People often make crow hunting harder than it needs to be. They try to go straight to a massive professional hunt where the goal is to down hundreds of crows. That is both unrealistic and unreasonable for most hunters. Most hunters should go into the woods with first time goals of a shooting a crow or a couple of crows. In this episode I talk about one of the easier ways to hunt crows in the woods with minimal gear and expense. 

Often when people hunt in timber their goal is to get the crows to land in a clearing or shoot them as they circle overhead. Both of these approaches work and can be fun and effective. But they require more work, ideal conditions, the right setup and a fair amount of skill and/or experience to pull it off well. A much easier plan is to find a fair spot and try to get the crows to land in the treetops and then pick them off.

Doing this drastically increases your chances of getting crows and minimizes many of the weaknesses of new hunters or new crow hunters. You get to observe the birds, better understand them and how they work, and take shots that are much easier and realistic than trying to take down fast moving birds are variable ranges. I have done it the hard way and the easy way, and I wish someone would have gotten me started hunting crows this way. 

Now it is true that your total number of crows taken will likely be less using this strategy than many of the professional setups, but those professional setups only work if you have a truck full of decoys, the perfect farm to hunt, and a perfectly brushed in hunting blind. Very few new hunters have all or any of those things. And very few crow hunters ever will. 

This podcast episode talks about the various strategies and approaches for hunting crows like this and how you can much more easily get into the woods with the land available to you and take your first couple of crows. 

If lead hunting ammunition is banned how big of an issue will it be in the hunting world? Are there viable non-toxic ammo options available? How can you keep hunting turkeys, pheasants, doves, deer, and everything else without lead ammo? What do you need to do in order to weather the storm? On this episode I talk about what is likely to happen if the ban occurs and what you can do to prepare so you are able to keep hunting without disruption. 

Will lead ammo be banned? I think so, at some point. I do not know if that is a month away, a year, or 10 years off, but I think at some point it will happen. The subject of whether or not lead ammo should be banned and all the politics and environmental concerns behind it is not something I am addressing in this podcast episode. I am focused on the simple practical things hunters need to know and do to transition from lead to non-toxic shot options to keep hunting.  

The solutions are different for every game species. For waterfowl hunting, we have been lead free for over 30 years, and finally the market has innovated some good alternatives. All other game ammo will benefit from this innovation, and waterfowl ammo can easily be adapted to hunt all game birds. The obstacle here is cost, since nontoxic loads are more expensive than lead hunting ammo. But I think eventually we’ll get used to the additional cost. 

The biggest issue with a lead ban will be the transition period. Reasonable and even good options exist with steel shot, bismuth shot, tungsten super shot, and copper bullets, among others. But if every hunter in America, or even just a handful of states has to drop their lead and pick up non toxic ammo, it is going to be very difficult and expensive to find legal ammo, probably for a few years as supply, demand, and manufacturing capabilities struggle to keep up and adjust. If you want to avoid this difficult eventuality, you need to make preparations in advance. 

Performance decrease for alternative ammo is a lesser concern, and in time I think it will not be a concern at all. For shotguns, TSS ammo is superior to lead already, for just about everything, it just costs a lot more. Bismuth ammo is very similar to lead’s performance capabilities and costs more, but not as dramatically more as tungsten.

When it comes to rifles, the copper bullets of today offer comparable performance to lead at regular hunting ranges for a little more cost. Where they lack performance is at extended range but this will not impact most hunters at all. And chances are, before long, new long range non-toxic bullets will be developed that have no performance deficit. 

I do not think it is a matter of if lead ammo is going to be banned, it is just a matter of when, and how suddenly it will occur. Ideally there will be a large period of time, maybe a five-year window given to transition over to alternative materials. This will give manufactures and hunters time to get geared up. But more than likely it will be more abrupt and there will be great supply chain issues as everyone tries to make the shift all at once. 

This is why all hunters should secure some non-toxic ammo now. Not cases and cases of it, but enough to last a couple of hunting seasons so you can weather any storm or shortage and be able to hunt without hindrance no matter what occurs in the hunting ammunition marketplace.

Listen to the whole podcast episode to hear all of the details.

Hunting crows with good cover and a big decoy spread is a time-tested strategy that works well. But depending on your season, budget, and location, that may not be viable. On this episode I talk about alternative crow hunting tactics that can help you take birds wherever you are with almost no specialized gear.

Crows have good eyesight, are wary, and can hear very well, but they do not have the mythical capabilities many hunters ascribe to them. They are birds and can be hunted with less than perfect technique. There are many ways to hunt crows that can produce successful results, to varying degrees. 

A mental shift away from traditional hunting methods needs to take place though. You need to begin thinking about taking crows one at a time instead of in great numbers. You are looking for birds coming in to take a look vs. coming in for a landing. The first bird that comes may be the only bird, and so on. Look to take every decent shot presented because it may be the only shot you get.

I am not saying unconventional methods are better, but they are viable. If you cannot hunt with traditional methods due to season, location, budget, or preference, then by all means you can still enjoy the crow season and take birds with the tactics I talk about on this episode.

Listen to the podcast episode to hear all of the unconventional crow hunting tactics. 

Show Notes:

Up until recently every hunter using a firearm had to make a decision with every hunt. Do they protect their future or relish the present? Tetra Hearing has changed the game for all hunters when it comes to saving their hearing and enjoying every precious sound of every hunt and game species. Whether you are hunting ducks, geese, turkeys, deer, pheasants, grouse, crows, doves, elk, or anything else the Tetra AlphaShield & Multi-Pursuit hearing devices can not only save your hearing but help you hear better and hunt better.  I make no commissions on this product and there are no affiliate links. These are my own opinions and this my very own detailed and passionate review.  This may be the most important podcast episode I have ever done. Please listen to this episode.


  • Allows you to hear everything around you with crisp clarity.
  • Audio quality is exceptional, no static, hum, ambient sounds, distractions, etc.
  • Can be custom tuned to your actual personal hearing levels for each ear.
  • Instantly blocks out the sound of gun fire and loud calling to protect your hearing.
    • These are designed to both stop the incremental hearing loss that comes from infrequent shooting with the average deer and turkey seasons as well as stop the accelerated hearing loss caused by high volume shooting seen in hunting waterfowl, pheasants, doves, crows, etc. 
  • Utilizes advanced audio processing technology to filter out various sounds you do not want to hear but more clearly capture subtle sounds you do want to hear.
  • Filters out the majority of wind noise.
  • Amplifies the unique sounds of the game animals you are hunting like turkey gobbles and yelps, duck quacks and wing beats, deer grunts and footfalls, pheasants flushing, and much more. 
  • Far better than anything I’ve seen on the market. In my mind they have no competitors, no one else offering similar products is even in their league. 
  • Fits snugly in your ear and will not fall out.
  • Works great while wearing a hat, beanie, whole head facemask, camo head shroud, etc.
  • Can be put on in seconds.
  • Reduces flinching causes by loud muzzle blast and may help some hunters shoot more accurately.
  • Uses long lasting disposable hearing aid batteries you can easily and inexpensively get in bulk.
  • Super simple to use, there is almost no way to do it wrong. Before long you can easily put them on in the dark without effort or thought.
  • Is sensitive enough to pick up the faintest whisper and the wing beats of ducks but instantly blocks out the roar of magnum shotgun shells.
  • Can be programmed for the game animals that you personally hunt.
  • Improves your hearing so well that even archery hunters may want to use them to hear game more clearly from further away.
  • Designed by ear doctors and hunters, does its job with outstanding excellence. 
    • It is as if they thought of every intricate detail but put it in a package with unexplainable simplicity. 
  • Utilizes high grade hearing aid technology meant to be used constantly, reliably, and without down time. 
  • Comes with 6 different size tips to accommodate different ear sizes.
  • Tetra has confirmed that people with Health Saving Accounts (HSA) can use those funds towards purchasing their products.


  • They fit too tightly for my small ears at first. They felt acceptably snug after a few outings. But after a few half day hunts they fit comfortably enough that I would forget I was wearing them. I’d rather them fit perfectly from day one, but this is still preferred over being too loose.
    • Some people with small ears may not wear them enough to find out that their ears will adapt to them and they become comfortable over time.
  • Sounds weird indoors and around town. But they are meant to be used in the field and they do thrive in their intended environment.
  • The battery door feels a little delicate when open. Should be fine, but be careful to take it is easy when changing batteries. 
  • Price. No two ways about it, they are expensive. Costing as much as a firearm makes them a significant purchase. A very well worth it purchase, but not something most people can casually buy without saving up. 
    • They do go on sale occasionally. And Tetra has said they are working on sourcing more cost effective components to lower the prices.

Final Analysis: Every hunter using a firearm should get these, especially those hunting game requiring regular and frequent shooting like waterfowl, pheasants, doves, etc. If you are a new hunter it would be better to hunt another season or two with a less than thrilling firearm and buy these before upgrading your gun. Everyone should put these on their vision list and prioritize them as they are financially able. 

Learn more at

As a note, Tetra sent me these devices to review, thanks to them for their support. I have since bought by own Tetras.

Show Notes:

Where you setup to hunt crows makes all the difference and determines not only if crows will come to you but if they will come close enough to shoot. On this episode I talk about the best types of places to setup in order to boost your odds of a successful crow hunt.

Take Aways

  • The two biggest factors for picking a good hunting location are acoustics and flight plane.
  • Crows will not come to your calls if they do not hear you, it is a 100% guarantee. Sure call volume is a factor but the sound needs to be able to travel to where the crows are.
  • Crows tend to fly above the tree tops along their approach, you need to consider if the trees are low enough to put you in range, or how you can modify your elevation to be within range when they come.
  • Concealment is also a big part of the hunt. Crows have great eyesight and you need to be well concealed. 
  • Wind can make it hard to call crows because the noise can drown out your calls.
  • Listen to the episode to hear about the 5 best areas for crow hunting.

Show Notes:

Crow hunting can be challenging but it’s not rocket science. With these three simple strategies should you be able to effectively hunt whatever type of land you have available.

Take Aways:

  • The Basecamp Method. This involves focusing your entire hunt on one location and preparing that location for optimum success. You will need a blind, lots of decoys, a good field of view, a loud call, and of course surrounding areas that hold crows.
  • Running And Gunning. Pack light, bring water, and plan on covering a lot of ground. Every half mile or so, find some cover and start calling. When the action dies down, move on to the next area.  This is also a great way to scout new locations.
  • Strategic Ops. Plan on visiting a handful of locations you have already scouted and verified, maybe 2-4 spots for a morning. Take a few decoys and pick good places to sit with some cover. Plan on spending an hour or so hunting each spot, unless the crows keep coming in. When things quiet down then pack up and make your way to the next location.


Show Notes:

In most situations, crow hunting is a game of hiking and stealth. You need gear that will enable you to easily cover ground and then remain undetected once you start calling.  On this episode, I talk about the basic gear you want for crow hunting.

Take Aways:

  • Footwear – I recommend some medium hiking style boosts that you can cover different types of terrain easily with. Heavy insulated boots aren’t needed because most of the time you won’t be sitting in one spot for very long.
  • Socks – This depends a lot on the season, but generally you need lighter socks than for hunting from a still position because you will be moving regularly.
  • Pants – A camo outer layer is needed, black or brown are the next best options
  • Jacket – Camo is best, and the weight depends on the season. A heavy coat is needed for winter, and a long sleeve t-shirt might be best for summer. 
  • Gloves – Light camo gloves for warm weather and heavier for cold weather.  Usually I end up using the light gloves in the cold too because depending on how much you walk, you may stay plenty warm.
  • Face – Some kind of face covering is important, you want to hid as much skin as possible.  
  • Head – Camo hats are easy to come buy, have one of every type of weather.
  • Backpack – A pack is important to hold your calls, water, umbrella, snacks, and anything else you might need.
  • Seat – Something light that can hang from your pack or belt is ideal to help you stay dry no matter where you site and make hunting a little more comfortable. 

When it comes to crow hunting, you have a lot of flexibility for shotguns and shells. There is not really a wrong combination for the task, but there are certainly guns and ammo that are better than others. On today’s episode I talk about what new hunters need to know when it comes to the best firearms for crow hunting.

Picking A Shotgun To Hunt Crows

Crow hunting is a shotgun sport. I have not seen any other viable method for it. The best shotgun for new hunters is the one you already have or can borrow. The second best is the one you can buy used. Reason being, you do not know if you like the sport yet and you do not know what features and qualities of a shotgun you value for hunting crows.

Once you get some field experience you will be much better prepared to buy a shotgun that complements your style and preferences.  Save your money and wait until you have some experience so you can be sure you will like what you buy. If you buy a cheap used shotgun you can likely sell it and get your money back out of it and put it towards what you really want.

After that, most people should get a 12 gauge shotgun for crow hunting. The 20 gauge shotgun is very popular today, and it can be very effective for crow hunting. But I recommend a 12 gauge for new hunters for one main reason, ammo availability. When ammo is scarce, 12 gauge is often the only think you can find. And when crow hunting you tend to go through alot of ammo.

A 20 gauge is a good option for people who have a lighter frame, or if is going to be a gun shared with childrenIn this case, get an adjustable stock so everyone in the family can shoot it well. A 20 gauge is not a child’s gun by any means, but it does have reduced recoil, which is the tradeoff for ammo scarcity. I wouldn’t hesitate to use a 20 if ammo was easy to come by,

A 16 gauge, 28 gauge, or .410 are all viable options, especially for smaller or younger shooters. But they are less common and there is less ammo variety available for them. Indeed a 16 gauge used to be among the most popular and it is certainly effective. Ammo is the only reason the 12 gauge is kind.

In my opinion .410 should only be used by small children, adults would be handicapping themselves with such a small load. There just aren’t enough pellets in there to give a good effective range for new hunters.

The ideal action would be a semi-automatic shotgun so that you do not need to worry about mastering one more skill when it comes to operating a pump action. But you cannot go wrong with pump shotgun, and they are cheaper, and readily available, and proven. This point is purely based on preference. I prefer a semi because it requires less skills to master when cycling. And semi auto shotguns have reduced felt recoil compared to manual actions.

Choke Tubes For Crow Hunting

When it comes to choke tubes for hunting crows you do not need anything special. Your factory modified choke is plenty to get started with. Most crow hunters use a modified or full choke unless they have a great setup that can get the birds in really close. But if you are a newer crow hunter you will likely be taking further shots. A factor choke will do the job just fine. Do not spend extra money on special chokes.

Now if you already have the basics covered and you want to up your game, a good extended choke can improve your pattern density and pattern distribution. I’ve done a few tests and I’ve seen a modified Carlson’s Sporting Clays Choke get as much as 20% more pellets in a 30″ circle at 40 yards compared to a factory flush mounted modified choke. The improvement isn’t always that noticeable. But a good sporting clays choke can be a perfect way to level up your setup. But you do not need to buy one to get started, whatever you have from the factory will work just fine.

Picking Crow Hunting Ammunition 

The best shells to use are target loads. There I said it. Target loads that are #7 or #8 shot. I typically use #7.5 shot because its readily available. Target loads are cheap, provide great patterns, and are absolutely effective at regular range. But since you go through so many, it is almost financially not feasible to use anything fancier.

If you cannot use lead then I would recommend Kent Fasteel #4 or BOSS copper plated #5 bismuth in 2.75″ shells as the best loads for the money in the steel and bismuth categories. Yes they make finer shot but I think the power in these shot sizes with the non toxic loads is ideal because new hunters tend to take longer shots.

High brass, express loads, or pheasant loads are not needed for 4 reasons.

    1. Crows are not as sturdy as people like to think, it doesn’t take much to knock them out of the air.
    2. Most high brass shells come with larger shot and fewer pellets per load, that trade off is worth it shooting pheasants, but not crows. You want as many small pellets as possible when using lead.
    3. You are going to shoot a lot of shells, target loads are something like 400% cheaper than more robust shells.
    4. You are going to shoot a lot of shells, you could injure your shoulder shooting 25+ high brass shells in a day. But 25 target loads wont bother you at all.

More Episodes On Crow Hunting

Listen to this podcast episode to get all of the details.

Show Notes:

Crow hunting is one of the most overlooked parts of our sport. Crows are one of the most fun types of game to pursue, and may be the single best place for new hunters to get started. On today’s episode I gave you an introduction crow hunting, including how you can get started and some basic tactics.

Take Aways:

  • Crows are in season for around 9-10 months of the year, from July to mid April in  my home state of Pennsylvania, and they can be hunted on Sundays when almost nothing else can be.
  • The two main seasons to hunt them are in the middle of winter and the middle of summer because there no other major hunting seasons and so few hunters in the woods.
  • All you NEED is a shotgun and crow call. Camo or black clothing is better but you can get by wearing whatever you have.
  • Having some decoys can be helpful because it gives crows something to see other than you! But you can hunt without them. Here are the crow decoys that I use.
  • You can hunt them any time of day, no need to wake up early or stay up late. 10:00 AM on a Saturday works perfectly!
  • You don’t need absolute stealth. Sure stealth helps, but this can be a social hunt. You can chat as you go.
  • Crow hunting helps you scout and explore new places that you might want to hunt in other seasons.
  • Crow hunting gets you outside and active at beautiful times of year.
  • Crows eat turkey and duck eggs and will attack and kill baby turkeys and ducks as well as many other game birds and song birds.
  • Crows are a pest and a menace animal, they eat crops, they make messes, they hurt farmers. Ever heard of a “scare crow” ? Famers use those to scare crows aware because there aren’t enough crow hunters. You are doing a public service!
  • You need no specialized skills for crow hunting, any beginner or group of beginners can do it. You just need a call.
  • Here are some options for crow calls. Inexpensive hand call. Modest electronic callFOXPRO electronic call (the one I use).