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Old 11-02-2009, 06:57 AM   #1
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Default Cooking Sandhill Cranes

I'm planning to go hunting in Western Oklahoma this coming weekend for the Duck Hunting Season opener. I've obtained a federal Sandhill Crane hunting permit (Whooping Cranes are federally protected, Sandhill Cranes are legal hunting under specific conditions and in specific locations). In the place I'm going hunting, sometimes we see the Sandhill Cranes, although last year they were flying to high to shoot at them.

Anyone have any good recipes for cooking Sandhill Crane? I understand they are good eating. Some people call them "rib eye in the sky," which I find pretty intriguing. Also, how much does one of these birds weigh dressed and plucked? Are they good roasted, or is the only substantial meat on the breast? Would it be a good idea to substitute a roast Sandhill Crane for the Thanksgiving Butterball Turkey?
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Old 11-02-2009, 11:11 AM   #2
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My "gang" and I have been hunting Sandhills for years. There is something to be said about shooting a four ft tall bird. As for the meat, just breast them out. They do have large legs but they are like eating electrical wire. It`s not really worth the time or effort to pluck them.
To cook them, just use any goose/duck recipe, although the breasts are rather large. Low and slow(12 to 16 hrs is good) is the best way in a slowcooker. They also make great jerky. This is the way my freinds and I do them up. Good eating.

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Old 11-19-2009, 03:57 AM   #3
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Mat-Valley, however, isn't off the hook. An inspection of the farm and packaging operation uncovered some serious problems. The field in which the peas were grown also was home to a flock of Sandhill Cranes. Several strains of Campylobacter were isolated from Sandhill Crane feces recovered from the field, from fresh-picked peas from the field, and from a mound of peas piled outside the processing building. And the water used in the pea shelling/processing operation contained no residual chlorine.

Operations at Mat-Valley were shut down and any remaining product was recalled. The state is working with the operator of Mat-Valley to correct the problems that were uncovered during the investigation.

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Old 11-19-2009, 11:43 AM   #4
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You might want to breast out a few of 'em if you're gonna serve cranes instread of turkey for Thanksgiving. They are surprisingly light for their size.

They do eat good. Enjoy. One tip on shooting them, you goptta lead 'em like anything else. They can move faster than their slow wings flaps make you believe.

Also, crippled cranes can still do some damage (you or your dog) with their beak. I know a guy who was banding Blue herons, and got a beak through his upper jaw below his nose, through his tougue and out the bottom of his chin.
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