mature Does

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TwistedX
 
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mature Does

Postby TwistedX » Fri Sep 11, 2009 5:10 pm

What do you guys look at to classify a doe as a mature doe that needs to be harvested?
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Goose
 
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RE: mature Does

Postby Goose » Fri Sep 11, 2009 6:26 pm

Its hard to age a doe (and bucks) accurately. I try to judge them by the size of their head and snout.
I would guess that I can accurately judge a fawn, 1.5, and after that,to me,they are all 2.5 plus.
If you can observe a group of does, the oldest doe will more than likely be the most observant and nervous.
Not much I know, but I hope it helps!
 
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hunt4fun
 
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RE: mature Does

Postby hunt4fun » Fri Sep 11, 2009 6:43 pm

It's really hard for me to tell past a yearling, unless they are in a group.  I'll agree with everything goose said.  Sometimes they may be more gray in the muzzle... If you can see that.  Most of what I learn about a does age comes after the shot unfortunately.  Last year I shot a doe with my bow and when my buddy looked in her mouth, she barely had any teeth left, so we assume she was pretty darn old.  The year before on a drive in the late season, I took a snap shot at a doe that was just a monster.  I have to believe that it were a buck it would have been a booner.  She was absolutely huge and her head was bigger than most bucks I have seen shot.  My buddy and I have both seen a lot of does dead, but this was the biggest one either of us have ever seen, but once again, I had no idea until after she was dead.  The truth is... IMO a doe is a doe and I don't feel like you are going to alter the balance of the herd by taking one or two does out no matter what age they are.  For me, and some may not agree with this, but with does, I'm just putting meat in the freezer, so it's shoot first, ask questions later.  The only ones I avoid are fawns, and does with fawns.

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buckhunter21
 
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RE: mature Does

Postby buckhunter21 » Fri Sep 11, 2009 7:33 pm

A 'mature' doe will have a more narrow/long nose.  That's the best way for me to judge, besides looking at the body features that sometimes do or do not exist as far as when you're judging bucks. 
 
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msbadger
 
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RE: mature Does

Postby msbadger » Sat Sep 12, 2009 1:37 am

This is a mature doe.....
 
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="http://i304.photobucket.com/albums/nn200/madbadger/IMG_0538.jpg" border="0" alt="July 18 2009"></a>

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JPH
 
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RE: mature Does

Postby JPH » Sat Sep 12, 2009 2:50 am

TwistedX, my answer to your question is basically identical to the one offered by Goose. But Like Buckhunter21, I am wondering why he was up after midnight on opening day, offering that answer. Couldn't sleep huh Goose?

My question to you (TwistedX) is, are you certain that you always want to shoot the oldest doe? This is a subject that I have given considerable thought to and my reading/experience seem to indicate that in some cases, it may be better for your hunting to pass on old does and target those of a younger age class. To be specific, if your hunting is confined to a small area (say 20-80 acres) with a moderate deer density, you may want to consider passing on old does or only kill them on occasion. The reason being that old does will often set up in a small area and run the family dynamics on it. If you take one dominant doe on a 20 acre parcel, for example, you may disrupt the patterns there.

That being said, if you are somewhat new to this, don't over think it. When hunting does, double check for buttons then kill the doe that offers the best shot.

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TwistedX
 
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RE: mature Does

Postby TwistedX » Sat Sep 12, 2009 11:18 am

We have many many acres to hunt. We are of a very lucky few to be born into a large family. I could within reason never hunt the same stand in a season if i so chose to do so. However, i like certain spots and plan to hunt only those spots regularly instead of skipping all over. We generally kill just between dad and I, between 5-7 deer a year. The last three years we have killed 7 between the two of us. I have been hunting for a couple years but not until recently have i gotten into deer managment. We processed 48 deer this year in my basement between the family and friends. I just hope to begin leaving the deer heard in better shape than it was when I started the season. This raises another question. Do you shoot the large bruiser that offers a good shot or do you shoot the old buck that is declining in size and in physical condition? The answer I have used on the past and want to know if I am right or wrong is, I only shoot bucks that I would mount.
Some days you're the dog - some days you're the hydrant.
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JPH
 
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RE: mature Does

Postby JPH » Sat Sep 12, 2009 12:25 pm

ORIGINAL: TwistedX
Do you shoot the large bruiser that offers a good shot or do you shoot the old buck that is declining in size and in physical condition? The answer I have used on the past and want to know if I am right or wrong is, I only shoot bucks that I would mount.


There is no right or wrong answer to this question. But I would say that in the wild, "the old buck that is declining in size and in physical condition" is a rare, rare animal.

Of all the elements of QDM, what buck to harvest is the most over-studied issue. Everyone wants to discuss that, but too few want to look closely at doe harvest, habitat improvement, or herd monitoring. I would suggest that you simply set some kind of standard that encourages doe harvest and makes you think twice before taking a buck. For me, that means trying to hold out for bucks of 3.5 or older.


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