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Crows are destructive animals and are a nuisance to farmers and even other animals. They dig farmer’s seeds out of the ground, eat pecan trees and cornfields. Crows also affect the duck population, stealing, on average, 110 to 120 eggs from nests every year.
Why Go Crow Hunting?
Crow hunting is extremely beneficial for conservation. Crows are predatory animals, and just like other carnivorous scavenger species, their population needs to be controlled to allow other animals to thrive.
With large numbers of these birds aptly being named a “murder” of crows, it’s no surprise hunters, and farmers want to control the crow population. A murder consists of thousands of crows, and the destruction they can do to crops can financially devastate a farmer’s livelihood.
Crow hunting over open fields is similar to duck hunting. So, if you want to refine your fall/winter waterfowl season skills, crow hunting in the early fall offers plenty of time to practice shooting fast-moving birds from a distance and calling shots.
Crow Hunting Tips
Despite its similarity to duck hunting, crows can pose a significant challenge for inexperienced hunters. Trying these crow hunting tips can ensure a successful hunt.
Choose the Right Location
Crows can be hunted almost anywhere; however, there are certain locations that are better than others. Forested areas and farmlands are ideal hotspots for hunting crows. There is always an adequate food supply, and the areas are large and spacious. Set up your ground a blind near pecan orchards, harvested grain fields, and areas that have feedlots.
When crows approach feeding areas, they expect to see other crows. Purchasing plastic crow decoys are essential when hunting in these locations—placing them around the feedspot tricks the crows into approaching, allowing you to easily make your shot.
Timing and Weather
Rainy and windy days should be avoided when crow hunting as sudden gusts can make the crows’ flight patterns unpredictable, making them difficult to hit. Instead, the best time to go crow hunting is on a cool morning because this is when they fly to their foraging areas. To improve your chances, monitor the flying habits of the crows a few days before, so you know what to expect.
Hunting in camouflage attire is one of the best crow hunting tips to increase your chances of success. Crows have better eyesight than humans and can identify a combination of four colors, while humans can only perceive three. As the crow hunting season progresses, the birds also become warier and pick up on the slightest color differential in the landscape.
By disguising yourself in head-to-toe camouflage gear, including pants, a hunting vest, neck gaiter, and cap, you have a better chance of concealing yourself from the crows. The right hunting vest also provides ample storage for crow hand calls and extra ammunition.
Prepare for Your Hunt
The best preparation season is early fall. During this time, scout hunting spots before the peak season begins. September is a great month to visit landowners and find feeding areas. Most landowners are farmers who are thrilled at the prospect of culling the crow population.
However, despite their status as an invasive species, they are also migratory birds and subject to laws and regulations regarding licensing and bag limits. Check with your local authorities and the US Fishing and Wildlife Service for information about crow hunting in your state.
Crow Hunting Mistakes
Crows are highly intelligent animals and can easily evade your gun sights if you fail to take the proper precautions. Avoid these common crow hunting mistakes, so you don’t come home empty-handed.
Overhunting an Area
As well as having excellent eyesight, crows are also intelligent birds with excellent memory. While it may be tempting to return to a spot where you’ve had previous success, the crows will notice and find a new territory if you do this too often. Try and rotate your locations to avoid crows remembering your last hunt.
Don’t Move Quickly
A crow’s eyesight allows them to spot hunter movement instantly. When hunting crows, ensure you only move just before you shoot. Crows can dart from danger exceptionally quickly, especially on a tailwind. By limiting your movement, you’ll be able to increase your chances of a catch.
Don’t Be Too Loud
Many hunters use electric callers to help them with their hunt; however, some models can produce excess volumes. While these devices help lure crows in to hunt, a too-loud caller scares away an approaching bird. Ensure the volume on your caller is at a sensible level and resembles the actual volume of a live crow.
Don’t Shoot the Scout Bird
When using your caller, there is usually a scout bird that approaches first. The bird will assess the situation and often leave. However, don’t make the mistake of shooting the scout crow, as they usually bring back more crows to investigate the call. If you shoot and miss, not only have you missed one catch, but you’ve also diminished your chances of hunting a whole flock.
Don’t Hunt the Wrong Terrain
Crows typically lurk in nests near the tree’s trunk or on concealed horizontal branches. To successfully and consistently kill crows, you’ll need to position yourself in a location where the crows will fly lower and into your shooting range.
A ground blind is critical for concealment and allowing the birds to approach you. Ensure you set up the blind several days before the hunt and brush it in to blend in with the surrounding environment.
Avoid timber and high trees that keep the birds high in the area. Instead, opt for low growth areas like bushes, young pines, or standing corn. Crows often swoop lower into these areas to scope out potential food, giving you more of a chance of coming into close contact with one.
Become a Successful Crow Hunter
By implementing the do’s and avoiding the don’ts, you’ll be well on your way to becoming a successful crow hunter. From ensuring you are in full camouflage to having all the critical hunting skills required, you’ll be able to head out into the woods to hunt crows safely and successfully.