Here in the north of England, winter and spring can be a difficult time crow shooting to build a decent bags of corvids over decoys, as most of the crow population is dispersed during daylight feeding hours and don’t concentrate their efforts in the same area. A common sight is small packs and single crows following the farmers as they feed their livestock. Despite this, it can still be well worth a good few hours picking off a steady flow of birds, resulting in some much-needed control and a pleasant morning’s shooting.

I recently set up my stall on a small hedge to pick off crows flighting down to the sheep feeders. I put the hide between a tree and a tall hawthorn bush as these were perfect to loft some decoys into. I also used a few trusty crow rags and a couple of bouncers with artificial decoys. It’s safe to say that the action wasn’t thick and fast like in summer, but with a variety of corvids in the bag it certainly took away the winter blues. Trying to get near to crows at this time of year isn’t easy as these are normally very wise birds that managed to escape the firing squad in previous months – but lofting poles can be a definite aid when winter and spring crow shooting.