Matt Turley is back – and this time he is shooting crows, rooks and jackdaws over an orchard. He is protecting the apple crop from the birds with decoys. Plus he and his mate Nigel test steel shot at range to see if it’s as good as lead.

Since our last film with Matt shooting crows (click here), more than 2,000 viewers have contacted him about going crow shooting.

The bag on Matt’s first day out with us


Some of them have asked questions about Matt’s crow shooting technique. We set out the answers to many of the questions here.

Viewer Jon asks if it is ‘always better to have a rotary flapper when shooting crows’? And viewer Joe wants to know if flappers and magnets help or not?

Matt is keen on rotaries and whirlies. He is not so keen on bouncers. He has a rotary from A1 Decoys. However, for movement to attract the crows attention, he is more keen on the FF5 flapper from Nick Tait of

The Flapper is the FF5 by


Viewer Stuart wants to know more about Matt’s decoys. Matt is most keen on using dead birds in cradles as decoys. He also has plastic crows from

Decoys are by Jack Pyke. Click here for the new flocked decoys


Matt makes ‘rag crows’ out of twists of black plastic on wire tied up with black tape. Click here for the recipe.

Rag crow


‘How does Matt set out his decoys?’ asks viewer Deano. The answer is a group of decoys on the ground with movement from flappers around the egdes.

A lot of this is down to available corvids and their keenness on feed. Viewer Russell emails to say he has difficulty drawing crows in close enough on spring drillings and other tempting crops.

Viewer Jon says he has heard that using a bird of prey decoy in the pattern will help bring the birds in. “Is this true and where would you place it in the pattern?” Matt has an eagle owl decoy but he seldom uses it. Crows are intelligent enough to know why they are coming in and, in Matt’s case, it is for the pig nuts. he feels a bird of prey would confuse them. But that is not to say it won’t work elsewhere.

Many viewers want to know the best shot load and size for crows. Matt uses Matt uses Gamebore Super Steel 32g 5-shot cartridges and Nigel uses Gamebore Clear Pigeon 30g 6-shot cartridges. Matt and Nigel agree that steel shot does not injure birds by going straight through them. however, it cannot shoot to the ranges lead can, because it is less dense.

Viewers Joe and Stuart asks if steel shot works out to 50 yards. The furthest pigeon we picked in the above film was 55 yards.


And when does Matt go out shooting? Matt likes to go our shooting crows first thing when they are their hungriest, and he shoots them where they plan to feed.

Our first film with Matt:

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