Although most hunters don't realize it, there is another game in town if you really want to add a challenge to crow hunting. You won't get many shots, and even fewer hits, but you'll earn in triplicate each crow you bag. I'm talking about the toughest varminting around, long range rifle shooting at crows. Not for the weak of heart, this type of hunting requires not only special skill and patience, but also special firearms and ammunition.
Forget about using the family deer rifle for this type of hunt. Instead, the successful crow sniper will need the optimal in flat shooting, high velocity varmint rigs to be successful. You will generally be shooting at ranges between 200 to 300 yards and even up to 500 yard shots can be taken if you have the skill and equipment for it. This being the case, you will be most successful using one of the hot centerfire .22's, from the .223 up to the .220 Swift, or even one of the new hot .17's, all wearing a scope of at least 8x or stronger. Unlike most varmints, crows are constantly walking and/or hopping around and are a difficult target to get a lock on, moving just before you can pull the trigger. In fact, I have hunted Prairie Dogs in South Dakota, Wyoming, and Montana, and find them a piece of cake compared to a crow at the same distance. I still might miss, but at least a PD will stand still long enough for the shot.
Two methods can be used in this sport. The first is to cruise back roads in farm country (with permission) and take shots at crows feeding in the fields. This technique can be very effective, but remember, the closer you stop to these wary bandits, the more likely they are to spook when you stop your vehicle. This tactic works especially well in newly plowed fields where crows can routinely be found hunting for grubs and worms. They can also be found wherever grain is being planted or where hay is freshly cut.
The other method is to utilize a handful of decoys in a field that would normally attract crows, especially along a flight path. Then, the hunter can take a position a couple of hundred yards away and setup for the shot. An added advantage to this method is that you can measure off the yardage prior to the shot, increasing your chance for a hit. I enjoy mixing this technique with a lazy afternoon of groundhog hunting, thereby increasing my possibility at a target of opportunity.
Sniping crows, although demanding, really elevates the status of each crow bagged to a real trophy. But when shooting calibers that clock at over 3500 fps, don't expect to mount many of your trophies.
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