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The myth of shooting does without fawns


Bucksnbows

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I recently read on another forum where some fall bowhunters won't shoot a doe if she has fawns with her and will only shoot "lone does".  That's really not sound biological reasoning.  The woods are not full of dry does without fawns.  Sure, some does that gave birth to one or more fawns this past spring may have had their fawns killed by cars or predators, but most does will have fawns nearby or recently moved on.  Shooting a doe that has fawns, even spotted fawns we sometimes see in early fall bow season, will not threaten the lives of those fawns any more than had we passed on that doe.  

 

Anyone have thoughts?  Disagree?  Where's Matty when we need him?  He'd be on this like white on rice if he could resurrect his Tandy computer....

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 Shooting a doe that has fawns, even spotted fawns  will not threaten the lives of those fawns any more than had we passed on that doe.  

 

Anyone have thoughts?  Disagree?  

 

I have to respectfully disagree.  On our hunt, as long as there are mature does around to shoot the little ones are safe, but as soon as all the big girls are gone we start shooting the little ones.  So, shooting that old doe will definitely increase the chances of her fawns not making it through the season.   :rofl:

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I have to respectfully disagree.  On our hunt, as long as there are mature does around to shoot the little ones are safe, but as soon as all the big girls are gone we start shooting the little ones.  So, shooting that old doe will definitely increase the chances of her fawns not making it through the season.   :rofl:

 

Speak for yourself, I went after the little ones right away!  But only because I didn't want you to sprain your back dragging it out for me  :rofl:  :rofl:

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Three seasons a go was the first time in roughly 10 yrs I shot a doe, and after the kill I didn't feel so great. The reason is the deer numbers went way down where I hunt, so my fiend and I made a decision not to shoot antlerless deer, and after a few years it seemed we saw more deer and more bucks, I know it just wasn't from us. But I agree antlerless deer must be taken out.....I say to each their own!!

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Three seasons a go was the first time in roughly 10 yrs I shot a doe, and after the kill I didn't feel so great. The reason is the deer numbers went way down where I hunt, so my fiend and I made a decision not to shoot antlerless deer, and after a few years it seemed we saw more deer and more bucks, I know it just wasn't from us. But I agree antlerless deer must be taken out.....I say to each their own!!

 

We have only taken I think 2 does in about 30 years from our PA hunting property for that same reason.  The locals always take does from the herd and our herd is much lower than the carrying capacity of our forest, so we leave them alone there.  But here in NJ where I have too many most seasons on land I manage, I encourage our crew to shoot at least 3 or 4 baldies per year and sometimes more.  When I say too many, I judge that by closely observing their browsing pressure on my forest.  Last year we only took one because I didn't hunt and my other two good doe killers were busy with work or went off to college and weren't around.  So I'll likely have to whack-n-stack some this fall.  Plus I'm doing another 5 acre clear cut this winter, so I want the herd down a bit for at least 2 more years to let my forest regenerate after the cut.  Once the young trees get above the browse line, we back off on shooting a lot of does and only take a couple each year.      

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Well, I don't know anything about "dry" does and to be frank, I don't really care to know.. All I know is if I see a does with its fawn I leave it alone..Other than that, if its brown, its down.. :drinking:

 

I'm curious as to why you would pass a doe with a fawn or fawns during fall bow or later seasons?

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I'm curious as to why you would pass a doe with a fawn or fawns during fall bow or later seasons?

 

 

Well, to be clear I consider fawns to be deer with spots.. once the spots are gone its GAME ON!!...  :drill: ..

 

I don't have any real reason for not killing fawns or does with fawns other than it just doesn't feel right.. Maybe that feeling stems from  mans basic instinct to protect women and children, I don't know.. all I know is I cant raise an arrow or even point a gun at a mother of any species still tit feeding its  young..  Just cant do it man.. nope no way.. But this doesn't mean I'm against early season bow nor do I mean to suggest other hunters shouldn't be allowed to bag'um.. Just noting my own standards..

:D

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Thanks, I was curious to some of what I'm sure are many reasons some hunters have for not shooting a doe with fawns.  Years ago I wouldn't have myself, but I've learned that the fawns will be fine without mom by fall, so I see no reason myself to pass on them.  I also used to pass 100% on any and all fawns until about 2 years ago when I needed to take a bunch of deer off a property I managed.  My buddy shot a mature doe with 2 female fawns.  A week or two later, I was seeing the fawns that had lost their spots by then regularly in my one bow spot.  I wound up taking them both in the same day since I wouldn't shoot any buttons on that property.  I cannot say enough about how great they tasted!  Last year I shot 2 BBs on a cull hunt because the goal was to take brown down.  But a cull hunt seems to feel different to me than does regular hunting if that makes any sense.    

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Yeah Buck I have no problem taking yearlings, its just the ones with the spots I have a problem harvesting... I pretty much hunt by the same philosophy as you.. I categorize my hunts as either a Cull hunt or a regular hunt.. Usually I do cull hunting on the County Parks and my own land because there are too many deer..  But when I'm hunting in BRWMA and Hacklebarney State Park I wont take just anything because the deer aren't so thick in those places.. Still plenty of them though, especially early season..

:D

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If I'm hunting in a zone where it is "earn a buck" and I have my eyes set on a buck I want to harvest, I'm shooting the first doe that walks in.  I won't shoot anything with spots, just a personal moral thing, but I will shoot the mother, or any other yearlings around.  If I'm hunting in a zone where it is not "earn a buck" and I just want to get some meat in the freezer, then I will shoot anything, with the exception of spots, but by those seasons the spots are usually gone, so they're fair game... and tender.

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 If I'm hunting in a zone where it is not "earn a buck" and I just want to get some meat in the freezer, then I will shoot anything, with the exception of spots, but by those seasons the spots are usually gone, so they're fair game... and tender.

 

Those little ones are easiest to gut and drag (carry) out of the woods.   

 

Not to mention that they are the best eating.  :)

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  • 4 years later...

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