Belo

Early Season Does

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Hoping to have a conversation and interested in thoughts and opinions. For those that say "get out in hunt", please do so as your participation in said topic is not required and is strictly voluntary haha.

What are your thoughts on shooting a doe early? Essentially filling your freezer first to take the pressure off, or a bird in the hand approach. As opposed to keeping local family group does alive in hopes they bring a nice buck in during the rut? 

Personally I've done both, but I do prefer to wait for the gun to fill the freezer. I've also had this plan backfire.

 


"Ethical behavior is doing the right thing when no one else is watching, even when the wrong thing is legal"

-Aldo Leopold 

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I usually take an early doe just because I am trigger happy at this point.   Then I wait on a buck.  Won't shoot a doe once the real pre-rut starts in late October until a buck is down.  If I hunted an area with low numbers, I would probably not shoot a doe early however.

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I always plan on filling the freezer first, but I'm not one for buck hunting. Don't get me wrong, I'll take a nice one if it shows up, but I'm primarily a meat hunter. 

Now that I've got my doe done, I can just spend some time in the woods and see what shows up, or if I find someone else who needs a deer I can take one for them. Essentially, the pressure is off. 

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24 minutes ago, moog5050 said:

If I hunted an area with low numbers, I would probably not shoot a doe early however.

Same. If i saw tons of does and thought it would help the herd, I would shoot a doe. But i'm trying to see more deer, not less.

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Doe down 10/3.  Fill the freezer.  Would like one more before last week of Oct. Then perfect setup for holding out for a good buck. With last three weeks to try for a big one 

A doe in gun is not a layup for me and my spots.  And never overlook the current opportunity to wait til later. 

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Edited by Robhuntandfish
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9 minutes ago, Robhuntandfish said:

Doe down 10/3.  Fill the freezer.  Would like one more before last week of Oct. Then perfect setup for holding out for a good buck. With last three weeks to try for a big one 

A doe in gun is not a layup for me and my spots.  And never overlook the current opportunity to wait til later. 

 

heck man I know the season you and I had last year and all the hours we put in and I totally agree. I had one at 22  yards slight quartering away on 10/1, then a whole family group at 20 broadside. I decided it didn't feel right, then saw no deer Saturday night and now I wonder haha. I do subscribe to being confident in your setup and knowing what you're going to shoot, so to fling one on a whim isn't a good idea either. So for me, if I'm not feeling it, it's not happening.

My old man just laughed as it's 10/5...


"Ethical behavior is doing the right thing when no one else is watching, even when the wrong thing is legal"

-Aldo Leopold 

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First let me say the Doe population in my area is gigantic so there is no chance of hurting the herd and the ability to bring a buck in. I will take a Doe anytime anywhere, I hunt for the meat primarily so that is my number one objective. I also have a single bow kill so my thought may not matter much. 

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2 minutes ago, Moho81 said:

First let me say the Doe population in my area is gigantic so there is no chance of hurting the herd and the ability to bring a buck in. I will take a Doe anytime anywhere, I hunt for the meat primarily so that is my number one objective. I also have a single bow kill so my thought may not matter much. 

This question is probably irrelevant as you're a meat hunter, but despite the herd size, have you or others ever wondered "what if SHE was the doe that brought him past my stand on 11/3?"


"Ethical behavior is doing the right thing when no one else is watching, even when the wrong thing is legal"

-Aldo Leopold 

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I almost always kill the first doe I can. Last year I had an encounter with a nice buck without getting a shot, later that morning a doe came in and I gave her a pass because I didnt want to sully the area. A couple days later I killed that buck there. So in that scenario I let the doe walk but typically I do not. I like to get some backstraps ASAP!

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I find a duck's opinion of me is very much influenced by whether or not I have bread

-Mitch Hedberg

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I am looking for a decent buck but personally will take the first adult doe that isn't with fawns the first chance I get. I got skunked last year so it would be real nice to get a doe in the freezer as early as possible. After one is in the freezer I become more selective but even during gun season I will not shoot a doe that has fawn(s) with her.

 There is no shortage of does in this area so If I can fill permits I will and those I will not use  get donated to the Venison Coalition or someone I know that wants one.

One is enough to tide me over and to make jerky  so if I can get that "one" I can hunt when I want, and not have to be out there in less than ideal conditions.

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1 minute ago, Belo said:

This question is probably irrelevant as you're a meat hunter, but despite the herd size, have you or others ever wondered "what if SHE was the doe that brought him past my stand on 11/3?"

Not for a future date in time no. Sometimes after I shoot I'll wonder if a buck was following her. Since I started bow hunting 5 years ago I have started to pay more attention to the way the doe is behaving around the rut to see if she's been chased by a buck or not then determine to shoot or not. 

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I have no problem taking a doe right ogg the get go.  Its meat in the freezer and it does take the pressure off for me... If I do take an early doe, I tend to hunt better and make better choices when I am out there

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Wyoming county   9H and 9N

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Putting meat in the freezer is the main objective for me . A mature doe will always get an arrow if she is within range early in the season. 

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I’ve always been told to keep the doe family groups around and shoot the doe with no fawns. Every doe I’ve seen this year has fawns but I’m sure at this point the fawns can survive alone.

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I hunt a doe rich population on public land on LI and will take a doe early, but prefer to pass on does with small fawns. In October, if I see the fawn, the doe typically will get a pass, not always, but generally. Last year, on my first sit, I drew on a doe (with a decent sized fawn that appeared fully weaned). She was spared by a small 8 who made the ultimate sacrifice.

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First nice doe is getting smoked. After that it depends on where I am. Out in 8F yea they have tags left over every year. Behind the house na as I want the kids to get a crack at those.

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One property I need to shoot does as part of the management program that allows me to hunt there.
One place wants me to remove every deer I see every year which I will avoid hunting after the first two weeks of the season since the bucks that visit from Halloween week to week 2 of November are good and chase hard.
Place in Columbia county we just need to feel it!


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I choose to pass on shooting doe during bow. I hardly ever shoot doe during gun. It has been 3 years since I killed a doe in gun, and probably 5 years before that. When my kids were young I killed alot of doe, and small bucks to fill the freezer being venison was our families primary meat source. 

I feel if the doe are near, the boys will follow. 

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I usually take a doe in the 1st week of bow season usually from one of my.outlying stands to leave my core doe family group area alone, I've passed quite a few already just hasnt seemed right.. so warm and next weeks forecast is even warmer  seems like wed evening or thurs am will be day for me to take one.  By end of october I tend to focus on buck only. Till gun.  

Since my nephews starting hunting and a few friends with young kids  I let hunt my desire to shoot a deer in general has dropped I would rather see one of the youngsters take one and pass then thinking perhaps one of them will get one.. 

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I've hunted almost everyday of my life.. the rest have been wasted!

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Let's think of this logically and from a physiological perspective, I really don't get the concept of letting does go that have fawns as opposed to shooting lone does.  There are a few reasons a doe will be alone,  but for the most  when she becomes receptive she will chase the fawns  away to begin breeding, so wouldn't it be best to not shoot the lone doe  as opposed to one with fawns?  I have never witnessed a doe being dodged by a buck and then fawns in tow. It doesn't matter to me as I will shoot a doe with or without fawns if thats what I want at that moment. But if I had to choose I much rather shoot a doe with fawns and leave that lone doe alone, as more then likely it will be that lone doe that will draw that buck in. Of course if there's a smaller then usual fawn  or one still holding spots and is with a doe, then I would pass.  But most fawns in my area I have seen are big enough to fend for themselves come October.  Heck I have two fawns that use my property as thier core area, always see them feeding together since beginning of September and they are never with mom.

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54 minutes ago, Belo said:

This question is probably irrelevant as you're a meat hunter, but despite the herd size, have you or others ever wondered "what if SHE was the doe that brought him past my stand on 11/3?"

Think about it this way and no so much as is she the one to bring him by. If the doe population is at more natural percentages the bucks will be cruising and looking for a date. A buck that has to look is more likely to be on their feet more during the day and for more days that one that is following an doe and then locked down once she is in heat. If he can easily come upon another doe there is no need to move much at all. 


"Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote." -- Benjamin Franklin

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5 minutes ago, NYBowhunter said:

Let's think of this logically and from a physiological perspective, I really don't get the concept of letting does go that have fawns as opposed to shooting lone does.  There are a few reasons a doe will be alone,  but for the most  when she becomes receptive she will chase the fawns  away to begin breeding, so wouldn't it be best to not shoot the lone doe  as opposed to one with fawns?  I have never witnessed a doe being dodged by a buck and then fawns in tow. It doesn't matter to me as I will shoot a doe with or without fawns if thats what I want at that moment. But if I had to choose I much rather shoot a doe with fawns and leave that lone doe alone, as more then likely it will be that lone doe that will draw that buck in. Of course if there's a smaller then usual fawn  or one still holding spots and is with a doe, then I would pass.  But most fawns in my area I have seen are big enough to fend for themselves come October.  Heck I have two fawns that use my property as thier core area, always see them feeding together since beginning of September and they are never with mom.

I would think either will draw a buck in.  Perhaps one benefit to shooting the lone doe is that the mom with fawns is teaching the fawns that this is the home area and they will stick around and teach the next generation.  The lone doe might not have that influence any longer.  Then again, the does may stick around anyway.  And further as part of my stream of consciousness, mom may push a bb out anyways so maybe its best to kill a mom with a bb and the bb becomes a Big Buck one day and stays around.   lol   That's my non-scientifically backed thought.   In sum - kill moms with a single bb, then lone does, then moms with doe fawns.

 

One more caveat - if you hunt the same area as Wolc, a single bb has no chance so go straight to option 2.

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1 hour ago, Belo said:

This question is probably irrelevant as you're a meat hunter, but despite the herd size, have you or others ever wondered "what if SHE was the doe that brought him past my stand on 11/3?"

University of Missouri i think it was had some research showing that the same doe will come into heat  on almost the exact same day every year. Furthermore that estrus date gets passed along to her offspring. So unless you drastically change the doe groups pattern by shooting one it will make no difference as far as attracting bucks goes. One more or less is nothing in high doe population areas. That's what i think and i will shoot one or two as soon as I get a good opportunity.

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