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Homemade Crow Decoys

Updated April 17, 2017

Crows can be frustrating animals for a hunter. Contrary to popular cartoons, murders of crows rarely hang out on random telephone lines and schoolyard jungle gyms. It takes a quick eye and quick hand to catch these birds. But if you live in an area with many crows and you can't fight the urge to hunt, some homemade decoys will have the crow coming to you. With a little electrical tape and some wire hangers, you can fashion some decoys that will give the opportunity to hunt with ease.

Get Artistic with Your Wire Hanger

Begin by taking a wire hanger and altering its structure to look vaguely like a bird. Bend in one of the hanger ends to create the look of a feathered tail, and bend the opposite end inversely to create the look of a beak. There are various bends and pulls you can make to make your birds very different and diverse, which will make your murder of decoys look more realistic. Finally, straighten the hook to make it stick in the ground.

Make It Black

The next thing you'll need to do is to cover you altered wire hanger in black electrical tape. The tape makes a great all-weather surface for the decoy because it's durable and its adhesive is resistant to cold and to water. After you've wrapped the hanger in tape, you can stick the decoy into the ground from the straightened hook. You can also wrap the decoy around a tree branch or a bush, to replicate a crow perched upon something. It's best to use three or more of the decoys placed in a close area. The closer you can get to replicate a real murder of crows, the more effective the decoys will be.

An Alternative

If you aren't feeling creative enough to twist, pull and bend your hangers into fake crows that are ready to take flight, there are alternatives. The colour and the arrangement are the main factors that attract the crows. Instead of a wire hanger and tape, try using a black plastic hanger and a black garbage bag. Wrap the bag around the hanger, cut off the excess plastic that hangs, and tie the bag on with a twist tie or tape.

Some Notes on Crows

One thing that all crow hunters should remember is that the crow is a smart bird with incredible instincts. When a crow responds to a call/decoy method, you have that one chance to get the bird. Crows remember the decoy methods they experience, and it's highly unlikely that they will respond to the same method twice, especially in the same place. If you have a lot of space on your land, you can try using similar decoys in a different area, but chance are low that you'll get as many crows as you did when you first used them. Altering the shapes and appearances of the decoys will help, but only slightly.

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About the Author

Darren White is a third-year student studying photography and art history at Haverford College. Raised in the Philadelphia area, he has followed its art scene for some time, which has influenced his column, The Fashion File, that he writes for the "Bi-Co News." He also writes, edits and photographs for Haverford's fashion magazine, "Feathers & Fur."