Why should we harvest does? You hear the ol’ timers boldly say “We don’t shoot does on our property.” Just like 90% of things in life, we have become further educated in the biology and knowledge of whitetails and the managing of our properties for them. Managing the deer on your property is essential. It is a known fact that whitetail fawns are born in approximately equal sex ratios. Also, think about when in your area it was a rare sighting to see a whitetail deer. Now, they thrive! Why? The act a management. Here are my three reasons to harvest whitetail does off of your property, there are plenty other reasons, but here are mine.
1 – Higher Fawn Survival.
Think about it for just a second. 20 does can raise healthier fawns then 40 does can on a normal hardwood/average hunting property. More fawns will survive out of 20 does than 40. This has been proven time and time again.
2- Your Land Can Only Hold So Many Deer.
This is fact. Your land can only produce so much food for a certain amount of deer. So what does that mean? Your fawns are going to leave once the time comes. Pecking order kicks in and it is time for that buck fawn to find home two properties over on a hillside, under your neighbors deer stand, not yours. Also, if one doe is born to every buck, and you only harvest mature bucks, in 5 years, you’ll be stuck with nothing but does. You may think this will help attract bucks during the rut, but that leads me to my last point.
3- Bucks Have No Competition.
Bucks do not have to work or compete for does. What does this mean? They will not be moving as much. There are so many does, they don’t have to spend energy working, seeking, looking or trying to find that hot doe. He isn’t coming up out of that thicket while you’re in your deer stand, why? He doesn’t have to. It is that simple. If there are fewer does, a healthy 2 year old buck ratio, then your bucks are going to become competitive. They are going to hone in on their territory. I do not believe bucks rub and scrape as a “territorial” thing. Put a camera on a scrape, every buck uses it! The mature one doesn’t ambush them while it happens. They do, however, use it to communicate. When they see there are 4 does hitting it and 6 other bucks, chances are he’s going to want to find a doe before the others.
We have become educated. The information on whitetails are out there. Do some research and come up with your own reasons to harvest the deer you do. That is what is so wonderful about this age of information. I do, however, promote doe management to the fullest. I truly believe it is the most important part in harvesting mature whitetails on your property consistently. Until next time!
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Every moving thing shall be meat for you.... GEN 9:3