Do you shoot the doe?

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

  1. Loyalist Dave

    Loyalist Dave Member

    May 5, 2006
    People's Republic of Maryland
    A doe with one or more fauns, I pass, but I'm also in an area soooo full of doe that the annual limit is 10 :confused: So I'm likely to see an adult doe without a faun in tow.
    I passed on one myself this year and her faun. Later in the season I saw what I thought was a doe and her yearling. She started a steady walk West on the property where I was hunting, but the smaller deer that I thought was "hers" turned around, and walked back into a hedge toward another group on the other side of the hedge. OK..., so when the large, full grown doe got close enough, I took her.
    stillquietvoice, Duster340 and alsaqr like this.
  2. buck460XVR

    buck460XVR Member

    Feb 6, 2007
    Lot more to QDM than just letting bucks pass and shooting does. Again, it comes down to what you have to work with. I agree that in many areas, the mindset of shooting does is that it is only for women and kids. Real men shoot bucks. Even if it's a pencil horned 3 pointer, it's more manly to shoot it than a mature doe.Then those same folks wonder why they never see a mature buck. I come from that time when anything with a single 3" horn was a target. Having to hunt public land where pressure was high, populations low, food supply only what the woods provided and ground that was leached of minerals made for few quality bucks. You took the first buck you saw because that probably would be the only one you saw that season, and you usually had to hunt hard for that. The big swing towards owning land just for hunting, deer making the leap from natural food to Ag crops and the desire to see more than one buck a season has done wonders for deer hunting. It has also degraded it in many places to shooting semi-domesticated deer than have been conditioned to ignore human activity/presence. Now, it many scenarios, it has become just a shoot, and not much of a hunt.....and I have no problem with that. I don't have a problem with what anyone shoots or the methods they employ....as long as they are within the confines of the law. I do again tho, suggest one hunt with the knowledge of how they are impacting the health and the quality of the herd, before they shoot as opposed to just the mindset of "if it's brown it's down!", or the fear of snickers from peers if they come home empty handed. I hunt to satisfy me and my mindset, not that of others. I suggest others do the same.

    As for the tasty 1 1/2 year old buck. I agree they can be tasty. They also can be smaller, tougher and have considerably less meat on them than a mature doe. Most of the 1 1/2 yr old bucks I saw this year, both during bow season and gun season, were considerably smaller in body size than the average mature doe I saw. While those small racked immature bucks may have impressed a few folks more than a big fat mature doe in the back of the truck, I myself prefer the big doe. But again, I have no problem with what folks shoot. The problem I have is with folks that shoot small bucks and then whine they never have the chance at anything big. But....I will concede there are still those areas where conditions and hunting pressure mean there will never be a lot of mature animals. This is where the state has to come in and regulate better for quality. Same goes for does, if the herd needs to be thinned, go ahead and do so, but do it with discretion, not just the desire to fill the freezer or for bragging rights. Far too many folks shoot multiple does only to give the meat away and not because they are being charitable, but because they and their family won't eat it. Be a steward to the woods and your local deer herd, not just a threat.
  3. der Teufel

    der Teufel Member

    Aug 26, 2011
    Central Texas
    I've heard the same from the county biologist where I hunt. I actually just hunt hogs, but I was helping the landowner set up a Wildlife Management Area plan and we consulted with the local biologist several times. The explanation was that a given area can only support a certain number of deer. If no one shoots does, then does will dominate. As more fawns are born and mature, deer will leave the area because there isn't enough food. So, leaving the does doesn't increase the number of deer. What it does is cause an overabundance of does, meaning a shortage of bucks. If you want large bucks, shoot does.
  4. 25-5
    • Contributing Member

    25-5 Contributing Member

    Jul 29, 2015
    For decades, never could. Now, never would.
  5. MCgunner

    MCgunner Member

    Dec 3, 2005
    The end of the road between Sodom and Gomorrah Tex
    I shoot 'em when legal. We're covered up with 'em, need to be thinned a might. They eat just as good as bucks and better than the horns. :D I shot 6 last season on a MLD permit in Uvalde. I still have venison in the freezer. I'd have taken a doe in bow season, but don't need it. Had one dead to rights, but the freezer wasn't thinned out quite far enough and there's got to be room in there for my cow elk trip next month. :D
    Duster340 and stillquietvoice like this.
  6. stillquietvoice

    stillquietvoice Member

    Feb 25, 2016
    Upstate ny
    Our doe tags are issued for specific wmu's. A tag issued in 1 area is not valid in another. We can be issued 2 but 1 or none is always a possibility. I was issued one this year and haven't filled it yet, I still have a day to fill it. Then comes muzzle loader season where a deer of either sex is permitted. I've shot 2 deer so far this season with 2 different rifles.

    Good luck on your upcoming elk hunt and post pics if you get one.
  7. crestoncowboy

    crestoncowboy Member

    Feb 22, 2011
    We have unlimited doe tags. Deer are a nuisance. We generally kill 10 or more with a disc mower just in hay season much less hunting season. And normally I eat almost all does and pass on bucks. I pass on 20 or more does for every one I shoot though. I try to pick the older ones by color and size / shape but it's hit or miss

    My first 35 years I'd have laughed at you. Having killed beef and chickens and deer by the hundred and seeing that the others really don't notice or care. But I actually did the same thing with a doe two days ago while hunting for meat for the freezer. And she was literally a 75 yard down hill drag to the truck too. Her and the two babies were nibbling on tinder tree limb tips and I watched them through the scope at 50 yards In the snow. I walked for 6 hours after and didnt see another flippin thing either. Lol. Serves me right I guess.
  8. MCMXI
    • Contributing Member

    MCMXI Contributing Member

    Jul 1, 2008
    NW Montana
    There's a cow elk shoulder season coming up and some friends have invited me to their place to hunt but I would hate to shoot a cow and find a calf inside her. Yep, I could have shot a doe a couple of weeks ago for an extra $5 but passed on that. I don't think I'd shoot a doe that had a faun or two, and certainly wouldn't shoot a faun.
  9. Dibbs

    Dibbs Member

    Sep 3, 2018
    Let them all graze. When that huge buck sees the other deer feeding safely, he'll move out of cover, then you have something worth shooting at. Just let the does and fawns be, they're very good bait.
  10. caribou

    caribou Member

    Sep 12, 2008
    North West Alaska
    Cow Caribou are good, without calf's.......about October when the Bulls rut, and the meat tastes like a drunken rabid Wolverine pissed on it. We don't really hunt them again until late February and through March, and the meat is fat and tender then, but they cant have a calf, which keeps them skinny. In winter Bulls stay lean from near starvation during the month of rut and the Cows without calf's will be chubby and fall to the back of the herd like a fat dog racing....Come April the fetus growth accelerates and the fat Cows put that energy into the baby.. No Cow hunting until the here and there's without calf's we bump into, as 99% of them have gone to the North Slope in migration.
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