Why shoot corvids?

Published on 19 June 2020
Author: Adrien Koutny
Varmint Small game
Caw, caw, caw! A black shape emerges out of the morning gloom, circling above the bird decoys you have set up a few metres away from your hiding place. Quick as a flash, you stand, shoulder your Maxus and fire a Winchester Special Corneille. It falls to the ground. You’re happy, and so is the farmer. Shooting crows and rooks is becoming more and more popular with hunters. We’re going to explain why.

To help farmers

This is the most obvious reason.  A flock of corvids will easily destroy several dozen hectares of young shoots, just after sowing.  Damage caused by corvids isn’t charged to hunters, so chances are the farmer will be pleased to see you arrive with your decoys and camouflage nets.

To protect small game

 The golden age of small game seems to be over.  We can’t reasonably put the full blame on corvids for this, but it is obvious that if the latter are not controlled, there will be significant consequences on the populations of small game.  It has been said that over one season, a couple of crows eat a leveret or a young rabbit per month, along with an entire brood of game birds.  So clearly, if you want to encourage small game, planting hedges and removing foxes is not going to be enough.

An exhilarating hunt

Corvids are among the most intelligent animals in all of creation.  There are countless examples of this.  It is known that corvids can fashion tools: a study published in 2015 showed corvids could deliberately bend a twig so they could then probe small spaces where they thought they would find insects.  So, a sizeable challenge!  You’ll need to be as cunning as they are. 

A cheap way to hunt

A jacket will set you back €200, a rifle €1500, a scope €1200, and hunting permission could cost €600: hunting can be an expensive passion. One big advantage of controlling corvid numbers is that it is (almost) free.  In addition to your shotgun, you need only invest in some camouflage gear, a camouflage net and above all… time!