QAI’m having trouble with some rooks on the farm where I shoot. Any tips on how to get on top of them? They are damaging crops.
DEAN HARRISON replies: There are some really top rook decoys on the market these days and I am sure they work very well, but being ‘old school’, I find that nothing works better than a dead fox set-up, which taps into the rooks’ instinct to mob a predator, just like they do with a buzzard. So if you have rooks hitting the crops or raiding the pig food out in the fields, set yourself up in a hide, and place a dead fox out in front of you, at whatever range you are comfortable shooting at. I sharpen up both ends of a piece of hazel, sticking one end into the ground and the other into the fox, under the back of the jaw, propping him up to look like he is sitting. Then, once you have shot a few rooks, set them up around him about 10 yards away. It’s best to get to your chosen area before first light to set this up and then wait for them to come in, but you can push them off and do it later. I’ve found that I can shoot good numbers this way, and it’s satisfying to have success using your own fieldcraft. This method also works for crows.