ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — More long-necked sandhill cranes may soon end up in hunters’ crosshairs if a bill makes its way through the Minnesota Legislature.

The proposal that’s expected to pass the House and Senate soon, would change the state’s hunting and fishing law to classify the sandhill crane as a game bird.

The Department of Natural Resources allowed the birds to be hunted last year in northwestern Minnesota, the first time they’d been hunted in more than 100 years. About 1,800 permits were issued. DNR wildlife program manager Steve Merchant says sandhill crane hunting will still be confined to the northwestern portion of the state.

Minnesota Public Radio News reports most sandhills that migrate through Minnesota end up in the northwestern region.

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

Comments (25)
  1. Swamp Fox says:

    Why hunt sandhill cranes? Are they a nuisance or pest? WHY???

  2. kristi says:

    horrible and wrong.

  3. John W. Noraas says:

    Because they have sustainable and exploding populations. They are wonderful table fare and a much better dietary health choice. Can be aggressive and dangerous. Hunting is a viable management tool. And because most folks dont live in a Disneyesque fantasy world where wildlife is exploited to fill emotional gaps in disconnected people.

    1. Swamp Fox says:

      I asked why; you answered my question. It’s unfortunate that AP didn’t give the why [of the journalistic 5-W’s] for this story. As a hunter I have always tried to be prudent and within the ethics and legality of being responsible in my hunts. I do agree with you that reasonable game management by hunting is a good practice.

      This story could have had more substance to it than to make it sound alarming or imply that sandhill cranes might be endangered. However, the mere fact that the DNR and Legislature, in this instance, are trying to be good stewards of our natural resources by setting viable ethical game management standards is good news. Too bad this story wasn’t a good journalistic model of clarity in its reporting the facts.

    2. MARK says:

      “Can be aggressive and dangerous.”

      What a stupid thing to post. I’m sure a bird that weights 3 to 6 pounds is incredibly dangerous to humans. LOL

  4. John says:

    They are one of the best tasting waterfowl out there!!

  5. FreddieBaby says:

    Leave it to the Republicans to get yet another thing totally wrong and inappropriate.

  6. kristi says:

    they haven’t been hunted in 100 years. why? because of over hunting. let’s see how long it takes to deplete their populations this time.

    1. Swamp Fox says:

      The sandhill crane populations have to be ethically and responsibly management to sustain their numbers and protect their habitats. The sandhill population is getting to be over populated and are becoming a nuisance unto themselves and/or people.

      Just like forests recovering after natural disasters where new tree growth is thick and heavy, the forests need to be thinned out a bit to flourish further. So too in the natural wildlife world, sudden overabundance of a once endangered species can be detrimental to its sustained viable growth and injurious to their habitats. This is the case of the sandhill cranes. Proper game management will ensure their longevity and maintain their habitats.

      1. kristi says:

        @ swamp fox
        i appreciate your opinion 🙂 i guess i am just one of those treehuggers that doesn’t agree with hunting cranes. maybe it is because i remember being a child, watching the cranes fly by. there is a certain sense of nostaglia when i see them. *shrug*

        1. Swamp Fox says:

          You are not “just one of those treehuggers” who just doesn’t agree with crane hunting, but you sound like a person who appreciates the beauty of Mother Nature and one of her avian beauties.

          I, too, love watching cranes, as well as most of all wildlife. I, too, am a hunter, fisherman, and general outdoors person who loves Nature and the natural environment. When I hunt or fish I do so ethically, carefully, and responsibly. I do so for sustenance physically and spiritually. There are days where just doing the hunting or fishing with no rewarding catches are still good days to do so.

          There are feelings of personal nostalgia when I see creatures of natural beauty flying by when I am hunting. More times than not I withheld my shots because I was awestruck by the wonders before me.

          So please do not think hunters are gun tyros blindly shooting up wild life and destroying habitat. 99.9% of hunters are trying to be good stewards of their natural environments. These hunters do enjoy watching a great avian fly-by and thinking back to ‘nostalgic’ days.

          1. kristi says:

            i wasn’t saying at all that “hunters are gun tyros blindly shooting up wild life and destroying habitat.” my entire family hunts. and they do so responsibly. but my own personal feelings are that cranes are not a bird that should be hunted. not that i am trying to say that it is ok for the other ‘game’ birds to be hunted. like JJ Audabon said, “Like there aren’t enough species of birds to kill? What’s next – wrens, sparrows, bald eagles?” we just keep adding animals to the list to be hunted. and personally, i do not agree and find it very disheartening. that’s all.

            1. Swamp Fox says:

              Points well taken. I agree.

    2. Ed says:

      If the hunting is properly manged I don’t see a problem but remember this,
      it’s an “exploding Population” of “aggressive and dangerous” birds is not completely accurate.
      This is from the MN DNR:
      cranes employ a “slow” life-history strategy: they are long-lived, defer breeding for several years after fledging, exhibit very low reproductive rates. As a result, crane populations are more vulnerable to exploitation than species exhibiting “faster” life histories.
      Don’t worry, it wasn estimated that only 10-25 pairs were nesting in Minnesota in the mid-1940’s and they bounced back.

      I see way more eagles and crows, and after watching the Sandhill crane for a few years I have never seen any aggressive signs other than near their nesting area. I’d rather see them push the hunting season for crows.

      1. John W. Noraas says:

        Cranes are aggressive and dangerous as numerous veterinarians can attest to. Their toes are clawed and will jump and kick at people and animals.
        Their numbers are exploding in all of their range in MN not just the NW. Just drive out and look. As far as the DNR is concerned in accuracy of anything well we’ll let their own records and past decisions reflect on that.
        You want to see Sandhills go north of the metro and look in just about any small grain field. We have some fields with excess of 100 birds at a time. They are wonderful amazing birds but do need management. For all those opposed to hunting of crane how many of your dollars go to research, habitat, maintaining resting areas, protective enforcement, how many have gone out and banded young, kind of hypocritical of bashing hunters who do more to protect and promote species than those who dont do anything. Hope to see ya in the wetlands and fields.

        1. kristi says:

          @John W. Noraas – don’t assume that those of us voicing our opinions have never done anything and are being hypocrites. i have given plenty of money towards wildlife conservation and management. i have assisted in banding various types of birds. there is no need to attack on here. we are all just voicing our opinions, and there is no need for it to turn nasty. but i do hope that you are practicing what you are preaching. i hope that you, John W. Noraas, have donated to wildlife conservation and that you will be out in the wetlands and fields. maybe i will see you there! otherwise, who’s the hypocrite now? but please, John W. Noraas, don’t assume you know us and accuse us of not doing our part. not everyone has to agree with you that cranes should be hunted.

          1. John W. Noraas says:

            Apparently since your so defensive must have a bit close to the truth.

            1. kristi says:

              no, john w. noraas, not defensive. just stating what is true for me, and the things i have done. that is all. but please do not assume you know what a person has or has not done just based on some silly comment forum, ok? there is no need to pick fights over the internet with someone you don’t even know, right? 🙂

  7. Jack says:

    Kill the Bill Not the Bird

  8. Bird Man says:

    The only birds that are tastier are the Bald Eagle and the Loon.

  9. JJ Audabon says:

    Like there aren’t enough species of birds to kill? What’s next – wrens, sparrows, bald eagles?

  10. harvey says:

    I use to have a fair # of phesants on my farm but the last 10 to 15 years they have been decreasing at an alarming rate. At the same time the sandhill population has been increasing. I have been reciently read that the sanhill cranes will eat other waterfoul eggs. Is this true

      1. biju says:

        This article is based on one person’s opinion. Where are the scientific facts? Where are his references?