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We shot two does off our lease this year and they were agaed at 8.5 - 9.5 years! Is this
rare? Are there a lot of deer this age running around in Osceola Co.? I thought the
average age of deer in our area is 1.5 - 3.5 years.

Should we shoot the "Grand old doe"? What affect is there on a herd when the matriarch doe is shot?

You thoughts?
 

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I wouldn't think there are a lot that age running around and I don't think you did any harm in shooting her. She's had a long life and probably many offspring/descendants.
 

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I agree with Boyd, you have a really done a good thing. There will be another foot stomping snorting doe to take her place at the helm.

According to Dr. Kroll you shoul strive to turn your doe herd over every 3 or 4 years. Keep them young and productive. This allows for change in the social structure but more importantly it lets your change in genetics change as well and this is where the improvements come from.

I think our states biologist tell us as long as we are shooting 5.5 yr old does or older we are not shooting enough does. This goes hand in hand with that Kroll is saying.
 

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I'm curious, but I wonder how tough those 'grand-old-does' are going to be to chew? Are their eating qualities based on age or the quality of the food habitat they came from?
 

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At a town hall meeting in August of this year, the district biologist for my area said that 30 years ago, when he came to the area, several buck poles had 15 year old and older doe hanging on them! I can't even imagine!

We have pictures of an extremely old doe that has our property as part of her homerange. She is apparently completely nocturnal on our acreage, and unfortunately has never been spotted during the daylight to our knowledge. She may be one of the last survivors of an age class that was born prior to our purchasing the land in 1992.

I think that harvesting deer in this age class is rare. I think that it deserves a pat on the back, and some type of recognition. Do you realize how many deer seasons, near collisions with vehicles, predators, diseases, birthing complications, etc... that these deer have been through?

Gives another new perspective on the tenacity of this species. They truelly are a thing to be marvelled at.

Congratulations on taking a couple of deer that were born well back in the last millenium! You've outsmarted a couple of truely remarkable animals!

"Take a doe so HE can grow"

Todd.
 

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Can you imagine the survival skills she had? I'm supprised the Evart area had any deer that age. Where do you go to church when your up there? Try the First Baptist of Evart next to the park.
 

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It has been my experience that a corn fed deer will have less of a "gamey" taste than a big woods deer.

I have hunted the same piece of ground for all but 2 years of my life. I have been given venison from several different areas of the state over the years, and I can tell the difference in the taste.

Personal opinion, meat taste has everything to do with what the animal eats, and very little to do with age. On the other hand, meat tenderness definitely varies with age. Phrases like "walking jerky" have been used to refer to older deer for decades, and usually with good reason.

I would love to take a "jerky deer" simply because of the challenge (oh, and did I mention I like jerky?).

"Take a doe so HE can grow".

Todd.
 
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