Putting it to the test
Once again I have been out crow shooting, mopping up those troublesome pests that have started to cost the farmer money with their relentless attacks on the sheep feeders. With the Mark1 hide straight off the production line, I took it down and set it up in the problem area to put a stop to the free banquet. I set the hide up about 10 yards from the hedge to enable me to see any birds approaching from the rear, and placed it between a large ash tree in the hedge and the two sheep feeders from which the crows were feeding. After leaving the hide in place for a couple of days, I headed back with a few decoys with my Nova pump action. As the birds would have acclimatised to the hide by now, I opted to put in my Kicks half choke — it is a good all-round choke for up-close-and-personal shooting, as well as making light work of wary birds passing at range.
I used a mixture of decoys to create the perfect pattern with some full bodies lofted in the ash tree, some on top of the feeders, a few rags dotted about and a couple of floaters to guide the birds in. Within a matter of minutes the trap was set and I was in my hide ready for the fun to begin. It turned out to be a very good afternoon’s sport, with a lot of the crows sailing in on the wind without any reaction to me or the hide, enabling me to pick off some real sitters at incredibly close range. The down side, from a control point of view was the weather; the wind picked up, which made it incredibly difficult to shoot right-and-lefts as, after the first shot was fired, the second bird could simply tip its wings and disappear into the distance. Despite this challenge I still bagged a tidy number of birds which made the survivors think twice before revisiting.