by Bret “T-Bone” Amundson
Matthew Nelson and Calvin Dahlheimer showin’ us how it’s done
All components within a strategic crow hunt.
The tenacious crow team: Dan Zachman, Travis Dahlheimer, Nate Dahlheimer, Matt Spaeth, and Bret
That’s right, crow hunt. I may have started with some tongue-in-cheek commentary on this blog, but only partly. Crows have been known to outsmart the best hunters afield. Fortunately we weren’t counting on crows to feed us.
I was invited out to Kruger Farms for their annual Crow Fest on Saturday. I actually arrived on Friday night and was welcomed with Kruger Kuts, walleye egg rolls, and Crown Royal Black. With a giant steak tucked away safely inside my stomach, I waddled over to the Shuffleboard Tournament and proceeded to get schooled in the ways of shuffleboarding.
That’s okay since I was clearly focused on the next morning’s excursion. After a short night of dreaming about “Caw-caws” and dive-bombing black feathers, I was awakened to some frying bacon, cut as thick as two by fours.
Travis Dahlheimer shows off his prized bird
Our plan included setting up in a location that had been painstakingly scouted for days. We camo’d up and headed out. A few full body decoys were set, the ecaller turned on and then we waited. And waited. Crows were in the area, but may have been spooked out during our walk in. They’re smart. Watch the
“Caledonian Crow” experiment at the end of this blog. It gets a little long and wordy, but it’s pretty cool to watch crows figure out puzzles that 75% of our population would probably struggle with.
21 teams had signed up for Crow Fest, aimed at winning the Kruger Farms gift card grand prize. It was time to get serious.
My team included a marine, an NFL football player (Super Bowl winner Matt Spaeth) among other dead-eye gunners. We’re in.
Dan Zachman and Nate Dahlheimer show off the spoils of their tag team effort.
By lunchtime we’d knocked down two crows and wondered if the heavy fog that had rolled in was keeping birds grounded. Conversation turned to NFL contracts, tours of duty, and a few things that aren’t fit for print on this website. The laughter that followed may have kept us from staying on our toes, as a few ninja crows snuck in and out of our spread unharmed. Lunch included some bacon and cheese-stuffed burgers and brats the size of my shotgun. The winning team of Will Harvey and Brady Mensing finished with 29 crows, with a total of 156 egg stealing birds being taken out of the air.
Duck eggs that had been pecked by crows.
Before I left I had the chance to tour the new Kruger Farms store. If you’re in the Starbuck area, check them out. Or order online www.KrugerFarms.com. Their grand opening is coming up later this month.
Crows may have gotten the better of us this time, but the battle has just begun. I’ll be practicing my crow call before next year’s Crow Fest at Kruger Farms!