Crow Hunting for Fun
My friend Glenn Wheeler shifted his body behind the big oak as the first big, black bird wheeled into sight. I growled another raspy fighting crow sound on my Knight & Hale Magnum Crow call, Wheeler answered with his call, and soon the northern Arkansas sky was speckled with crows like freckles on a country girl's nose.
Prior to starting to crow call we placed three Carry-Lite crow decoys in the brown grass of an open pasture, then pulled back into the cover of the adjacent treeline. We fitted another crow decoy into the wedge of a tree limb over our heads.
We were crow hunting near Harrison, Arkansas after a morning of squirrel hunting. Crows are available to nearly everyone. Normally crow hunters can get several shot opportunities at each hunting area. The action will last 10 to 20 minutes or so before the crows wise up and leave the area. This makes crow hunting the perfect way to wind up a day of hunting other species, such as a squirrel hunt in the morning and crows just before lunch, which is what Wheeler and I were doing.
Liberal seasons and limits are the norm and not only is crow hunting fun, it's also excellent practice for upland bird hunting or waterfowling. Crows present all types of shots, and normally there will be plenty of birds so you can work on the shot giving you trouble - crossers, risers, incoming - whatever. With decoys set on the ground out front, waterfowlers simulate ducks settling into the decoys.
Unlike waterfowling, however, crow hunting takes only a minimal investment to get set up for crow hunting. A twenty dollar bill will set you up with a couple of crow decoys, and another $10 for the crow call and you're ready to go.
One additional item crow hunters should look into is one of Carry-Lite's Great Horned Owl decoys. There are two sizes, one measuring 16 inches tall and the other 20 inches tall. Either will work fine. Crows and owls are mortal enemies, and the addition of the Great Horned Owl decoy in your mix will extend the length of time the crows hang around.
The owl decoys feature a small loop at the top of the head for the attachment of strong fishing line or small-diameter cord. Attach a weight to the end of the cord or line and throw it over a limb. Pull the owl decoy up and position it where it can easily be seen. Or, simply place the owl on the ground in the midst of a few crow decoys.
"You take the first shot since you've only got one," Wheeler said to me, motioning toward my Knight TK2000 muzzleloading shotgun. I had decided to make it more interesting by using the smokepole. With a loud boom and much smoke I started our crow skirmish and dropped a bird. Wheeler followed with a double, and after a brief intermission in which I reloaded, we shot a few more birds before heading into town for lunch.
Crow hunting is fun and a great way to get some practice in or simply keep your shooting eye sharp. Plus, it's inexpensive and available to nearly everyone.