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Bob


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The best of the best photos.
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As you guys know I have taken a ton of photos over the years and some really stand out among all the rest. Here are some of them, they span over 30 years.

 

Bob A.



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i think this is the best photo and it tells it all!!biggrin



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Bob wrote:

10 gauge,

Thats something how you moved my head from one photo to another; plus having my thumb going up, hey since my thumb is inverted how come the 6's didn't become 9's? Just having a little fun with you is all.

Bob A.


....and whats wrong with 9 shot on crows?smile

 

Ted



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Hi Ted,

I use 8's and 9's in the 20 gauge even to this day. If you have a copy of "The Art of Crow Hunting" I used 9's in part of the big shoot at the end of the DVD. I used the 20 gauge on 75% of the birds in the 551 bird shoot on the DVD.

Bob A.

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Here are some more of "the best of the best"

Bob A.



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M12Shooter wrote:

....and whats wrong with 9 shot on crows?smile

 

Ted


 Nothing, works great, if you like limiting your shots and having more hit that fly off.



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I found a few more really good photos for you guys.

Bob A.



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Bob


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Here are some more that capture the feeling of being out there.

Bob A.



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nhcrowshooter wrote:
M12Shooter wrote:

....and whats wrong with 9 shot on crows?smile

 

Ted


 Nothing, works great, if you like limiting your shots and having more hit that fly off.


NHCS, you are absolutely right! Nothing on this world works great all the time or for everyone...except maybe cold beer on a hot daybiggrin. But, for myself seeing as I shoot about 90 percent of my crows in the 30-40 yard range... or closer, shot up heads, beaks, busted wings, shattered legs all speak volumes for small shot, proper gun mount, shooting technique and good pointing. 

 

Ted 



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From that first set of pictures, the first and 6th are my favorite.....the third makes me cry....sure wish I saw them like that around here.

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NG,

In the forth set of photos look close at the last photo on the right, all that black on the ground is solid crows! In the same set look at the forth photo going from left to right and you will see three fried crows on a power line. When ever a surge goes through the line they get nailed without being grounded! That is a very unusual photo, I'm glad I had a camera with me to take that photo. The fifth photo in that same set would make a nice oil painting, the lighting is good and it has depth to it.

In the third set of photos the 8th photo going from left to right is one I like a lot. If you click onto the photo and not where it says "view image" it will blow up the photo. Then click onto the center arrow at the bottom and it will give you a photo gallery of all the photos in that set.

Dicks Sporting goods had some Gun Club loads on sale so I picked up a thousand more rounds for the ammo dump in my house.

Have you been out yet this season?

Bob A.

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Ted & NG,

There are 386 in the photo but 506 were shot the day before, the yotes ate over a hundred of them just over night. I went back the next day to setup the photo with good lighting. All were shot with a 20 gauge and a 7/8th ounce load of # 8's.

Bob A.



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WOW! Talking about a target rich enviroment! You have some great locations!

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Hey Elk,

Do you recognize the very last photo in the second set?

Hope all is well with you & your family.

Bob A.

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I did. Won't be long I will be hunting there again!

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Hey Bob,
I was wondering about those crows hanging upside down...
The season here doesn't start until October 28th and I'm itching for it to get here. I lost my partner from last year as he moved out of state, but I guess that means many solo hunts to enjoy by myself (although less hands to carry stuff and build the blind).


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Hi NG,

A surge going through the line killed all three of them......... no lead shot!

Bob A.

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Here are a few photos of a 585 bird shoot; it would have been over 600 very easily if I were not taking action photos that afternoon.

Bob A.



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Bob:

You know your picture is on a wall in every Crow Post Office!!!



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Lone Star Phil wrote:

Bob:

You know your picture is on a wall in every Crow Post Office!!!


 ...and plenty of crows on the back of milk containers!

 

Ted



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Phil & Ted,

Here are some interesting stats for you guys:

In 1990 I shot my 50,000th crow

In 1996 I shot my 75,000th crow

In 2001 I shot my 100,000th crow

In 2008 I shot my 125,000th crow

In 2009 I shot my 130,000th crow

In 2011 I shot my 144,000th crow

Had some wonderful memories hunting those crows over the years.

Talk with you soon.

Bob A.

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I love the pic with the guy holding the crow with a huge hole right through the goodies!  priceless.  I have a pic somewhere of a wood duck that I shot and the top of its head is gone, its just got a beak lower jaw and neck.  Funny how when you shoot one like that people quit talkin smack about your shooting.  We give each other a pretty hard way in the blind most of the time.



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Hi Troy,

That is a most unusual photo, it looks like he had a cannonball shot right through the middle of him. One of my favorite photos is in the very first set, it's the 8th photo going from left to right. That is a photo that I shot of Boyd Robeson here in Kansas back in 1982. Boyd was a swell partner and good friend. All he shot were model 12 Winchesters.

If your wood duck had the top part of his head gone it sounds like you hit him a tad high with your pattern. I very much doubt that duck even heard the shot go off. Gives new meaning to "dead in the air"

Hope you have a good season.

Bob A.

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Bob, appears I would have gotten along with your friend Boyd as well, that is with shotgun choice anyway. I still shoot the lions share of my crows and other winged game with M12's. I often shoot doubles as well, or almost as well as those sporting autos. A lot has to do with choosing which bird to nail first. I call it "reading the flock". Further, IMO the only place a quality pumpgun such as the smooth cycling M12's are lacking is when hunting in windy conditions.  After the first shot crows open their wings and they're gone. With an auto a good shot can often double under these conditions.

Ted 



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Hello Ted,

In my opinion the model 12 Winchester was the best balanced pump ever made. The model 31 Remington pump was a slick pumper just like the model 12 Winchester.

In 1965 in September Boyd's gun shop burned down in Sioux City Iowa so before he rebuilt it he took off the whole crow season that year. Thats when I first met him in South Dakota in October of that year. This was several years before I started hunting crows in Kansas. Boyd was only 38 years old when I first met him and I was 17 years old.

That year he hunted crows in Iowa, South Dakota, Kansas and Oklahoma. He had his best year that season shooting a little over 16,000 crows by himself. All he used was a model 12 12 gauge Diamond Grade trap gun. Before I ever ran into him in Kansas (1968 to 1972) I came uppon several of his shoots after he left Kansas to go back to Iowa; that is where he lived until he moved to Kansas in 1973. Our paths crossed in 1973 in Kansas and I moved out here the following year. Boyd had very fast reflexes, he could down several crows where all three would be dead in the air at the same time with a trap load of 7 1/2's.

He told me that back in those days if you couldn't kill 500 a day around Ft. Cobb Oklahoma something was wrong! This was in the early to mid 1960's. Ft. Cobb had estimates of anywhere from 11 to 17 million crows at the Ft. Cobb roost. I started hunting down there in 1970 before I met Boyd and I can tell you it was really something to see with your own two eyes.

Talk to ya soon Model 12 man!

Bob A.

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In 1970 (before I ran into Boyd for the second time in Kansas) when I hunted in Caddo County (Ft. Cobb) Oklahoma I was still in my formative years. All that changed when Boyd and I started to hunt together in 1973 in Kansas and Oklahoma.

When I mentioned 500 crows a day that was usually between a morning hunt and then an afternoon hunt. The thing that really sticks in my mind is this, in the early to mid 1960's Boyd had his best season in 1965. He had many shoots of 500 or more in those days, I remember him saying that his largest solo shoots were in the 640 to 650 range. Here is the part that gets me, with all those crows in Caddo County in those days and his very best shoots were in the mid 600 range. This was before the mobs of hunters started going down there when the birds did not get the pressure they did in later years. There could be two reasons why he didn't do better, 1. not having enough volume on some of the very first e-callers (45 rpm) of that time period. 2. Never got in "just the right spot"

By the mid to late 1970's the days of 500 or more were gone, to many guys hunting them in Caddo County. In the late 1970's Boyd & I got better shooting in Kansas with a fraction of the birds to work on compared to Ft.Cobb. The reason why is because Kansas never got the publicity that Oklahoma did.

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Here is a little more history about the famed Ft. Cobb.

By the late 1970's to very early 1980's Ft. Cobb was pretty much done. My Partner Dick Kilbane found out where a portion of that roost moved to when it left Ft. Cobb. They moved 50 miles as the crow fly's from Ft. Cobb, and that is where I first started to run into Dick Kilbane. Drew Moore and I ran into Dick on one of the safari's we were on together. Drew wrote the article for Crow Busters back in 2001 called "Ole Time Crow Shooting in the 21st Century" All through the 1990's Dick had a field day with all those crows pretty much all to himself.

Drew and I shot almost 2,000 crows in six days down there on one trip and so he wrote up an article about it.

Dick Kilbane had more updated equipment than Boyd Robeson did by the time the 1990's rolled around. Dick was using the model 512 units by Johnny Stewart but there battries lasted the whole day whereas the D cell batteries in the old record players didn't and that could be another reason why Boyd's largest shoots around Ft. Cobb were only in the mid 600 range by himself.

Here is something to think about, 30 years later from 1965 to 1995 Dick was getting larger shoots than Boyd Robeson did back in the 1960's. Two of Dicks largest days (two setups a day) 1,052 and 1,222 in the 1990's was due in part because Dick rented a home for three solid months down there each year. Dick was saying (on a slow shoot last season) his next goal was 1,500 crows in a day's time, and started laughing, he said "it's been down hill ever since then"

Now if we jump ahead 15 years to 2010 I ran into a brand new area where I got shooting almost on par with what Dick Kilbane had back in the mid 1990's. What is to be learned from all this? Good areas come and go over time, but there are still good areas inwhich you can still have a field day with the crows.

Bob A.

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Bob, can't say I've ever had three dead ones in the air at once but many time two. If only we could see what the late Herb Parsons could do on crows with a Model 12.

Ted

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Man O man, if I could get in on just a 100 crow day I pray to Jesus to take me on home cause I could die a happy man. Crow hunting in east Tn is tough to say the least. I went this morning and killed 2 (TWO)! There are so few crows you have to kill a couple in an area and move a few miles and start all over. Most of the time I need more choke and skill to kill them. Hilly terrain and tall trees=high crows. I need to do as brother Bob and bring a camera and move to where birds are.

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Hi Ted,

If Mr. Parsons was doing the shooting there would be no crows left! Well maybe?

Bob A.

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hey Bob; 

In the late 70s here soemthingc hanegd dramatically. While up here we do not have naything like your area naturally but there was soem hot shooting to be had but oddly the crow sstopped using their old flyway answitched to the eastern part of the state which wa svery odd but tehreason they were in the western part was  because we used to have dumps ....when they folded into 'recycling cneters' it killed this area along with all the then pheasant hunters now showing up...and asking stupid questiosn while incoming crows hung out there a quarter mile or so...or simply bypassing the area altogether. too much of that and the crows  moved out much like your Ft Cobb area only no where near the numbers  of course you are used to seeing (when Ft Cobb was hot).....

The crows used to  roost at a place they were most unwelcomed indeed....during this time period. Now their winter roost is about 45 minutes north of that area where the people don't mind having their neighborhood covered in that black and white goo...of a neighboring state...then the flights were breath taking for someone like me at the time when i was a lousier shot too. Oddly there is plenty of feed for their migration even when they return after winter is over. Well the goose hunters are there and the duck hunters so there are guns going off often enough and the presence of hunters I had to figure encouraged them not to hang around at all. 

 Back then you could hunt one field one day and  in the same general area a different field the next and any place with open land had corn on it. It was incredible. For this area at the time  there were crows everywhere.  The local flock for this region was about 350 birds and at times much much more-maybe double that-which is of course far too  little compared to what you know. Anyways the migration shifted to the eastern portion of this state explaining why the shooting is just no good anymore where I am. 

So what do you think made the Ft.Cobb area change?

i am guessing whatever did it to Ft,Cobb also happened here. this was before the phony  origin of the virus called "West nile virus' which originated here in America notably plum Island,NYS..NOT Africa! I don't think the virus devastated the crow population as much as it about wiped out the blue jay up here along with a good many songbirds and waterfowl..just don't see the ducks like we used to.

Additional note: The crows here move just enough to find a plentiful food source just an hour or two away further south in a neighboring state. and don't come down from Manitoba and the northern states of your area meaning  they don't travel thousands of miles...maybe  not but i never shot any banded birds so...



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Hello Tom,

At the Ft. Cobb roost they never allowed shooting directly in the roost until around 1978. There were so many crows there that it took a whole season to finally ruin it for everyone.

Years ago I shot two different crows that were banded up in Sasketchewan, thats where we get all our migrants from here in Kansas.

The West Nile Virus never effected my shooting out here in the plains states.

When you mentioned why crows move out of an area it can be for a variety of reasons. 1. feed 2. roost shooting.

Here in Hutchinson where I live there was a roost within 10 minutes of my house that held over 1 million crows when I moved out here in 1974. They started building houses on the roost site and pushed out almost all the caltapa trees they liked to roost in. That roost used to be a mile square of solid crows and trees at one time. By 1990 Hutchinson was finished. There are still other areas in the state to hunt crows but nothing like the numbers at Hutchinson.

Bob A.

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Troy,

What town are you from?

Bob A.

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Ted,

I just thought about a prior post about Ft. Cobb and the old e-caller's that Boyd used (1962 to 1965) in those days. Another thing that slowed him down was using those old record players because you would only get about 2 1/2 minutes of play time before you had to move the needle. I remember I got my first e-caller in 1965 (record player 45 RPM) and it sure made the caller sound differen't when a dead crow hit the caller and the needle scratched it's was across the vinal 45 RPM record! The younger fellas on this Bulliten Board have it made in the times that we now live in; this is in regard to how far e-callers have come in the past 47 plus years!

Bob A.

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Here is but another story of Ft. Cobb.

Years ago before the crows left Ft. Cobb there was a fella that moved from Tennessee (his last name was Millsap) to Ft. Cobb, just for the crows! My friend Dick Kilbane knew him well. So things went just fine for the first 2 to 3 seasons and then the crows pulled out due to roost shooting. So now this guy is stuck, he has a house that nobody wants to buy because Ft. Cobb is in the middle of no where! Sad story but true.

What is to be learned from this guys experience? Rent a place don't buy it in crow country. I was very lucky, I did buy a place in Kansas and even though the roost at Medora and St. John are a thing of the past I am still centrally located and still able to get decent shooting.

Bob A.

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Are they still dynomiting the roosts in kansas and elsewhere?



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RE: probably why Oklahoma doesn't have the biggest flock of the 70s anymore...
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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IhVdcjyKdSU&feature=related

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dK9IOTmHr-w&feature=related

 

Could the formerly incredible roosts  that formerly haunted specific areas in Kansas and Oklahoma be wintering  back in Canada?!



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Hello Tom,

The last roost bombings in Kansas occured in the very early 1950's.

No way are the crows (the majority of them) wintering in Canada, that being said states such as Minnesota are holding more crows than they did over 30 years ago. The thing is, even though states like MN are holding more birds it still does not have near the crow population other states do during the fall & winter months here in the USA.

Last season I was hunting in an area that had roughly 50,000 crows in residence. This was not a huge roost but still very good size to me. I had two days back to back where I shot over 500 each day. Now these shoots were both morning and afternoon shoots together on both days. This was in the central part of the USA.

Bob A.

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This is such a special time of year, the trees are in there fall colors, there will soon be plenty of crows from up north, and the temperature is delightful outside, life is good!

Bob A.

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For the guys that like crow hunting history I was just thinking of Bert Popowski and the hunting he did from the mid 1920's to the mid 1960's. Here is what interests me, Bert used just hand calls in those days and as a result the best days he had were two 500 plus bird days over a 45 year period. Bert did not like to hunt alone so these were shoots with usually him and one other shooter. Bert shot somewhere between eighty to ninety thousand crows over a 45 year period, on average thats roughly 2,000 crows a season. He mentioned in one of his articles years ago that "earning an annual living was a great drawback to doing much better" and I never forgot that quote. Bert hunted in over 20 different states in the USA during that time. His time was limited to mainly vacations since he was a school teacher by profession.

The e-caller made a big difference on crow kills in later years.

Bob A.

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Just looking through one of my log books and found a shoot from 2007 where we had a hell of an average that afternoon.

Dick and I killed the first 61 crows straight! We had one flock of six come in and none left, we got 3 each, all 12 gauge.

Our total for the afternoon was 136. The wind was North at 15 MPH 45 degrees out, I used 76 12 gauge trap loads in 7 1/2's for 69 crows = 91% average. Dick shot 67 crows that afternoon.

A few days before we were on another flyway shoot where we both got a scotch double that afternoon, that is very rare, I sometimes go years before getting one.

This is what is fun for me, looking over shoots from previous seasons. Gets me reved up for this season!

Bob A.

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Gadget Bob,

Here is a photo that you & Matt have not seen from your visit.

Bob A.



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Killed this poor fellow this morning along with 44 of his buddies..Talk about some nasty looking talons... Any idea what this is? Anyone seen this before?



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Hi Mark,

I think that birds feet got frozen from a previous season. Sooner or later the talons will just drop off and all that will remain is just a stub.

Bob A.

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I am ceratinly not an expert, but the area of the US where he was shot doesn't get that cold...The places on his talons look as though he had some type of growths.. My buddy said he had been shot in the past and he probably had lead in his talons.. Maybe some #8 shot  that didn't have enought energy to kill him, only to damage his talons??



-- Edited by Mark on Thursday 18th of October 2012 11:49:24 PM

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This picture was taken just after he was killed this morning.. I had him sitting on my thigh..



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Hello Mark,

If this bird was a migrant he could have had his feet frozen in a state hundreds of miles from where he got shot. Now this is purly speculation, it might be from shot hitting his feet from a previous season or it might be his diet that caused this, it's anybodys guess.

Bob A.

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I've seen that kind of thing of feral pigeon feet as well. I myself doubt it was caused by shot damage but anything is possibe. Likely some kind of fungal infection I would think.

Ted

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Hey Ted,

I was just at the post office yesterday shipping out some crow wings to a fella and the gal behind the counter says to me, "this box stinks, it smells like something is dead" I told her I got the box out of a trash hopper, that satisfied her curiousity. LOL.

Bob A.

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Bob wrote:

Hey Ted,

I was just at the post office yesterday shipping out some crow wings to a fella and the gal behind the counter says to me, "this box stinks, it smells like something is dead" I told her I got the box out of a trash hopper, that satisfied her curiousity. LOL.

Bob A.


 hahaha



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