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Old November 20, 2011, 12:18 AM   #1
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Shooting a doe, a regional no-no?

Was watching that California game warden show on nat-geo. They were looking for a poacher who shot a doe. But the warden implied that not only was shooting a doe illegal, but also immoral. Was it maybe that it was spring and the doe may have had young? Do westerners frown on shooting doe's? Why?
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Old November 20, 2011, 12:56 AM   #2
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When I went hunting in Ohio a few years ago (teenager, I was a resident at the time) we could get 2 doe tags, or one buck and one doe. This was during gun season, first week after Thanksgiving.
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Old November 20, 2011, 01:25 AM   #3
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I've lived in CA since 1971 and for some reason they are frowned upon, or at least that is my take. I have been told that the Department of Fish and Game leaves the decision up to the county governments, and they being elected officials certainly don't want to do anything to hurt their chances of getting votes so it's usually a no. I even read once in our local newspaper where my county turned down a doe hunt because one of the boards advisors said, "I can see no sport in hunting does".

I always thought we were supposed to be doing what was best for the deer herd, not sport hunting? Never mind I guess that our doe to buck ratio is around 200:1
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Old November 20, 2011, 02:16 AM   #4
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In the land of the tree huggers, shooting does is akin to shooting ducks on the pond. No self respecting hunter there would even think of lighting off a round at bambi's mom. Afterall, they are the "weaker" sex.

Ive been in Bama for a decade or so and it took me 6 years before I could bring myself to shooting one. Even now its difficult to do. Old habits and training are hard to overcome.
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Old November 20, 2011, 02:36 AM   #5
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Trophies are nice. But the venison is just as delicious and the pelt is just as useful from a doe. My dad has bagged some big does. Good eating for a while.
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Old November 20, 2011, 03:10 AM   #6
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It's all about managing the herd,. Taking does helps keep the herd in a reasonable size .Actually it takes three deer - the doe and two future fawns.
At one time VT refused to take does and the deer numbers became so high that the whole herd suffered and many of the 'does' were actually poorly developed bucks .That and other problems happen when you exceed the 'carrying capacity' of the land.
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Old November 20, 2011, 06:47 AM   #7
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There is nothing at all unsporting about hunting Does. Try filling Your Doe Permit in a heavily hunted Wildlife Management Area. Those pressured Does are capable of avoiding even the saviest Hunter.
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Old November 20, 2011, 08:53 AM   #8
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I like getting a nice buck, but I hunt for food too. Here in Kentucky where the deer population is healthy, and large, I see nothing wrong with taking a doe but that's always been the norm here since I've been hunting.
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Old November 20, 2011, 09:12 AM   #9
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in Idaho some regions are buck only, others are both. washington is buck only across the board I think, if you take a ride down the ayre shortline you'll see fields with 300+ sized herds that only have one or 2 bucks because the deer are so over populated but the bucks are hunted to the point of genetic deficiency. I like areas that allow both because it allows to control both aspects of population control which is the number one purpose for controlled hunting in the first place. if the doe populations get too high then shooting does still controls the overall population while removing the pinch from the bucks. California still hasn't figured that out apparently.
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Old November 20, 2011, 09:14 AM   #10
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What mete said.

Here in Texas, TPWD sent out a press release encouraging hunters to fill their tags quickly this year because of the drought and the resulting lack of mast crop. TPWD noted that many of the animals are apt to be undersized and under nourished. This comes after 2 years of phenomenal mast crops and so the population is up. Our tags include bucks, spikes, and does.

Most of the guys I know will hold off on taking does until late in the season or until they get the buck they want...which sometimes doesn't happen and they end up takng a very late season buck and then a doe.
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Old November 20, 2011, 09:32 AM   #11
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I hunt some for the hopes of a trophy and some for food. I would rather kill a doe than a small buck. I leave the small bucks for the kids.

The bag limit in my County is, 2 a day, six a year, and of the 6, no more than 3 may be antlered.

I let a buck with a small 2 point rack on just one side walk last Sat. the last day of BP season. My nephew had already killed a buck that morning, so I didn't need the meat.
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Old November 20, 2011, 09:45 AM   #12
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The emotion against shooting does is a holdover from way back when. Deer were not as numerous before the 1960s as they are now. In Texas, it was not until the eradication of the screw worm fly that the population really started growing.

The usual deal of old traditions hanging in, long after the real-world reason is gone. In some parts of Texas, does oughta be open-season all year long. A few areas, they oughta pay a bounty.

Down here in the desert, the deer population is sparse. No doe season at all. Here, does are the capital; bucks are the interest. You don't spend capital.
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Old November 20, 2011, 09:46 AM   #13
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Here in Louisiana it’s 3 bucks and 3 does, has been for a while. I have no problem killing does. They eat just fine.

The mast crop here was heavy this year and deer are everywhere. The only problem is that most are nocturnal feeders. Plenty at night, few in the daytime. The buck to doe numbers are good. I get as many pictures of bucks as does, plenty of 6 to 8 pointers in the mix too.

It’s still a bit warm here, so I’m hoping that cooler weather will change their feeding habits some. If not, we’re in for a tough year of deer hunting.
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Old November 20, 2011, 09:57 AM   #14
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Out of all the deer I have killed more than half were does, easily half, no probably more than half,,,, and you know what? I'm doing my part for conservation. and furthermore, they taste great!!!!~
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Old November 20, 2011, 08:41 PM   #15
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Having hunted in NV for several decades, the only doe tags I saw were allotted for youth so they had an either sex chance to get their first deer. Tags are drawn from a lotto-type system, and you MAY get a tag. IF you are lucky enough to get a tag, most folks want the horns to go with the meat. You don't get a raffle book full of tags out West
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Old November 20, 2011, 08:51 PM   #16
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When I was a kid the old timers at the club we hunted thought killing does was a heinous crime. Several of them refused to do it even though the state gave us around 50 doe tags a year. That was hold over from when there were very few deer and the state was running a relocation program to rebuild the herd.
Now we have either sex days almost every Saturday and you can purchase extra tags from DNR. Even with that they are still worried about the carrying capacity of the land and managing the herd in some areas.
I would think most states would have a biologist working to manage the herd and not leave it to a county council. That makes no sense at all.
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Old November 20, 2011, 10:03 PM   #17
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Those guys use every opportunity to inflict their own ideas and prejudices upon the audience. They would like to have the unknowing public believe that w/o their input, the hunters and fisherman of America would exterminate every species in the country.
Everyone who has read any information about game management in any state should know that reducing doe numbers to a specified level is an approved part of game animal population control.
Here in Missouri on my farm, I can get up to 9 deer tags for 3 family members. We can only tag one buck each so the others must fit the anlterless category. We can also buy as many antlerless tags as we want so in theory, there is no limit on the number of does we could remove. I target the older does who usually raise a higher number of fawns as another facet of population control. Over the span of 7-8 hours spread over 4 days on a deer stand this year, I saw conservatively 40 does. Last year I filled 3 doe tags within 15 minutes on the day I chose to do so.
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Old November 21, 2011, 01:36 AM   #18
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In Washington the GMU are divided between horns, no horns, and any deer.
Most of the any deer and no horn units are on the West side.

iirc there are more any deer units than there used to be.
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Old November 21, 2011, 03:49 AM   #19
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We can kill ten does a year here in GA. I would rather kill does, tastier meat in my opinion, and you can't eat horns...

But yeah, it is a regional, or even "old school" type of thing.
Just remember, when you pull the trigger, the bullets come out going very, very fast. So make sure to keep the weapon pointing away from you.
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Old November 21, 2011, 08:08 AM   #20
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Its a regional thing. Here in South Carolina private landowners and lessees can enroll in the Anterless Deer Quota Program. A biologist allots tags based on acreage and # of deer you have. We get 50 antlerless tags a season. If we didnt fill them the farmer would have to write his crops off every year. I watched 11 come out on a picked bean field yesterday evening. I was hunting horns so they got a pass.
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Old November 21, 2011, 08:14 AM   #21
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In my area of Idaho buck season started with elk season on Oct. 10. 'Any whitetail deer' runs for the entire month of Nov. I think the F&G here have a pretty good handle on the buck/doe ratio and I have no problem whatsoever with shooting a doe. For eating purposes (the reason I hunt is mainly for food and just getting out in the woods) I prefer does. I have enough horns hanging around already. My wife is getting really sick of dusting them. But she doesn't get tired of good female venison.
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Old November 21, 2011, 09:06 AM   #22
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I have no idea of the area they were in or the deer population but that plays a big big role. Most of the U.S. has had a population boom the last few decades and are more than willing to have hunters harvest does. Maybe this area isn't so lucky.

On a side note......... I'm not going to condone any poaching. It's wrong. That being said poaching a doe is heads and tails above poaching big bucks. At least the poacher is filling bellies not wall space. But for lords sake get a tag and do it legal.

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Old November 21, 2011, 09:12 AM   #23
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When I started deer hunting in the late 60's Missouri was a "bucks only" season throughout most of the state as Conservation was trying to grow the herd. After nine years of not seeing a buck and once waking from a nap to find 9 nice fat does under 20 yds from me, I put the deer rifle in the safe.

Around 2002 a young man that helped me on the farm and went small game hunting with me convinced me to dust off the centerfire rifle. Missouri's deer herd had grown to over a million animals and Conservation had decided to 'control the population explosion' and even reduce the herd in urban areas. They actually began to offer unlimited antlerless tags in many parts of the state. Since that time, I have taken a doe, a button buck, and a 7pt buck.

When I hunt deer now, "if its brown - its going down" because I love my backstraps, deer burger, and jerky

Although I've never managed to take more than 1 deer in a year, many other hunters have really reduced the doe numbers and reduced the herd to the point that it isn't nearly as easy to just find a deer as it was 9 years ago. Conservation has also instituted a "4 pt on 1 side minimum" in order to try and elevate Missouri's "trophy deer" status.
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Old November 21, 2011, 09:28 AM   #24
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Interesting article by Mo Dept of Conservation

We have some really good deer biologists on the MDC staff. The OP might want to forward this article to the CA game commission
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Old November 21, 2011, 10:50 AM   #25
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Don't have a problem with shooting does. I do have a problem with the state of Oklahoma choosing what day you can shoot them on. Here the doe days are the first and second Saturday, and the last Sunday of deer season. I'm sure that the state in all it's superior genius has a reason for this, but I fail to see it. If you want to lower the doe population, then raise the bag limit. As long as they are shot during season, then what possible difference does it make, what day they are shot on. I'm pretty sure the deer don't know the difference.
The biggest gripe I have, is putting in a full year of scouting and effort into finding where that one big trophy buck might be opening morning, just to have 20 shots go off at daybreak, from other hunters shooting does. If they took away the doe day, and opened it up to anyday, then it would lessen the shots going off saturday morning. This might let the buck hunter looking for a trophy have the opportunity to get one. This has happened to me at least twice in the last three years, and I'm sure it has happened to many of you guys also.

Just blowing off Monday morning steam. Sorry
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