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When to Shoot Does? #6014481 11/06/15 04:29 PM
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I hunt a pasture on the Junco, which is a large South Texas Ranch that is high fenced on the perimeter but has low cross-fencing separating the various pastures. Our deer generally rut between Christmas and the first half of January and we are MLD III status.

My particular pasture is approximately 3000 acres, has high fence on 2 sides and shares a low-fence boundary with 2 other pastures that have been better managed and consequently have more deer than us - of course some of the deer pass between the pastures.

We have large group going down next weekend and I was hoping for input regarding the best time to start shooting doe versus cull bucks. We have 18 buck tags and 20 doe tags. One of my low fence neighbors (who was awarded 1.5X as many tags as me) remarked that he was waiting to shoot his doe until after the rut so that his bucks wouldn't come to my pasture looking for doe. Is there any merit to this?

For the record, I'm not in competition with my neighbor. I have spent considerable time and money managing my pasture for the last three years and want to do what's best for the long term health of the property I hunt.

Thanks in advance...

Re: When to Shoot Does? [Re: Bluemangroup] #6014491 11/06/15 04:37 PM
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We struggle with that as well. The boys will go where the girls are, but if you wait to shoot does until post-rut, you are really taking a chance at killing two deer (possibly 3 as frequent as twins are on our place) with one shot. I think the upside to shooting them early is that the boys will have to really get up and walk around to find the girls.

I don't know that there is a 'RIGHT' answer.

Re: When to Shoot Does? [Re: Bluemangroup] #6014492 11/06/15 04:37 PM
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I'm on a ranch just to the WSW of you. We share a high-fence boundary with the Lincoln-Nicholson Ranch which shares a boundary fence with the Junco, so we're all pretty much in the same boat as far as rut timing, etc. We're also MLD III and have shot culls and a few does early in the season in years past. However, once the rut kicks in, our does get extremely hard to find as they're constantly being pressured by bucks. Consequently, we've fallen short on our doe harvest the past two seasons.

This year, we've implemented a does only policy until December 1st. After that, if you kill a buck, you must kill at least two does before harvesting another buck. This should accomplish two things. Meeting our doe harvest of 40 and removing does that bucks would otherwise expend energy chasing and breeding during the rut. This should insure better, more dominant bucks do most of the breeding and come out of the winter in better physical condition. In theory, anyway. smile

Re: When to Shoot Does? [Re: Bluemangroup] #6014699 11/06/15 06:45 PM
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I like your plan, fouzman. Good luck! up


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Re: When to Shoot Does? [Re: Bluemangroup] #6014707 11/06/15 06:50 PM
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We have also had long conversations about when to take does with people a lot more educated than me on the topic. We were told, if we wanted to take does, to do it BEFORE the rut. So, I will be taking most of my does in the next 2-3 weeks, before Thanksgiving. Our rut is generally the week of or right after Thanksgiving (Breckenridge, TX area).



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Re: When to Shoot Does? [Re: Bluemangroup] #6014750 11/06/15 07:08 PM
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I was taken on a hunt in archery season and was told to take as many does as I wanted and could shoot a buck after I got at least 2 does. Culls and does get hunted before the rut so they can balance the herd and keep good genes in the pool. The less does in the pasture the more competition among the bucks. The rule on does was a young one and an old one to keep age structure pretty even as well. We all took 2 does and a cull so that during rifle season the trophy deer will hopefully be the ones to breed and give us a shot.


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Re: When to Shoot Does? [Re: Bluemangroup] #6014978 11/06/15 09:19 PM
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I have always hated taking does during the doe/spike season because I was/am always paranoid that Big Boy's girlfriend was harvested along with his genes.

Re: When to Shoot Does? [Re: Bluemangroup] #6014985 11/06/15 09:27 PM
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Chootem early and often cheers



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Re: When to Shoot Does? [Re: Bluemangroup] #6015012 11/06/15 09:43 PM
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Take um when you can.. don't overthink it

Re: When to Shoot Does? [Re: Navasot] #6015022 11/06/15 09:50 PM
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Originally Posted By: Navasot
Take um when you can.. don't overthink it


this ^^^^^

Re: When to Shoot Does? [Re: Bluemangroup] #6015123 11/06/15 10:59 PM
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When I see em

Re: When to Shoot Does? [Re: Bluemangroup] #6015129 11/06/15 11:02 PM
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Shoot them as soon in the season as you can. Why wait?

Re: When to Shoot Does? [Re: Bluemangroup] #6015269 11/07/15 01:02 AM
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Take them out now. Why let a buck waste all the energy breeding does and then shoot them?



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Re: When to Shoot Does? [Re: Bluemangroup] #6015271 11/07/15 01:03 AM
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I would wait till after Thanksgiving to shoot any doe in South Texas. Fawns will be old enough to do okay on there own. I have always waited to shoot does till after the rut on any ranch I have managed. I wait here on mine till Jan. I like to keep the does around as bait during the rut for keeping mature bucks around. I also like to concentrate on any of the bucks that need shot off first. I also think there is a little less fighting by the bucks when the rut is going also when there are more does around. When Jan rolls around I do not waste time and kill the does as quickly as I can. I would shoot cull bucks now and then trophy hunt and then shoot my does. 2cents


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Re: When to Shoot Does? [Re: Bluemangroup] #6015320 11/07/15 01:35 AM
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Depends on your buck/doe ratio. If way too Many does, shoot early and often. If not, hold off.

Re: When to Shoot Does? [Re: Bluemangroup] #6015695 11/07/15 06:29 AM
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If you have that many your not going to hurt anything. pack the freezer then hunt the trophy is my motto

Re: When to Shoot Does? [Re: Bluemangroup] #6015708 11/07/15 08:45 AM
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Shoot the doe now before your rut begins.


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Re: When to Shoot Does? [Re: Bluemangroup] #6015809 11/07/15 12:53 PM
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I had a neighbor that had a different way of thinking. He had 3 sons. they would not shoot does but would shoot every buck they saw. They said that shooting all the bucks would draw in the neighbors bucks to service their does and then they could shoot those new bucks. One of the reasons my father originally started HFing. Good luck everyone this morning. Kinda glad I don't have any hunters this weekend with the way the weather is. Bucks are getting a little frisky here but the does aren't.

Re: When to Shoot Does? [Re: Bluemangroup] #6015987 11/07/15 02:16 PM
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I prefer to shoot them early.

Re: When to Shoot Does? [Re: Bluemangroup] #6018243 11/09/15 12:46 AM
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When legal, which for us in Red River Co, is four days at thanksgiving. Call it our meat hunt wknd.


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Re: When to Shoot Does? [Re: Bluemangroup] #6018278 11/09/15 01:06 AM
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There are a lot of scenarios and you will get a lot of different answers to this question. Ask the experts, the Biologists in your area, and you will get a better answer for what is going on right now where you are managing your pasture. JMO....

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Re: When to Shoot Does? [Re: Bluemangroup] #6018323 11/09/15 01:31 AM
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Originally Posted By: Bluemangroup
I hunt a pasture on the Junco, which is a large South Texas Ranch that is high fenced on the perimeter but has low cross-fencing separating the various pastures. Our deer generally rut between Christmas and the first half of January and we are MLD III status.

My particular pasture is approximately 3000 acres, has high fence on 2 sides and shares a low-fence boundary with 2 other pastures that have been better managed and consequently have more deer than us - of course some of the deer pass between the pastures.

We have large group going down next weekend and I was hoping for input regarding the best time to start shooting doe versus cull bucks. We have 18 buck tags and 20 doe tags. One of my low fence neighbors (who was awarded 1.5X as many tags as me) remarked that he was waiting to shoot his doe until after the rut so that his bucks wouldn't come to my pasture looking for doe. Is there any merit to this?

For the record, I'm not in competition with my neighbor. I have spent considerable time and money managing my pasture for the last three years and want to do what's best for the long term health of the property I hunt.

Thanks in advance...


Dominant bucks prefer to stay in their core area, provided does are there. Shoot the does early, assuming you have a good population of them. If you're MLD 3, you should or someone didn't do the math correct. Reduce the does and your dominant bucks should do what they do and DOMINATE the subordinate bucks. With your harvest numbers(18 buck / 20 doe), it sounds like taking does first would promote the big boys to take charge and make the lesser bucks look elsewhere.

Re: When to Shoot Does? [Re: Bluemangroup] #6018565 11/09/15 03:40 AM
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As I understand it, it really doesn't matter. If you have 4 does and they are all pregnant and you shoot one post rut, you will have 3 fawns in June. If you take the same four does and shoot one before the rut you will have 3 fawns in June. If they are not all getting pregnant and you shoot one pre rut, she may or may not have bred. But she will be one less doe to breed. So whats the difference?

Shoot them when its legal.

Re: When to Shoot Does? [Re: Bluemangroup] #6018740 11/09/15 08:54 AM
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Thanks for all the input guys. From this I take that we definitely need to get our inferior doe AND bucks off the pasture as early in the season as we can.

Chuck

Re: When to Shoot Does? [Re: kpg4923] #6019162 11/09/15 03:42 PM
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Originally Posted By: kpg4923
As I understand it, it really doesn't matter. If you have 4 does and they are all pregnant and you shoot one post rut, you will have 3 fawns in June. If you take the same four does and shoot one before the rut you will have 3 fawns in June. If they are not all getting pregnant and you shoot one pre rut, she may or may not have bred. But she will be one less doe to breed. So whats the difference?

Shoot them when its legal.


The difference is your bucks won't have expended energy breeding her. Also, if you cut down the number of does coming in to season, you increase the odds that they get bred by the dominant buck.


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