Firearms/Bows for Crow Hunting
Crows are not tough birds like Canada Geese or other large species, yet they do require a good shot to anchor. While crows can be hunted with just about any firearm there are some that lend themselves better to crow hunting than others.
Without a doubt the best choice for hunting crows is the shotgun. Most shots will be taken on the wing and a shot gun helps diminish the need for a good backstop (notice I said diminish and not eliminate, always be sure of what lies beyond your target, especially in developed areas, nothing gets the neighbors in a roar like shooting out a window).
Any gauge will work, but the 12 gauge is by far the most popular, low brass 6 or 8 shot are perfect and can be purchased for under $15 per 100 at your local Wal-Mart. The next best choice is the 20 gauge, kicks less and is perfect for the beginner to the sport of bird hunting.
An improved choke will work well if you limit your shots to a reasonable distance. If you really want to reach out and touch them, or plan on hunting a large field, go with a full choke, it will tighten up your pattern and get you an extra twenty yards of range.
The long and short of it - DON'T
Crows are hard enough to take with shotgun, if you want a challeng try a bow, but there is no possible way for you to ensure that your bullet is comming down in a safe place with a rifle. Don't use it, ever, leave it in the truck and take the shotgun. I can hear people saying, "but if it is in a tree" - if it is in a tree shoot it with your shotgun. Or maybe your saying, "but what about on the ground" - then stalk it and use the shotgun, the chances of you hurting someone with a miss or even a shoot through are too great. Rifles have a place in the gun rack, but they are not meant to be used on birds (maybe turkey hunting, but that's another species).
One of the ultimate tests for the archer is taking a bird on the wing. Crows may well be the perfect bird for the archer to hunt, they are plentiful, vocal (they will let you know they are coming) and relatively large. Before you go off and start trying to take crows with your bow you should invest in some relatively cheap arrows and several of the wire “bird heads”. These hunting tips consist of large loops of wire that will ensnare the bird and bring it to the ground.
As with the rifle and yes even the shotgun, make sure you know where your arrow will come down in the event of a miss. It is surprising how far today’s bows will shoot when shot at a 45-degree angle.
What ever you decide to hunt with, the weapon must be camouflaged. You don’t need to go and spray paint your new shotgun, but it wouldn’t hurt. Any highly reflective surfaces should be dulled. I have taped scrap pieces of camo cloth to my shotguns in the past, it’s cheap, easily removed and works. Black electrical tape works the best, as it is waterproof and leaves little to no residue when removed.
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