There’s a reason why most states have fairly liberal seasons and daily bag limits on crow hunting. There are plenty of them around and by harvesting them we keep their population in check to prevent overthrows of corn crops for instance. If you’ve been wondering about crow hunting and why people would do it if they can’t eat them (some people do, I’m sure) it’s because it’s one of the funnest hunting methods, believe it or not.
A lot of hunters are probably a little skeptical at first, but crow hunting can be action packed, intense, and very interesting. Just to see how they respond to calls and decoys is really cool because they are extremely intelligent. The more you hunt them the better you will get, but here are the basics that can lead to successful crow hunting trips.
1. The main two components when crow hunting are curiosity and anger. You will need to get their attention with a hand-held call or with an electronic audio call if they are legal in your state and then, once they are coming in, appeal to their tendency toward aggressiveness or their instinct to protect each other. As smart as they are, they are also trouble makers and like to fight other birds. Yes, they have many feathered enemies that they probably see as competitors, such as hawks, owls, and even turkeys. You can use these calls as well.
2. Make sure that you are in complete camouflage and even behind some kind of blind would be a good idea. These guys have amazing eyesight and they can pick up different movements and colors easily. Remember when you are in the woods hunting anything to do the best you can to blend in to the environment and do everything as naturally as possible. Make sure you are calling them naturally, not extremely loud or over-calling. Once they start coming in either have your gun ready or wait until they are well enough in shooting range to be able to quickly raise your gun before they see you.
3. O.k., so you are in full camouflage and you’re trying to bring them in. Make some light, regular, not aggressive sounding crow calls loud enough for them you hear and don’t over do it. Let their curiosity come into play and encourage them to come closer. The closer they get, generally, the more you can gradually pick up the aggressiveness of the call.
4. Once they get close enough to your owl, hawk, turkey or even other crow decoy or decoys you can pick up the distress a little, but not to loud. The really distressed calls should be used when they are close enough to see the decoy (you’ll know when they can) or even after you have shot one. That’s what really gets them mad is after one of them has been downed. They could care less about movement and shotguns blasting, to a certain degree. If you are using other decoys besides a crow, or even both, you can use calls from those birds and crows both mixed also.
5. Make it seem like there is another bird in the area that one crow is feuding with and it will drive them crazy. Get to blasting and re-loading quick because there will be times when they will be circling all over the place making all kinds of racket, too mad to care about shotgun sounds and movement. Also, make sure you lead them enough with your aim. Just a little bit ahead of them if they come in from the sides, and you will want to use some number 4 or 5 high brass shells if you have a 12 gauge or the equivalent if you have a 20 gauge. If they seem to start leaving, you may want to tone down the call a little to get them back. If that doesn’t work, wait a little bit and try calling again. Yes, once they see some downed crows, the game is on and you can go through shells quick, sometimes running out before you are ready to go home!
6. Very addictive and high energy, crow hunting just takes a little patience and experience to find out how to get them calling back to you to let you know where they are. After a few hunts, you will know what calls and decoys that will work the best. Try to relocate to hunt other areas the next few hunts because they can catch on to spots.
Further reading from the writer:
Best Handguns for Self Defense
Age Old Secrets to Successful Deer Scouting
Tree Stand Deer Hunting: Nature’s Sport
Deer Hunting With a Bow is Much More Rewarding