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Paradice

Save A Doe - Please Consider It

Friend of Doe?   59 members have voted

  1. 1. Will You Save The Ladies This Season?

    • Yes
      29
    • No
      30

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57 posts in this topic

In a little over a week a few hundred thousand of us will head to the woods.  I'm writing to ask everyone to consider (not telling) passing on the does this year if you have the option to harvest one.  This post is not meant to be inflammatory, but rather an appeal.  There are hot and cold spots all over MN.  If you are in a cold spot, and have been for a few years, it's going to take a catalyst to set in motion a different result.  It begins at the trigger and ends at the barrel. 

The DNR cannot manage down to the property.  That responsibility is up to us.  I'm asking everyone to dig deep and think and consider the outcome before you shoot.  

*Do you still have venison in the freezer?

*If the kiddo doesn't fill their tag themselves, does that tag really need to be filled? 

*Do you donate your venison to other people?

*Do you hunt public land?  Are you planning to hunt there again next year? 

One last point:  Even though it is legal to shoot a doe, or two perhaps, is it sustainable?  Other resources in MN have been legally driven to dangerously low levels in the past.  One need look no further than Red Lake, Leech Lake, the pheasant situation, or the duck situation.  I own 40 acres of land, and I have a few does that frequent my property that we could take this year.  But this isn't about this year.  It's about whether or not we'll have good years in the future.  On our property, it's a safe zone for does this season. 

Edited by Paradice
MJ1657 likes this

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This will be my 31st deer season and by my choice have never killed a doe or fawn. My tag goes unfilled if I do not see a buck with at least 3 years under his belt. Once again this is my choice, everyone else can do as they please.

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One last point:  Even though it is legal to shoot a doe, or two perhaps, is it sustainable?  Other resources in MN have been legally driven to dangerously low levels in the past.  One need look no further than Red Lake, Leech Lake, the pheasant situation, or the duck situation.  I own 40 acres of land, and I have a few does that frequent my property that we could take this year.  But this isn't about this year.  It's about whether or not we'll have good years in the future.  On our property, it's a safe zone for does this season. 

Last point is the best point.  

 

Pass a doe, let the herd grow

hoppe56307 likes this

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Interesting how the deer seasons evolve, it wasn't that long ago that the does were treated like vermin, 'shoot as many as you can', 'save a small buck', 'get the herd in balance so we can have a better rut', etc. All tied together with the 'horn porn' craze. Now its save a doe.

 

Not sure what the morel of the story is except that 'the only constant in life is change'. 

TylerS, jerkbait and icehole10 like this

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Interesting how the deer seasons evolve, it wasn't that long ago that the does were treated like vermin, 'shoot as many as you can', 'save a small buck', 'get the herd in balance so we can have a better rut', etc. All tied together with the 'horn porn' craze. Now its save a doe.

 

Not sure what the morel of the story is except that 'the only constant in life is change'. 

Hunters are a fickle bunch. 

Personally I won't be shooting any does but of course I didn't score a doe tag either.  Based just on my observations I think last season it was a roughly a 15-1, doe to buck ratio in our area.  

icehole10 and TylerS like this

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Interesting how the deer seasons evolve, it wasn't that long ago that the does were treated like vermin, 'shoot as many as you can', 'save a small buck', 'get the herd in balance so we can have a better rut', etc. All tied together with the 'horn porn' craze. Now its save a doe.

 

Not sure what the morel of the story is except that 'the only constant in life is change'. 

My guess is we're starting to see a realization that yesterday's prevailing wisdom didn't work so well.  I myself was guilty of the old model thinking 'shoot the does to get big bucks.'  After many years not seeing deer on stand, I've had time to ponder how we got here. 

smsmith and Satchmo like this

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I hunt some places with plenty of deer and wouldn't feel bad about shooting a doe.  I spend more time in places with very few deer due to the DNR giving out too many doe tags for too many years and too many hunters trying to fill them all.  

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Our area went from intensive 8 years ago then down to managed for 5-6 years then the past couple years down to lottery, I can tell from intensive to now we have seen fewer deer, not a lot fewer but fewer.  We seem to see plenty of doe each year we usually take 1-2 doe each year and the herd has stayed very constant since the change from intensive, 5 doe was way to many for that area.  The only constant I have noticed is we see fewer and fewer hunters in our area the public land that boarders our land use to be packed with hunters now there is a fraction of the hunters that use to go out there and the shots we hear are fewer also.

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I think nofish you guys better shoot does cuz you're saying for every 90 does in your area there's 6 antlered bucks. Was gonna say be great to be a buck in your area but then again maybe not, they must lose 1/2 their body weight running these does. It's been a slow doe/fawn recovery in my areas with the large volume of coyotes and plenty of wolves seeing too many does with no fawns for no good reason other then predation after last years easy winter/spring. The OTC areas are looking ok though, but fewest decent bucks on tcams since I began using them which seems odd. Then again good tcam years have been bad for getting one and hoping a bad tcam year maybe get a good one, we'll know soon enough!

fr0sty and jerkbait like this

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Hunters are a fickle bunch. 

Personally I won't be shooting any does but of course I didn't score a doe tag either.  Based just on my observations I think last season it was a roughly a 15-1, doe to buck ratio in our area.  

I would be interested in hearing how large of an area this was and how this estimate was obtained. My anterless to antlered sightings last couple years are probably in a similar range of 15-1, but that includes fawn and repeats. Unique adult deer (not fawns) I estimate the area I hunt has been pretty darn close to a 2-3 adult does to 1 adult buck for a few years. Generously calling 1.5+ year old deer adults. This is based on trail cameras, summer observations, and fall hunting observations on a area that is over a sq mile. 

 

Recently a friend was talking about an article they read, it said you need 3 adult does to get 2 fawns to the next hunting season, with the biggest factor being predators. We have bears, wolves, coyotes, bobcats, and hunters and we don't know what the winter impact will be until the middle of April most years, we won't be shooting any does this year. And the winter would have to be mild for us to shoot 1-2 next year.

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That 15-1 observation is far from scientific and is purely based on anterless deer that were observed from our stands.  I highly doubt that is the real ratio for the area, just what we saw over a 4-5 day period of hunting.

These numbers do include anterless fawns but not any deer we know were repeats. We also did see 2 different sets of twins each with an adult doe so that skews the numbers toward fawns a little so one or more of them could have been anterless males.

Generally I'm not worried about the herd in my area.  We've seen good numbers of does and fawns with several of the does producing twins.  As long as they keep pumping out new deer they'll be adding to the buck population.

 

 

 

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Recently a friend was talking about an article they read, it said you need 3 adult does to get 2 fawns to the next hunting season, with the biggest factor being predators. 

And in most of central and northern MN that would need to be 3 does at least 2.5 years of age.  I have yet to see a yearling (1.5 years old) doe with a fawn here.  It doesn't appear most doe fawns get bred this far north.

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I will be passing on does, but only because I didn't draw a tag. 

If my goose is along, she will be putting a hole in the first legal deer that she gets an ethical shot at. 

But considering we haven't seen a legal deer in two seasons....

Edited by Neighbor_guy

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If you're in Todd County then some get bred this far north, not many though as we're in the OTC and we see it on occasion. My guess I repeat guess is best chance for that is the doe that has a single doe fawn and she can feed that lone fawn(likely born slightly bigger as a loner) and the fawn has no competition from a sibling so she can grow up a little bigger a little faster and maybe has a better chance of coming into heat as she's maybe ahead of a doe fawn that is sharing moms milk with a buck fawn lets say and born smaller, now that theory comes from the boredom of the past few opening days swinging in the trees thanks wind. This topic of passing on a doe it might depend some on how large a chunk a land you're hunting or own. The people I know that own larger chunks tend to wait out a big buck most of the time and that's often 1/2 the reason for owning it and paying a nice tax fee yearly. Younger hunters, older, etc. take some does.  I figured zone 2 would save some does, make people not so trigger happy having 9 days instead of 2 or 4 but that doesn't seem to be the case, a tag is a tag and with the past few openers and wind maybe people are like I better take what I get a chance at as chances have been scarce. And the wolf is established in OTC not all parts of the county but much of it, hunting year round so it's a battle even with a mild winter getting more deer to the next season. Need another wet corn season to carry over more deer :).  My last doe was in 1986 so baldies are safe on all the ground I cover.

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OTC, I don't doubt that on occasion a doe fawn gets bred there (or here).  However, I'd guess it is a fairly infrequent occurrence.  

As far as passing on does being dependent on size of acreage...I'll have to politely agree to disagree.   Those with small acreages will benefit just as much, if not more, than those with larger acreages (not sure what you'd call small or large acreage?)

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We hunt state land in 172, last year our party of 6 saw 56 deer sat. through monday noon, and the last saterday, zero doe permits. shot 4 bucks, saw 9 bucks the rest does and fawns. So in my mind plenty of deer, this year again zero doe permits but if we did I see no reason to not take a legal doe..

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We hunt state land in 172, last year our party of 6 saw 56 deer sat. through monday noon, and the last saterday, zero doe permits. shot 4 bucks, saw 9 bucks the rest does and fawns. So in my mind plenty of deer, this year again zero doe permits but if we did I see no reason to not take a legal doe..

Wait what? Doesn't sound like the same 172 we were hunting in last year. 10 guys two Doe permits in party only seen two small bucks one deer for party. You aren't counting all the Doe's you seen in the ditches on the way back to the shack at night now are you? :P

Edited by leech~~

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Nope all on stand, but we do sit all day and most deer were seen between 11 and 4, when most people are back at the shack.  My family and friends have hunted the same land since 1958, my father who has now passed started hunting this area as a boy, where there is now a stand of red pines, those pines used to be a hay field and they stayed in a root cellar for the 9 day season:cool:..  I'll be honest if it is a legal deer we shoot it, not looking or waiting for big horns  most bucks we shoot are spikes, forks and the little basket racks,  we all like to eat it, process our own deer and sausage and of all the people in our group not a stitch of last years venny left in the freezer.. I see nothing wrong with taking a legal adult deer of either species.. Good luck to all and if you have a doe permit don't feel guilty about using it if you enjoy the other half of harvesting a deer..

Edited by Todd Caswell
leech~~, icehole10 and fr0sty like this

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We hunt state land in 172, last year our party of 6 saw 56 deer sat. through monday noon, and the last saterday, zero doe permits. shot 4 bucks, saw 9 bucks the rest does and fawns. So in my mind plenty of deer, this year again zero doe permits but if we did I see no reason to not take a legal doe..

What part of 172?  The only reason I ask is that depending which side of 200 you hunt, you might as well be on two different continents.  We hunt the north east part and the public hunters have practically vanished.  South of 200, I have heard the numbers are in better shape.

We've been running 5 cameras for 3 years and got our first fawns this year.  We started with 3 does and 4 fawns back in June.  We're down to 2 does and 3 fawns.  We've got ten people (w/5 does tags) on 50 acres surrounding us chomping at the bit to get those remaining "before the neighbor does."  Hence my plea.   

Meanwhile, I have lost count how many years it's been since I pulled the trigger.  My guess is this makes lucky #7. 

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Nope all on stand, but we do sit all day and most deer were seen between 11 and 4, when most people are back at the shack.  My family and friends have hunted the same land since 1958, my father who has now passed started hunting this area as a boy, where there is now a stand of red pines, those pines used to be a hay field and they stayed in a root cellar for the 9 day season:cool:..  I'll be honest if it is a legal deer we shoot it, not looking or waiting for big horns  most bucks we shoot are spikes, forks and the little basket racks,  we all like to eat it, process our own deer and sausage and of all the people in our group not a stitch of last years venny left in the freezer.. I see nothing wrong with taking a legal adult deer of either species.. Good luck to all and if you have a doe permit don't feel guilty about using it if you enjoy the other half of harvesting a deer..

Todd, we hunt in an area that is pretty vast deep woods. He have had some good years and some without hardly seeing a thing. In our area there is a pretty good Wolf population and the years that we hear and see more Wolf sign are the worse years. We seem to also only see smaller bucks during rifle but know there are some big boys out there as we have seen some nice ones on trail cam's they just seem to move deeper or something when all the shooting starts?  Here's a sample on a trail cam night shot. Good luck to you guys. Hope the Wolves head over by you this year! :D

Picture 400.jpg

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Nope all on stand, but we do sit all day and most deer were seen between 11 and 4, when most people are back at the shack.  My family and friends have hunted the same land since 1958, my father who has now passed started hunting this area as a boy, where there is now a stand of red pines, those pines used to be a hay field and they stayed in a root cellar for the 9 day season:cool:..  I'll be honest if it is a legal deer we shoot it, not looking or waiting for big horns  most bucks we shoot are spikes, forks and the little basket racks,  we all like to eat it, process our own deer and sausage and of all the people in our group not a stitch of last years venny left in the freezer.. I see nothing wrong with taking a legal adult deer of either species.. Good luck to all and if you have a doe permit don't feel guilty about using it if you enjoy the other half of harvesting a deer..

Todd ,, I agree 100  percent deer are very much appreciated here both in the field and on the table and we shoot what we see and always will . The dnr has made our area hunters choice for a reason as the herd can support the harvest . This is the same as issuing permits they would not issue the permits if the deer were not there . Some complain about populations much further north and they may have a point , wolves, weather, Those same people expect a parade of deer marching by their stands daily or its the dnrs fault , most reference 5 to 7 years ago when the areas were intensive harvest , most likely the reason the area was intensive harvest was the populations were too high . Could be those areas referenced may never reach those populations ever again and still the hunter expect the parade to continue, Hate to break it to you guys up north but weather, wolves and the dnr are here to stay

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Hate to break it to you guys up north but weather, wolves and the dnr are here to stay

Bahahahaha,, since you made the reference. Step off the farm down there in Isanti some time and come up north in the real Woods and hunt public land with the Wolves. ;)

Edited by leech~~

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No need , plenty of fat farm raised tender deer here , Thanks for the invite though, just saying could be some in the north country may never experience former populations again with current conditions and have to shoot what comes by or not eat venison . 

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Todd ,, I agree 100  percent deer are very much appreciated here both in the field and on the table and we shoot what we see and always will . The dnr has made our area hunters choice for a reason as the herd can support the harvest . This is the same as issuing permits they would not issue the permits if the deer were not there . Some complain about populations much further north and they may have a point , wolves, weather, Those same people expect a parade of deer marching by their stands daily or its the dnrs fault , most reference 5 to 7 years ago when the areas were intensive harvest , most likely the reason the area was intensive harvest was the populations were too high . Could be those areas referenced may never reach those populations ever again and still the hunter expect the parade to continue, Hate to break it to you guys up north but weather, wolves and the dnr are here to stay

FFT.....your situation in Isanti is so far removed from what the folks up north are dealing with that it's not even worth comparing the two. With your urban deer populations and so many folks on tiny pieces of land, the deer in that area will always have lots of sanctuaries. Throw in milder winters, no predation, and agricultural food sources, and the deer there have a reproductive dream area. Shoot away. It's obvious that you have complete trust in the DNR, and that's fine for you, but many of us have seen a lot of different situations come out of the current policies of the MN DNR, and have lost the blind trust that you enjoy. I also see no reason that we shouldn't hold that dept accountable for their actions and deeds, just like we should hold all our other govt officials accountable for all the programs they fund.

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