Crow Hunting: Fun Tuneup for Shotgunners

Crow Hunting: Fun Tuneup for Shotgunners
Crow Hunting: Fun Tuneup for Shotgunners
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – Crows – they are everywhere in Arkansas, they are extremely plentiful, and they offer hunting opportunities on both public and private land.

Another factor with crow hunting is the birds are a challenge, every bit as demanding of hunter skills as ducks, doves and other birds.

Most farmers regard crows as pests, so this can be a tip for finding a place to hunt them. Ask a farmer or other landowner for permission. You don’t even need to offer a share of what you take. Very few people will welcome a gift of a mess of crows.

Crow hunting dates are set by the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission but under federal parameters since the birds are classed as migratory. Crow season opened Sept. 3 and will run through Feb. 24, but hunting is five days a week. Tuesdays and Wednesdays are closed.

Shooting hours are 30 minutes before sunrise until sunset. There is no limit on crows.

Crows may not be hunted with rifles or pistols larger than .22 caliber rimfire or with muzzleloaders larger than .40 caliber unless a modern gun or muzzleloading deer season, bear season or coyote season is open. Crows may not be hunted with shotguns using rifled slugs or shot larger than T shot. Crows may not be hunted over bait.

Electronic callers are allowed, and these are regarded as necessities by many experienced crow seekers.

Arkansas crow hunters fall into two general categories. One is people wanting to hone their skills in the off season. The other is people who find it an enjoyable and different game from other types of hunting.

Any type shotgun works for crows, and they don’t have to be plugged to a 3-round maximum. Some crow hunters go for medium chokes since shooting can be anywhere from very close to way out there. No. 7 ½ shot is a popular choice, and No. 8 works well also.

Calls, electronic or hand-blown, are used and you’ll find a few Arkansans who can simply imitate a crow with mouth only.

Decoys are suggested – two to a half-dozen crow decoys and perhaps an imitation great horned owl, a traditional enemy of crows. Put the decoy owl on a fence post or a branch of a tree with decoy crows nearby, and you may not have to call if crows are in the vicinity.

Finding a crow roost is a major plus. The birds are habitual, using the same paths to and from the roost. Set up near this route, put out the decoys and hide well then wait.

In the crows’ favor, though, are their extreme wariness and excellent eyesight. Some hunters regard crows as highly intelligent. Fool them once, and they’re gone for the day is a common belief. Some hunters shoot into a group of crows, see the survivors leave then they stay put and wait for a new group to show up. Other hunters will change locations after a flurry of shooting at one bunch.

With electronic callers, the sound volume can be controlled from soft to extremely loud. A common technique is to set up with decoys and a blind or other concealment, wait a few minutes then call at high volume. When crows are seen in the distance, back off on the sound, lowering it to a normal crow sound.

Crows may also respond to injured rabbit calls. If you have an owl decoy, don’t bother with trying to do an owl call, hunters advise. Just the sight of the owl is enough to get the birds stirred up and coming in. A lone crow may come to the call first. This is a scout. Hunters suggest not shooting the first arrival but letting the main group get within range.

Full camouflage is vital for crow hunters. Some believe crow hunting requires as serious attention to camouflage as turkey hunting does.

Recommended for You


New TRUGLO Bowfishing EZ•Rest

May 23, 2019

Brush-style bowfishing arrow rest and kits designed for simplicity and reliability.


State Records Reported in Maryland, Michigan

G&F Online Staff - May 23, 2019

It must be time for summer fishing because records are falling everywhere.

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

Electric Filet Knife from Bubba Blades

As OSG's Lynn Burkhead looks on, Josh Neville shows off the cordless and corded versions of a new electric filet knife from Bubba Blades.

New Abu Garcia Baitcasting Reels

In the booth of one of fishing's all-time great reel makers, Outdoor Sportsman Group writer Lynn Burkhead and Andrew Wheeler of Pure Fishing discuss one of the brand new baitcasting reels from Abu Garcia being released at ICAST 2019.

Costa's Award Winning Waterwoman Sunglasses

Costa's Amanda Sabin tells OSG's Lynn Burkhead about all of the great features that made the new Waterwoman frame a big winner at the 2019 ICAST show as well as out on the water.

See more Popular Videos

Trending Stories


Find and Fish Bluegill Beds Efficiently

Terry Madewell - May 22, 2019

You can catch bluegill faster with these strategies.


How To Make Your Own Catfish Dough Bait

Keith Sutton - August 04, 2015

When it comes to fishing baits, you won't find a more unusual variety than the strange brews...


4 Tips When Jig Fishing For Bass

Chris Schneider - August 25, 2015

A 7 pound giant taken on a jig during the pre-spawn transistion in the Midwest. Although...

See More Stories

More Stories


Behind the Badge: A Warden's First Night-Poaching Bust

Game & Fish Online Staff - July 30, 2018

Behind the Badge is a regular series of perspective stories by Oklahoma game warden Carlos...


Game & Fish's Top 10 Stories of 2018

G&F Online Staff - December 24, 2018

From a world-record crappie to the best gear of the year, these hunting and fishing articles...


Coyote Calling Tips for Hunting at Close Range

Tim Lilley - January 09, 2014

Brian Meyer likes to have coyotes within 20 yards! He uses an SKB shotgun for his coyote...

See More Stories

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Temporary Price Reduction


Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services


GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.