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View Full Version : Innundated with Crows---What to do?


dfaugh
September 16, 2006, 07:31 AM
OK, I swear to God, that there are more crows per square mile around my house, than any other place on earth. They *&^%$%#%(* things woke me up AGAIN at 0 dark thirty this morning.

Now, they used to occasionally land in the back of my lawn, and I zapped a couple with my .22 (@almost 100 yards, kinda proud of those shots-DRT---yes, I have a BIG lawn. So smart F-ers that they are, they now will not land in my lawn any more. BUT, they keep to the trees surrounding me (the ones this morning were over in my neighbors trees across the street, which are only about 75 ft. from my bedroom window.

Now, I cannot safely shoot them outa the trees (with the .22) as there are roads/buildings/houses within a 1/4 mile or so, and I'd be shooting upward at between a 30 and 45 degree angle. Shotgun is no good as they'll never let me get anywhere near close enough.

My local Gander Mountain has crow "decoys", and I'm wondering if anyone has ever used these. I'd put 'em out in the back yard, and once the crows land, they get zapped (safe backstop there). Again, anyone ever tried this? Will they bring the crows outa the trees, to see what their "buddy" is doing?

TIA

Pointer
September 16, 2006, 08:02 AM
Decoys work a little...

The best decoy is a wounded crow...

Tie his feet to a spike and let him flap around... soon you will have more wounded crows to stake out...

An owl decoy will attract them too because they will buzz an owl and try to run him off if they see one...

Down on the farm the crows came in great numbers to eat the peanuts...
They would fly in every morning and go back to their rookery (A stand of trees) every evening...again in great numbers...

You could see them flying several abreast, in a straight line ("As the crow flies").

You could position yourself under their flight path with a shotgun and shoot crows all day long...

They would deviate their course around you for a short time and then, very soon, they would be flying straight over head again...

Many years ago farmers would hang dynamite from the trees in the rookery, and when the crows "came home to roost" they would touch off the charge and kill thousands of crows at once...

The Enviro-Nazis, and Bleeding-Hearts, have put and end to that... :(

Have fun! :D

Art Eatman
September 16, 2006, 08:55 AM
Yeah, an owl decoy makes for a lot of entertainment. Set it out in shotgun range. Leave the dead crows on the ground. Lotsa times, other crows come for the funeral and eulogies.

:), Art

rem33
September 16, 2006, 09:38 AM
Leave the dead one laying in the yard or better I have heard, hanging by a foot. We have a crow problem here this time of year. I began leaving a dead one laying in the yard wings spread out and the others will avoid my trees and ones close by. Doesn't completely eliminate the noise but stops the droppings all over everything on the patio etc. for a few days.

springmom
September 16, 2006, 11:22 AM
Or you could try the solution used by ...oh, shoot, what's his name, he played one of the originals in M*A*S*H and was the dad in "Steel Magnolias"...

At any rate, in order to rid his home of grackles prior to his daughter's wedding, Dad takes a cross bow and ties about a zillion firecrackers to it, lights the firecrackers, and then shoots the cross bow into an upper branch of the tree.

The birds took off when all those firecrackers went off at once all around them. :D

Seriously though...shotshells? That's safer than a .22 because they won't travel a mile....

Springmom

rem33
September 16, 2006, 01:45 PM
Ok,yes, firecrackers work.
Once it is dark and crows are in the tree by the dozens we tape a small firecracker to a little rock or walnut and toss em up into the tree. Works great they can't fly away fast enough. One tiny firecracker is all you need.

Capt Charlie
September 16, 2006, 04:32 PM
Ok,yes, firecrackers work.
Yes they do, but they work a little better if you can place 'em right in the middle of the flock, and bird bombs (http://www.margosupplies.com/american1/scare/launchers_pyro_new.htm) do that pretty well. I've used them, and while they're a little expensive, they work great! Ever see a crow have a heart attack? :D

HARDCORE
September 16, 2006, 06:32 PM
If you have a field out back the house, put a 4x4 post in the ground so about 3-4 feet stays above the ground. crows love to sit on these posts. Range them before you put them in so you know where your shot will be dead on.

HARDCORE

osufanboy
September 16, 2006, 06:45 PM
Anyone here eat 'em? I hear they taste like duck (breasts only). Sure they're scavengers. So are crab, lobster, catfish, pig...

http://crowbusters.com/recipes.htm

swampdog
September 16, 2006, 07:08 PM
Possibly this link might help.

http://www.crowbusters.com/begtechn_dc.htm

He describes using an owl decoy and even includes a sample calling sequence.
He also mentions staking out a tomcat as a decoy. I've seen crows dive-bombing cats, so I bet this would work. You better have a pretty understanding cat, though. I don't think either of mine would appreciate it too much.

22-rimfire
September 16, 2006, 10:26 PM
I would start feeding them shelled corn on the ground. After they get used to eating it, pop em as you can.

DonR101395
September 16, 2006, 10:39 PM
Growing up my friends dad would buy two cases of shotgun shells in August and in Sept he would have 3-4 of us over for a couple of weekends of fun. We got practice shooting pigeons at his expense and he got rid of the pigeons from around his grain cylos. It was win/win and alot of fun. Do you have kids with friends? Cheap, fun and problem solved.

JohnKSa
September 16, 2006, 11:06 PM
If they haven't been hunted much, you can get amazing results with a crow call and a shotgun.

Dreadnought
September 16, 2006, 11:19 PM
Since it seems the OP lives at least in a slightly residential area, I think the shotgun idea is not a good idea. Thought about baiting some cheap meats with a ton of industrial rat poison? The silent killer...

Not too good when you've got a shytload of dead birds all over everyone's yards... Air rifles and some friends, maybe?

I interned at an outdoor chemical plant, we used recorded juvenile osprey distress calls and we didn't have a problem with birds nesting in the tank farms or the plant. But that noise can be just as annoying as the blackbirds...

Trip20
September 17, 2006, 12:48 AM
Use .22short and don't miss. :cool:

Hkmp5sd
September 17, 2006, 05:34 AM
Electronic Bird Chase Ultrasonic Control System (http://www.electronicbirdrepellers.com/)

UniversalFrost
September 17, 2006, 06:27 AM
bbguns when near houses with a crow decoy work wonders. For the long distance shots a .222 or .223 works wonders. (plus you know when you hit em by all the flying feathers "puff"!):)

dfaugh
September 17, 2006, 07:35 AM
I would start feeding them shelled corn on the ground.

Actually, I put out some corn (mostly to keep the deer in the area for later (hunting season)...and they ignored it completely(??????)

Again, I'm looking for:

A) a way to get them on the ground in the back yard (my woods start almost exactly 100 yards from my back porch.

B) get them into shotgun range, for safeties sake. I can safely shoot birdshot in almost any direction (although TECHNICALLY I have to be 500 ft. from an occupied dwelling) except directly in line with my house (which, besides peppering my house, might also land in the across-the-street neighbors.

I can safely zap 'em 10 times out of 10, from my back porch, with my .22, IF I can get em on the ground. But my property backs up to the NYS Thruway, about 1/4 of a mile away. So, a .223 or something similar is out of the question.

If I could attract them enough, I'd go sit in the woods (at the edge of my lawn, or 50-100 yards into the woods) and blast 'em with a shotgun (although TECHNICALLY still illegal as I'd be a little too close to the house(s). But I have an informal shooting range, about 250 fts into the woods from my houssse, and I've not had a problem with the neighbors. May try the crow call.

P..S. As I'm typing this, I can HEAR the SOBs out in back. I don''t know why they annoy me so much, but they DO.

ZeroJunk
September 17, 2006, 12:20 PM
Some of the electronic callers Cabelas and others sell have crow calls available.They work very well with decoys and you will have every crow in the neighborhood there.Normally you only get one good chance a day at them before they figure it out.

FirstFreedom
September 17, 2006, 02:39 PM
Thanks for the crow hunting link - that site is gonna help me get some of those nuisances. Though they're not as thick here as it sounds like they are up in NY! I've heard that if you get them good and worked up with a crow/owl fight or similar, and take them out one by one with a .22 CB cap or SSS ammo, being relatively quiet, the others will stick around - as Art & others have mentioned. I can tell you this - you have to have yourself completely hidden and still or they won't even land - they will just fly around. And once they figure out that it's a trap, no amount of calling will bring them back that same day. Can't wait to try to hunt them again with Bush/Ceiner .22 with Aguila SSS - that's the perfect quiet crow load out to about 65 or 70 yards.

UniversalFrost
September 17, 2006, 03:44 PM
Heres an alternative I just though about. What about shooting them out of the air with a good 12 or 20 gauge shotgun with a full choke. I mean when they are still flying over your property and within range. That should atleast get a few of them and scare away the rest, but the neighbors might complain:rolleyes:

JohnKSa
September 17, 2006, 05:01 PM
But my property backs up to the NYS Thruway, about 1/4 of a mile away. So, a .223 or something similar is out of the question.A .22LR bullet can go 1.5 miles. I'd say if a .223 isn't safe, neither is a .22LR. In fact, a .223 would probably be safer than a .22LR if you use a light fast varmint load since the bullet will tend to break up rather than ricochet.

22-rimfire
September 17, 2006, 05:58 PM
I feed shelled corn at my bird feeder in my back yard, and crows routinely come to the feeder to pick up the shelled corn on the ground. I put the corn out for the dag squirrels, but they prefer sunflower seeds.

It takes a while to get them used to feeding and feeling safe.

springmom
September 17, 2006, 07:42 PM
Ok,yes, firecrackers work.
Once it is dark and crows are in the tree by the dozens we tape a small firecracker to a little rock or walnut and toss em up into the tree. Works great they can't fly away fast enough. One tiny firecracker is all you need.

....wouldn't several strings of 500 be a LOT more fun???? :D :D :D

Springmom

rem33
September 17, 2006, 10:47 PM
wouldn't several strings of 500 be a LOT more fun????


YES,until the cops came. Unfortunately I live "in town" now.

My favorite idea, which will never happen is.
A M80 in the center of a small plastic jar filled with bird shot, raised 3/4 of the way up the tree. Sitting in the center of a 3/8 inch thick piece of metal with about a three foot diameter. set off remotely, would be 'bout perfect. Would kill a bunch of em but might be kinda hard on the tree.

Socrates
September 17, 2006, 11:08 PM
Keep in mind, crows mate for life.
I've shot a few, and wish I'd come up with a better solution, that doesn't leave a dead bird. 22 short, CZ 452. If you don't miss, the bullet isn't going far.

The distress cry after shooting one takes all the fun out of it, for me, anyway.

S

JJB2
September 17, 2006, 11:59 PM
i shot a crow last week in one of the trees behind my place with my rws mod 34..... the 17 cal pellet took him out pretty fast from an est 40 yards away... i just happened to be in my backyard shooting my steel bowling pin swinger when he showed up and started making a racket...... yep the rws is good medicine for that problem :D ........


LIFE IS SHORT..............

steveracer
September 18, 2006, 07:49 AM
...buy about 500 Aquilla Super Colibri rounds. They work wonders in my CZ-452 Scout, and the impact of the bullet is louder than the report from the rifle. These things are QUIET!

FrontSight
September 18, 2006, 11:17 AM
Why not use bird lime in a brown paper cone with bait in it? Read that in an old book, when men were men, lol.

littlmak
September 18, 2006, 10:44 PM
Bottle rockets are a fun and effective

Benonymous
September 19, 2006, 12:51 AM
My Dad once told me a story about crows. Dad is an electrician by trade and he was working for a company that installed shearing equipment in Western Queensland in Australia.

Sometimes the work slackened off for one reason or another so the installers would amuse themselves in various ways. No Aussie sheep farmer would ever curse you for killing crows so Dad and his mates used to have a crack at them when they got a chance.

As others have posted, crows can recognize a threat so after you've shot one or two, they figure out what's going on. Dad and two mates were shooting the crows from an out-building that was close to their quarters. They walked up the first time and shot a crow through the window in the shed. No crows came around after that. So they trooped back with the rifle and waited.

Eventually more crows showed up they went up and shot one. No more crows. Given time, the crows came back again but as soon as the three of them started up to the shed with the rifle, the crows flew off. Smart. When the crows came back. They walked up to the shed without the rifle. Crows stuck around. "Hmmm", they thought, "The crows know what a rifle is now"

They thought about it for a while and came up with a plan. One guy walked up to the shed with the rifle and left it there. The crows flew off when they saw the rifle. They waited until the crows came back and then strolled up to the shed with a broom. The decoy fooled the crows and they flew off. Then two of them walked back with the broom. The crows saw this and soon after the two reached the quarters with the broom, the crows laded back in the trees. The one left behind with the rifle popped a crow:D

They repeated this method over and over. My Dad analyzed the situation this way "Crows might be smart but they can't count!"

Sorry if this was a bit long winded but I always liked that story.:)

dfaugh
September 19, 2006, 07:57 AM
A .22LR bullet can go 1.5 miles. I'd say if a .223 isn't safe, neither is a .22LR. In fact, a .223 would probably be safer than a .22LR if you use a light fast varmint load since the bullet will tend to break up rather than ricochet.

Yes and no....I understand what you're saying, but if I could show you the situation, you'd see the problem. If they're in the back of the yard, I've shooting at a downward angle, into the ground(maybe 15 degrees), from my enclosed porch... And lots of trees between me and the thruway, shih would stop any possible ricoches pretty well, and the bullet wouldv'e lost alot of energy at that point. Not sure I'd gamble that one witha .223. (which I don't have anyway, currently all my rifles are .30 and up)

Additionally, if I start touching off Centerfire rifle, would DEFINITELY get a negative reaction from the neighbors (like a nice visit from the cops, which I really don't need). As far as .22 ammo, I've got this "tuned" to Wolf Match Target, and can hit a quarter about 9 times out of 10 or better (at 100 yards), and the 10th will be real close. Shooting off my enclosed back porch, they're loud, to me, but I doubt the neighbors can hardly hear them.

Eventually more crows showed up they went up and shot one. No more crows. Given time, the crows came back again but as soon as the three of them started up to the shed with the rifle, the crows flew off. Smart. When the crows came back. They walked up to the shed without the rifle. Crows stuck around. "Hmmm", they thought, "The crows know what a rifle is now"

Yes, this is my experience also....you can trek through the woods without a gun, and they'll let you get fairly close, but if they see a gun, they're not gonna let you get close. This is one of the problems I'm having. And I'm not looking to shoot every Crow in the area, as I know they'll stay away once I "bust" enough of them, just want them to stay away.

P.S. for those who suggested fireworks, they are illegal here, and, other than 4th of July will DEFINITELY get you avisit from the local police.

littlmak
September 19, 2006, 12:06 PM
Are you any good with a slingshot? How's local law on that? Quiet, cheap, a decent amount of skill challenge...

Savage Sam
September 21, 2006, 09:13 PM
Is there any cheaper way to attract them within shotgun range, other than an owl decoy? will they eat anything you leave out? the reason i'm asking is I had some hanging out just beyond shotgun range today.. if i'd had a rifle i could've nailed at least one.

FirstFreedom
September 21, 2006, 09:22 PM
I've called them in with a tape game caller here in the city and shot them with a .177 pellet gun. But those is dumb city crows. If anyone gets a crow with a slingshot, please post and I will bow down, as that is hard to do! Benonymous; great story, thanks. Smart, but can't count, lol. :) Yes, they are extremely smart. They will sit on the roadside dining on roadkill all day long as cars whiz by 5 feet from them at 75 mph. But stop your car and get out within 300 yards, and they're gone.

Big Don
November 23, 2006, 12:14 AM
I have thoroughly enjoyed this thread, especially since I have a love/hate relationship with crows also. I admire their brains but the blasted things drive me crazy.
The broom story hit home with me. Used to head to the San Diego desert area for fun and shooting and would have crows show up sometimes. They learned very quickly what my shotgun looked like and veered off path, well out of range. However, when I came out of the house and pointed a broom stick at them, they laughed and kept right on course.:mad:
I've used CB caps in the urban setting and found them to be very effective. I shot a crow out of one of my trees and he never made a sound, except for the thud when he hit my roof. Within 30 seconds, the sky was swarming with his buddies, all screeching and squawking about their dead buddy. Oh, if only I could have hauled out the shotgun then!
Shooting CB caps out of a single shot, bolt action .22 rifle with a long barrel makes less noise than most air rifles I've shot. Neighbors never even know.

deerslayer79
November 23, 2006, 08:01 PM
get some crow decoys,and one of those anti-air mounts with quad 50cals on it.

harleybabe69
November 27, 2006, 12:15 AM
Rice works great also. They eat their fill then drink water, swell up and die - something about the rice soaking up the water and expanding - cuts off their air supply

FrontSight
November 27, 2006, 01:02 PM
Alka-seltzer works too! Put it inside some bread, so that they eat it, and then blow up!

Socrates
November 29, 2006, 09:17 AM
Well, I may have to rethink the hate crows thing. Two days ago they start making all kinds of noise, at 6:30 am. They do that when a cat, or predator shows up.
We live on a golf course, with deer, and, I've scene one fox, crossing the road, late at night. We also have a skunk that's been in the house (a couple of glasses of wine, and my girlfriend thought it was a Tuxedo cat that lives upstairs). :rolleyes: Coming right at our house, was a beautiful fox. I ran to my room, grabbed the telephoto lens, and some clothes, and, tried to take a picture through the window. No joy. Went out the other side of the house, circled and crossed the golf course, and went up into some trees I know the deer hang out in. Walking along, big as day, on the next hole, is the fox. Got two pictures off, but, I decided to try for a tree rest, and get some better shots. He or she, saw me, at about 120 yards, easy to figure distance on a golf course;) , and bounded off, into thick brush, and was gone.

Much as I'd like a watchdog, crows do work... I think they also go crazy when people start walking around where they shouldn't.

May just have to put up with em...

S

swmike
November 29, 2006, 10:54 AM
I believe you will run out of ammo long before the supply of crows ends:rolleyes:

skeeter1
November 29, 2006, 01:37 PM
I began leaving a dead one laying in the yard wings spread out and the others will avoid my trees and ones close by.

We had a crow problem in our garden when I was younger. I shot one at about 100yds with a .22, and my dad layed it down with the wings extended, and the other crows stayed away after that.

Those birds may have a brain the size of a peanut, but they got the idea.

Benonymous
December 3, 2006, 01:23 AM
The size don't matter! It's how it's wired up. Jumping spiders can work out strategies to catch prey. Imagine how small their brains are:eek:

CobrayCommando
December 3, 2006, 02:14 PM
Yeah, an owl decoy makes for a lot of entertainment. Set it out in shotgun range. Leave the dead crows on the ground. Lotsa times, other crows come for the funeral and eulogies.

You guys sound like the Viet Cong.

UniversalFrost
December 3, 2006, 02:28 PM
yeah but that technique works. I have even had a fox come within range once to check out the ruckus.

hpg
December 3, 2006, 02:43 PM
A really good pellet gun will handle the ones in your neighbors tree's...hpg

Wilyote
December 3, 2006, 10:00 PM
Yep, I agree with the pellet gun. I've rid myself of lots of vermin while living in the city limits dropping, tree rats, starling and crows. Trust me here. Crows are so smart that once you start dropping a few, they move to safer havens in a hurry.
I dropped a lot of crows.. it was so bad they thought the west nile virus was in my neighborhood.:) Turns out the local pathologist said they died of high speed lead poisoning. The bottom line is the crows don't come around here any more.

stevelyn
December 5, 2006, 04:20 AM
Another vote for the Aguila Super Colibris. A lot of things die within my reach with them on my property.:D

dfaugh
December 5, 2006, 12:40 PM
Well, the do seem to be smart...

I zapped 2 at about 100 yards with my .22, and all of a sudden, there's no crows within a 300 yard radius. They're still all around me, in the distance, but they're giving my propery a wide berth.

rr4406pak
December 5, 2006, 03:15 PM
I loved Pointer's second post about dynamiting the trees!
Was that actually done?
What I'd give to see a sight like that.:D
And the cops are worried about stupid firecrackers?
Imagine taking them back in time to deal with sticks of dynamite going off. Holy Moly!