I have a love-hate relationship with crows. I hate them but I love to hunt them. To me, they're probably the smartest bird that there is. If you've ever hunted them, then you know what I mean. You see one setting out in a field and very seldom can you stop, get a good rest and get a shot. Most crows that people kill are done so inadvertently. By this I mean they're in the woods and one just happens to fly by.
I've heard it said that if six guys walk into a clump of trees and only five leave that the crows will know that one is still in there. You have to do this a couple of times to fool them up. I've never experimented with this theory, but I don't doubt it. They're smart.
So if they're this smart how do you hunt them? I remember as a kid I got a crow call for Christmas and over the course of time called in a few. You have to realize, in those days we didn't have crow or owl decoys. Ha, we didn't even have good camo or face masks.
The first one that I ever shot fell and my fox terrier Dixie ran up to sniff it and it clamped onto her leg with his claws. She yelped and I finally got it loose and blasted it into smithereens for hurting my best buddy.
So if they're this smart, how do you hunt them? If you use these methods that I describe today then you can drill them. It's almost like they go into a braindead mode. I've been hitting them hard lately.
My brother-in-law is really good at crow hunting, so I'm going to share semi-verbatim what I've learned from hunting with him.
We'll set up in a super thick clump of trees. Cedars work best so you're concealed. We'll pick a spot where incoming crows can't see us until they're literally right on top of us.
Don't quote me on this, but we'll have something like a 15- to 20-foot open area over us. We'll then put a Johnny Stewart call pointed upwards and turn her on. Last weekend on a crow hunt in Kansas I was using the crow/owl selection. That was working fine for us on that hunt.
On the Kansas hunt, I was officially on a coyote hunt so for the heck of it I set my Cass Creek Waggler (electronic decoy) out in the opening, which seemed to help. Many people favor a crow or owl decoy.
Get your guns loaded, drink a cup of high caffeine coffee and crank up the call. Usually they'll show up in a hot second. If you're concealed so they don't see you and you don't miss any, you can drill quite a few before the game is over.
When they quit coming in, jump to another spot. What gun do you need? Grab your favorite shotgun, a few boxes of Winchester 6's and you're good to go. Sure, you can get them with low base shells, but I'd recommend Winchester magnum 6's. Make sure you wear full camo including a face mask. Get ready. Here they come.