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Information on rules, harvest reporting and what you need to know for hunting sandhill cranes in Arizona.

List of ranches and their online request forms
Coronado Dairy – online access request to the property

Harvest Reporting

Find the information you need.

sandhill crane harvest reporting

Harvest information is critical in maintaining Arizona’s ability to hunt and harvest sandhill cranes.

Report your sandhill crane harvest

sandhill crane hunting

Sandhill cranes are exceptional game birds that migrate into Arizona during the winter. Southeastern Arizona is the annual wintering ground for 25,000-45,000 cranes every winter. Known as the “ribeye of the sky”, these birds can be very challenging and exciting to hunt

History of sandhill cranes

What you need to know to hunt cranes in southeastern Arizona

Sandhill cranes are part of the summer draw cycle in early June and anyone with an active Arizona hunting or combo license can apply for the draw. There are several hunts available in the multi-unit hunt area, several in the Unit 28 hunt area, and 2 hunts in Unit 29. Almost all areas where the cranes feed, and spend their time in southeastern Arizona are private lands or state trust lands farmed and cultivated by private ranches or landowners. As such, hunters MUST plan to coordinate access with private farms and individuals. If you are unwilling to talk to landowners ahead of the hunts, you should not apply for these hunts.

Sandhill cranes are hunted legally by using a 10 gauge or smaller shotgun capable of holding no more than 3 shells. Ambitious hunters may also use bow and arrow, a crossbow, or falconry (with the appropriate sport falconry license). Refer to Commission Order 24: Sandhill crane for other requirements and regulations.

List of ranches and their online request forms
Coronado Dairy – online access request to the property

Crane hunting – 3 rules of 3

  1. There are 3 hunting zones – The 3 hunting zones you can apply for are a) the Multi-Unit area of 30A/30B/31/32, b) Unit 28, and c) Unit 29. You will only be drawn to hunt in one of them. 
  1. Individual hunts are only 3 days long – Each hunt is only 3 days with 1 day in between until the next new hunt starts. Be sure to check the hunt dates since they don’t follow conventional start dates like other species do.
  1. Hunters can only harvest 3 birds maximum – If successfully drawn, you will be issued 3 separate tags, one to place on each bird you harvest. The tags can be affixed to either a leg or around the neck. In addition, hunters need to be aware that one fully feathered wing (or head for sandhill cranes only) must be left attached to all harvested sandhill cranes until they reach their final destination.

Tips for successful hunts

*Note: If you are successful with drawing tags and are unable to go hunting, consider surrendering your tags or using Point Guard or Point Guard Plus prior to the close of business the day before the start of your hunt.

hunting zones

Review the information before you hunt to see closed crane hunting areas. Not knowing these areas may result in wildlife hunting violations and citations. See Hunting zone information, including maps, areas closed to hunting and check stations information.

types of cranes

Cranes come in a variety of sizes and are presently divided into 3 categories: Greaters, canadas, and lessers. The Rocky Mountain population is mostly made up of greaters which are the largest form. They stand about 4 feet tall, have a 6-foot wingspan, and weigh 10 or more pounds. The Mid-Continent population is primarily lesser cranes, which are the smallest cranes. These birds are about 3 feet tall with a wingspan of 4.5 feet and weigh roughly 7 pounds. The canada type is intermediate in size, generally overlapping body measurements of lesser cranes on the high end and greater cranes on the low end in size.  

Want to Go Hunting in Arizona?

Find ways to experience big game and small game hunting or find a mentored hunt camp.

buy your hunting license

Arizona residents and non-residents 10 years and older need a valid hunting license to hunt in Arizona.

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find a mentored hunt camp

The award-winning Outdoor Skills Network is your source for public, hands-on, “learn how to hunt” events.

view the outdoor skills page

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