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today's crow hunt - need suggestions on ammo


mazzgolf

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I really like crow hunting. It is rare I go out and don't see at least one come in to the caller.

 

This morning, went out on the edge of a corn field (I figured - what crow doesn't like a corn field!?) , put a couple decoys and my FoxPro on some stalks, sat inside a tree line and waited. This time I had made sure to wear camo gloves and a mask on - just making sure I was as hidden as possible.

 

It was all quiet for close to an hour, I only heard a couple crows a far distance away during the first hour. So I supplemented the e-caller by blowing a couple loud calls from my non-electronic call to see if I got any interest. At about 9:30, I had the crows worked up! About 8 or 10 came out of nowhere from behind me and were squawking up a storm! The problem was, the tree canopy is still so thick, I could barely see them over top! They would perch in the trees above me sqauwking away - I loved it though. Only a few at a time would come in and circle the decoys/caller, and its hard getting a good shot - they have to be close enough but not so close as to be away from the overhanging tree limbs that get in the way. Well, after watching and listening to them going crazy for about 10 minutes, I decided to take a shot that I thought I had, but I missed!!! DRAT! I don't know if he was too far away or what. But that was all she wrote. Those crows were gone within 30 seconds - it went from a noisy frenzy to all-quiet that fast - and I only took that one shot. They spook real easy.

 

Anyway, I have a feeling these normal 2 3/4" #7.5 target loads aren't the best ammo to use, even though that seems to be what a lot of people use. Whose been crow hunting and what ammo have you been successful using? I am thinking of going up to a 3" shell, but not sure if going to #6 shot is going to help or hurt. I don't even know what ammo is out there specifically for this kind of hunting.

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It really depends on the shot the crow presents.  3" will definitely give you more reach out and touch.  6s will be better for longer shots but 7.5 will be better for fuller patterns.  

 

Wish I could be more help.   :lookaround:

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I really like crow hunting. It is rare I go out and don't see at least one come in to the caller.

 

This morning, went out on the edge of a corn field (I figured - what crow doesn't like a corn field!?) , put a couple decoys and my FoxPro on some stalks, sat inside a tree line and waited. This time I had made sure to wear camo gloves and a mask on - just making sure I was as hidden as possible.

 

It was all quiet for close to an hour, I only heard a couple crows a far distance away during the first hour. So I supplemented the e-caller by blowing a couple loud calls from my non-electronic call to see if I got any interest. At about 9:30, I had the crows worked up! About 8 or 10 came out of nowhere from behind me and were squawking up a storm! The problem was, the tree canopy is still so thick, I could barely see them over top! They would perch in the trees above me sqauwking away - I loved it though. Only a few at a time would come in and circle the decoys/caller, and its hard getting a good shot - they have to be close enough but not so close as to be away from the overhanging tree limbs that get in the way. Well, after watching and listening to them going crazy for about 10 minutes, I decided to take a shot that I thought I had, but I missed!!! DRAT! I don't know if he was too far away or what. But that was all she wrote. Those crows were gone within 30 seconds - it went from a noisy frenzy to all-quiet that fast - and I only took that one shot. They spook real easy.

 

Anyway, I have a feeling these normal 2 3/4" #7.5 target loads aren't the best ammo to use, even though that seems to be what a lot of people use. Whose been crow hunting and what ammo have you been successful using? I am thinking of going up to a 3" shell, but not sure if going to #6 shot is going to help or hurt. I don't even know what ammo is out there specifically for this kind of hunting.

I reload my own shot shells. 1-1/8oz 6's or 7.5 shot out of a 32" full choke barrel. I can't tell you my other secrets, because I won't have any targets left.

 

 

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I reload my own shot shells. 1-1/8oz 6's or 7.5 shot out of a 32" full choke barrel. I can't tell you my other secrets, because I won't have any targets left.

 

Can you share your reload recipe?  :stirring:

 

I do have a Lee Load-All II. But my problem is, I can't find any powder. I've got Lyman's Shotshell Reloading Handbook, 5th ed - and most of the stuff in there I want to use I can't find (like Red Dot, for example).

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When I worked on a farm in High School ( late 80's ) the farmer would carry around his 22 rifle on a golf cart  and when he saw the crows they would not only be shot but  I had to hang up the dead crows by their feet in the field as a warning to any other crows.....dont know if the other crows heeded the warning  but it was interesting working there....

ESTATESALESBYOLGA.COM    ALWAYS BUYING ANTIQUE AND VINTAGE ITEMS  CALL 908 868 8236 MIKE

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Can you share your reload recipe? :stirring:

 

I do have a Lee Load-All II. But my problem is, I can't find any powder. I've got Lyman's Shotshell Reloading Handbook, 5th ed - and most of the stuff in there I want to use I can't find (like Red Dot, for example).

I use Federal Gold Metal hulls or Winchester AA. I have used a multitude of powders, but I prefer 700X or Wichester 571. Clay Buster Wads. 1-1/8 shot. Depends on where you live on finding powder. Sometimes I buy it online or Point of purchase in NY or Pa.

You are going to be cranking your arm off with that Lee press. I reason I started reloading is because of all the shells I was burning up. There are several crow hunting sights on the net.

Check out Crow Busters.

Trial and error is the secret.

It's a sick sport, but I love it.

 

 

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http://www.mackspw.com/Item--i-X12CS

 

Some 6 or 7.5 shot will be a very reasonable load for crows. A little more powder with the high brass. I would recommend a mod choke but you really should pattern your gun. In all honesty though it sounds like you need to change how you are setting up more than you need to change your load

 

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I use #4s with a full choke...it's alot of fun chasing them but I hope you have plenty of spots to hunt because they are smart birds...once you fire a single shot that spot is done for weeks so your going to have to move around alot...that's atleast from what ive learned hunting them ths past 3 years

Edited by Psehunter
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I use #4s with a full choke...it's alot of fun chasing them but I hope you have plenty of spots to hunt because they are smart birds...once you fire a single shot that spot is done for weeks so your going to have to move around alot...that's atleast from what ive learned hunting them ths past 3 years

I not bragging, but in one set two guys shooting. We have shot 80 sum birds. Just imagine shooting 5 boxes of shells and running out of shells. Then you see a madman running through the woods to get more ammo and his partner is yelling get down more birds are coming in. I give you one clue........its to warm out.

 

 

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it sounds like you need to change how you are setting up more than you need to change your load

 

It would not surprise me in the least if my set up is all wrong. I am learning as I go - it's just me going out so its a bunch of trial and error (reading crowbusters.com and watching a bunch of YouTube videos, too). For example, opening week, I went out and sat without camo'ed gloves or mask and I wasn't concealed under a lot of cover (just along a tree line, but more open because i wanted to get better open shots above me) - I wanted to see how much I could get away with. Well, twice within like 15 minutes I had a crow fly over and just keep on going. I'm sure they saw me (usually when I got that FoxPro squawking out crow fight, they will normally caw-caw back and circle - but these guys never made a peep or gave me a second thought).

 

This morning, I set up more inside a tree line, and camo'ed up (everything was covered, hands, face included). Seemed to work better - the only time they knew I was there was when I shot (and missed). But the tree canopy is still so thick it's hard to get a good shot. I had to shoot when they were farther out, away from the tree tops - but that causes me to have to take a farther shot. So I could very well be setting up all wrong - I just dunno where else to go that isn't all the way out in the open or 20 yards inside the woods and not be able to see anything. My next trial-n-error will be moving my caller and decoys farther away from me and to my left or right rather than directly in front of me. We'll see if I can get any better (of course, deer season is coming up quick, and small game, and fall turkey, then goose, so I'll only have a few more tries before I hang up crow hunting until end of season in March!!)

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I only started doing it because a) it starts really early (August) and I want an excuse to sit out in the woods and B) it ends late (March) and I want an excuse to sit out in the woods :)

 

Plus, crows are all over. I see them all the time just driving around (saw a huge flock the other day, could have been 50 or more of them). So its not hard to run into them in the woods - they hear the calls and they can come from a long ways away.

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