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Do you shoot the doe?

Discussion in 'Hunting' started by ohihunter2014, Dec 2, 2019 at 9:08 PM.

  1. ohihunter2014

    ohihunter2014 Member

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    Hunting tonight with two buddies on their lease one buddy passes a doe cause she’s got triplets tonight and about an hour later I see two fawns come in and one was for sure a button buck and the other appeared to be a button also. I figured if they are hanging with her and both appear to be buttons and they are twins then give momma doe a pass to pass on the genes for a few years. I also didn’t really have the heart to shoot her with having little ones close by. She stayed 50yards in the woods and the fawns fed down wind of me in the field and busted but went opposite of her and she just hung out like she didn’t care they left. I was also worried about shooting her cause my buddy passed a big doe for having triplets.

    what would you have done?
     
  2. BigBore44

    BigBore44 Member

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    I pass does with babies with spots. I also always pass does with twins or triplets. I try to only take big mature does. So yes, I would have passed her.
     
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  3. Random 8

    Random 8 Member

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    If you want more deer, pass on does. If you want fewer deer with the potential to grow bigger and not eat themselves out of browse, shoot the does. I've never been a believer that orphaned fawns of age will not survive. I read a study done in northern MN, well known for harsh winters and a healthy wolf population, and no significant difference was found in survival of first year fawns with or without mom.

    If also noticed that mature does will take over the prime areas in winter when times are tough, and this might lead to decreased survival of mature bucks. Guess it all boils down to your management goals and how taking the does will affect your population and habitat.
     
  4. troy fairweather

    troy fairweather Member

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    I try not to shoot does with young. They say it's better to shoot the young deer. Have a deer or two already help, but if I have no meat there's nothing much better then a milky doe.
     
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  5. skeeterfogger

    skeeterfogger Member

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    Generally take mature to point of near non breeder. Late in season pick out oldest without fawns and limit cull to fit herd.
     
  6. WestKentucky

    WestKentucky Member

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    Depends, but typically I pass on does with fawns. Lone deer are fair game, deer in herd groups are fair game, but when it’s a small family group I just can’t do it.
     
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  7. Armored farmer

    Armored farmer Member

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    I haven't shot a doe in many years.
    The last time I did, there was a fawn with a milk mustache wandered into the murder scene.
     
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  8. jmr40

    jmr40 Member

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    At this time of year any fawn is fully capable of making it alone. Depending on how badly I wanted the meat and how hard it is going to be to get the meat out would be the deciding factors. Archery season here starts in mid September. I might be concerned then.
     
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  9. gspn

    gspn Member

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    I'd generally pass. Sometimes on the farms I hunt there are so many deer in a field that you can't be certain who is with who though. I once helped a buddy manage a farm he just bought and we'd usually see 30 doe for every buck. Even then the bucks weren't much to look at. We began a campaign to get that ratio back in order, and it wasn't unusual to see 20 to 30 deer at times in a field 300 yards long. In those cases I'd usually pick the largest doe, or the meanest one. It was pretty common to see a doe walk over, rear up, and start whacking another doe with her hooves over some perceived territorial slight. It was dang near knee deep clover for hundreds of yards and they still found stuff to fight over. So sometimes I just whacked the one who was starting trouble. :)
     
  10. Arkansas Paul

    Arkansas Paul Member

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    I wouldn't shoot the doe in the early part of the season.
    By this time, it's fine. The young ones will make it.
     
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  11. mustanger98

    mustanger98 Member

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    I've not shot does, and normally wouldn't unless I see one injured... and that will depend on whether it's an "either sex" day, aka "doe day". No challenge there... rattle the corn bucket and half the time they're eating while I'm still throwing. (This is the second year for legally hunting over bait on private land in Georgia.) Bucks follow does... the two I harvested this year and one last year, plus a bunch I let walk... they weren't there so much for the corn as because the does were there. The bucks I've observed and/or harvested other years, without corn... they were following the does too. So, I don't see a need to shoot does in my situation.

    And speaking of button bucks, which I also don't shoot, there's one with the main group of five does... looks like give him two or three more years and he should be a good size.
     
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  12. marksman13

    marksman13 Member

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    We shoot a lot more does than bucks as a general rule. If the fawns don’t have spots, Mom is headed to the freezer.
     
  13. earlthegoat2

    earlthegoat2 Member

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    Ok. So I like to shoot moms with fawns (no spots of course) because it is really easy to tell you are shooting a larger deer and not a yearling button buck.

    The fawns will be just fine. Lighten up.

    Having said that, I don’t have the luxury of hunting a property through an entire season. I get to hunt during gun season up north for a week and whatever I can get, I get. When there is a time crunch I don’t have the time to weed out too many deer. My drive is too far and the tags are too expensive to come back empty handed. I envy those who can be so selective.

    Also, I am not a wildlife biologist but this is my anecdotal take on game management and shooting does and QDM. In my youth when I could hunt full seasons I started hunting a piece of property my dad had bought. For years we never saw any bucks. None at all. We wanted venison so we started shooting does. We may have shot 3-4 a year for 4-5 years on 60 acres. Magically we started seeing bucks. Small ones at first but as the years went on we started seeing bigger ones. Soon we could start being selective.

    I will never understand the reluctance to take does. Get some primo venison by taking mommy.
     
  14. stillquietvoice

    stillquietvoice Member

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    I've passed real young does, and does with young. One year I passed on a doe with 2 fawns, saw the same group later with another group of 3. I took the second largest doe.

    I shoot them rather than seeing them on the side of the road. I must say though that the young are quite tender.
     
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  15. ohihunter2014

    ohihunter2014 Member

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    Our population used to be so bad that we would count 15-20 on the entire farm during January/February but this year sightings have been down. This farm connects to 800 acres of no hunting owned by the county and only mature deer maybe killed. I guess this doe to be 3-3.5yo.
     
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2019 at 7:29 AM
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  16. Officers'Wife

    Officers'Wife Member

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    I hunt for the quality of the meat so I am more incline to shot a doe than a buck. It may just be personal preference but I've always felt that the does tend to yield a more tender and tasty product. Once the fawn is weaned it has zero need and zero affection for its mother and I would prefer my children eat well rather than to succumb to Bambi syndrome.
     
  17. ohihunter2014

    ohihunter2014 Member

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    That was another reason I passed. I almost shot a big doe with a bow 3yrs ago after watching her for 10min and no fawns. When she offered a shot 2 fawns ran out and one started nursing. This was late September. Im glad I didn’t shoot her. Some people mind set now is they are old enough to fend for themselves because it’s December. These ones looked almost to be born in 2018 but I couldn’t do it. I second guess my passing her because she hung back in the woods and watched them and also didn’t flea with them when they winded me. They ran a few hundred yards opposite of her and she stayed another 10-15min.
     
  18. ohihunter2014

    ohihunter2014 Member

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    Same here. No doe till gun season (December or January) for me.
     
  19. stillquietvoice

    stillquietvoice Member

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    I shot a fawn this past Sunday. There were 2 traveling together. I saw 5 bit only the tails flagging. It was cold, windy, the storm started here with freezing rain and sleet. Within 5 steps all 5 spooked. I was driving a wood lot comming down a ridge looking into darker woods. Didn't see them until they were heading out.
    The 2 fawns tried to sneak out and circle me but came straight into where I stopped and saw them.
     
  20. Random 8

    Random 8 Member

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    I'll add a thought to this one. In the area where I own hunting land in Northern MN, I would have loved to shoot does this year. I NEED to shoot does this year. The population is up, even according to the same DNR that limited antlerless tags this season to nearly zero. Over the last winter, browse was heavily impacted on my area of heavy winter cover. The only non-nipped white pine saplings I found this spring were below the March snowline, an indication of overbrowsing. I fear the impact this winter will be severe; on the white pine I am trying to nurture, on the browse species necessary to maintain my deer herd long term, and on the deer population if this winter is severe. I have no scientific data, but very few bucks were harvested by hunters in the area that I have talked to, upwards of 50 individuals despite decent weather during season this year and countless hours spent in the woods. Game cameras paint a similar picture of a skewed sex ratio approaching 15:1 in sightings on my property. This is what happens when your does get out of control.
     
  21. Highland Lofts

    Highland Lofts Member

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    Generally the first breeding a whitetail doe will have one fawn. After that they generally have twins. Then back to single fawns when they age.
    Deer season here in New York open in the middle of November, by then most fawns can survive on their own. They will blend right in with other deer when mama is gone. If we have the doe tags, does are fair game.
     
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2019 at 12:10 PM
  22. buck460XVR

    buck460XVR Member

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    ^^^This.
     
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  23. Highland Lofts

    Highland Lofts Member

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  24. ohihunter2014

    ohihunter2014 Member

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    Just got a call from one of the guys who hunts with us and he killed that big doe this morning. Said she came in with others and he dropped her, tagged her and then shot one of the smaller ones. Says the other smaller one is just hanging around watching. I guess I don’t have to worry about it now.
     
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  25. Patocazador

    Patocazador Member

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    Our club got a 6000 acre lease in Alabama in 1982. There were few bucks killed the first year but the ones that were killed were large. The state biologist did a survey of the herd and told us to shoot 40 does. We balked. None of us were used to shooting does. We shot ~25 does and he told us that wasn't enough.

    We finally followed his directions and killed 40 the next year, then 60 two years later, then 80. Finally, it topped out at 100. Every year there were more deer not less. Does had only single fawns before, now they were having triplets. The bucks increased and we only shot trophy bucks. There were lots of does and large fawns killed during this time and our herd increased in numbers and quality.

    The moral of this story is SHOOT THE DOES.
     
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