Which deer gets shot?

12/1/14 @ 9:43 AM
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hockeyguy39
hockeyguy39
USER since 8/24/07
this is not a question about whether it is ok to shoot a doe, so no discussing population and the effects of harvesting an antlerless deer. This is a question to get opinions on which deer a hunter would take in a situation like mine. 11:00 yesterday, I had a doe and two fawns (I'm assuming anyway) sneak in on me. Of course my hands were in my pockets with the handwarmers when I turned and noticed them, and the lead doe locked onto me. I was eventually able to get my gun up, but no shot presented itself on any of them before they sensed something was up and moved away. The question is, which deer would you have picked to shoot, assuming you were flat out intent on harvesting a deer? The mom, leaving two fawns to fend for themselves? Or one of the youngsters in hopes the remaining one makes it through with mom around? I am well aware that there are many who would pass them all given the situation, and I respect that, but like I said, I'm curious to hear what the people who would harvest one would do.
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Displaying 1 to 8 of 8 Posts
12/4/14 @ 1:05 AM
Torrent1
Torrent1
USER since 4/25/14
If I was solely intent on shooting a deer, I'd try to take the biggest of the 3 but if that wasn't an option or I didn't think it possible (I.e. deer starting to retreat) the first one to give me a clean shot that makes a quick humane kill would be my choice.

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12/1/14 @ 11:53 AM
GreatOutdoors2001
GreatOutdoors2001
USER since 7/5/01
I would shoot the adult doe, provided the area I hunt needed a reduction in deer. That would be the only factor in the harvest decision. Luckily, very healthy deer numbers in my area, so we have adequate opportunities at does every year.

Would not shoot the fawns under any circumstances. Nubbies are your bucks of the future and I have never heard one person say that they had too many bucks walking around. We make a concerted effort in our group to not shoot nubbies, so out of all our doe harvesting since we started our QDM camp, our nubbie harvest rate is about 2% of all antlerless deer killed. Compare that to the statewide average of 23%, and I'll stack my crew against anyone in the state on identifying targets properly before letting one fly. I haven't shot one since I was a kid. Got a couple to start because they are easy and haven't looked back. Besides, a nice adult doe that dresses at 120# or better is generally the smartest deer in your woods. Those grandma does are sharp. Leave the buck fawn to be tomorrows trophy and the doe fawn for future breeding stock. You need recruitment for a healthy and viable population.

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12/1/14 @ 10:37 AM
lakeshiner
lakeshiner
USER since 7/20/09
True but not too many guys saw a doe with 2 fawns up north this year so it was a safe assumption. If it were up north I'd have shot none.

Edited on 12/1/14 10:38 AM
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12/1/14 @ 10:27 AM
trappinwi
trappinwi
USER since 11/15/09
Shoot the adult doe. The fawns will be just fine. Actually if either of the fawns are bucks they will do better without mom around.

Also, just an FYI to the guy who said no doe tags were available "up north". That isn't quite correct. All license holders under 18 were issued an antlerless tag that is/was valid statewide...including the northern buck only areas.

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12/1/14 @ 10:16 AM
lakeshiner
lakeshiner
USER since 7/20/09
Since there was no doe tags in the north I assume you were in farmland country. I'd shoot the doe, the fawns will be fine. Especially by the time gun season roles around. Chances are the doe fawn will be bred too and have a fawn next year. So next year you'd be left with 1 doe, 1 fawn, and 1 yearling buck, just as many as you see now. Sort of a maintain scenario. Or if they were both doe fawns you could have 4 next year, or at least 3 again if only one has a fawn.

Edited on 12/1/14 10:20 AM
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12/1/14 @ 10:01 AM
lazyfishr
lazyfishr
USER since 5/29/06
Lot of variables in that senario. I am more intent on quality hunting year after year with freezer filling coming in a distant second. I wouldn't shoot any of them not knowing where you are hunting. Southern part of the state it probably wouldn't matter much, but I can't predict the future and how the winter is going to be. If you "had" to shoot one I would try to pick out the buck fawn. But I honestly can't imagine shooting a fawn, but that's just me I guess. The buck fawn brings little to the table (no pun intended) for future of the herd. There is always muzzleloader and late archery to fill a tag on a different deer.

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12/1/14 @ 10:00 AM
land man
land man
USER since 9/12/06
My first choice would be the big doe, of course. The fawns will do fine by themselves in the farmland country where I hunt. However, if I wanted some venison and had not had any other chances, I would shoot that fawn in a heartbeat. The meat really is very good from them.

My son shot a couple of fawns this year and could not have been more happy.

Shoot what makes you happy, don't worry about what others think.

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