The Old, Dry Doe: Fact or Fantasy?

A recently completed scientific study sheds new light on mature white-tailed does and their reproductive capabilities during what is considered “old age” for free-roaming deer. D&DH Research Editor John J. Ozoga originally addressed this topic in the following ground-breaking article, “The Old Dry Doe: Fact or Fantasy,” which appeared in the August 2000 issue of D&DH. We reprinted that article in the last issue of D&DH (the special 30th anniversary edition).

An exclusive full-length feature on the new research behind mature does, conducted by Glenn DelGiudice and his coworkers with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources will be presented in the March 2008 issue of D&DH, which hits newsstands on Christmas Day.

Given a choice, some hunters prefer to tag a buck of any size instead of an antlerless deer. When forced to shoot antlerless deer, the same hunters typically hunt for a large doe without fawns, preferably one they believe is old and barren. They refer to these as