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Shooting does #7602331 09/09/19 08:09 PM
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bigjoe8565 Offline OP
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We hunt in Stonewall county and the overall deer population/density isn’t great. That said, we do not see a ton of does on our lease and as a result, we never shoot any. Are we being foolish for not harvesting does? Seems like bucks dominate the feeders and does, when we see them are generally in the wheat fields. We’re a one buck county, so not taking any does limits me to one deer per year. My thoughts is based on the fact we keep seeing new bucks every year that does are there somewhere. We’re low fence, no protein, corn and soy bean neons year around and are selective on the bucks we do shoot.

Any thoughts or insight would be greatly appreciated. We’ve killed 4 does in 6 years between 5 hunters.

Re: Shooting does [Re: bigjoe8565] #7602340 09/09/19 08:18 PM
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You can contact one of these guys for assistance. They're knowledgeable and it's free.

https://tpwd.texas.gov/landwater/land/habitats/high_plains/regulatory/?county=stonewall


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Re: Shooting does [Re: bigjoe8565] #7602342 09/09/19 08:19 PM
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Try to get in touch with the local TPWD Biologist and ask about overall populations and buck/doe ratio. It's a five deer, but one buck, limit so I'd say there should be plenty of does. And don't forget about the special late Antlerless/spike season.
So yes, shoot does. I think they taste better.

Re: Shooting does [Re: bigjoe8565] #7602385 09/09/19 09:01 PM
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If your not seeing lotsa does, I think your doin right by not shooting them.

1 change I would make, is to feed protein year round.

Re: Shooting does [Re: maximus_flavius] #7602396 09/09/19 09:18 PM
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Originally Posted by maximus_flavius
If your not seeing lotsa does, I think your doin right by not shooting them.


Yeah, if you're not seeing numbers, I wouldn't be taking does out of production.


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Re: Shooting does [Re: bigjoe8565] #7602402 09/09/19 09:24 PM
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Contact Barrett.

Barrett Koennecke
Barrett.Koennecke@tpwd.texas.gov Wildlife Biologist 114 Mayfield St.
Roby, TX (325) 236-1722

Re: Shooting does [Re: bigjoe8565] #7602404 09/09/19 09:28 PM
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Not saying it cant be so, just seems foreign to me. Ive hunted 2 places around Bracketville, one near Hebronville, one in Cotulla, one near Tilden, Several in comal, guadalupe and Kendall counties, Madison and Leon counties and never seen low deer numbers on any of them. I guess ive just been fortunate.


It's hell eatin em live
Re: Shooting does [Re: bigjoe8565] #7602439 09/09/19 10:06 PM
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I do not see many does on my place and haven't since 2012 when I bought it. But county surveys in my area for the WMA show we had a 2.7 doe/1 buck back then. I have always seen a very tight buck to do ratio on my place though but have been given MLD tags under the WMA to shoot does. I have always taken from 2 the first year to 4-5 every year since that first year. My ratio is still very close and probably more bucks than does but I still see young bucks every year. By putting hunting pressure on the doe side and with a tight buck to doe ratio, the bucks keep the does off the feeders till after a killing frost and the rut is over.
Do and actual spotlight survey. Contact your TPWD biologist to get him to show you how to do one. Move your cameras around to water or trails or crossing on fencelines to see how many does you are getting compared to bucks on the trail cams. My camera pics at my feed pens(protein and corn feeders) are dominated by bucks. Based on just the feeder pics you would think my buck to doe ratios was 10 bucks per 1 doe. Some feeders I hardly ever get a doe pic and others I see a few more but still way more bucks.
There are very few ranches in Texas that have a good enough buck to doe ratio to not shoot does every year. If that ranch has not shot any does in a long time then they have more does that are just not showing up and their ratio is skewed more to does. You can sit in the blinds and count young 1.5 yr old bucks and tell how many doe fawns you had last year. I count fawns per doe every year and compare to the amount of young bucks I see in October before the rut on my trail cams. Shooting does can benefit in many ways from more food to tighter ratios/rut. I would not do any shooting till I did several spotlight surveys, trail cam surveys, incidental counts and blind counts. Compare all the data collected and make a plan from that.




Re: Shooting does [Re: bigjoe8565] #7602446 09/09/19 10:14 PM
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if its a one buck county, thats a reason, deep population is low, Bastrop is a one buck county, if the poaching were to stop we would have more deer.


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Re: Shooting does [Re: bigjoe8565] #7602633 09/10/19 01:36 AM
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"One cannot be a mediocre squirrel hunter, and at the same time a skillful deer hunter. The two techniques go together." Francis E. Sell
Re: Shooting does [Re: bigjoe8565] #7602843 09/10/19 12:32 PM
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If you have bucks hanging around, there are doe in the area. If you want another deer or two for the freezer I would go set up a brush blind or popup stand by the field and catch one coming in to feed... up


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Re: Shooting does [Re: bigjoe8565] #7602896 09/10/19 01:29 PM
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I'm also in Stonewall county and have THE EXACT SAME ISSUE. I bought my place in July 2015. I immediately noticed that I saw only a few does and tons of bucks. I feed corn and protein year around. I have four corn throwing feeders and two large protein feeders on my place. To date we have not taken any does off my place and there doesn't seem to be real heavy pressure around me. I contacted the biologist about the lack of does and he said since I'm feeding protein that the bucks are just keeping the does away. This seemed strange to me because even the corn feeders without protein near by I still see very few does. The rut drives me nuts because all the big boys disappear to go find the ladies. This area has been a one buck county and 4 doe county for a long time. I believe it is time for TPWD to take a look at the numbers they are basing the harvest limits on in this area. Maybe a 2 buck 2 doe limit or something more realistic. The biologist told me in my area that would work fine but in the northwest portion of the county doesn't have the numbers. This confuses me because you would think if you wanted the numbers to increase in an area you would want more does to be dropping fawns. Stonewall county borders two, 2 buck counties (Haskell and Jones). I'm on a wildlife management plan for my taxes and have to report annually. The lady that runs it told me that most of the ranches that she gets reports from have the same issues.

Re: Shooting does [Re: bigjoe8565] #7602907 09/10/19 01:38 PM
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Maybe our deer are lovers instead of fighters, but the does come to the protein all the time. When the bucks are there the bachelor groups seem to dominate, but that doesn't mean we don't get just as many pics of does as we do bucks, just not usually together.


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Re: Shooting does [Re: bigjoe8565] #7603029 09/10/19 03:30 PM
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Same issue here. I'll see 2-3 bucks for every doe I see. Neighbors don't shoot doe and neither do we.


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Re: Shooting does [Re: bigjoe8565] #7603044 09/10/19 03:41 PM
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I have too many does at my place. Pretty sure my buck to doe ratio is out of whack so I'll probably take a couple this year. Passed last year on them but seeing a ton so far. Had 60 does in my field one evening hunt and only saw 1 buck come in to the field with them.

Re: Shooting does [Re: bigjoe8565] #7603092 09/10/19 04:19 PM
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Nature produces 105 bucks per 100 does. The does are there somewhere. On our place, in the past, we’d see bucks and does in the yard/pasture, around the feeder. This year it’s been all does. The neighbor says he’s seeing only bucks. Why that is, I can’t even make a decent guess, but the two will combine their ‘efforts’ pretty soon.


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Re: Shooting does [Re: westtexaswatkins] #7603127 09/10/19 04:52 PM
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Originally Posted by westtexaswatkins
I'm also in Stonewall county and have THE EXACT SAME ISSUE. I bought my place in July 2015. I immediately noticed that I saw only a few does and tons of bucks. I feed corn and protein year around. I have four corn throwing feeders and two large protein feeders on my place. To date we have not taken any does off my place and there doesn't seem to be real heavy pressure around me. I contacted the biologist about the lack of does and he said since I'm feeding protein that the bucks are just keeping the does away. This seemed strange to me because even the corn feeders without protein near by I still see very few does. The rut drives me nuts because all the big boys disappear to go find the ladies. This area has been a one buck county and 4 doe county for a long time. I believe it is time for TPWD to take a look at the numbers they are basing the harvest limits on in this area. Maybe a 2 buck 2 doe limit or something more realistic. The biologist told me in my area that would work fine but in the northwest portion of the county doesn't have the numbers. This confuses me because you would think if you wanted the numbers to increase in an area you would want more does to be dropping fawns. Stonewall county borders two, 2 buck counties (Haskell and Jones). I'm on a wildlife management plan for my taxes and have to report annually. The lady that runs it told me that most of the ranches that she gets reports from have the same issues.


My buddy hunts a place in Stonewall county as well near Aspermont and they see way more buck than doe. They actually see the same group of doe at several different feeders, I do believe that the drought situation that occurs regularly in that area keeps the doe population in check since they are the weaker of the 2 sexes. Predation also plays a big part since there are a lot of yotes in the area.


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Re: Shooting does [Re: bigjoe8565] #7606921 09/14/19 10:21 PM
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My place in Dickens only has about 4 to 6 does that we see regularly Not to many fawns as I believe my excessive coyote population keeps them at low, We haven't shot does as I feel the numbers are too low to justify. During rut we usually see more bucks than does.

Re: Shooting does [Re: bigjoe8565] #7607130 09/15/19 06:13 AM
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We kill on average 1 or 2 doe a year on 1,100 acres. November hardly see them except being chased but late season 5 to 15 come to the feeders. They are there. We have so many groceries they don't need to hit a feeder. I plan to take 2 this year.

Re: Shooting does [Re: bigjoe8565] #7608144 09/16/19 07:31 PM
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The aerial survey of our ranch in Stonewall county showed the doe population was 2:1 over our bucks.

We got almost three times as many MLD doe tags they we got buck tags.


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