Well, it is almost crow season.

Many hunters may have just read that statement and took pause. Crow? they ask. Why on Earth would you want to hunt crow?

Well, there are several reasons. First and foremost, you can eat them. There are actually lots of recipes for crow, ranging from pan fried crow to kabobs on the grill to a nice Creole.

Second, crows are pretty fun to hunt. These are not animals that just sit still and wait for you to get a nice bead on them and pull the trigger. Crows are used to being chased away and are constantly aware of their surroundings. They take flight at the first sight of danger or intrusion.

Take, for example, that crows are easily found feasting on road kill along the New England highways. Not only do they have to avoid the guaranteed death of being struck by an automobile, they also have to be prepared to avoid other scavengers that want to sink their teeth into the very same carrion the crows are dining on.

Because of their flee instead of fight instincts, the sport of hunting crows can be an exhilarating one indeed.

The idea, for the beginning crow hunter, is much like hunting any other kind of bird. You will want to have the appropriate equipment, be able to hit a target in motion and, hopefully, be able to strike multiple targets that all take flight at one time.

Typically, crow hunters use a 12 gauge shotgun. A 20 gauge can also be used, but have a smaller barrel diameter and that, by design, limits its capabilities versus the 12 gauge. On the other hand, a 10 gauge can be used as well, but they are typically much more expensive than their common 12 gauge cousins.

As far as an action for those shotguns, it is best to have something that can fire multiple times. A single shot will typically mean getting one good shot off on your target and, likely, one bird. A double barrel version will give you double that chance. A pump or semi automatic is best, depending on your skill, and will give you the opportunity to optimize your kill.

Now how you decide to hunt crow is completely up to you. Perhaps you will just hit to the woods and try to find an area that they are scavenging. Or, you can set up decoys and use callers. Basically, there are two types of callers available on the market today, electronic and hand callers.

The hand calls are less expensive and are made out of wood or plastic. Find one that does not take too much effort to call with. Unlike many types of hunting, crows require lots and lots of calling at very loud levels in order to draw their attention. That is why an electronic caller may be the better option, since you do not have to hold them in order to shoot, they come with varying levels of volume and can make the sounds of multiple crows all at once, something that is typically found in the natural crow environment.

As for decoys, well, you will want a few of them to put out to imitate a normal scene for crows that are circling overhead. You can buy three dimensional decoys or simply make your own by drawing a crow outline on some plywood, cutting it out and painting it flat black. Use a stick attached to the wood decoy to stick it in the ground. This actually works surprisingly well and can prove to be very inexpensive.

Use different calls, there are several and they should be practiced to draw the crows into your location. Practice, again, makes perfect.

Also, make a point of camouflaging yourself as well as you can. Crows are said to be the most intelligent birds in North America, and are known to be able to distinguish colors and spot silhouettes. Complete camouflage, including a head net or a face cover, is very important.

Remember, hunting crow is like hunting any other animal. Follow your local laws and keep track of the season. Check your bag limits, most states do not have a limit on crow, and mind where you are aiming.

And, of course, make a point to have plenty of fun.

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