View Full Version : Leed or lead for crows

04-03-2012, 11:07 PM
Okay guys i know there isnt a 100 percent answer for this but if a crow is just flying at "average" fly-by speed how much leed or lead would you use at 30 yards or so. Just a good estimate will do, I just think im either leading them way to much or not enough.

04-03-2012, 11:19 PM
Oh and by the way I am shooting a 20 ga. Remington 870 with a full choke and sometimes modified. With high brass federal top gun 7 1/2 shot.

04-04-2012, 11:25 AM
Yep this is definitely a tough one to answer because there are a lot of factors like crows speed, range and angle. Weather will change my lead and you still need to factor in choke, shell and the shooters ability to wing shoot/follow through.

With my 12ga using a modified choke, I'll give hard left to right (or right to left) crow flying at around 20 to 30 yards at average speed a 1-1/2' to a 2' lead. Angling in or away it's would be less, straight on is pretty much dead on. High flyers will get a 3 foot or more lead but that one I'm still working on seeing most of the high flyers are rarely hit by me :(

Best way to figure this all out is to shoot and watch how the crows are being knocked down. If you find youíre double tapping them from running off, increase or decrease your lead to see if you can start hitting them harder. Make a mental note from each shot and youíll get it. Heck, just when I think Iíve got it figured out Iíll head out and miss 3 or 4 in a row so donít discouraged. It does take time and a lot of shooting. Good luck, have fun and hunt safe ;)

04-04-2012, 03:58 PM
1.7834" to be exact. :D Actually I've never really thought about how much to lead a bird. I just come from behind, pass the bird and pull the trigger. But I was though swing through shooting versus sustained lead.

04-10-2012, 02:52 PM
As a long time waterfowl hunter I learned one thing long ago about leading flying targets. It is much easier to underlead than to overlead. This may sound odd but one big factor makes this statement have some merit. By the time your shot has traveled thirty yards downrange you have a 4-5 foot shot string. If the first pellets to arrive in the shot string miss from not enough lead the rest of the shot string will miss too. But if you overlead and the first pellets miss there are more pellets following in the remainder of your shot string that may connect with your target. My guess is that if you are missing you need to lead a little further. At least that is what I would try first. With my 20 gauge side by side I usually lead about 1-1/2 crows on most crows I shoot at other than an oncoming bird. Remember to aim low on birds that are approaching decoys if they are readying to land. They lose altitude pretty quickly and quicker yet from a load of 7 1/2s.

05-19-2012, 05:45 PM
IMO, if you have your barrel traveling the speed the crow is flying, you don't need as much lead as you would with a fixed lead.

05-19-2012, 11:42 PM
I'm with diyj98 that's the way I was taught and it works fairly well. I miss my share but I think it's my mechanics and not the method.

05-20-2012, 12:00 AM
to me it's just like shooting trap at that speed. the best advise you can get has already been given. "follow your shot through" if you keep swinging your barrel in the direction it is flying your pattern will be longer and increase your odds tremendously. I don't really lead at all. I squeeze the trigger when the bead is on the bird, but you must keep swinging that shotgun. if you don't keep swinging it and follow through, you will shoot behind it every time.

Bob Aronsohn
08-04-2012, 10:23 PM
Every ones reflexes and timing are different, a fella that is a fast swinger will not need the amount of lead a more deliberate shooter will on the same bird.

You just have to keep at it, there are some things you have to get a feel for on your own. If you are lucky enough you could have a seasoned shooter stand in back of you, he could tell pretty quickly if you are shooting behind, in front, or over the top of the birds.

08-05-2012, 12:30 AM
Thanks guys for all the replies. Ive spent a lot more time shooting 5 stand and skeet and the birds have been falling a lot more often.