Crow pest control

Crows thrive around farms and farm buildings as well as in their traditional roost woods. If you are going to keep numbers down to a level the farmer can live with you will need to shoot them in the woods and the farm yard.

Crows are very smart birds, no really smart! You need good field craft to shoot them in the trees where they have to advantage of height to see anything within shooting range. Young birds newly fledged may be shootable for a few weeks after leaving their nests but the get wise very quickly.

Decoying can work well but you need to ring the changes in your set up as they soon realise where the threat is coming from. Shoot different locations each time, mix up your decoys methods too. Flocked crow decoys on hedges, on feed clamps or out in the stublle work well. Crows usually come to decoys because they know they are not their regular crow friends, they come to drive them out. Some shooters have great success putting out broken nests with a couple of real eggs in. Try a small stuffed fox cub too, crows hate them and soon dive in on them.

Remeber not to send you dog for wounded crows, they are very likely to injure you dog too. If in doubt give a crow a second barrel on the way down to make sure it is humanely dispatched.

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Rabbit shooting and land management

Pest control can be a time consuming business and harvest time is when the farmer has least time to spare. As crops come of the fields pest such as rabbits and foxes get concentrated into the last of the standing crop and it is an ideal time to reduce their numbers. Obvioulsy the farmer and his various skilled drivers are too busy to dispatch rabbits and foxes so this leaves a need for pest controllers to team up and follow the harvester.

Experienced guns can cover long sides of the crop and be trusted to shoot in close proximity to the moving machinery without compromising safety. This is not a job for enthusiastic amateurs! You have to know where your other guns are and to all stay on station. Know your ranges and don’t use any very heavy loads or steel shot because they can carry too far or richochet of stones in the ground. Stick with a good solid game load like 28/32g No 5. No slugs, no buck shot or SG.

It is a long hard day but worthwhile especially if the farmer sees plenty of pests gone!

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