Crow hunting season opened Sunday. We can hunt ‘em today, but we can’t hunt them Tuesday or Wednesday. Then we can hunt them again Thursday.
Yeah, it seems a little goofy, but there is a reason for this structuring of crow season. And there is a reason or maybe several reasons for hunting the birds. Eating them is not one of those reasons, despite all the lure about “eating crow.”
Nearly all of us have eaten crow in the figurative sense, but few of us have literally eaten crow.
First, the season structure.
Crows are classified as migratory birds and thus are under federal guidelines. Those rules say a state can have 124 days of crow hunting. To spread out crow hunting over a long period,. The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission allows five days a week for crow work. This stretches the season from Sept. 1 to Feb. 21.
Tuesdays and Wednesdays are closed for crow hunting. Give the birds a rest.
A frequent question is why do we have a crow season since the birds aren’t any good on the dinner table?
The answer, and maybe it only a partial one, is that crows are plentiful, crows are destructive, and crows are challenging for the hunter.
Heck, crows are everywhere, you may say. What is challenging about that?
Nearly anyone who has hunted crows will tell you after the first couple of shots, the birds wise up quickly and make themselves scarce. Electronic callers are legal, and these are effective for crow hunting –at first. Some people like to call crows with only their vocal cords, and some choose mouth-blown calls.
Any of the three methods work. Electronic callers can be ramped up on volume and bring birds in from way out yonder.
Again, shoot a few times, and the skies suddenly are clear of crows.
Another tactic some crow hunters use are owl decoys. Owls and crows are natural enemies, and a fake owl perched on a fence post or a tree limb will attract crows.
Some hunters use a combination of owl decoys and electric or blow caller. Make some noise, get the birds in where they can see the owl decoy then shut off the calling. Sight of the owl will be enough of an incentive for the crows.
Arkansas rules allow the use of shotguns, but you can’t use slug loads or shot larger than T. You can use .22 guns. You can also use center-fire weapons and muzzle-loading weapons if a hunting season allowing them is open. This means if you are sitting on a deer stand, and a crow shows up, you can cut down on it with your .30-06. Not on a Tuesday or a Wednesday, though.
Baiting is not allowed for crow hunting.
To be successful with crows, you need to camouflage yourself both with clothing and with position. Get behind some sort of a screen like tall bushes. Wear a face mask or at least keep from looking up when crows approach your hideout.
There is not a limit on crows in Arkansas.