THE WINTER CHALLENGE OF CROW HUNTING   Leave a comment

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The familiar sound of a crow in winter is a caw, caw, caw.  The often annoying communication between birds is a sure sign of the flocking birds’ presence.  Hunting season is winding down but crows still offer some fine wing shooting.  Crow hunting can be an interesting a challenging end to the hunting dog days of winter.  They, like ducks, come to a call.  Crows are a challenging target like quail, and hunting them lessens the withdrawal for the hunting addict.

Any weapon used for upland birds or ducks will work on crows. It is sometimes illegal to hunt crows with air guns, rifles or handguns.  Shotguns are the most popular choice with loads of 7 1/2s or eight’s being preferred.  As with dove hunting, it is a good idea to take extra ammo as hitting these rascals can get tricky.

Aside from the weapon, an additional investment of about $35 will put you in business.  This is for an owl decoy and a couple of crow decoys and a single reed crow call.  A pair of painter’s coveralls works as camo clothing in the snow.  A stocking cap or ski mask and the rest of the equipment is found in most homes.

A blind can be made of old sheets and a pillowcase stretched over your head with holes cut for eyes and mouth.  Construct a blind out of natural materials found in the area.  Gloves can be black or dark brown, as they will help decoy birds.

The call of a crow in distress is a sure way to sucker birds into range.  Commercial call on the market all work well and contain easy to follow instructions.  With a little practice, almost anyone can call crows.  A crow call is probably the easiest game call of all to learn how to use effectively.

Once in the field, the owl decoy draws in crows because the owl is the main nemesis of the crow.  The crow decoys help to lend a little reality to the situation.  An incoming crow assumes that some of his brothers have already begun harassment of the owl.

Place the decoys in the open.  The hunter remains in his blind or just sits motionless in his camo in any cover available.  He blows on the call and continues until winded or crows respond.  The longer the hunter remains concealed, the longer the birds remain in the area.  You can entice them back, even after shooting begins.

Crow hunting sounds simple, and it is, but crows are sharp‑eyed and intelligent.  To illustrate just how intelligent these birds are, think about all the hunting of them that goes on and how their populations continue to enlarge.  One expert has said that a crow can distinguish between a man with a gun and a man with a walking stick from a distance of one half mile.  One represents danger and the other does not.  To a crow, that is an important difference.

Give crow hunting a chance this year.

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