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laying in bed this morning thinking about this could not go hunting being black friday.wife had to go shopping its her "opening day". anyways ,you are sitting in your blind when five does come by, you have aclean shot at all of them .one doe is bigger than all of the rest appears to be oldest,one doe appears to be two maybe three years old. the other three look like last springs fawns.which one do you shoot? when thinking about age structure. or just about what one would be best for the local herd . oh you only have one doe tag so no shooting all five;)
 

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Bucks, I try to focus on older/dominant Bucks to try and prevent the dispersal of younger Bucks from the area.
Does, I try to focus on harvesting younger Does because I want the matriarch/mature Does to stay for future breeding.
I am only a few years into hunting so I would be interested to hear the feedback from those more seasoned than I.
 

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I have a friend that believes that the old monarch does need kill'n, as they chase the bucks away.
 

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I usually go with my gut..
I like to shoot the one that is alone and that I have watched for a while..
I like to look her over real good to make sure its not BB or a buck who has dropped his horns..I like to make sure there isn't a buck around...If possible I like to make sure there aren't any other around too...
I passed up 7 does opening weekend before everything felt right...
I will also shoot a doe that has her BB with her....
Reason: studies show that a mother will run her BB out the area...By shooting her chances are better that he will stay in the area
 

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I'd probably take the second oldest, or be sure to find one of the doe fawns and take that. The only reason I'd pass on the older doe is that I've shot/eaten a few already, and quite frankly they eat like crap. I took a 7.5 yr. old and she was tough as nails to eat though she tasted fine. My buddy dropped a 5.5 yr. old in my backyard and she too ate like crap. Lots of burger and sausage out of that one. He also dropped a 4.5 yr. old from the spot we rifle hunt, and she was borderline, but ate OK. Every doe I've shot that was 3.5 or younger ate great.
 

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Take what looks to be the oldest doe (not necessarily the biggest).
She probably only has a few good breeding years left in her. Her genes will be carried on by the younger/smaller ones you passed on.
 

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I will always try to take out big mama! plus big mama will stand bust you more than any other deer,at least with me.
 

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I'm not much in the way of a trophy hunter, and we share venison between myself/family, my dad/family and my brother who is at college.

Assuming I had a quality shot at them all, I would shoot the biggest as well!
 

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First post ever. Long time reader. I thought I might have some interesting input. I attended a seminar where the managers of a large Michigan hunt club (approx 30,000 acres) had there input on doe harvest. They recorded on some 1000 does harvested here's what they claimed.
1.5 year old does' fawns are buck fawns 85% of the time
2.5-4.5 are 50/50 on buck/doe fawns
5.5 year old does have doe fawns 85% of the time.
I can't gaurantee these statistics but when I harvest a doe its what I'm going with. They also went on to say the older does obviously dominate the better bedding and feeding areas which means buck fawns have a slimmer chance of survival. Once again not facts just what I heard first hand. I shoot the oldest doe I see.
 

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If it were earlier in the season I would take the biggest one.This time of year I'd probably shoot a smaller and probably younger one, only because most does have been bred now and are pregnant.I know they can all have twins,but it seems the youngest ones tend to have singles at first.
There's no way to know for sure,but I'd opt for the younger one.
 

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I was under the impression that younger bucks were driven from the area by older dominant Bucks. Do older/dominant Does also play a role in young buck dispersal?
Very much so... When the does come into estrous they will escort there offspring bucks to another area to prevent inbreeding.. We always try to shoot the matriarch and leave the younger does around.. There are a few reasons behind it but it is like hunting a 1 1/2 year old buck or hunting a 5 1/2 year old buck.. Which one is harder to kill? Most of the mature does in the area know where your stands are so they are likely to skirt you.. If you can kill them and your 5 1/2 year old buck locks up with a 1/12 year old doe that does not know any better she will most likely walk him right past you..

That is our reasoning..

Any doe that walks into our stand site and immediately looks up = dead doe...
 
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