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Beginner Techniques - Weather, Blind Location & Setup


Crows can be hunted effectively on both sunny and overcast days and in all temperature ranges. However, keep in mind that while those sunny "bluebird" days are pleasant to be outdoors, direct sun means that you must be extra careful about your camouflage.

Light rain seems to have little effect on crow behavior, but heavy rain will generally discourage crows from flying. Windy days can still work well, but the wind will tend to reduce the effective range of your calling and may dissuade flight weary crows from deviating to your set, especially in the evening. Foggy conditions seem to be magical, with the crows dropping in right on top of you before they spot you or the decoys. Always make an effort to get to your favorite spot when fog is in the forecast.

Blind Location and Setup

Once you have found a general area for your hunt, you need to set up a specific spot for calling. If you have located an active flyway, try to position yourself a couple of hundred yards to one side of the flyway or the other. If possible, constructing a blind in advance will allow the crows to become accustomed to it and will prevent any unnecessary commotion when it is time to hunt. Also, it best to rest a particular blind for a few weeks after it has been shot a couple of times.

Another good setup is to find a patch of low trees with an opening in the middle. This forces the crows over the open area to investigate the calling and gives the hunters a good field of fire. Remember, when approaching from over woods, crows tend to hug the top of the trees. Try to find trees of a height that will force the crows within range when they appear over your stand.

Whichever location you chose, it is important to make sure that you have an open field of fire when it comes time to throw up the guns. This is perhaps the biggest mistake beginners make. Digging yourself in so deep into surrounding brush may give you complete camouflage, but the effort is wasted if you can never get a decent shot. Spend enough time to locate a stand that gives a good balance between concealment and open shooting lanes. Always remember to give yourself a good "field of fire" when constructing a blind.

Blind Setup - 270 degrees
This particular blind allows the shooter to take crows at a full 270 degrees.

Blinds can be quickly fashioned on the spot from surrounding vegetation or can be constructed from commercial material or a combination of both. A good technique is to bring a piece of camouflage material to the site and then sweeten it up a bit with some local branches or grass. Either way, it is important to erect it no higher than the surrounding vegetation to keep from alerting the crows. When constructing your blind, be sure you are hidden in all four directions, since they have a habit of diving on you from every possible angle. For more tips on blind setup, see Advanced Techniques.

Blind Setup - Hidden
A properly constructed blind should match surrounding vegetation.

There is a saying among crow hunters, "You can never be too camouflaged". Crows have excellent eyesight and can detect movement from a long way off, and of course they can detect color. Like wild turkeys, crows have the ability to identify the silhouette of a hunter. Therefore, it is paramount that you be camouflaged as completely as possible, including gloves and a face mask. Pick a pattern that best mimics the surrounding vegetation and attempt to keep to the shadows whenever possible. And don't forget to check your gun for any flashy surfaces that might give you away. With the proper use of camouflage and concealment, you can be quite successful even without using a blind.

Continue to Beginner Techniques -Decoying & Calling>>

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