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Crows provide great first hunt experiences
RAYMOND, Miss.--Farmers and other birds hate them, but hunters love crows for the productive, fast-paced hunts they can provide.
The black clouds of birds can do a number on a pecan orchard in a short amount of time. Similarly, they are known to dig up seeds in corn, peanut and other row crop fields. That is why farmers hate them.
These carnivorous nuisances destroy the nests of other birds, including song birds and game birds. They eat eggs and young hatchlings. That is why you may see other birds fighting with them.
Which brings me to why hunters love them: With a few dollars in equipment and a little bit of knowledge, you can have a boatload of fun hunting the clever crow. In fact, beginner success combined with an abundance of crows throughout Mississippi makes shooting these bandits a perfect way to introduce a young person to the great sport of hunting.
For those of us who have seen more than a few seasons come and go, our hunting firsts may be years in the past. Even so, I will never forget my very first crow hunt. The sky seemed black with thousands of crows. To a 14-year-old, it was magical, and I was instantly hooked.
With the general level of distraction facing our youth, it is getting harder and harder to get young people involved in the shooting sports. The last thing we need to do is turn off the next generation of hunters by sticking them in a cold, wet deer stand for several hours without seeing a single animal pass by.
Today’s young people have been raised on a steady diet of video games and fast food. They have an extremely short attention span and demand instant satisfaction. That is why crow hunting can be the perfect first hunt. Plenty of action, combined with making blinds, setting decoys, calling, and abundant shooting make for a great introduction into the sport of hunting.
The process is very similar to duck hunting, but without the frigid water. Crow hunts can be excellent training grounds for future duck hunts.
Crow hunts provide convenient opportunities to review those hunter safety lessons. If a young hunter is ever going to get excited and break a safety rule, the hot and heavy action of a crow hunt is sure to reveal any bad habits.
Since most farmers have no love for these crop predators, getting permission to hunt crow is much easier than for other types of hunting. Always conduct yourself in a courteous and respectful manner. Quite often the relationship developed between a crow hunter and a landowner will grow into an invitation to hunt other game species.
Crow season in Mississippi runs from November through February with no limit on the number harvested.
Please make the time to introduce a young hunter to the sport of crow hunting. Besides making it possible for them to enjoy the great outdoors, you might just experience a little of that “first time” black magic for yourself.
Editor’s Note: Extension Outdoors is a column authored by several different experts in the Mississippi State University Extension Service.