Sandhill cranes, while famous for massing in great numbers along the Platte River in Nebraska, do migrate through South Dakota in the spring and fall. The fall migration offers a unique hunting opportunity for those in the right place at the right time.
The fall migration may occur from late October through mid-November. These large birds use a wingspan of over 6 feet to float on thermals and stay aloft for hours. Cranes roost in wetland areas as evening approaches and fly to feed in fields in the early morning.
Sandhill crane may be accompanied by the endangered whooping crane on occasion. Hunters must be aware of this and certain of their target.