[Tweeters] Hunting/trapping crows in WA

christopher anderson cdanders at hotmail.com
Thu Dec 27 22:16:53 PST 2007

Hi Tweets, Trapping (and handling) live crows would require specialized trapping or scientific collection permits generally only available to Nuisance Wildlife Control Operators (NWCO's); or those in research, rehabilitation, and wildlife management arenas (e.g. University of Washington researchers studying crows, or rehabilators handling injured crows). A state small game hunting license would not cover trapping of crows, trapping an animal is not a stipulation of a hunting permit. The federal allowance of being able to kill crows without holding a hunting license or permit "when found committing, or about to commit, depredations on agricultural crops, or when concentrated in such numbers and manner as to constitute a health hazard or other nuisance" only allows for lethal (i.e. shooting, falconry, archery) means (CFR 50 Part 20 Section 133). As already discussed, discharge of firearms is generally not allowed within municipalities. Also, proper permits aside, live trapping crows is very labor/time intensive and the types of traps used can create further problems of trapping non-target species (e.g. using an Australian crow trap) among other complications that such an effort could incur. Other lethal trapping techniques have a large chance of non-lethal injury and non-target trapping as well (e.g. using a body grip trap, which is illegal in most cases within WA state under Initiative 713). If a private entity felt trapping was the only answer to damage or health concern, a certified NWCO could provide this service - call your local WDFW office to obtain a local NWCO contact. However, in most cases, particularly with extremely mobile wildlife such as birds, trapping will not ultimately remedy the problem. Other individuals will find the same habitat/food resource/favorite plant in your yard. I don't think anyone would argue that crows appear, at least in a congregational sense, numerous around here; take out one and there are others to take its place, without blinking an eye. Crows in general are not the usual suspects of damage to crops, etc., as it is usually other wildlife that are the overall responsible party (e.g. blackbirds and starlings, deer); crow tend to get the blame at times. There are good preventative measures that will deter nuisance crows (and other nuisance wildlife), as mentioned previously. Please check out the WDFW Living with Wildlife Series section on crows for further techniques of conflict prevention and legalities associated with "predatorial birds", such as crows, in WA state. Hope this helps with some of the questions and issues with crows. http://wdfw.wa.gov/wlm/living/crows.htm Good birding, Chris AndersonWDFW Mill Creek
andercda AT dfw DOT wa DOT gov425-775-1311, ext 111
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