Quantcast

Do you shoot the doe?

Discussion in 'Hunting' started by Axis II, Dec 2, 2019.

  1. Stevel

    Stevel Member

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2004
    Messages:
    236
    Location:
    SE PA
    I don't take does with young fawn's. In a group of does I try to watch for a while and see which one isn't connected to little ones.

    With mature yearlings I will take a doe if the freezer isn't full.
     
  2. buck460XVR

    buck460XVR Member

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2007
    Messages:
    8,047
    For me, it comes down to what I have seen in the area during the previous late winter, spring, summer and early fall bow season as to whether or not I take a doe, or how many does. It does not come down to how many antlerless tags the DNR has given me(8 this year), but to how I comprehend the herd size and health to be in my particular area, this year. The DNRs population estimates are based on huge parcels, not the square mile the deer I hunt are at. There are also many other factors such as previous year hunting pressure. This year, the gun season was late and the rut mostly over. Weather condition were not good and overall kill was down. This tells me that many folks that would be have normally tagged a buck, may have tagged a doe instead, if they wanted venison. While it means there willo be more nice bucks come bow season next year, what we see out in the fields and food plots after season will be fewer does and fewer fawns next spring. I doubt very much that any fawn is still suckling from it's mom come any general deer season. Does readily take in orphan fawns when they are young and will allow older fawns to herd with them after estrus. Fawns with a large doe during gun season might not even be hers anyway. IOWs, use your knowledge of the herd and it's health when taking does. Antlerless tags are not only to increase hunter success and participation, but also are the only means of herd size control there is.....other than hunter discretion. Don't know how many times I've heard folks complain about only seeing one doe all season.....and they shot that one. Use your head, not your emotions. Don't think you have to have a dead deer in the back of the truck to have a successful hunt. It's much better for the deer and can make a difference next year.
     
  3. Blkhrt13

    Blkhrt13 Member

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2017
    Messages:
    1,519
    Location:
    The armpit of Satan (south Louisiana)
    If you answer yes then you did not grow up having watched Bambi
     
  4. Robbins290

    Robbins290 Member

    Joined:
    May 8, 2011
    Messages:
    2,149
    Location:
    Limerick, maine
    Toward the end of the season, i would take the biggest one of the off spring. I did that this year. The same doe has been doing twins for the past 5 years (one year she had 3, can not confirm if they were all hers). I shot 2 of her yearlings in 2 different years. She has distinctive markings and seen her a few times thru glass. Had plenty of good, text book shots on here. But never taken them knowing here fawns might not make it.
     
  5. huntsman

    huntsman Member

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2003
    Messages:
    4,472
    Location:
    ohio's northcoast
    My only self imposed rule; I don’t kill yearlings.

    I have passed on a doe still with youngins tagging along but that was more about being lazy than moral superiority.
     
  6. Arkansas Paul

    Arkansas Paul Member

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2009
    Messages:
    8,558
    Location:
    Central Arkansas
    Agree 100%.

    We were in a lease for a few years and when we joined they said the only rule was to follow the game and fish regulations.
    However, they would balk and complain when someone shot a doe. Now mind you, we weren't out there slaughtering does every weekend. In Arkansas you can legally kill 6 a year and we never did that. We would shoot 2 or 3 to put in the freezer and there would be complaining.
    And the 5 years we were in that lease, I only saw 1 or 2 good bucks brought into camp. Those people who complained about shooting does would shoot a basket rack 6 or 8 point occasionally, but that's about it.

    Now, we moved to another lease about 10 miles down the road. Game and fish rules apply and that is all they care about. If it's legal and makes you happy, no one will complain.
    We shoot does regularly, and nearly every member does so. We have more big bucks on camera this year than I've ever seen. There have been several really nice bucks brought into camp. I was fortunate enough to bring one in myself.

    Driving home, I passed the old camp and pulled in. I still like a lot of the guys in that lease, so I wanted to see how their year was going. They went on and on about my deer (It was only a 130" deer) and I asked them what they were seeing. They pointed to their skinning rack and there were 5 racks on the table. Not one of them was impressive. Little 10-12" basket racks.

    I'm not saying it is all about the size of the antlers, I don't believe that at all. But it does show that killing some does makes it better.
    They're only 10 miles from us. They have to have just as good of deer as we do. Shooting does is basically the only difference in the 2 places.
     
  7. Laphroaig

    Laphroaig Member

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2013
    Messages:
    1,584
    Location:
    W. PA
    If you want the meat you should probably shoot. Deer tend to herd up later in the winter, and the orphaned yearlings will be under the care of the dominant doe anyway.

    The only antlerless deer I wouldn't shoot is a lone yearling. In my experience it is a button buck more often than not.
     
  8. Robbins290

    Robbins290 Member

    Joined:
    May 8, 2011
    Messages:
    2,149
    Location:
    Limerick, maine
    I agree Lap, almost all the deer i shot that are alone are yearlings or immature bucks.

    I am a meat eater, i got for legal deer. Size, horns or anything does not matter. I do not hunt for a trophy.
     
  9. <*(((><
    • Contributing Member

    <*(((>< Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2013
    Messages:
    2,751
    I think back east I would be inclined to take any doe whose fawn didn't have spots, mainly due to the overpopulation that you all have back there in some regions. Out west here I don't like to shoot does with fawns tailing around unless they are in a group. But I don't look down on anyone that does, in the grand scheme of things we are a predator that creates balance, and F&G should be doing their job on populations to manage good herds. I think there is enough natural instinct for a fawn without spots to survive on her own, but nothings guaranteed in nature, which is why we as hunters cannot be so hard on ourselves.

    One thing I've thought about is how much pressure we put on ourselves as hunters, which I'll say right now is a good thing; but one must have perspective. Be ethical...yes, but to wring our hands and beat ourselves up over a once in a while bad shot or taking a doe with a fawn of survival age we need to be careful as this could be detrimental precedent to our sport and food gathering. Just compare the errant shot that wounds a deer compared to what that deer faces by other predators, such as having a baby ripped out of it's womb by wolves to be left there suffering while the wolves feast on the tender meat; this comes from experiences out west here. So if I make a bad shot when I did my best I'm not going to wallow in despair, feel bad about it yes; but that's life and the last time I checked there is no catch and release when it comes to predatory hunting whether man or beast. These last comments have been something I've been thinking about for quite some time. In no way am I justifying poor ethics or hunting.
     
  10. Robbins290

    Robbins290 Member

    Joined:
    May 8, 2011
    Messages:
    2,149
    Location:
    Limerick, maine
    Luke i agree. I some times get a anterless permit, sometimes i do. In Maine, its based year to year. Sometimes its 16K a year. and some yeards its 80k. When i get one, i do not hesitate to shoot a yearling. They are doing population control.
     
    stillquietvoice and <*(((>< like this.
  11. mustanger98

    mustanger98 Member

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2004
    Messages:
    4,182
    Location:
    GA, CSA
    Bambi Syndrome, huh? I heard they made a sequel and Bambi grew up... 10-pointer. But the premise of the original, IIRC, was anti-hunting propaganda using out-of-season poaching to make hunters a villainous plot device.

    Quality of meat... I'm thinking that is personal preference, and deer in general... buck vs doe, also... may show differences regionally depending on diet and other factors. So your mileage may vary.
     
  12. Duster340

    Duster340 Member

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2015
    Messages:
    680
    I prefer does as I hunt for the freezer. Up in Door County WI, the DNR issued 1 Buck tag and 5 antlerless tags again this year. They are pretty much begging hunters to shoot doe and button bucks. I took 2 does last year. Last week I took a nice 4 pointer and two button bucks. Planning on trying to fill a few more tags with does and/or button bucks during the two upcoming bonus seasons.

    There's a lot of really nice mature bucks in the area....and a LOT of does and young bucks. They are eating all the young saplings on our property, even the young white cedars, so I have absolutely no problem shooting and butchering does and buttons.

    And they sure cook up nicely!

    Be well folks
     
  13. Captcurt

    Captcurt Member

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2010
    Messages:
    3,219
    Location:
    Ozark Mountains of Arkansas
    I don't know how many fawns that I have orphaned. By October most are ready to be weaned in our area. One farm that I hunt has a buck to doe ratio of over 10:1. I have been working to balance that. The land owner got extra tags from the Game dept. and turned me loose. Last year the owner said that he thought that we had things under control. I went out at 2:00 P.M. the next day to pull stands and saw 21 head in 2 1/2 hours. I am just waiting for the acorns to be gone so that I can take inventory. We still have a ML and a Christmas season this month. There is a youth season in January if I can find a munchkin to take.

    As for shooting lone deer, you need to look them over good. Nine times out of ten they are a button buck. I would take a doe and pass a small buck any day.
     
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2019
  14. Axis II

    Axis II Member

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2015
    Messages:
    6,110
    Well the button buck was killed tonight by another hunter.
     
    stillquietvoice likes this.
  15. 27hand

    27hand Member

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2009
    Messages:
    401
    Location:
    SW Pa.
    Yes, I shoot the doe.
    49087457316_b0306b7ed4_z.jpg 2019-11-18_06-50-36 by poofy27, on Flickr

    Backyard treestand 75 feet from my garage. I'm old and like a toilet close by.

    48998296483_3010a53894_z.jpg 2019-11-01_10-18-54 by poofy27, on Flickr

    Given a choice, I try not to shoot the doe with young uns. I know they will probly be ok but when you knit them sweaters and name them, it's sometimes difficult to press the trigger. Well, until you remember what grilled tenderloins and jerky taste like. I made 5 pounds of jerky today.
     
  16. mustanger98

    mustanger98 Member

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2004
    Messages:
    4,182
    Location:
    GA, CSA
    I know I told my opinion for my backyard, but this sounds a lot like when you prune a tree and it puts on a lot of healthy new growth.
     
    Patocazador and stillquietvoice like this.
  17. Patocazador

    Patocazador Member

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2012
    Messages:
    4,671
    Location:
    Central Florida
    The biologist said our lease was overpopulated and the deer had stripped a lot of the browse. We wanted big bucks not oodles of deer. By initially reducing the total number of deer, the growth recovered and gave each deer more nutrients resulting in bigger, healthier deer. With more food available the does produced more fawns in a 1:1 sex ratio.
    Eventually, we had ~7 does for every 10 bucks. This moved the rut a month earlier and we saw and heard many buck fights as they competed for the reduced number of does.
     
  18. buck460XVR

    buck460XVR Member

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2007
    Messages:
    8,047
    Like anything else in life, there's quantity and quality. Herd management provides for the latter and should also provide a quality hunt, which to most fol;ks, is seeing bucks. Old management plans with "buck only" quotas meant in areas of heavy pressure, it could be rare to even see a buck, while seeing tons of does. Land only supports so many deer, don't matter what sex or age they are.

    As for the shooting of fawns, I avoid it whenever I can. Not out of emotion, but out of the desire to see more bucks. Every button buck shot means one less buck with horn next season and a buck that will never have a chance at reaching it's potential. In areas where populations demand everything and anything be shot, I can see it as justified. Otherwise....take the mom, or pass. Others are free to feel differently.
     
  19. <*(((><
    • Contributing Member

    <*(((>< Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2013
    Messages:
    2,751
    I can see out east there where you all must keep the doe population in line, or else what you talked about above gets out of balance in a hurry. Out west here there is such vast and rugged terrain it seems we don't have to put as much pressure on does as you all back there.
     
    stillquietvoice likes this.
  20. earlthegoat2

    earlthegoat2 Member

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2008
    Messages:
    7,044
    Location:
    SE GA
    We get 2 bucks (one restricted) and ten does a year in GA. Last year no one I talked to had shot a doe. Seen many but were waiting for a buck.

    I said you need to shoot the does to see more bucks. They say, “But if I shoot a doe then everyone loses out on all the bucks that doe will give birth to”. Whaaaaat? I’m not kidding. I have heard this several times in MI, KY, and GA.

    It’s this kind of redneck pseudoscience (thanks @Varminterror for that one) that we are dealing with. People have apparently been conditioned to only shoot bucks. Some to only shoot bigger bucks and somehow that automatically equates to “quality deer management”. Or their twisted interpretation of it. That is the tiniest part of QDM and perhaps the least important.
     
  21. huntsman

    huntsman Member

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2003
    Messages:
    4,472
    Location:
    ohio's northcoast
    I believe Bambi was actually an allegory of Nazi aggression prior to WWII.

    A fellow buckeye hunter posted a video he shot a few days ago, it was a young buck cornered by three coyotes who were eating this buck alive.

    so with predator competition maybe I should rethink my policy, my only objection to killing yearlings is the lack of muscle mass, they just don’t put on the weight in that first year on natural browse.
     
    stillquietvoice likes this.
  22. Bfh_auto

    Bfh_auto Member

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2016
    Messages:
    3,690
    Always shoot the doe is my mantra. Unless it's too cold, or getting dark, or I'm feeling lazy, or...
    Seriously does taste better. It has to be a monster for me to take a buck instead of a doe.
     
    stillquietvoice and Duster340 like this.
  23. Random 8

    Random 8 Member

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2018
    Messages:
    1,267
    Location:
    Central MN
    Well, a 1 1/2 year old buck has some awfully thick, tender chops and steaks. Just don't tell the "QDM" folks on the 640 acre section full of food plots and box stands next door.
     
  24. Bfh_auto

    Bfh_auto Member

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2016
    Messages:
    3,690
    True. But I prefer to give them a chance at getting bigger. Neighbors probably shoot half of them though. ;)
     
    stillquietvoice likes this.
  25. alsaqr

    alsaqr Member

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2007
    Messages:
    4,374
    Location:
    South Western, OK
    i won't shoot fawns or does with small fawns: Otherwise does are fair game.
     
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice