- Can I shoot crows?
Airgun use and crows – be aware that Crows are tough birds, and unlikely to die unless shot in the middle of the head, near the ear.Posted 3 years ago
You need to be a good shot to do that. I shoot loads of things, but wouldnt even try to get a crow with my air rifle any more, as I want it to die instantly, rather than being wounded and taking a day to die.
I have shot one before, I went to pick up the body, it twitched, jerked around the ground a little, then flew off. This was shot from 25 metres, so should have been an easy ‘kill shot’.
I thought I’d hit it in the middle of the head, but apparently not. Others at the Gun Club had had similar experiences, so no-one there shot them any more with an air rifle, only a shotgun when in a field.bigjimSubscriber
Its probably a recently fledged juvenile making lots of noise for food, should go soon, the gulls round here are a nightmare at the moment from about 2am onwards but they should go in the next few weeks. Putting out poison bait for birds is bad and could land you in serious trouble and yeah an airgun probably isn’t the best way to shoot it. If it doesn’t go soon you could get a bird scarer, or a dog.Posted 3 years agoScapegoatSubscriber
Vermin or not, to shoot a crow because it is noisy is NOT permitted. Corvids, pigeons etc can be humanely shot under the General Licence, but only to prevent them clashing with human interest. Accepted examples are to prevent serious crop damage and to protect stored grain etc, but even then you would have to prove that other methods had failed. To shoot a fledgling crow because it was noisy would not fall within that definition. So, legally, don’t shoot it. Morally, don’t shoot it. Crows are part of nature’s clean-up act, and don’t do much damage to crops or people. . They do have some unpleasant habits in lambing season but that’s for another debate.Posted 3 years agoernie_lynchMember
Accepted examples are to prevent serious crop damage and to protect stored grain etc,
I have never understood the crop damage claim with regards to crows. A good 90% of a crow’s diet is carnivorous – insects, nestlings, mice, small birds, frogs, eggs, snails, earthworms, and of course carrion.
A carrion crow is called a carrion crow because it eats carrion, not because it eats wheat, maize, or any other crop.
A crow would very quickly die if it tried to live on a vegetarian diet. Although they do like some fruit as they have a sweet tooth, so to speak. But when they are in fields they are almost certainly searching for insects, grubs, mollusks, etc, not wheat or barley.
I can only imagine that they are beneficial to crops, not detrimental. A crow’s diet is pretty much identical to the natural diet of a fox, I’ve never heard anyone accuse foxes of damaging crops.
And I’ve never been convinced that “scarecrows” work, crows aren’t stupid they can tell the difference between a man and a couple of sticks with clothes on. Although I can see that scarecrows might scare pigeons which do damage crops.Posted 3 years agoScapegoatSubscriber
Ignorance of the law is no defence……. 😉
Indeed. The crop protection example applies to pigeons. One farmer I know asked us to shoot jackdaws and feral pigeons as their nesting in his barns was damaging stored grain. I struggle to square my conscience with shooting corvids, for the very reasons you quote above.
Rooks digging up golfing greens for leatherjackets was another tense moment between me and the people asking me to shoot them as well as rabbits on their course. Fortunately I was able to turn down the pleas, as I use a firearm, and only went rabitting at night when the golf course was deserted, so shooting rooks would not have been lawful or practical.Posted 3 years agosquirrelkingMember
Moral arguments aside, unless you live in the middle of a large field, no.
Chances are you would be shooting towards a boundary – no no.
If the boundary is a public boundary – big no no.
If you want to do the job right you will probably need something licenced.
Long and the short – you obviously don’t own or have anything to do with guns or you wouldn’t even need to ask. So don’t.Posted 3 years ago
And that sums it up well really squirrel.
Ah see what you mean now see it in that short bit. So yes I had heard of it but not to the extent of all other methods. When I use to shoot it was to control them as despite bird scarers they still caused issues. It wasn’t all methods but it doesn’t state all methods.Posted 3 years agoninfanMember
Yes, you don’t have to prove that other methods have failed, only that you (ie. the person shooting) are satisfied that alternative methods would not be effective or practical – IMO a really good and increasingly rare example of the law deferring to judgement, common sense and experience rather than some form of box ticking exercise.
Squirrelking is spot on in his point.
Ernie, yes, they are clever, clever animals – IME they’re very able to tell the difference between farmworkers and shooters, once they’ve recognised you with a gun and they disappear in seconds (and it could be argued that this is as effective as shooting them)
I have seen them pull up crops on a small scale, but most of our corvid control was done to protect lambs (and yes, I have seen a lamb with its eyes pecked out) and to protect ground nesting birds.Posted 3 years ago
I live next to farmland (sheep) with trees between us. The crows (x3) patrol a patch of land where a builder (this is a new estate) comes and throws bread every morning. So being sensible about it maybe I’ll have a word and ask him to stop or throw it elsewhere. Once the ground is accessible a wander out waving a stick at thema few times might be enough to make them feel unwelcome. Garrgh, I can hear them now.Posted 3 years agoCountZeroMember
I fancy eating a crow* – are they fair game? Failing that, can I put out poisoned food or just throw bricks at it?
*a particularly noisy one.
Unless I wear earplugs, I get woken up at 5am every morning by sparrows perching on the guttering and phone wires outside my open bedroom window.
By your logic, I should buy an air pistol and shoot all the sparrows as well.
JoB – Member
you can legally shoot one, any more and it’s classed as murder
I take it that by “skyrats” you probably mean pigeons, btw imo there is something deeply unpleasant about vilifying a species.
If you do mean pigeons then I think you’re wrong. Firstly I can’t imagine a crow taking any healthy bird the size of a pigeon. They can handle something the size of a finch, should they get lucky and one came in snapping range, but a pigeon is a much stronger bird in a different category. Crows aren’t birds of prey with powerful talons that can quickly kill.
And secondly I can’t imagine pigeons being particularly scared of crows, apart from the unlikelihood of being attacked by a crow pigeons are faster fliers and have much greater maneuverability. In comparison crows are slow clumsy fliers.Posted 3 years ago
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