Shooting Does

I know a fair few successful deer hunters, and I’ve noticed a common trend among them: they [we] don’t shoot any does.

If you haven’t yet shot a deer, then you should shoot the first deer that you see.

If you want to hunt just for the meat, then you may as well shoot the first deer that you see.

If you enjoy hunting and are happy with shooting any deer, then you should shoot the first deer that you can.

If you have only very few days in the woods each year, then you should shoot does.

If you are required by law to shoot a doe before you can shoot a buck, then you should shoot the first doe that you can.

If you hunt where there are very, very few deer (and maybe lots of wolves, coyotes, and bears, like in Northern WI), then you may as well shoot the first deer that you see.

But if your goal is to shoot as many bucks as possible, or to shoot the biggest bucks possible, then every doe that you shoot will make it harder to shoot bucks.

If the does in your area are not comfortable where you hunt, then they will move elsewhere and take the bucks with them.  The does will be where the best food, water, and cover that they can find is.  When you shoot any deer you will, almost invariably, do more wandering around in the woods and make more noise exactly where you do not want to do any of that.

Many guys like to shoot the first doe they can and then hunt for bucks.  This can be a huge problem becasue when you cause all the ruckus in an area the deer may want to avoid it, and if there were several deer in a group when you shot one, then the others may well stay away from that area forever after.  And if those other group members avoid the area, then the bucks that will be after them during the rut won’t be around either.

If you need to shoot a doe, and still want to hunt bucks, then I would suggest shooting your doe at some public land that you do not normally hunt.

And the worst problem with shooting does is that bucks almost never lead does.  You may well shoot a doe that had a buck behind it that you did not see.

Absolutely nothing good (for your buck hunting) can come from shooting does.

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