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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 10-22-2011, 09:01 PM Thread Starter
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Question about harvesting does

I have a small piece of land, around 400 acres but I think the buck:doe ratio is a little off. Im seeing tons of does when I check my 5 cameras and usually only 1 or 2 bucks, although recently bucks are becoming more common I assume due to the rut coming soon.

I want to harvest some does but whats the best way to pick the ones to shoot? Every time I see does in the stand they seem perfect. Is there a way to tell what a weaker doe looks like? I would like to keep a strong gene pool at my farm and let the healthy ones breed and shoot any that might be lacking in Mr. Darwin's eyes. Whats the best way to determine which does to shoot? Or does it really matter?
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 10-22-2011, 09:17 PM
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I don't think it matters much. I would avoid the ones that obviously yearlings.
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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 10-22-2011, 10:40 PM
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generally, you want to take out the older does when it comes down to ratio correction. this can be tricky unless your state allows you to put out attractants to get them where you want them. as far as attempting to determine gene pool from a tree stand with does, I wouldnt bother. you stand a much better chance, at least visually by associating genetics with the bucks.

OH, and BTW. A small piece of land and 400 acres in the same sentence is an oxymoron. at least IMO

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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 10-23-2011, 03:23 PM
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Originally Posted by thomasmgp View Post
Whats the best way to determine which does to shoot? Or does it really matter?
Last year during bow season I had eight does in front of my ladder stand between 20 and 30 yards. I just picked out the biggest one and shot it.

(Luke 11:21 KJV) When a strong man armed keepeth his palace, his goods are in peace:

(Luke 22:36 KJV) Then said he unto them, But now, he that hath a purse, let him take it, and likewise his scrip: and he that hath no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one.
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 10-23-2011, 03:46 PM
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I also just visually harvest the bigger doe, but I have a friend that swears by yearlings for two reasons, he says they are young and tender and easy to pack out lol I would say he's right on both but it's hard to fill a freezer with four 50lbs deer !! Four 120 lbs deer are nice freezer fillers for sure
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 10-23-2011, 08:20 PM Thread Starter
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I also just visually harvest the bigger doe, but I have a friend that swears by yearlings for two reasons, he says they are young and tender and easy to pack out lol I would say he's right on both but it's hard to fill a freezer with four 50lbs deer !! Four 120 lbs deer are nice freezer fillers for sure

Yea I figured the yearlings would be the best bet. But Id be hella embarrassed when I rolled up at the processing plant with a pair of 50 pound deer. Id get laughed at until the season is over.
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 10-24-2011, 08:22 AM
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Check their heads closely too,,, sometimes a button buck will be close in size to a doe. I shot a button buck last season and thought it was a doe. He was about 150 yds away and it was the last 30 min of daylight. He was a good sized button buck.

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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 10-24-2011, 08:37 AM
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I use three rules when harvesting does, after having done a good bit of reading on the subject along with many years of observations. First, I only harvest does at the tail end of our seasons, hoping not to blow stand locations by shooting early on and also allowing the maximum amount of does to still be around for the rut, hoping to attract more bucks. Second, I no longer shoot lone does because it is too easy to shoot what looks to be a good sized doe and have it turn out to be a big button buck, thus completely defeating the purpose of shooting a doe to begin with.

I now only shoot one from a group of does instead. Third, I take the biggest doe in any group, figuring it to be the most mature & healthiest and also being the one most likely to drop twins or triplets 6 months hence. If you shoot a small doe, you are likely only trimming the herd by one. If you shoot a large mature doe, you are likely trimming the herd by 3 or 4.

My rules, but of course YMMV.
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