Alot depends on where your located. In the Lake Superior watershed it is adviseable that if does need to be taken that you DO NOT shoot old does because they are experienced at surviving harsh winters and know the migration routes a doe fawn would be the proper management deer to take because they are at the bottom of the pecking order in the herd and they aren't likely to have fawns in the spring. In the southern half of the lower we target old matriarchal does and try to have the average age of our doe harvest at 3 1/2. If it's over 3 1/2 it is an indication we are harvesting to many does if it's under 3 1/2 we're probably not harvesting enough this method helps in our proposed harvest suggestions in our 2,000 acre co-op.
We have been targeting older does to bring our average doe age class down while passing on younger bucks to bring our average buck age class up. The results are quiet amazing. We now see as many bucks as does or more and the class and age of bucks is unbelievable.
Doe harvest, like all other tenants of QDM, is site specific and should be approach with some forthought. While you can overharvest your does in an area you can remedy the situation usually in a couple short years if you have a plan.
I am seeing over an harvest of does in certain sections where I live. There are very few mature does to be seen, Almost all are young does. Problem is everyone is not on a plan so I'm not sure a couple years is all it will take. That would be like asking people to pass up most deer for a few years. Its hard enough to get people to pass on young bucks.
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