Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Reasons to Take Whitetail Does

© 2009 Albert A Rasch and
The Rasch Outdoor Chronicles
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Good Reasons to use that Doe Tag.

When considering if and when to take a doe give these reasons some thought.

1: Your deer herd has a limited amount of land to thrive in. Even on public lands, thinning the number of does has a positive effect on the herd overall. On private land, keep the population and sex ratio in balance by taking does whenever your analysis indicates you should. Remember a doe affects the population numbers much more than a buck does.

Image Credit: Kathleen
2. Letting young bucks mature obviously impacts your chances of a larger, mature deer the following year."Most bucks will not maximize their potential until they reach 4 to 5 years of age, and their ultimate size won't peak until 6 ½ years!. The age of the buck is the determining factor of the size of the buck's rack. By purposely avoiding shooting any young deer most property managers can see an increase in the number of older, larger bucks on their properties." QDM in Florida

3. As the number of bucks increase, and the age cohort also advances, the number of truly mature and dominant bucks will also increase. This leads to less competition for does, as the harems are smaller and the mature bucks compete more effectively with the younger bucks. As capacity is kept below the maximum, the bucks stay stronger and healthier. . The result is a healthier, stronger, more productive herd.

PhotoCredit: Jeffrodsj

4. Likewise, as the number of does decreases, they tend to be younger and fitter. This leads to more successful breeding. The does also maintain better condition and the fawns are likely to be stronger, in better condition, and more fit. Fawns will likely be earlier in the season than later, so they will be better prepared for the coming winter. Young does lactate more freely and produce more milk than older does, again benefiting the year's fawns.

5. Overall, good deer management practices including maintaining does at a limit, benefits all other game and non-game animals. There is more browse for small game, and cover for birds.
6. In addition, does tend to be tastier. I mean face it. It really is true.

Hunting is the primary game management tool at your disposal. It is effective and imposed by those most likely to see the benefits of the program. Coupled with care of the land, sound supplemental strategies, possible plantings, and love for the sport, you will see the results of your efforts in a few short seasons.

Though he spends most of his time writing and keeping the world safe for democracy, Albert is actually a biologist. Really. But after a lemur was hired to replace the other lab tech because the capuchins were considered too smart for lab work, he never returned to the field. Rather he became a bartender. As he once said, "Hell, I was feeding mice all sorts of concoctions. At the club I did the same thing; except I got paid a lot better, and the rats where bigger." He has followed the science of QDM for many years, and fancies himself an aficionado. If you have any questions, or just want to get more information reach him via TheRaschOutdoorChronicles(at)MSN(dot)com

Albert A Rasch
Member: Hunting Sportsmen of the United States HSUS (Let 'em sue me.)
The Hunt Continues...

The Rasch Outdoor Chronicles


steveo_uk said...

You get more permits in my part of oklahoma now for a doe than you do a buck but along the same lines i've always wondered why in north texas they dont hunt the wild sows to regulate the poplulation. they seem to be over run with hogs at the moment but everyone wants to harvest the boar for some reason.

Wild Ed said...

We harvest does and sows. Without doing that in Central Texas we will be over run with deer and hogs. Besides sow hogs are much better table fare. We try and take the older does that are no longer having fawns or at least are not having twins anymore.

Bion said...

Not only taster, but more tender, Albert....less "wild flavor", which is a buck's calling card. All in all, more fit table fare, as long as you treated the meat the way you should have treated it...

I'm not saying you have to hunt for meat you eat, but if you do, you're going to have a lot more appreciation and care for some of the best flavored meat there is. It's too bad a lot of hunters don't know how to care for their game, once it is down...But if they had to eat it, they would care a lot more in how they take care of it...Just an hour of laying on the ground will sour the flavor, depending on conditions. And then, you will be one of those who "tried it and didn't like it"..Too bad you didn't try some that was treated the way your fillet Mignon is treated, and charged as much for in some quarters...

Venison is my main meat, and I take ice with me in the hot weather, and always carry a small set of pulleys, which are great if you have to leave an animal and come back later...and the only time my meat tastes "gamey" is when my butcher grinds in a little shank on the lower end...

Good hunting, and good eating...