By mid-summer many hunters are getting the itch to get out in the field, but the fall hunting seasons seem a long way off. One way to scratch that itch is summer crow hunting.
Crows offer a challenge and a chance to hone your skills for the upcoming fall seasons. They are plentiful and fairly easy to locate, meaning you will not have to travel far to find them. And guess what? They’re actually not bad to eat despite the famous wive’s tale.
If you would like to give crow hunting a shot this summer, here are three tips that will improve your odds for success.
The top area to locate crows is in farmland. Crows find plenty of food around farms and many farmers would be grateful for your help in reducing their numbers. Do some scouting beforehand to find areas with heavy crow populations.
Wooded areas can also be productive, especially those adjacent to farmland.
Because crows are so prevalent, we tend to see them everywhere from suburban backyards to parks and farmland. This may give hunters the impression that they could just walk out into a farm field and start shooting as many crows as they want, but this is not the case.
Crows are very intelligent birds and they will keep their distance from hunters, especially if they have been shot at before. For this reason, stealth and camouflage play important roles in crow hunting success.
Make sure you are dressed in camouflage and try to stay out of sight. Just as with turkey hunting, hunters should consider masking their face and hands to avoid detection. Many serious crow hunters hunt from blinds.
Being able to draw crows to your location plays a significant role in success, just as in duck or turkey hunting.
The two main ways to attract crows are by using calls and decoys. When used in tandem, they are extremely effective in drawing crows toward you.
Hand-held calls are the most effective, but electronic calls are also available for crow hunting. You can experiment with a variety of calls from slow and soft, to loud, but never use three “caws” in a row. This is a warning call and will scare the crows away. It can be more effective to use a conservative approach with your calling. Call sporadically to attract a few birds at a time. This gives you a chance to shoot a few birds with each wave that comes toward your location. If you call continuously you can attract a large group of birds, which would be tougher to shoot and you risk scaring away all the birds in that location.
Most hunters will use crow decoys, but you can also try hawk or owl decoys. Crows hate owls and hawks and will often attack them. When using crow decoys, consider using a spread of 20-40 decoys. The decoys serve a dual purpose in that they attract birds, but can also distract the birds so they are less likely to spot you.
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