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"Guiding For Crows"
by Kenny King (Crow Busters Crow Staff)

Kenny King (The Iowa Crow King) on the left with his assistant Curt on a typical guided crow hunt.
Kenny has guided for the shooting of over 33,000 crows in the last 20 years.

Being a guide is like being Humpty-Dumpty, you are setting yourself up for a great fall. If you don't know your game like the back of your hand, you are probably facing a lot of problems.

Then there is the cooperation of the animal you are after, and finally, there is GOOD OLE MOTHER NATURE !!!!

Before you ever get into the field, you already have three strikes against you.

  1. MOTHER NATURE (Where does it say, that being a guide for hire, that you can predict the weather for the day that your client wants to hunt?)
  2. THE ANIMAL ITSELF (With crows it's decoy placement, more decoys or less, do I use two callers or only one, a mouth call, an owl, maybe not?)
  3. YOUR CLIENTS (Will they wear camouflage or not? If so, what colors? Can they shoot? Will they listen to you and bring plenty of shells?)

And if that's not enough to think about, you can always ask yourself, did I pick the right area or spot? Then you have the time of the season. How soon will the birds wise up to the callers and decoys? Have they been shot at enough or called to be shy of the callers and gunshots?

And last there is the client that set up this hunt. Said he had heard from a friend how much fun that he had and all the great shooting there was and thought you must be a professional. Oh Boy, now the pressure to perform really good. You try to tell the guy that you have had some very good hunt and it's getting later in the season and that anything can, and probably will, happen. But after hearing what a good time that his friend had, he won't have or think of anything else.

At this point there is only one thing that you can do... Pray, cross your fingers and knock on wood. Not that I am superstitious, but it never hurts to be safe about these things, if you know what I mean. Now Heaven willing, you are ready to start guiding. You've scouted the area, so you hope the crow will be there. You've checked the blind, set up the decoys, and told your clients where to meet you. Now that you are ready, what could possibly go wrong?

You drive them out to the blind and unload the truck, hide the vehicle and return to the blind where your clients ask "How long before we see any action?". In return you just smile and say, "Just as soon as I turn the caller on." YOU FOOL !!!! Why did you have to go and say that? You are now just asking to fall off the GREAT WALL!!!

Fortunately for you, the scouts appear immediately upon turning the caller on. Small talk tells you that your clients are waterfowl hunters. Are they sky-busters? They assure you that they have hunted over decoys and you begin to wonder.

It's not long before the shooting gets hot and you can tell from the first bunch of crows that these guys have never shot crows and wonder about the ducks! Only one of the five is shooting light loads while the others are shooting heavy field loads in 6's and 4's... what punishment... over kill. There will certainly be some sore shoulders tonight.

In the next 2 1/2 hours they shoot 17 boxes of shells, kill 73 crows, and tell you it was the most fun they ever had. Thank you Lord! You have, once again, preserved your reputation as the king of crow guides. After years of guiding clients from 14 different states including Alaska, I am fortunate to be able to count all my dismal hunts on both hands. One gentleman, unbelievably, had three bad hunts in a row but still had a great time. I still owe him a great hunt.

Even after 21 years of shooting over 40,000 crows, I still havenít learned all of their tricks.

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