Is It Possible to Kill Too Many Does?

The effects of hunting on deer populations remain a hotly debated issue. Although the detrimental effects of excessive buck harvesting are frequently addressed by those concerned with quality deer management, seldom do managers or hunters question the advisability of heavy doe exploitation.

An essential part of successful deer herd management is an adequate harvest of antlerless deer, particularly adult does. Unless natural mortality is excessive, the cropping of female deer helps maintain a healthy deer population, below range carrying capacity, in balance with available food and cover resources.

On the flip side, some scientists contend that killing too many mature does tends to remove the prime-age social leaders and disrupts the whitetail

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