Which Does are best to shoot?? Old, young, etc?

Discussion in 'Whitetail Management' started by Sligh1, Oct 5, 2018.

  1. Sligh1

    Sligh1 Administrator Staff Member

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    What’s your opinion ? I’ve read articles and research on this for decades.
    Little things like “well, adult does make better mothers”, etc. They are often leaders and very smart & good at defending their group from threats.

    On the other side....
    Young does often bring in new genetics so kill old ones.
    Adult does are mean old witches that run deer off. For sure territorial mean witches that would keep the new deer with new genetics in many cases. New blood is usually a good thing.

    One very interesting take I got while talking to a deer breeder many years ago..... he “claimed” he quits breeding does at older ages as he attests (with some science) the offspring do not have as good of “giant racks” and health as they did before the mothers got old. This is odd????? Genetics stay the same. BUT- it was “something along the lines” of.... the older does are run down, don’t have nutrition or energy to put top notch growth into baby fawns. Maybe like when a woman gets to be 40.... more complications, less fertile & more infant problems???? I can’t recall exactly what it was to be honest. But- he quit breeding does for superior buck fawns at older ages. Any merit to it- I don’t know. I am not explaining it quite right I’m sure. I’m sure I’m missing some of the points and discussion he was saying & this was a long time ago.

    I like shooting old does as they are mean & bust me more often ;). I love smacking old witches. Plus- they are extremely hard to kill vs young does. I may shoot one younger 2-3 year old doe for meat but the rest- I shoot older does.

    I think the reality of harvest for GENERAL PUBLIC is young does.... because they are easy to kill (heck, I think almost 40-50% of kill is FAWNS based on some data I’ve seen. 15-20% is button bucks). But- that’s different topic as it has zero to do with this question of “what’s best”.

    But- is there evidence, science or knowledge you guys have that would point to whether it’s better to shoot old or young does?? As I sit with bow & get a variety that do walk past - I’ll likely target certain age classes more based on the pro’s & cons.
    Watcha think?!?
     
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  3. muddy

    muddy Administrator

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    I have a particular hatred for the old bags, they get zero mercy as they are the hunt ruiners.
     
  4. 6x6

    6x6 PMA Member

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    It is a little more complicated for me. I tend to look for the single 1-3 year old does to shoot. I have a bunch of old does, almost tame, that are very tolerant of my activities. I can walk thru a field while they just watch. I like to think they keep the bucks calm. I see them with big twin buck fawns often. Old snorters die tho
     
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  5. 6x6

    6x6 PMA Member

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    Just ask Muddy. "Don't shoot my old does or the bearded hens"
     
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  6. sirrloin

    sirrloin PMA Member

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    Calm does = calm bucks so if I get the chance I usually go for them.
     
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  7. Obsessed

    Obsessed Active Member

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    Old battle axes get my primary vote, but if I'm shooting does, I'm usually meat hunting. Up until heavy rut, and then again after, does usually travel with their young ones. I shoot the biggest slickhead that I think is the leader. Put a good shot on her to where she falls dead within shooting range. Stay put. The young ones might spook off, but they'll come back over and over again. Then pick them off one at a time. It's absolutely barbaric, but effective and a great way to fill the freezer.
     
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  8. IowaBowHunter1983

    IowaBowHunter1983 Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Bitches blow, bitches dies. That's my motto.
     
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  9. goatman

    goatman I hunt days ending in Y

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    True story.
     
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  10. Kkoppy

    Kkoppy Active Member

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    I am with the old doe group. I think they lead the way for certain bucks during the rut. I watched a old doe for 4 years and the older, she got wiser. It was like she knew where we would be hunting and elude us. Never had her within 75 yds. We had hundreds of pictures of her and sightings every week. Just nothing close enough for bow range. And as soon as gun season rolled around she would stop coming out till dark. Only way I could tell it was her is she had a double throat patch and a floppy ear. But where ever she was the other deer always followed her to that side of the farm. So wack the old ones if ya get the chance. She has haunted me ever since. I wanted to shoot her more than the 180 we had on camera. Always told the guys I hunt with that if I get a chance at her I would mount her. But that never happened and haven’t seen her for two years now.
     
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2018
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  11. EatSleepHunt

    EatSleepHunt Active Member

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    This one! She was giving me the stink eye and was about to let every other deer in the field know something isn't right!
    Older, smart ones for me.
    [​IMG]

    Sent from my XT1254 using Tapatalk
     
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  12. 150 Class

    150 Class Moderator

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    I get one doe tag a year. That is if I remember to buy it before noon on the first day available, otherwise, they will be sold out. For the one farm I use it each year, it is all about population control. Any doe with fawns, preferably twins, gets a green light.
     
  13. Hardwood11

    Hardwood11 PMA Member

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    I look for good shots

    Just want some size to it.

    Missed one last night my limb hit the edge of the Redneck.
     
  14. Windwalker

    Windwalker Life Member

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    I think the old doe ,runty fawn is true .Like the first fawn is small also. Nice having the old tame does ,nothing like driving a truck past them with out looking up from grazing.
     
  15. JNRBRONC

    JNRBRONC PMA Member

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    I'm counting on the neighbors to make the call. I'm not looking for meat and I don't control enough ground to have it matter.
     
  16. Tmayer13

    Tmayer13 Active Member

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    I definitely agree with the older doe thing but for me I kill them all, ill typically wait till late season to shoot the first year does but right now I kill any doe within range!
     
  17. meyeri

    meyeri PMA Member

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    I try to shoot the biggest mature doe around that presents a good shot, whether that be a mid size doe among yearlings or an old bag in a big group. Last week I did watch a smaller doe push around an older one, so killing the biggest may not always be the best answer depending on your situation.

    Sent from my Pixel 2 using Tapatalk
     
  18. letemgrow

    letemgrow PMA Member

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    I'll shoot some of both. The old ones teach the youngsters how to survive more than just hunters and are better fawn producers than younger does.
     
  19. Sligh1

    Sligh1 Administrator Staff Member

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    I have shot a large handful of does I wasn’t planning on shooting.... old hags blow at me & get under my skin- SO LONG! Done! Into the freezer!!! Those nasty old does that want to make havoc will continue to get it. ;).
     
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  20. 203ntyp

    203ntyp PMA Member

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    I only would shoot a mature hag that had fawns that where totally out of spots and a decent size. Hopefully I get that chance, there's a couple long snouted hags that had fawns early and are in trouble if I get the opportunity. They've cost me buck opportunities more than once and it's time for revenge!
     
  21. Obsessed

    Obsessed Active Member

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    Another fun, but morbid, tactic is to take out a doe that's obviously in estrus, because she's being chased back and forth in-front of you during the rut. Then watch the bucks swarm her and take your pick of them. Her scent will lure them in for hours. I've got a buddy who urban hunts mostly and has told me many stories about harvesting does right out from under bucks. He's the one who taught me this tactic. Extremely effective when the opportunity presents its self.
     
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2018 at 7:45 PM
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