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Old January 27, 2005, 08:09 PM   #1
Join Date: January 3, 2005
Location: wisconsin
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are does smarter

or are they just smarter then me?

last year almost every doe I saw spotted me ,I didnt act any different with them then with the bucks but movement that wouldnt bother a buck had the does changing direction and skirting around me.
I have come to the conclusion that most does are smarter then the average buck of the same age. and I believe it's because the doe fawns are not chased out of the group before rut like the buck fawns are and so have a much longer period of time to learn from their mother.
This year I shot a 7 pt with the bow , a 12 pt with the gun both at close range. finaly the last day of gun I shot a doe at 80 yds.
anybody have a opinion on this ?
"go in the woods and be sneaky" qoute Angela k. age 5
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Old January 27, 2005, 09:11 PM   #2
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I would tend to disagree...except during rut. Bucks are under far more hunting pressure, and they seem to be much more aware of their environment as a result...except during rut. But then, maybe we both just have more of one gender than the other in the areas we hunt.
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Old January 27, 2005, 11:09 PM   #3
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all deer are under alot of hunting pressure where I hunt not just the bucks, that would change what we both encounter when we hunt. the does in your area maybe dont feel as much pressure as the ones by me.
"go in the woods and be sneaky" qoute Angela k. age 5
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Old January 27, 2005, 11:14 PM   #4
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I've got a couple of thoughts on this. I was a bowhunter for a long time, and that is the best way to learn deer behavior, up close and personal. First, I think does get to live a LOT longer, and with age, comes experience. While bowhunting, I noticed that if a group of does moves in, there is always one that is the leader. She's got eyes in the back of her head, and if she spots you, you're done. Second, it may sometimes seem that they're smarter, because I tend to see them in groups more than I see bucks in a group. A group of does, with 14 eyes looking in every direction, 14 ears, and 7 noses, is a heck of a lot more skittish and aware than a single buck. It is WAY easier to draw back on a single buck quartering away, than it is on a doe standing broadside with 5 other does looking in all directions around her.

But, then you've got the solitary big mature bucks that go nocturnal on you and you never catch a glimpse of them, except 2 minutes before and after legal shooting time, and only then in your headlights on your way back to camp!!!
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Old January 28, 2005, 08:11 PM   #5
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Wel you've got to remember that a lot of bucks get killed off but the does can live until they are five, maybe seven years old. Even my moron dog learned something by the time she was seven.
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Old January 28, 2005, 09:32 PM   #6
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maybe theres still hope for my moron dog then! shes 14 months but still ate the living room chair last week
"go in the woods and be sneaky" qoute Angela k. age 5
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Old January 28, 2005, 10:16 PM   #7
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I think a female whitetail deer is very smart... I find it true when she has a fawn or yearling in her care. I think they are very aware of all things out of place or not just right. I think that when bucks are in the rut they tend to be thinking about finding a doe to mate with they sometimes miss danger signals they might have caught otherwise. I have seen of this actions and lack of reactions while hunting here in Michigan. My neighbor (whom has hunted for some 55+ years) told me of a young buck that was so into watching a doe, that Vern walked up within 20 yards of the buck. By the time the buck came out of his tranz it was much to late....and Vern had a nice 6 point in his sights. I find while bowhunting the majority of the deer that seem to be cautious beyond reason are the does... I find the old -grandma doe is the radar scope for the others to beam in on. I can reason that the fact she is the biggest, sometimes grayish, and oldest was because of her survival kick. I guess it was 4-5 years back I took a lone doe late in the season. I was in my ground blind and saw her slowly walking my way. I was shocked how big she was. I took her to the DNR check station to have her aged. They told me she was 7 1/2 years old. She was much larger than my friends 8 point buck. If I recall right she was 168 lbs live weight. That was one fine deer in all aspects. The meat was as good as anything from a whitetail I ever ate. I must tell you I hit her with a 270 at about 22 yards. She was able to bolt about 45 yards like her tail was on fire. She found the thickest tangle to fall in. I think her survival skills were with her to her last second. So in closing I guess I would say from my hunting past, that does I have come into contact with have been a little brighter than the bucks. Just my 2 cents.....
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Old January 29, 2005, 05:53 PM   #8
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I dunno as how does are smarter. After all, hunting season is generally during the rut, and bucks and does have different preoccupations.

I've noticed that concupiscent guys are rather narrowly focussed as to what's important at the moment, which isn't necessarily survival...

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Old January 29, 2005, 10:00 PM   #9
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He's thinking with his nose

I subscribe to the dominant doe theory, but I'm not sure they're necessarily warier. My brother and I have sat in the open on a hillside and watched a doe coming for half a mile up a creek bottom, approaching within 30 yards and focusing on us for 100 yd or so. Fortunately, the buck following was focused only on her. She wasn't sure she wanted to leave even after her friend had been dropped at about 50 yd.

This year we approached 4 doe about 130 yd out from our cover in a stubble field, howling wind. All were lying down, facing different directions, and I shot the second one from the left as she was looking in our direction. By great good fortune I severed the spine and her head simply dropped. The big girl not 5 feet away was looking south, and neither she nor the two on the north side stirred. Apparently they did not hear the shot due to the wind. After doing a double take, I shot the big doe and although she did not get up she kicked a few times. The others then got up, trotted about 60 yd south, then stood there and watched the two that had been shot. This went on for a minute or so, and when we stood up and started approaching, the other does walked to within 30 yd of us before hightailing it. They were obviously keying off the big doe, and were loath to leave without her.

Deer continue to amaze me.
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Old February 28, 2005, 10:16 PM   #10
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i hunt a lot of mulies and theyre allllll dumb as a stick
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Old March 1, 2005, 12:31 AM   #11
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if I considered the animals I hunted that dumb I wouldnt be hunting them!
"go in the woods and be sneaky" qoute Angela k. age 5
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Old March 1, 2005, 02:23 AM   #12
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It's true. Mule deer are remarkably dumb. They compensate by living in the roughest terrein they can find. Meaning that you shoot a huge buck at 50 yards and then remember that you are 5 miles, two creeks, and three canyons away from your truck
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Old March 1, 2005, 09:04 AM   #13
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or are they just smarter then me?
I think you are confusing the difference between intelligence and being skiddish. The does are just defaulting to flight when they perceive something strange, different, or dangerous. Does tend to be smaller than bucks and less prone to stand their ground. It is an adaptive strategy.
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Old March 1, 2005, 11:13 AM   #14
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Does are smarter with fawns

I have noticed that especially in the early bow season (Sept) up here in MN and WI that the does with fawns at their side are VERY wiley. I find it very entertaining to watch them at this time of year. You know the act, they come in not making eye contact and you have sort of a feeling that they know you are there. Then, as they are eating the suddenly and quickly bring their head up and look right at you, snort, and then stomp one of their front legs. If you are not ready for this, it is hard not to jump, and that is what they want, they want to proove to themselves that you are real so they can decide to run or not. The last doe that got me with this act, busted me because I started laughing, the first one that got me with this act damn near got me to fall out of the tree as I was so startled....hook line and sinker, I guess. All in all, I still love to play the game with them and now I just close one eye (all of their preditors have 2 eyes) and I hide behind my bow to break up my outline.

I also agree on the more eye's and ears theorey to a point. It is not uncommon for me to have 18-20 deer in from of my stand at a time, and at that point, you need to go to controlled breathing and blinking to keep from getting busted.

Maybe your scent control needs to be looked at. This was the single most aspect that helped me see more deer. Using scent lock material and playing the wind has served me well.

Good hunting,

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