While it is way too early to start thinking about waterfowl or pheasant seasons, and even the early goose, woodcock, and snipe seasons are still months away, the season at hand is crow season.

While it is by no means a glamorous season in the eyes of most hunters, the crow opener marks the beginning of one of the few bird hunting seasons available during the summer. Those who take part in crow season often see it as a refreshing change from shooting at the gun club.

The length and timing of crow season varies from state to state, but in most cases, the season opens in the summer and runs through fall. Most states do not require a license for crow hunting, because under federal regulations, the birds do not fall under the same category as game birds like the woodcock or grouse.

Those who do crow hunt take advantage of a unique opportunity to hunt during the summer. Many do it to practice, while others just enjoy being able to hunt in July and August before more attractive seasons open.

Crow season provides an opportunity to sharpen hunting skills, between the spring turkey season and the start of the fall seasons. Unlike other game birds such as the woodcock or pheasant, the crow is found across much of the U.S., in variety of habitats, so hunters do not have to travel far to find some action.

Usually agricultural areas are the best for crows, but they can be found just about anywhere. Hunters in northern latitudes should be careful not to confuse crows with ravens, which are protected. Both birds are black, but the raven is bigger and has a different call.

The crow’s activity tends to increase during the morning and evening hours, but for the most part they are active throughout the day.

One of the best ways to attract crows is to use a call and/or a decoy. Owl decoys are the best, because crows go crazy when there is an owl around. Crow decoys and calls also work well.

Another benefit of crow hunting is that the birds provide a decent dinner. It’s not true what you’ve heard about eating crow. They are actually not bad. Cook them just as you would a woodcock or other small bird.

Most states have few rules regarding crow season, but it is important to check your state regulation before going out to hunt. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service controls the hunting of crows, because they are a migratory species. Each state has the power to regulate the season as long as it fits into the federal agency’s guidelines of a maximum 124-day season. Crow hunting is not allowed during the bird’s peak nesting season.

Photo credit: Flickr Creative Commons