and raise their young. We feed them all spring and summer, then they fly back to Texas where they are harvested by hunters there. It's about time that hunters in Wisconsin get a chance at these overgrown turkeys. I for one am looking forward to putting crane on the Thanksgiving table.

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BigJim
There are three kinds of people in this world ... the wee, the not-so-wee, and the frickin huge. 
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Northwoods Tom
WGA Member



Joined: 2010-12-03
Posts: 664
Location: Washington Island

PostPosted: Fri Feb 03, 2012 4:07 pm Reply with quote Back to top

Being an avid hunter myself; after reading this article in the paper last night my first thought was it's the "Morning Dove" fiasco all over again with a new species of bird.

Personally don't or wouldn't hunt either (wife would not be at all pleased if I did...). I am also aware of the fact that they are supposed to be delicious but I think I'll stick with pheasant and grouse. BigJim, if you get one bring it to one of the events and I would sure like to try it Twisted Evil
 
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gotta run
WGA Member



Joined: 2007-11-26
Posts: 3306

PostPosted: Fri Feb 03, 2012 4:50 pm Reply with quote Back to top

BigJim60 wrote:
J&L are correct. Texas has had an open season on Sandhills for years. The cranes migrate to Wisconsin, and other mid-west states, to lay eggs and raise their young. We feed them all spring and summer, then they fly back to Texas where they are harvested by hunters there. It's about time that hunters in Wisconsin get a chance at these overgrown turkeys. I for one am looking forward to putting crane on the Thanksgiving table.


I hear they taste like chicken.
 
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janks15
WGA Member



Joined: 2011-02-12
Posts: 35

PostPosted: Fri Feb 03, 2012 8:01 pm Reply with quote Back to top

Here's another informative article about sandhill cranes. http://dnr.wi.gov/wnrmag/2011/10/cranes.htm

I love watching and listening to the sandhill cranes around Horicon Marsh. I'm lucky enough to see them come into land from my office window!
 
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huffinpuffin2
WGA Member



Joined: 2009-07-17
Posts: 2650
Location: Puffindoofer

PostPosted: Fri Feb 03, 2012 8:24 pm Reply with quote Back to top

janks15 wrote:
Here's another informative article about sandhill cranes. http://dnr.wi.gov/wnrmag/2011/10/cranes.htm

I love watching and listening to the sandhill cranes around Horicon Marsh. I'm lucky enough to see them come into land from my office window!


Excellent resource for background and perspective! Thanks! Smile
 
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sandlanders
WGA Member



Joined: 2008-01-18
Posts: 19424
Location: Adams, WI

PostPosted: Fri Feb 03, 2012 8:46 pm Reply with quote Back to top

Living in sandhill country, we often encounter the birds, and we hear them from our house in town as they set up camp in open areas to our southwest. The sound of a sandhill crane calling is as much a sign of spring to us as the warble of a robin. We enjoy spotting or hearing cranes as we walk the trails in search of ammo cans in the woods; the birds are not rare around here.

A favorite activity of ours that dates back to pre-caching days is to visit the area around Owens Rock in NE Adams County, where the cache GCH3JG is located. In spring and more often in the fall, the surrounding fields and wetlands are filled with cranes as they start or end their migration each year. It is a witness to the conservation efforts to save the sandhills.

We are not against hunting, but it saddens us to see another species set up for a hunt. We own no land, nor do we make a living from the land that is affected by the actions of these birds. If the population is large enough to withstand a hunt, and if that hunt is monitored and regulated, it may provide some relief to farmers who have been affected by the cranes. We do not have problems with ethical hunters who use what they kill and who respect the animals they hunt, but we have no use for "idiots with guns" who pass themselves off as hunters and who shoot at almost anything that moves. It is our hope that if there is to be a crane hunt, this group of people will choose to stay home.

As for the whooping cranes being mistaken for sandhills, it is like in any other hunt: Make sure of your target before you pull the trigger. Some whooping cranes have already fallen victim to "idiots with guns" in Indiana and other states, just because it was something to shoot, not because there was a hunting season going on. Adult whooping cranes are white rather than brown or gray, and they are quite a bit larger than sandhill cranes. Educating one's self on one's target is all that is needed.

Here is another link for those of you who want to find out what is going on with the current ultralight-led migration of young whooping cranes:

http://www.operationmigration.org/Field_Journal.html

Weather forced this year's migration to stand down on many occasions. When the group tried to continue on to Florida recently, the cranes kept turning back. It is a possibility that, like us, the cranes believe this winter can be enjoyed closer to home, with no need to travel all the way to Florida. Consequently, the human-led migration this year is over, and the cranes are being shipped to a wetlands location near to where they currently are in anticipation of a gentle release into the wild. At some point, the birds will decide on their own when they want to return to the White River Marsh, where they fledged.
 
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