Tips & Tactics

New Thoughts on Taking Does

New Thoughts on Taking Does

By Ken Piper

If you are like me, you've read dozens of articles recommending taking big, healthy does to help reduce deer populations.

Some biologists are taking a new approach to thinning herds, however, and are recommending taking the very youngest deer instead. Their reasoning is that it is much better for the habitat to harvest a yearling because it requires more food and nutrients to grow to maturity. And mature does are valuable because they are much more likely to produce healthy twin fawns and almost always breed in the normal rut window -- both good things for the health of the herd. The risk in taking young deer, of course, is that you will inevitably take some button bucks.

Both schools of thought have their merits, so which is right for you? To answer that question, ask yourself another: What is the bigger concern for your herd: buck/doe ratios or overpopulation/poor nutrition. If buck/doe ratios are your big problem, it might be best for you to preserve all bucks and go with taking only mature, long-faced does. If habitat and numbers are tops on your list, remove the younger deer. Either way, you're a winner at the dinner table.

Read Recent Tip of the Week:

Peak Deer Movement: White-tailed deer move most during low light conditions. There are exceptions to this rule, but as a deer hunter, I try to be in my stand during the first two hours and the last two hours of the day.

Copyright 2024 by Buckmasters, Ltd.

Copyright 2020 by Buckmasters, Ltd