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The best doe to shoot?


G-man

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We have found  that a doe with twin button bucks  it our prime target.  Does rule the herd and will chase their  yearling  buck out  of the area to prevent inbreeding.  If we kill  the doe with twins  the  only  home range they know  seems to be what she showed them  they tend to stick aroubd as yearlings  and while  pushed to fringe areas for breeding b y older buck their  core home range remains their  mothers.  

This has resulted with plentiful buck sightings and by passing them as yearings we have increased  our take of 2 year olds as they tend to  stay in their core areas  especially before the rut and when returning to food after.  It also leads to more mature  3 plus year  olds  hanging around same  time.. i guess they like to return to where they know they can find food and shelter they learned as a fawn. 

Just observations of 25  plus years  managing a property. While we may lose some to neighbors during the rut the core  home area seems to be what  we thrive  with here .and  it may also be why i do not  like the rut and prefer early and late season. 

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Have you noticed any difference in the time of year the mother is taken? Early bow vs gun season, etc?

 

Are the orphaned button bucks more or less likely to survive to the next year based on when the doe is killed?

Edited by Caveman
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Personally I don't like that strategy for the health of the heard. I usually like to shoot middle level does. Never the first doe and try not to shoot the really big ones with fawns. There's usually a 1.5 or 2.5 doe in the heard. I like to leave the lead doe since the others follow it and they tend to keep the same pattern year after year. Shooting the lead doe can mess that up sometimes. Last year I shot a couple (one lead doe and one more subordinate) really big does and felt a little bad doing it. 

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it depends year after year with your goals. we right now are trying not to reduce but to reasonably grow the population due to past poaching. so middle aged to older doe with twin fawns get a pass. younger doe fawns and adult doe are up for the taking. very old looking matriarch doe get a pass if they have fawns. much more so if they were on a huntible routine/location. button buck idea i've seen happen in the past based loosely on physical characteristics, patterns, and history with particular deer. in years prior we were trying to reduce the population so any doe with fawns and/or some age was opportunity. we never shot doe by size or weight though. pretty much always the opposite, a bigger than typical doe for 4.5+ was passed to hopefully with any slight possibility of passing on those big bodied genetics.

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I try not to over think it. First 2 does I see are getting shot! We eat alot of venison in our house so I need at least 2 deer to make it through the year... 3 is better. If I get 2 doe in the freezer I'm good to hold out for a decent buck... or a (good enough) buck. I certainly don't discriminate against different does... anything with no antlers that isn't a fawn is getting an arrow. Got an old 3 legged doe behind our house that will get a pass but that's only because my wife has become emotionally attached to it. But her mother, sisters, cousins, nieces and children over 1 year old are in trouble 

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This year I would really like to take a buck and leave the does.   We haven't tagged a buck off our property in the last few years but have taken does for the freezer.  I would like to take a buck even if it's not a huge one and let the does replenish.  Might not be as picky this season but I still will take at least a 5 point or better buck. 

"it's pointless for humans to paint scenes of nature when they can go outside and stand in it"- Ron Swanson

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1 hour ago, cas said:

If we SEE deer, it's considered a successful hunting season. 

I hear that a lot..  never made senve to me  but  i do heavy habitat management.   If i dont see at least 1 to 3 deer a sit  something is wrong. Early 90's was common  to see 10 to 20 deer a sit but  nothing would grow below 6 ft in the woods

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11 hours ago, Caveman said:

Have you noticed any difference in the time of year the mother is taken? Early bow vs gun season, etc?

 

Are the orphaned button bucks more or less likely to survive to the next year based on when the doe is killed?

Havent noticed a difference  as we take doe in every season.  We try to take 10 a year  to keep population level. Makes it hard sometimes whe  doe tags are acares so it falls to bow or  muzzleloader seaosn to get the quota. 

It is much easier to identify twin buttons  in archery as  its a close range  sport and  buttons are easily seen at close range

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1 hour ago, G-man said:

I hear that a lot..  never made senve to me  but  i do heavy habitat management.  

The habitat is not ours to manage.  60% of it the state has turned into an un-huntable mess. It will be good for the deer in the coming years, but I'll be dead long before it's forest you can hunt. 

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21 minutes ago, The_Real_TCIII said:

Doesnt this lead to an inbred herd? They disperse for a reason

There are enough doe ( several family groups ) and mature buck to keep youngsters at bay andcant breed with mother as shes dead  in freezer anyway. Young bucks will still wander as they want to breed but tend to return to home  core area they learned from their mother..  dont have enough land to hold the deer specifally here 100 %  of time .    Habitat draws new doe  in every year.  The family groups are smaller  but  see many more bucks .

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