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Hunting Crows—Duck Style
Now that duck season is over; what are you going do the next nine months? How about crow hunting! Not the traditional crow hunt where you set up in a field and turn on the player but some thing that realistically resembles a duck hunt?
Hunting in this manner is not as simple as it may seem. Crows have excellent eyesight so camouflage is a must. A good all around camo as you would wear in the duck blind such as the Realtree brand should work well however I would advise wearing gloves as well as headnet. Blinds for natural cover can also be to your benefit. Add in a few decoys and your set up is complete. Decoys may either be bought or borrowed but simple wooden silhouettes can also be used. Set these up as you basically would any duck hunt.
Scouting is the key to successful hunts. While you can hunt crows year round some of the better hunt with the most numbers occur in the fall and spring. In the fall Fisher crows start their migration south. Look for these birds in large numbers especially congregated around lakes. If you spot some flying keep checking back to find their flight patterns and try to get between the roost area and where they feed. In the south, pecan orchards are great places to begin and the farmer will surely appreciate you controlling these damaging varmints to his crop. Other places to scout out are cut-overs. These areas offer plenty of natural cover and the birds really seem to throw caution to the wind. Crows can also be hunted along woods roads or better yet in the woods themselves as it simulates hunting ducks in green timber
Calling is a great part of any duck hunt and the same holds true for crows as well. Every gunner should have access to a call. Start off with one person calling then switch to two callers making a fuss. The effectiveness of a crow and hawk fight can also be added in, as it has been very successful when using a tape in electronic players for years. Tapes can easily “burn out” an area however. That’s the best reason to use mouth blown calls because each set up is different. One little trick that I really like to throw in is when we are really raising cain with crow and hawk calls is to throw in a predator call. It sounds like an animal really getting hurt! The crows can not stand it. I often times use this in an area after we have killed the easy ones and further calling is not successful. Never throw out your “ace in the hole” first!
Your favorite duck gun will work just fine; however I like to shoot a modified or even full chokes. A good load of 71/2’s or 6’s for longer shots and you’re in business. Take the kids along to, as it’s great practice for them as well. It may just build up their confidence level to where they will have the interest to learn to blow a duck call for later the next fall.
A lesson a friend of mine learned after an outing a couple years ago is that as a joke he brought home a couple crows and dressed them for his wife to cook. After a long day at the office one day he came home to find the house dark, a single candle illuminated a plate on the table along with a note—“Here’s your dinner dear. The kids and me have gone to “Outback Steak House” and a movie so you can relax after such a long day! Love Diane.” Now that’s what I call eating crow!