Texas Waterfowl and Cranes
The Texas Panhandle is fast becoming a world renowned hot spot for serious Waterfowl hunters, in one day a party might see Snow Geese, Canadian Geese, Ducks and even Sandhill Cranes! Truly, a shooters paradise!
Our Texas outfitter has been guiding and hunting in the area for years and has all the best locations, farms, and ranches under contract. His scouts are constantly on the lookout for the next productive field, or playa (pond or tank). With 60,000+ acres under contract, there will be birds working somewhere!
Is easy from just about anywhere in the lower 48! Southwest Airlines has daily flights from many of the major city into Lubbock, Texas. From there, depending on where the birds are, your guide will then escort you to the hotel that best suits the scouting report.
Guests will stay at various hotels in the panhandle, depending on the scouting report and species that you’re hunting. Drives to the fields can be up to an hour or more, rarely do they exceed and hours drive.
There are quite a few options in the panhandle, and the outfitter has got them all! He’s got Ducks, Geese, and Sandhill Cranes among others! Below you’ll find each hunt broken down into time frames and specifics for each. Limits will be the Texas State Limit, and allow for some great shooting.
Hunted 70% of the time over playa lakes the other 30% is dry field hunts. On a wet year the ducks arrive early and may stay well past the end of the season. Ducks will key in on the massive grain fields and the abundant watering holes. The grain and available water help to hold birds but also act as an attractor for migrating birds. Migrators get to the panhandle and don’t normally need to go any further!
Early season you can find duck congregating on the largest of the playa lakes, dividing up into smaller flocks as the season progresses. Upon “break-up” the smaller groups will start using the smaller playas and bounce from one to the other or to food sources, using the playas for loafing or roosting. Late November through Christmas one can normally find Mallards in the fields and are often shot from the goose spreads! The combination of agriculture and playas have made the Texas Panhandle one of the newest waterfowl hunting hot spots. Species include: Mallards, Pintails , Green Wing Teal , Blue Wing Teal , Gadwall and Wigeon. Duck hunts are mostly a morning affair.
The Texas panhandle has long been known for quality goose hunting, the present is no different. In fact many suggest it’s better than it’s ever been. Huge migrations of Canada Geese move into the area as they move to their wintering grounds, or just decide the panhandle is good enough. Our outfitter has cultivated relationships with many of the areas largest land owners, and has many of the most historically popular fields under contract, and is adding new properties often. Most of the hunting area is spread across 7 counties in the panhandle. These are West Texas counties, and are huge! At the peak of the season it is not unheard of for several hundred thousand Canada Geese to be in the 7-county region.
Your Texas goose hunt begins at 4:30 and guided Texas goose hunt starts at 4:30AM at a café near the hotel for breakfast and coffee. Once breakfast is over you’ll head to the field (15-20 minutes) to set the decoy spread. The decoy spread is made up of full body Bigfoot and Avian X decoys after the decoys are put out, the layout blinds are dug in and prepared with stubble from the field with a focus on concealment, to hide hunters from the eyes in the sky. After that it’s the safety talk and explanation of shooting lanes. ALL SHOTS ARE CALLED BY THE GUIDE and will consist of decoying birds in the 20 – 30 yard range or much much closer. Shots are very rarely more than thirty yards. Birds are packaged and cleaned by the guide.
Sandhill Crane hunting is located near Lubbock Texas, where the birds winter in the hundreds of thousands covering and wheat or grain field that strikes their fancy. Sandhill Crane hunting like nowhere else! With a wing span of up to 8 feet, a group of Sandhills coming into the decoys will get even die hard hunter weak in the knees when they land just a few yards from you. In season past all hunters had the opportunity to reach their limits on every hunt.
A mixture of silhouettes and wind socks are used to lure Sandhill Cranes right into the decoys. Guests will be in layout blinds dug-in and fully camouflaged with stubble or vegetation from the area We utilize a mixture of silhouettes and wind socks to fool these keen eye cranes into gunning range. Hunters are positioned in layout blinds fully concealed and camo up with the areas natural vegetation. Shot distance averages 15 – 30 yards. In Texas the use of lead shot is legal and we recommend #5 shot 1 ¼ oz “golden pheasant” loads through a IC or LM constriction.
The hunt starts one hour before legal shooting light where you will meet your guide at a pre-arranged location, shooting ends at the completion of limits or at noon, whichever comes first. There is short his hunt begins 1 hour before legal shooting time at a pre-arranged meeting location and ends when limits are reached or noon. The safety speech and the understanding of how to judge distance on such an odd shaped target follow then it’s up to you to make the shot count!
- Avian X decoys Avian X decoys
- Sandhill Cranes Sandhill Cranes
- More Sandhill Cranes More Sandhill Cranes
- Crow hunts! Crow hunts!
- Cacklers Cacklers
- Fantastic Canada Goose hunts! Fantastic Canada Goose hunts!
- Another great Canada Goose bag! Another great Canada Goose bag!
- Texas mixed bag! Texas mixed bag!
- The family that hunts together! The family that hunts together!
- First Class Concealment! First Class Concealment!
- A great Texas sun rise! A great Texas sun rise!
- Snow Geese working the Avian X's Snow Geese working the Avian X's
- Take your own dog! Take your own dog!
- Boom.... Boom....
- Good dog....Dangerous work! Good dog....Dangerous work!
- Sandhill Crane Blind Sandhill Crane Blind
- Cupped Geese.... Cupped Geese....
- A duck mixed bag... A duck mixed bag...
- A good example of the playas A good example of the playas
- Sandhill Crane hunting Sandhill Crane hunting
- The double gun mixed bag The double gun mixed bag