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Purposefully hunting fawns?

Old 11-27-2011, 05:48 PM
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prairienights's Avatar
Join Date: Nov 2011
Posts: 36
Default Purposefully hunting fawns?

Hey everyone

I'm a VERY new hunter. I'm 23, and I have always really wanted to hunt, but nobody in my family hunts or eats game meat. I have always wanted to learn the sport and have always loved venison. I decided to take matters into my own hands this year. I took my first hunter safety course and learned tons. Spent all summer target shooting with various rifles. And pretty much just learned as much as I could about game management (I was a biology major in college, so there was some overlap), gun safety, hunting techniques, etc etc etc. I picked the brains of lots of hunters. I went on a few deer hunts with zero intention to shoot, but just observe at the beginning of the season, and then I went on several to look for my deer. I live in the beautiful northern Wyoming, and I got to experience hunting in a blind, trekking miles over prairie hills, sneaking through the pines, etc. I had a few opportunities that a more experienced hunter easily could have taken a deer from, but I wanted a perfect shot.

After a long hike through the hills (10.7miles up and down in the snow!), I finally got my chance. There was a doe and two doe fawns 180 yards away. I was set up and had my pick between the three deer. I deliberately chose one of the fawns. I was proud of my shot, it was a heart and lung shot (with a .243). She jumped straight up, went down and stayed down. I gutted her myself (with my friend/guide showing me how), and I drug her about a mile to the nearest 4-wheeler trail. I skinned and processed her and packaged all the meat. I am absolutely thrilled with my deer. I had a picture taken of me with her, and she might as well have been a trophy buck with how proud I was.

The reason I chose my fawn instead of the larger doe was I am the only one who is going to be eating the meat. I have neither the freezer room nor the meat-eating capabilities for a full grown deer. I'm a 125lb young gal, and while I can't wait to eat my venison, I just don't need much meat. I thought it would be wasteful to take a large deer.

I did not feel especially guilty about killing a fawn. I can't say I got a kick out of killing an animal period, but killing a fawn as opposed to an older deer doesn't seem to make much of a moral difference. I made sure that I gave myself the best possible chance of making a quick safe humane kill. It was all legal. I filled my freezer with exactly how much meat I will be able to eat, and I've been told that fawn meat is delicious. I loved the entire hunting experience and am immensely proud of my little doe fawn. So to me, I don't think killing my fawn was a "hunting no-no." But I've gotten some opinions from various sources that disagree. Some people seem to think that killing such a young animal is wrong.

So what do you think? Is hunting with the intention to harvest a fawn or small deer wrong? Did I make an immoral decision by taking my fawn instead of the doe? Would love to hear your thoughts
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Old 11-27-2011, 06:15 PM
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Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Minneapolis
Posts: 43

Congrats on your deer!!!

I've shot a few fawns over the years, one guy in our party shoots ONLY fawns. They are definitely the BEST eating, just not too much meat there.

I hunt with 6 or 7 other guys in the party and we split up all the venison. I will usually pass on a fawn during the first week or 2 hoping something bigger will show up......sometimes it works, sometimes not and I end up wishing that I shot the fawn because it was the only deer that I saw all hunting season....

Dragging a fawn is a BIT easier too, lol.
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Old 11-27-2011, 06:36 PM
Typical Buck
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Location: Free Union, VA
Posts: 750

Nothing wrong with shooting a fawn. You set out to get a deer. And you hunted the exact one you wanted. Sounds like an awesome hunt to me.
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Old 11-27-2011, 06:47 PM
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Posts: 98

I will caution you that you maybe shooting your next Trophy Buck 4 years too early.

Think about that one.
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Old 11-27-2011, 06:53 PM
Fork Horn
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Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: At the bar
Posts: 192

ive shot a few, it happens. ive never done it intentionally, but too each his or her own. i would not shun a hunter for their decision. and yes, the tl on your deer is gonna be incredibly tender
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Old 11-27-2011, 06:56 PM
Nontypical Buck
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 2,186

It's great eating. And while I pass on yearlings, it is a personal choice. And besides, we have gobs of does down this way and can legally kill over 150 each season. I'll put 4-5 does in the freezer and hold of for only a good buck or two.
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Old 11-27-2011, 06:56 PM
Typical Buck
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Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Southern Illinois
Posts: 650

Sounds like this one was a trophy when it was shot. If a hunter is after meat then antlers don't figure in. Everybody hunts for different reasons. To me it sounds like you are hunting for the RIGHT reason. You did what makes you happy. And as long as what makes you happy is legal (which I'm betting this was) then more power to you. Congrarulations!
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Old 11-27-2011, 08:33 PM
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: vermont
Posts: 56

Shooting a fawn that you will use all the meat is better then shooting a big doe and wasting a bunch of meat.

there is nothing wrong with what you did or your reasoning for doing it.
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Old 11-28-2011, 12:23 AM
Fork Horn
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: SE, Pennsylvania
Posts: 174

I say you did the right thing knowing, you didn't need a lot of meat, or had the space. If it was legal which I don't see why it wouldn't, then you did fine. As far as shooting the future trophy buck, well that wasn't your intentions, maybe somebody elses, but you shot your trophy, and if your proud of it than who cares what others say.
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Old 11-28-2011, 03:48 AM
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Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: San Antonio, TX
Posts: 246

Well, I imagine the meat was alot more tender and tasty than the old goat I'm still gnawing on from last year so....

To each, their own. I don't see anything unethical about how you handled your business. You decided what your goal was, what you wanted, and took it. While it doesn't fit with the plan for my location and hunting area on my ranch, I'm not about to impose upon others my preferences and goals.

In other words, congrats and good eatin.
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