Crows have notorious eyesight and like most creatures, can easily detect movement. File photo / Daryn Slover Sun Journal

It started with a call from my old friend, Paul Bissonnette. Biz is a big bird hunter and loves wing shooting more than just about anything. We had hunted ducks before, but that was years ago. He told me that he knew a local farmer who was having troubles with crows getting into his feed and sileage.

We made a plan to hunt on Presidents Day, a day off for me. I asked Waleed, my girlfriend’s son, if he wanted to go on a crow hunt. He immediately said yes. He shot his first turkey last spring and is hooked on hunting. We readied our gear the night before, full camo, our scatterguns and shells and some snacks.

Tom Roth is a freelance outdoor writer who lives in Raymond on the shore of Sebago Lake. He has been fishing and hunting in this region for more than 30 years and is a Registered Maine Guide.

When 4:30 a.m. came around, I quickly had our thermoses filled with coffee and hot chocolate, respectively. After a quick stop to grab a breakfast sandwich, we were headed to the farm. I had driven by it a few days earlier when Biz and I were making plans and I was excited to see the sky over the farm filled with crows. That was a good sign.

We met Paul and his son Jacob on the access road and drove out back where the sileage sheds were. After scouting the area, we decided to set up on a slight rise adjacent to the tree line. Paul fired up his electronic crow call and we loaded our guns. In no time at all, a few crows circled cautiously out of range. Then a few more. Finally, the tree line filled with birds, oddly termed a “murder” of crows. They were looking for the boisterous bird that was calling and trying to see what he was calling about. We did not have decoys, which would have forced the birds closer. Oftentimes I add an owl decoy because, for some reason, crows hate owls.

Soon birds started floating over us in range, but each time we looked to the sky to get a bead on one, they would flare. Crows have notorious eyesight and like most creatures, can easily detect movement. I told Waleed to keep his head down until the last second. His first volley left the crow unscathed. Paul and I folded up a bird each. This was Waleed’s first experience shooting birds on the wing and although he was frustrated by a miss, it was good practice. He eventually got the hang of it, swinging through the bird and leading it and was dropping birds like us old veterans. We used an old Native American trick and propped up the lifeless bodies of our quarry with sticks and made decoys in the snow. This really worked and we had birds dropping in now that they could hear and see crows.

On the ride home, Waleed remarked how much fun he had and that he wanted to do more bird hunting this fall. Paul called me the next day and said the farmer was happy with our work and wanted us to come back. Crow season runs from Jan. 21 through March 31 if you want to experience a good old-fashioned crow hunt.

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