Decoying rooks

Sporting Shooter - - EXPERTS -

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.

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