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Shoot/Don't shoot question

Old 09-10-2002, 11:00 AM
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Default Shoot/Don't shoot question

You've got antlerless only tags. A doe walks out but there are fawns with her. Do you let her walk? What if you fear not getting another opportunity to tag a deer? I've read that orphaned deer will often adapt and find ways to survive. They sometimes become adopted by other does. Would that factor into your decision?

I was faced with a similar situation last night. I decided to just enjoy watching the fawns play. As it turns out, I was hunting from the ground and all three of the deer worked into a position whereby they were less than 30 feet from me at times. Very rewarding in itself. Eventually, Mommy busted me when the wind turned. Also saw several turkeys and an owl!

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Old 09-10-2002, 11:31 AM
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Default RE: Shoot/Don't shoot question

I would have done the same thing you did, and just enjoyed the view.
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Old 09-10-2002, 11:56 AM
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Default RE: Shoot/Don't shoot question

According to the time of the season, early on I would have done as you did and enjoyed the view. Later, as the season draws to a close, I might have taken the shot.

The best of luck in all your hunting endeavors!!!

God Bless,
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Old 09-10-2002, 12:26 PM
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Default RE: Shoot/Don't shoot question

MJL you did the right thing.

The Tazman aka Martin Price
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Virginia Disabled Outdoorsmen Club
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Old 09-10-2002, 12:41 PM
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Default RE: Shoot/Don't shoot question

I dont mind shooting a doe but I always try for a barren doe or a big yearling without a fawn . This year we seem to have a lot of does without fawns and the does look very fat,it won't be hard to pick one . I think you did the right thing letting her walk .
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Old 09-10-2002, 01:01 PM
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Default RE: Shoot/Don't shoot question

this time of year I wouldn't shoot. Towards the end of the rifle season here in Texas - which is early to mid January - I wouldn't hesitate to shoot if I was meat hunting. By that time I figure the fawns are basically yearlings and are hanging around with mom as much out of habit as need.

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Old 09-10-2002, 01:07 PM
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Default RE: Shoot/Don't shoot question

Good question...No matter what decision any hunter makes, it would be OK with me. I would never feel bad that another hunter decided to take a doe under those circumstances. Personally, I would make my decision at that exact moment. I have let a small (legal) buck walk at the next to last day of the NH deer season, and a few smaller size does as well, knowing I probably would go home without any venison for the year. It's just how I felt at that moment, and I continue to play by these rules every time I go into the deer woods. To each his/her own.

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Old 09-10-2002, 01:40 PM
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Default RE: Shoot/Don't shoot question

Around here, I find the does still have milk into Mid Oct, so that's where I draw the line. They get run off anyway in Nov, so no problem there.
One thing to consider, all fawns can survive just fine once they're weaned, and some studies show a higher survival if the doe is shot, I guess they are forced to learn more, instead of just follow along.
Another thing, buck fawns are driven away from their does next spring when they give birth, and aren't allowed back into the family group later like the yearling does, so the 1 year old bucks disperse. By shooting the doe later in the year, you retain more bucks on your property, so it's a good sound management practice to shoot a doe later in the year, rather than a doe without young. At least if you have an unbalanced buck ratio, it is.
Of couse it's one of the joys of hunting to wwatch undetected as young fawmns play with each other in the early season, too good an opportunity to ruin by shooting a doe, IMO. You'll get your chance later.

"In heaven, even the fish have antlers"
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Old 09-10-2002, 02:39 PM
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Default RE: Shoot/Don't shoot question

I would let her walk
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Old 09-10-2002, 02:45 PM
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Default RE: Shoot/Don't shoot question

Yeah me to, let her move on. I'm not sure if their are real implications of shooting mom though, just my own. A rule I made was never shoot a doe or a fawn when they are a pair! Plus they look so cute together.....I would hate to be a family breaker.

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