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Not sure if I can make this post or not as its not about  pigeon but raptor?

I'm looking for advice on decoying  black ones 

I've only once managed a bag on crows ect  and that was shooting them over maze stubble that had been left standing for 3 weeks before I was able to shoot it I just set my hide up and started shooting  no field craft required 

 plenty about just need to figure out how to get on them any advice would be greatly appreciated

this is like going back to school

old Dave

ps sorry admin if I have put this in the wrong place

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Not legal to use electronic call. Depending on where you are, a roof on back of the hide can be helpful. Get a set of 30cm sharpened sticks. Stick them under the head of shot ones and stick them in the ground so the deeks stand up. 

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9 minutes ago, oowee said:

Not legal to use electronic call. Depending on where you are, a roof on back of the hide can be helpful. Get a set of 30cm sharpened sticks. Stick them under the head of shot ones and stick them in the ground so the deeks stand up. 

Really? I’m pretty sure the use of any electronic caller for any bird in this country is illegal. 

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22 minutes ago, oowee said:

Not legal to use electronic call. Depending on where you are, a roof on back of the hide can be helpful. Get a set of 30cm sharpened sticks. Stick them under the head of shot ones and stick them in the ground so the deeks stand up. 

 

absolutely illegal to use an electronic caller as an aid to kill birds

 

 

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58 minutes ago, JKD said:

I'm surprised that no one has pointed out that crows are not raptors, but corvids 🤔

was just about to say just that.....   All the advise above is spot on and make sure your decoys and any dead birds set up are real tidy because they will spot any discrepancy in your set up.  On occasions, when I have shot the field a few times, I will actually set the decoys 50-60yrds to my right or left according to the wind. When crows swerve off they often turn and use the wind to get away and will cut across 50-60yrds down wind of your decoys thus giving you a shot and a surprise for them.  Have fun but don't admit it.

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2 hours ago, WelshAndy said:

Really? I’m pretty sure the use of any electronic caller for any bird in this country is illegal. 

 

2 hours ago, scolopax said:

 

absolutely illegal to use an electronic caller as an aid to kill birds

 

 

That's what I said. Not legal to use electronic call.

 

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Well some good advice there 

Re covid  I should have known that must be an age thing 

If I was pigeon shooting and had dead birds I would use them as decoys

So in the absence of dead birds would you say good quality decoys are a requirement if so how many would you say ?

more work required on my hide I think

Tar again Guys

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19 minutes ago, david Paul Gag said:

Well some good advice there 

Re covid  I should have known that must be an age thing 

If I was pigeon shooting and had dead birds I would use them as decoys

So in the absence of dead birds would you say good quality decoys are a requirement if so how many would you say ?

more work required on my hide I think

Tar again Guys

Yes, 6 or 12 would be a good start.

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To be honest anything from one to 20 odd decoys will suffice and I treated most of mine with the black furry stuff but you can already buy decoys which have that finish. They stay blacker whereas the plastic ones tend to go grey. When that happens I have found that a light spray of WD40 well rubbed off brings back the blackness and don't be too worried about a little bit of shine. Next time to shoot an old crow note just how shiny its feathers are. 

If you get a chance stop and watch a bunch of crows feeding and that will give you a good idea on layout.

I have also used a floater hanging by a fishing line from a 10ft fishing rod stuck in the ground and that also works. I was actually doing this a couple of years before Mr Green displayed the idea with pigeons at the shows.  Only needs a gentle breeze and a strong wind can destroy the effect making it flap about in an un natural way.

On some of my best days I have only put one crow out to start with.  100 in sixty minutes for 106 shots is by far my best result but quite a few 150 plus days when they just kept coming.

Edited by Walker570
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Weird things crows ..most often they will give a decoy pattern a wide berth .other times they will come in and land when I'm out in the field .being almost suicidal. 

I find the best places to set up are away from trees usually in a low hedge with a natural as possible hide that dosent break the hedge line .set the crows out a distance and try to intercept them on the way to the deeks  .

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Thanks for the advice guys 

You would think I was a novice and on the blacks I am

I've always gone after the pigeons in the past so set up 1-30 pm finish 5-30 ish

the one thing that may put me  of a bit is the unearthly hour that you go out to set up

Is going out before dawn the normal ?

Thanks again Guys

Old Dave

ps

intrigued   to know why are crow callers illegal 

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Almost every time its more productive to go before dawn as they just seem to keep coming, all electric calls are illegal for shooting but not for photographs. 

Buy yourself a primos crow call for around £10 they do work. 

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You don't have to go out at dawn always. It just happens that may be the most productive time to be there. The hour I had on some laid wheat and shot the 100 for 106 I did not start shooting until just after noon as we were putting up a pheasant pen in the adjacent wood all morning which is when I saw them hitting the wheat and both my wife and I sat behind a small square of camo net hung across an elder bush.  I did not have a decoy either. She was counting the shots and the shells.  They where suicidal.

Many years ago I devised a foot pedal which blew into a crow call. It got lost in one of our moves but that allowed you to use the call but keep your mouth and hands clear to shoot.  It was one of those foot pumps for blowing up inflatables.  Shot a lot of crows over that back in the 70s and 80s.

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 30/09/2020 at 11:48, david Paul Gag said:

Thanks a lot Jim 

how about late afternoon what do you think?

have you ever used a decoy with a crow caller in side it ?

just asking

Old Dave

Apologies for the delayed reply, Dave.

There are many folks on here much more experienced than me when it comes to decoying crows, as I just don't get the time for it in recent years.  You've already had some very good advice on that.

As already stated, when they're setting out to feed from the roost is when they'll usually be most determined to get to where they want to be, otherwise later in the day you might be more of a scarecrow just moving them off the field as they browse around on their way home.

Regarding the afternoon: One observation I've made is that crows very much stick to the habit of roosting in the same woods.  Maybe not the exact spot all the time but they might alternate between several.  Observation will tell you where, because they will come in on the same lines all the time and let's be honest they make a bloody racket so you know which wood is a crow roost!  If you're fortunate enough to have permission to shoot around the roosting woods you can have a go at flighting them in.  You don't have to be in the wood or right next to it, the line will be evident a fair way away but the further you are the wider the line tends to be.  You can only really expect to bag a handful but it does give you a sense of challenge and satisfaction when you manage to outwit a few.  The flight in usually starts in dribs and drabs around 30-45 minutes before sunset and usually builds to its peak just after sunset.  You'll still get a few coming in when it's got quite dark.

One thing about crow flightlines - they tend to be quite wide so you can find yourself out of range of most birds with only a few coming within sensible range to shoot at.  I bought myself a crow caller a couple of years ago (the type you blow through!) and have found once you get the technique right with it the caller can certainly help get them over you a bit better.  You need to be super crafty though!

I try to use my hushpower in order not to spook off the incoming birds, but it's not a very nice gun to shoot and I don't get a great shot/kill ratio from it.  Its other advantage is, if you're far enough out from the roost, you won't put off the birds already up in the trees, so they'll be doing the job of calling for you.

The rule I try to follow is not to be too ambitious and shoot at them at any great range - just wait for the right opportunity to come along.  If they're just cruising in without the help of any strong wind you literally just aim at the beak.  It's sometimes difficult to transfer from flighting pigeons where you give them a bit of lead because you end up missing the crows in front all the time!

Find a nice bit of cover, or make yourself a blind to stand behind, and practice mounting your gun as slowly as possible.  Any sudden movements and they'll turn away well out of range.

I've found when roost shooting pigeons that passing crows will turn and come for a look at a shot pigeon laying on the ground so I've often adopted that as a deliberate technique!  Coupled with the crow caller you can often catch them out.

Just trying to think of any other tips I could share... if you happen to wing one and it's still got plenty of life in it when you go to pick it up... you'll find out just what a weapon that beak is!  You soon learn they have a very agile neck and can turn their head round to nip you!  What an amazing amount of power they have in that beak - when running my Larsen traps I pick birds out using a thick gardening gauntlet and when a crow gets hold of your little finger you certainly feel glad you've got that cow hide in the way.  Faced with the situation of dispatching a live one while shooting I'll find a suitable stick for a priest, pin the bird down across its neck with the stick and pick it up as usual over the wings/back.  I've found if you keep the stick in front of the crow's face it will concentrate on having a go at that rather than the hand you're holding it with!  Don't leave it too long before you put the stick into operation, and give it a few good raps in quick succession as they've got skulls like concrete.

Best of luck whatever plan of attack you decide on :)

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  • 2 weeks later...

Sorry its taken me a long while to get back to you Guys only just noticed the new posts

your posts are interesting and thought provoking I have to admit I've not been out vermin shooting  for quite few weeks now

I can drive to where I want to shoot but if the weathers bad and grounds wet I will often not bother .

I do do a fair bit of  clay shooting  as well so will wait for some good weather

The thing with corvids they dont seem to move about as much as pigeons and as Jim says they go back to the rookery

If I do manage to get out on the corvids I will let you all know how I get on

 

old Dave

 

 

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