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Shooting fawns with spots
Whitetail Deer
Contributors to this thread:
Pope125 20-Sep-17
greg simon 20-Sep-17
WV Mountaineer 20-Sep-17
t-roy 20-Sep-17
Brotsky 20-Sep-17
Pintail 20-Sep-17
Ace 20-Sep-17
APauls 20-Sep-17
PECO 20-Sep-17
12yards 20-Sep-17
Fulldraw1972 20-Sep-17
HerdManager 20-Sep-17
Fuzzy 20-Sep-17
Fuzzy 20-Sep-17
loesshillsarcher 20-Sep-17
loesshillsarcher 20-Sep-17
bdfrd24v 20-Sep-17
swampokie 20-Sep-17
DEMO-Bowhunter 20-Sep-17
greenmountain 20-Sep-17
deerhunter72 20-Sep-17
Ollie 20-Sep-17
Bowfreak 20-Sep-17
dmann 20-Sep-17
Lee 20-Sep-17
APauls 20-Sep-17
8point 20-Sep-17
Owl 20-Sep-17
SNYPER31 20-Sep-17
Joey Ward 20-Sep-17
JTV 20-Sep-17
BigOk 20-Sep-17
Mad_Angler 20-Sep-17
ahunter55 20-Sep-17
ahunter55 20-Sep-17
Kodiak 20-Sep-17
Hackbow 20-Sep-17
Bowriter 20-Sep-17
JTV 20-Sep-17
Scar Finga 20-Sep-17
JTV 20-Sep-17
Sage Buffalo 20-Sep-17
APauls 20-Sep-17
Kodiak 20-Sep-17
deerhunter72 20-Sep-17
Hackbow 20-Sep-17
Tracker 20-Sep-17
T Mac 20-Sep-17
Trial153 20-Sep-17
IdyllwildArcher 20-Sep-17
stick n string 20-Sep-17
buckhammer 20-Sep-17
M.Pauls 20-Sep-17
TD 20-Sep-17
Trial153 20-Sep-17
Bowriter 20-Sep-17
Shawn 20-Sep-17
T Mac 20-Sep-17
deerslayer 20-Sep-17
Catscratch 20-Sep-17
spike78 20-Sep-17
Jeff Durnell 20-Sep-17
Thornton 20-Sep-17
IdyllwildArcher 20-Sep-17
WV Mountaineer 20-Sep-17
stick n string 20-Sep-17
Shawn 20-Sep-17
ahunter55 20-Sep-17
GF 20-Sep-17
Trial153 20-Sep-17
GF 21-Sep-17
Matt 21-Sep-17
TD 21-Sep-17
Arrowhead 21-Sep-17
Bou'bound 21-Sep-17
Bowriter 21-Sep-17
Fuzzy 21-Sep-17
t-roy 21-Sep-17
SNYPER31 21-Sep-17
HockeyDad 21-Sep-17
tonyo6302 21-Sep-17
t-roy 21-Sep-17
Wildarea26 21-Sep-17
Fuzzy 21-Sep-17
IdyllwildArcher 21-Sep-17
drycreek 21-Sep-17
GF 21-Sep-17
tonyo6302 21-Sep-17
tonyo6302 21-Sep-17
Thornton 21-Sep-17
Fuzzy 22-Sep-17
Shawn 22-Sep-17
TRADSTYK 22-Sep-17
Will 22-Sep-17
GF 22-Sep-17
Nimrod90 22-Sep-17
IdyllwildArcher 22-Sep-17
GF 22-Sep-17
Thornton 22-Sep-17
TD 23-Sep-17
Thornton 23-Sep-17
Thornton 23-Sep-17
Shawn 23-Sep-17
Tracker 23-Sep-17
SNYPER31 23-Sep-17
Ambush 23-Sep-17
SNYPER31 23-Sep-17
tonyo6302 23-Sep-17
JusPassin 23-Sep-17
Shawn 23-Sep-17
IdyllwildArcher 23-Sep-17
Jeff Durnell 23-Sep-17
Jeff Durnell 23-Sep-17
deerhunter72 23-Sep-17
Shawn 23-Sep-17
Zbone 23-Sep-17
Hackbow 23-Sep-17
Owl 24-Sep-17
tonyo6302 24-Sep-17
TRADSTYK 24-Sep-17
Owl 24-Sep-17
Salagi 24-Sep-17
Thornton 24-Sep-17
elk yinzer 25-Sep-17
Fuzzy 25-Sep-17
Shawn 25-Sep-17
buc i 313 25-Sep-17
LKH 25-Sep-17
Jack Harris 25-Sep-17
GF 25-Sep-17
WV Mountaineer 25-Sep-17
gobbler 25-Sep-17
Bou'bound 25-Sep-17
KJC 25-Sep-17
GF 25-Sep-17
Shawn 25-Sep-17
t-roy 25-Sep-17
Thornton 26-Sep-17
IdyllwildArcher 26-Sep-17
IdyllwildArcher 26-Sep-17
TD 26-Sep-17
T Mac 26-Sep-17
Thumper-tx 26-Sep-17
Salagi 26-Sep-17
stick n string 26-Sep-17
drycreek 26-Sep-17
stick n string 26-Sep-17
Salagi 26-Sep-17
GF 26-Sep-17
Zbone 26-Sep-17
Spookinelk 27-Sep-17
Catscratch 27-Sep-17
scentman 27-Sep-17
Rut Nut 27-Sep-17
deerhunter72 27-Sep-17
Rut Nut 28-Sep-17
Sage Buffalo 28-Sep-17
Rut Nut 28-Sep-17
Thornton 29-Sep-17
Fuzzy 29-Sep-17
Thornton 30-Sep-17
MichaelArnette 30-Sep-17
GF 30-Sep-17
Salagi 30-Sep-17
Canuck 30-Sep-17
Sage Buffalo 30-Sep-17
midwest 30-Sep-17
Fuzzy 02-Oct-17
From: Pope125
20-Sep-17
There is a thread on another web-site's forum seems there are more than I thought that shoot fawns with spots . I have hunted over 42 years and never killed one. Was wondering everyone's thought's on this ?

From: greg simon
20-Sep-17
I personally choose not to shoot young of the year. More meat on a year old deer. Spots would have no bearing on my decision though by one year old they are almost universally absent.

20-Sep-17
It's a return versus input issue for me. I've never killed one with spots because by season our fawns have lost their spots. But, I'll try and let a yearling walk if I still have meat. If I don't, I'll shoot. God Bless

From: t-roy
20-Sep-17
Never have seen one during the season. Our season starts October 1st.

I would have to pass even if I did see one. Just a personal choice.

From: Brotsky
20-Sep-17
Pick a spot....

From: Pintail
20-Sep-17
Why would anyone want to burn a tag on something that would provide enough meat for three sub sandwiches?

From: Ace
20-Sep-17
It's illegal to shoot Spotted Fawns in CT. Once they molt and lose their "visible spots" they are fair game. This was the subject of some controversy a few years back as an Animal Rights group challenged the state, saying fawns were being shot during the hunting season since hunters could not tell a fawn deer from an adult. Ended up defining a Fawn as a deer with visible spots. After that they are defined as 'Young of The Year'.

From: APauls
20-Sep-17
In Manitoba our fawns have as much meat as a grown southern US deer and they are FINE eating. Done it many times and want to do it again! You simply can't beat that meat!

From: PECO
20-Sep-17
I have not shot a fawn in spots. I have shot 2 button bucks. I have since been very careful looking at small deer to avoid doing it again.

From: 12yards
20-Sep-17
Honestly I've shot several fawns. There was a time when an adult deer and a fawn was about right for my family's meat needs. Now I try to get at least 2 adults. I've never shot one with spots though and never would. In MN later in the year fawns are not that small. Some can be 70-80 pounds.

From: Fulldraw1972
20-Sep-17
I have never shot a fawn with spots. I have shot a few button bucks. I also regretted doing it after I did it. I know the meat is tender however I would rather get more then 3 sub sandwiches worth.

From: HerdManager
20-Sep-17
They are like veal! If you've never eaten one you are missing out.

From: Fuzzy
20-Sep-17
it's easier to pick a spot, when there are plenty of spots.

From: Fuzzy
20-Sep-17
pintail, the answer to your "economic" question: 1) a fawn in October in Va weighs 50-70#, yields 20-30# meat. Meat is worth $3-$12/pound. Bonus Tags are two for $23. I can buy as many as I can use. Good return on the investment.

20-Sep-17
I have shot one during our urban management hunt that starts in Sept. It was way easier dragging her to the truck. Years ago I had a bad experience shooting a doe that I was unaware had fawns. As I was tending to the doe, the fawns came up to me wondering what I was doing to their mother. I tried to shoo them off but it wasn't happening. They followed me all the way to the truck. It was not a fun hunting experience.

20-Sep-17
I would add that the spots were barely discernible but were there.

From: bdfrd24v
20-Sep-17
I could not pull the trigger on something with spots. I also won't shoot a doe with fawns with her. I know the fawns would likely be fine at that point but I just don't/cant do it.

That said the neighbors boy got his first deer last year (a button buck) I helped him with everything as his family doesn't hunt. By far and away some of the best table fair I've had from a deer.

From: swampokie
20-Sep-17
I like to wait till January to get my veal. Out of the doe I kill! If ur lucky there could even be three of em in there! Just kidding. I've been trying to arrow a fawn for years with no luck. They are much harder to hit than a big ole buck. Small target and more challenging.

20-Sep-17
In an area with a high deer density and a population that needs controlled, I shoot the first doe that gives me a shot every year. Doesn't matter her age or coat color. I hold the camp record for the smallest and heaviest deer if that means anything. :)

20-Sep-17
It does not matter much what deer you take from the biological standpoint. Emotion gets in the way of reason. Why would you guys take a big breeder buck?

From: deerhunter72
20-Sep-17
I don't think I e ever shot one with spots, but fawns have the best meat by far.

From: Ollie
20-Sep-17
I don't shoot fawns that still have their spots. I don't shoot fawns although I have accidentally shot a few in the late season here in the Midwest where fawns are getting the size of a yearling doe at that time. I also don't shoot does that still have small fawns with them. I don't need the deer meat that bad.

From: Bowfreak
20-Sep-17
Shoot whatever you want and is legal. There is nothing that keeps me from shooting a fawn over any other deer other than the fact it is small and yields small amounts of meat. I have shot a few of them but don't really care to put the effort into butchering them for the return now.

From: dmann
20-Sep-17
Shot one once, spots were faint. It was still light enough to shoot but dark enough I didn't see spots, and didn't see a doe come in with it.

From: Lee
20-Sep-17
I'll shoot them in January after they are pretty good sized. Won't shoot a doe with spotted fawns.

Lee

From: APauls
20-Sep-17
I give away a lot of meat to friends and family but NOBODY gets my fawn meat :)

From: 8point
20-Sep-17

8point's embedded Photo
8point's embedded Photo
How much meat on a spotted fawn? Here's one next to a young buck a bit over 5 weeks from the beginning of bow season.

From: Owl
20-Sep-17
No one ever asks if it's ethical to keep small fish or kill young rabbits/ squirrels.

From: SNYPER31
20-Sep-17
i have 36 tags in my pocket for Virginia. 33 of those are for antlerless deer. with that being said, i wont shoot one until after christmas. we have a 8 month season in the counties where i hunt

From: Joey Ward
20-Sep-17
I'd shoot a deer egg, if it rolled by.

From: JTV
20-Sep-17
Never, would I kill one ... I'm never that hard up to kill a baby deer, buck(button) or fawn .... Must be a real macho guy to kill a baby deer like that and then runs thru the woods pounding on his chest afterwards yelling like Tarzan .. .... SMH ...

From: BigOk
20-Sep-17
Everyone is different with what deer. they choose to fill a tag with. It is their decision and only their decision to make.

From: Mad_Angler
20-Sep-17
I try not to shoot small ones. They are almost as much work as a big one but give much less meat.

I have killed several button bucks. By December/January, they are about the same size as an adult doe.

From: ahunter55
20-Sep-17

ahunter55's embedded Photo
ahunter55's embedded Photo
Fawns July 1st.

From: ahunter55
20-Sep-17

ahunter55's embedded Photo
ahunter55's embedded Photo
fawns Nov 1st

From: Kodiak
20-Sep-17
No, I don't shoot fawns. I root for them to make it to adulthood.

All young critters get a pass from me.

From: Hackbow
20-Sep-17
Shot one once, but didn't notice the spots until I walked up on it. Knew it was a baby deer though. I got about 15# of tasty meat to add to my son's 40# from his doe. Only time one of my sons and I doubled up on a bowhunt. We were happy and ate extremely well on 55# of first class protein acquired on an out of state hunt with limited time and sightings. Please forgive me for not creating and/or responding to an emotional reason not to kill a legal animal.

JTV - do you think you're "macho" when you shoot a mature deer and run through the woods pounding your chest afterward yelling like Tarzan? Do you think you can put together a list of acceptable deer to shoot in a variety of situations and the corresponding, appropriate, post-kill behaviors, and then post it? I'm sure we would all benefit greatly. Thanks in advance!

From: Bowriter
20-Sep-17
I'll keep it simple. I don't but don't care if anyone else does. Dead is dead, no matter if six months or six years, still dead.

From: JTV
20-Sep-17
Hackbow, stepped on your toes did I .... When I kill an ADULT deer, I do a silent prayer, dont whoop, dont yell, dont say nor even think "I smoked 'em" ...... yea, takes a real big guy to kill a spotted fawn... really macho .... smh ..

From: Scar Finga
20-Sep-17
AAAAAnd the mine is bigger than yours B.S. begins:/

Do what's legal and makes you happy, I don't shoot yearlings anymore, but there was a time I probably would have. I do get pretty excited though, I might even let out a little YES!!! or WoooHoooo. Oh Well, I guess I am just not that worried about being macho.

From: JTV
20-Sep-17
Just because something is legal, dosnt mean one should ....

From: Sage Buffalo
20-Sep-17
When I have a lot of tags in my pocket I take at least one (fawn) a season. Obviously if you only have 1 tag then it's not a great option.

To those questioning why anyone would shoot one? It's unquestionably the finest venison you will eat. While true you don't get a ton of meat the meat you do get I would trade an entire 4 yo elk. That's how good it is.

For those of us who are pseudo-chefs quality of meat is as important of size of animal. I always have one tag for a giant buck but the rest is about putting high quality venison in freezer.

Last year my daughter and I killed 13 delicious deer with half of those being 2 1/2 yo or younger. We did kill a GIANT doe that dresses over 150 lbs (which became burger and canned venison). Obviously shot a couple nice bucks (burger/roasts).

I am cool if you don't want to shoot one but as far as table fare a fawn or piglet are hard to beat!

From: APauls
20-Sep-17
Ha ha JTV makes me laugh. Why in the world would you even bring macho or bravado into the equation?

Besides the animal being "cuter" what moral reason is there NOT to shoot a fawn? If you can morally shoot a deer how does the age matter? Either they are animals and animals are different than humans, or they're not. At what age is killing a deer acceptable to you? Is it because the majority of winter kill are fawns, and you'd rather see them starve in the snow? Really, now it's my turn to "SMH" (I admit I had to look that up on google to see what it means lol)

I would like one single moral or ethical reason against shooting a fawn. When animal populations are low, I don't fill any antlerless tags, fawns or otherwise. When I've taken the odd fawn, it's not because it's "easier" for some reason, it's because I am filling an antlerless tag for meat, and they are literally the best deer meat out there. If the animal being young somehow makes it difficult for you to do that's fine, but don't tell other people that it somehow isn't "right." What a joke. Either it is "right" to kill deer or it isn't. I can't see age structure playing any part. And if you are all about the herds, your choices are to kill a mature doe that is already contributing positively to deer herds, or a fawn doe or button buck. Both fawn doe and button buck are more likely to die over the winter than mature doe, and therefore your kill is more likely to be inconsequential, or the button buck essentially hardly matters population wise, or a young doe whom like I said has a greater chance of dying anyways. Anyways, getting way off topic besides the Disney reason not to kill a young animal.

From: Kodiak
20-Sep-17
You're a big meanie.

From: deerhunter72
20-Sep-17
I don't know what "SMH" means either and I'm not going to bother looking it up. A legal deer is a legal deer. I've killed many fawns, though as I already said none with spots, and while maybe not as thrilling as a mature big buck the respect for the animal is still there. I know when I go out hunting with my dad that if he has a fawn get in range it's lights out. He will shoot the fawn over the doe 99% of the time. Why? Because it's easier to drag and it tastes better, case closed.

From: Hackbow
20-Sep-17
"Hackbow, stepped on your toes did I..." - Sorry to disappoint you, JTV, but you didn't. But your machismo must have gotten in the way of your ability to see the sarcasm. You were the one that accused people of celebrating when not a single poster indicated they had done that.

Reading through the thread, almost no one cares what others shoot except you. Other than Bambi-driven emotions, can you explain any scientific, biological or herd management reason as to why fawns should not be killed? There are valid reasons why they should be killed, especially if you want herd numbers to rise.

From: Tracker
20-Sep-17
I shoot most of my meat deer in dec and Jan. I always target first year deer. Meat is just better. We have way more deer than we can support in the urban areas I hunt and we have unlimited doe tags.

From: T Mac
20-Sep-17
Living in a deer rich environment where my township has earn a buck tag for every 2 does killed on town land I will gladly shoot fawns first as they are easier to drag and are tender succulent milk fed venison.

From: Trial153
20-Sep-17
No milk suckers for me.

20-Sep-17
Just finished David Peterson's book and he advocates for taking fawns/calves. The logic behind it is that between predation and winter kill, many of these animals don't make it to their 1st birthday so you're not taking a successful breeding animal out of the herd in many cases. Plus, the meat is much better. Think about it: all the beef that are slaughtered in this country for meat are 1-2 years old...hogs are even younger. That's the normal time to eat an animal. You're not doing the herd or your mouth any favors killing a 4 or 5 year old animal and sparing the 6 month old.

20-Sep-17
I attended a seminar at a wild game supper couple years ago here in Pennsylvania and the wildlife biologist at the speaking had a saying "a family that kills fawns together stays together". Obviously he's not saying just shoot just fawns but it was just a saying to help explain what he believes I guess. He's actually a member here on Bowsite and may chime in. He had given his reason for having that sentiment and though it's not for me, I couldn't disagree with what he said and I am firmly in the camp of it isn't for me, but to each his own. I love the year and a half old does at the beginning of archery season because around here they generally don't have fawns with them and those are the ones I like to shoot early if I have the chance. Just me though

From: buckhammer
20-Sep-17
If you want to kill a fawn have at it. But you will not be hunting with me, I will not be hunting with you and it will never happen on my property.

From: M.Pauls
20-Sep-17
Why? Like my bro mentioned, once you've decided killing deer is a natural thing for where we are at in the food chain, the only possible way I can see someone having a real 'issue' with the matter is due to the Walt Disney effect

From: TD
20-Sep-17

TD's embedded Photo
TD's embedded Photo
Actually all my deer have spots....... heheheheh.....

With no season and no limit, I've dropped the string on a good many young deer, we call em "blue bone". I set out every hunt with a goal. Some days the goal is a good buck. Other days when we want some meat, freezer is low, someone has a party coming up..... I shoot some meat. That's all it is. I try not to look for the oldest nastiest animal in the herd. Young axis deer are great eating. Too young and they are a bit more like veal, very tender but lack a bit in flavor. But tasty enough. I'll stack em one after the other if I'm on a meat hunt. Easy to deal with and..... did I mention they are great eating?

One rancher who lets us hunt several of his properties wants us to kill deer, all we can. They bust up his fences, water, etc and eat feed that his cattle could eat. He scolds us if we are only shooting bucks. His famous motto is "Here it's Titanic Rules..... women and children first!" Our hunting there has a purpose. A mission.

WRT young animals..... we had dairy cows when I was growing up. To make milk they have to have calves, also known as veal. They changed the name for marketing.... seems city people won't buy a package of Baby Cow.....Newborn calves can't even take the cows milk, too rich, have to buy formula for them. They are either butchered or sold pretty fast. Nearly all the bull calves are butchered. Some cow calves are saved or sold for stock. Some. On a farm..... you don't name babies.... you could be killing them and eating them soon enough.

Reading some of this..... I'm not sure how many folks would fare on real life farms.

From: Trial153
20-Sep-17
We aren't ranching nor are we farming we are hunting and quite frankly the comparisons between them are assaine.

From: Bowriter
20-Sep-17
As any biologist will tell you, the most expensive deer on your property is a doe fawn. Now that does not mean in terms of money but in terms of production. If you don't understand that, keep thinking. Most biologists will also tell you, the killing of any, regardless of age, size or sex, is not a matter of machismo. It is simply a matter of choice...choice of the hunter. Where legal, we are all allowed to shoot whatever we want. Therefore, it is no one else's business.

Kind of like marrying an ugly woman. I know some men who did that on purpose. None of my business.

From: Shawn
20-Sep-17
I always shoot doe fawns. Where I hunt they will go around 70# or so on the hoof. They have lost their spots and I hate killing 3 deer with one arrow, because where I live if you shoot a 2.5 yr old doe she would of had 2 fawns in the spring. I am not ashamed to admit I have probably 40 plus doe fawns over the years. I get a kick out of guys saying " man hardly seeing any deer the past few years where I hunt" Then the next week they post "I killed a huge cow doe this afternoon", come on!!! They eat good, easy to kill and drag easy. I am fine with that. Shawn

From: T Mac
20-Sep-17
Keep the breeders around for the rut.

From: deerslayer
20-Sep-17
Never shot one with spots, but I sure do like shooting their moms! More meat, and one less slick head to stomp and blow at me.

From: Catscratch
20-Sep-17
Lol. This kind of reminds me of my wife... a rat runs across the yard and she's all: Kill, kill, kill!!! Put a bushy tail on it and watch it climb a tree and she's like: aww, don't kill the cute little squirrel. Depending on management goals killing a fawn might make more sense than killing a 3.5yr old buck most yrs. To each their own though, shoot what you want. I really don't care what anyone shoots. If I want a fawn for table fair it would be no big deal for me on personal level to shoot one. Just like the doves I shoot, I never look to see if they are this yr's hatch or not. If I like the shot I take it.

From: spike78
20-Sep-17
Curious how you guys feel about sow bear with cubs or second season cubs?

From: Jeff Durnell
20-Sep-17
Babies are killed and eaten in nature every day, 24/7/365 by the millions. There's no remorse in the natural hunter or self-pity in its prey.

Walt Disney got to you guys :^)

From: Thornton
20-Sep-17
I would never shoot s fawn with spots nor do I shoot does with fawns. It must be something to do with me giving everything a fair chance or the fact that shooting a fawn equates to shooting a barn yard animal. There's absolutely no sport whatsoever in it.

20-Sep-17
Thorton, some people kill animals for food, not for sport and sport has nothing to do with it - and that's still hunting. Some people are trophy hunters and meat hunters and can appreciate the dedication it takes to kill a mature buck, but also enjoy filling the freezer with quality game meat and that's still hunting. And there's often zero "sport" in the animal that happens to walk past your stand. We often kid ourselves it's anything other than a good choice and blind luck, whether it be a big buck or a 4 month old fawn.

Jeff Durnell +1

"We aren't ranching nor are we farming we are hunting and quite frankly the comparisons between them are assaine."

They are not asinine. In all three examples, the primary objective is the procurement of food. The bleeding-heart for the baby is nothing more than anthropomorphizing human culture onto that of deer. My urge to "save the women and the children first" ends with humans. I'm unashamed to kill and eat baby deer just like I'll put my boot heel to a nest of mice and feel zero remorse.

I'll never understand the squeamishness of killing one animal and then happiness upon killing another.

20-Sep-17
Ike, You take all the fun out of debate.

20-Sep-17
Lol

From: Shawn
20-Sep-17
Thornton do you bait deer? Guys do and they call that hunting. Kill what ya want but don't make it sound like a crime to kill young deer. Shawn

From: ahunter55
20-Sep-17

ahunter55's embedded Photo
ahunter55's embedded Photo
TD, I got a couple of those big spotted critters. 1 Axis, 2 Fallows

From: GF
20-Sep-17
"I would never shoot s fawn with spots nor do I shoot does with fawns. It must be something to do with me giving everything a fair chance or the fact that shooting a fawn equates to shooting a barn yard animal. There's absolutely no sport whatsoever in it."

Nope, nothing at all like sitting in a tree, over a feeder, on a tightly controlled piece of private property with an artificially high density where you can plunk a 4.5 year-old "monster" that has been passed over by so many shooters, so many times, that it has all but lost any natural wariness around humans.

FWIW... if deer numbers are low and you've got one tag, take a fawn if you can. If you've got too many deer around, take a doe with twins - as many as you can.

Hunting, for me, has less than nothing to do with impressing ANYBODY; I hunt to please myself. I'm sure I'll get a load o' crap for saying that, but if you don't feel that way, what are you trying to prove?

And FWIW, my first deer was a northern MN button buck taken in November. Dressed out at #90. They're a lot smaller out here, and as somebody said, spots are illegal, but you can shoot the same animal a week later when the winter coat comes in. I haven't taken one in almost 20 years now, but boy, are those little buggers TASTY!!!

From: Trial153
20-Sep-17
They are not asinine. In all three examples, the primary objective is the procurement of food. The bleeding-heart for the baby is nothing more than anthropomorphizing human culture onto that of deer. My urge to "save the women and the children first" ends with humans. I'm unashamed to kill and eat baby deer just like I'll put my boot heel to a nest of mice and feel zero remorse.

The procurement of food has to have a postive net caloric intake. Sentimentality has no bearing on it. Ranchers and farmers aim to produce the most product with the least amount of expenditure in energy and resources. There is an entire set of differnt variables that go into that equation that has no bearing on hunting.

We are not talking about substance situations and in almost all cases a modern hunter is better served by a day of gainful employment vs shooting a fawn for food. If you want to argue the biological merits of the death of one age/sex vs the other knock yourself out as its an entirely different discussion.

The staw argument of sentimentality you used is laughable. Let me ask you why aren't consuming that nest of mice? Simple it's not palatable to you in your current situation. The same way it may not be palatable for someone else to expend their time and engery to kill a fawn with its minimal yield.

From: GF
21-Sep-17
Trial -

The sentimentality aspect is not just a straw argument. A good number of posters on this thread clearly rate "Fawn Killers" just maybe half a notch above child molesters, just as calling someone a "Doe Shooter" was a pretty strong insult at one time.

The completely bogus argument here is the suggestion that there is any such thing as "Right" or "Wrong" to it; if it's consistent with the management objectives, it will be legal, and that's that.

From: Matt
21-Sep-17
"Must be a real macho guy to kill a baby deer like that and then runs thru the woods pounding on his chest afterwards yelling like Tarzan .. .... SMH ... "

Wayne Pacelle, is that you? Seriously, give you head a shake. Maybe two...

From: TD
21-Sep-17
If my goal is meat..... exactly why am I to pass on a nice young blue bone? It's too young? It's the perfect animal for eating, certainly better than some big headed ol crone of a doe. I'm feeding my family, just like it was from my garden. Clean ORGANIC protein. If no one has noticed, veggies gone to seed are not the best to eat.

Why would anyone SEPARATE taking young beef/dairy and taking young deer???? What logic is used for that? What logical argument says one is a more precious life to take to feed a family than the other? Easy.... logic doesn't enter into it if management goals support it, only feelings..... it's the anthropomorphism of animals.... watching too much bambi........

If one doesn't want to partake of the cornucopia of life.... I have no problem with that. Personal decision. Not a problem, It's what folks are raised with, supermarkets and get a job and pay for your packaged meat and veggies.

I do take exception when the food and feeding your family aspect of hunting is looked down on, mocked even. It's the most basic human interest and instinct of hunting. Boiled down, it is the essence of hunting.... and in fact anything else is the application a trophy priority for personal pride and goals or some urban human/societal first world constraint.

Not that I have anything against a trophy priority either...... =D

From: Arrowhead
21-Sep-17
Illegal to shoot a spotted fawn in Alabama.

From: Bou'bound
21-Sep-17
Not necessary

From: Bowriter
21-Sep-17
Seems some get it, a few don't. Idylwild, pretty well nailed it and anyone who, in this day and time, does not equate deer hunting with ranching or any animal raising venture isn't paying attention. All hunters, today, are herd managers. Some are good ones, some don't have a clue. Pretty much sums up life.

From: Fuzzy
21-Sep-17
the farm I hunt on pulls 20+/- antlerless damage tags a year. The ones I and others don't fill, they head shoot with 5.56 and drag into the cedars (to rot). Spots or not.

I'll eat what I can handle.

From: t-roy
21-Sep-17
Fuzzy,

I'm curious about the deer that are shot and dragged into the cedars. First, is that legal? (Wanton waste laws) In iowa, farmers can get depredation tags if the deer damage to their crops is bad enough. They can just shoot them & leave them lay (I believe). Was wondering if it's the same there. Second, could those deer be donated food pantries? HUSH program here in Iowa takes donated deer to participating lockers to process, then meat is donated to homeless shelters, etc. Hunters are charged an additional $1-$2 on the tags, and that funds the program.

Also, I could care less if anyone shoots a fawn with spots. I save my antlerless tags for the loudmouth mature does that can't seem to keep their big mouths (or nostrils) shut. About the only time I ever run around pounding on my chest, yelling like Tarzan, is after shooting one of those bitches!

From: SNYPER31
21-Sep-17
T ROY--I OVER HEARD A local butcher here in Virginia take a phone call from a landowner that shot 40 deer one night. he could of donated to the hunters for the hungry program but the butcher charges a $20 fee per deer to process a donated deer. the landowner yelled at him and said "well, what am i going to do with all these deer?" the landowner(i believe this was at a vinyard) ended up bury them all. the processor cant afford to process 40 deer and lose money .

From: HockeyDad
21-Sep-17
Well, never shot a spotted fawn myself, but I have probably shot a few non-spotted ones in the later part of the season when I lived in the south. But, I did learn that some hunters carry around a can of brown spray paint an a towel when they hunt... Covers the spots and lets them wipe the milk off the lips before they drag them out of the woods so people don't get offended....

From: tonyo6302
21-Sep-17
Hunters for the Hungry, here in Virginia, pay the butcher fees.

You donate the deer, it does not cost you a thing.

H4H, and American Indians, are the only groups allowed by state law to exchange money for deer parts.

It is even illegal for a hunter to give a deer to someone, and that someone pay for the processing. Only H4H is allowed to do that by state law.

- just for the record.

Tony

From: t-roy
21-Sep-17
Its silly not to be able to give a legally tagged deer to some one else and let them take care of the processing. I could see where it could possibly open a can of worms, but there's always a "worst case scenario" for every situation.

From: Wildarea26
21-Sep-17
JTV X2

From: Fuzzy
21-Sep-17
t-roy, SNYPER1 answered your question. Va doesn't have a "wanton waste " law, but even if we had, DCAP programs (crop Damage permits) would be exempted. As Tony says, H4H is a great program but is funded solely through donations. It's my charity of choice, I donate money but not deer because that's what they need most. The farmers I know try their best to get hunters to take deer and use the meat, but most hunters will sit and watch deer all day waiting for a "decent" rack. In my opinion that's disrespectful to the landowner who has graciously given permission on the understanding that it's a partnership, the landowner allows the hunter to use their land in return for deer herd reduction/control, the hunter should respect that and remove some does and fawns. It rarely happens that way. The landowner ends up having to still allocate time, fuel, and ammunition to deer removal. In my opinion it's bad PR for hunters.

21-Sep-17
I pity the fool who shoots a spotted fawn right after being disrespectful to some of your women;)

You talking to me?

21-Sep-17
Trial, in my previous post, I did make the point for killing one age class over another. And the meat is better quality on a young animal than an old one. The latter reason is good enough for me to take a young animal.

As far as hunting for meat - there are a lot of people in this country that still do it and don't see a lick of difference between something with big antlers, little antlers, or no antlers. The rest of us hunt for the sake of hunting or for the sake of hunting AND the meat. If you're hunting for the sake of hunting, then the meat factor isn't going to play nearly as much of a role in your decision and I can understand that hunter passing fawns and waiting on a buck. But for the rest of us who hunt for meat, experience, the chase, meat, or a combination of all those reasons, a young deer can be a meaningful and satisfying hunt even if it means nothing to the trophy hunter.

And perhaps passing on fawns has nothing to do with sentimentality in your case. But it does with at least a few on this board and many hunters look down on "baby killers," when there's nothing wrong with killing a fawn so long as it's legal, just as there's nothing wrong with killing a mature buck so long as it is also legal. A pure trophy hunter who cares little for game meat is not going to appreciate fawn meat.

In my case, I have no desire to eat chicken or beef and hardly eat any pork anymore - preferring game meat (killed by myself), of which I eat about 250 lbs per year on my own, not counting my family. Yes, I do trophy hunt and prefer to shoot large, mature animals. But the bulk of what I kill are 0.5-1.5 year old animals. Partly because they're the easiest to kill, partly because I'm a meat hunter and want to fill the freezer and younger meat is just flat-out better.

And I hunt for my meat for my reasons. I'm not going to go work an extra day and use the money to buy store bought meat or even pen raised game meat. It's not just the meat procurement; it's the prep, the hunt, the processing, the enjoying the fruits of one's labor, etc. In fact, even though I trophy hunt myself, I feel bad for folks for whom that's their only motivation to hunt because, IMO, they're missing out on a very fulfilling aspect of the hunt. In fact, the entire reason the desire to hunt is ingrained in our DNA is because we're driven to chase and acquire food. Our brains reward us with pleasure for life-sustaining activities and that is why so many people still hunt and fish today, even though many don't enjoy the "food" involved in the process.

I think what it comes down to is people not understanding why others hunt. There's a lot of reasons and most people have varying levels of those reasons being important to them. If you're the kind of hunter who really only wants to kill that mature buck, perhaps you don't understand that many hunters gain the same level of satisfaction killing a young animal that you would killing a mature animal.

From: drycreek
21-Sep-17
As Bowriter said, dead is dead. Six months or six years doesn't make any difference. I've never killed a fawn with spots, but I have killed fawns in the late season that were only eight months or so. Either way, they ain't here any more ! And any of you who have killed adult does in late season, as I have many times, also killed one or two fetuses. How are you gonna get around that ? It's all hunting, and we don't all do it the same way.

From: GF
21-Sep-17
Nice post, Ike!

By the way....

Let's say that you live where the herd is too big and the hunting is easy, and so the limiting factor on how many deer you can kill in a year really comes down to how much meat you can eat.

Why would you kill anything other than doe fawns and - if you like big antlers - bucks that are just past their prime?

From: tonyo6302
21-Sep-17
I qualified and hunted with Suburban Whitetail Management of Northern Virginia for three years, over a decade ago. I dropped out only because of the traffic on I-95. It became a real pain getting to and from the "Kill Permit" properties assigned to me in Fairfax and Prince William Counties. We hunted on Kill Permits all year. You only used your own tags on any Bucks you killed

.. ..

.. ..

I learned via experience, and from senior members, that during spring and summer, if you could kill the Mama Doe, then you also had a few days opportunity to kill her spotted fawns, as they would hang around the area where they last saw Mama for a few days. So we concentrated on the big Does first, if possible.

The other spotted fawns were loners. Usually due to Mama becoming a road kill. Last time I heard, there were over 4000 deer-car collisions in Fairfax County alone per year. The orphan fawns were really really easier to kill, as they did not have many of Mama's lessons taught to them.

And the Landowners absolutely HATED deer. All the properties that I had assigned to me, there had been cases of Lymes disease in both humans and pets. Not to mention the decimation of landscaping due to over population of deer.

So, back then, when hunting on kill permits, I had no qualms about killing a spotted fawn. Now, by the time Archery Deer season gets to the Old Dominion, most fawns have lost their spots.

But I will affirm, that a spotted fawn is very tender, even the lower leg meat seems to have less sinew. Yes, I would still shoot one if possible.

From: tonyo6302
21-Sep-17

tonyo6302's embedded Photo
tonyo6302's embedded Photo
I forgot to mention, that the properties assigned to me were Wealthy Families. Their properties were 5 to 15 acres, and their homes were HUGE !!!

They were always very nice to me. Even their teenage kids, that would sometimes be getting off the school bus as I was getting my bow and climber out of the truck, were very very respectful of me. They always would greet me with a "How are you Mr. Oliver?", and a "I hope you get one."

I thought to myself, so much for the TV stereotypical snotty nosed bad manners rich kid.

From: Thornton
21-Sep-17
Shawn- I do not bait deer and I do not shoot deer as dumb as a golden retriever. If you are supporting this, stop all your complaining of not having any big bucks in NY.

From: Fuzzy
22-Sep-17
Thornton, your post about shooting a baryard animal sums it up. I grew up in a barnyard, I grew up eating barnyard animals, I've shot literally hundreds (probably well over a thousand) barnyard animals, chickens, turkeys, guinea fowl, pigs, beeves, pigeons, doves, deer and rabbits. I have zero problem shooting a barnyard animal.

From: Shawn
22-Sep-17
Thornton, just supprting hunting. Hunt how you want and kill what ya want as long as it is legal. I have never shot a spotted fawn, but I have shot a ton of doe fawns. The reason is I like deer meat and I hate killing 3 deer at a time and that is what guys do when they shoot an adult doe!!

From: TRADSTYK
22-Sep-17
There is not enough meat on those little fawns to even consider shooting one. I can't really believe so many do it on a regular basis. I hunt Ohio and I know of noone who would be that desperate to kill something. To each his own I reckon.

From: Will
22-Sep-17
Tonyo did you get that deer mounted on the wall

From: GF
22-Sep-17
I love how it is assumed that you must be "desperate to kill something" to take a fawn.

"Not enough meat"... guess you guys never hunt small game or birds, either?

Time was, you got 1 tag a year, so then, yeah, I can see holding out for something beefier - and I did, on several occasions. Just depends on the management objectives.

Just remember: Statistically speaking, taking a fawn removes 0.5 deer from the population (in the following Spring). Taking a buck removes 1. Taking a mature doe - as Shawn said - takes out about 3.

I guess you've gotta be really desperate to kill something to be willing to wipe out that many deer on a single tag....

From: Nimrod90
22-Sep-17
I'D love to shoot one that looked like the spotted one TD got ! I've never even entertained the thought of shooting a spotted fawn, although I wouldn't fault somebody else who did, to each his own.

22-Sep-17
There's a fair amount of meat on a 6 month old fawn. Much more than a pheasant.

From: GF
22-Sep-17
But it'd probably take you twice as long to chew the pheasant...

Juuuust sayin!

From: Thornton
22-Sep-17
Some guys litterally are terrible hunters regardless if it's legal or not. It's legal to buy and smoke pot in certain states but I and many other ethical people don't do it. The guy above must be real proud for having to shoot a fawn using a fawn decoy. Pathetic is the only word that comes to mind right now.

From: TD
23-Sep-17
Cool.... gone from "asinine" to "pathetic"...... how about "get off my lawn!" LOL! Too good...

Do you know what urban management programs are for???? Never mind..... not gonna happen. I don't mind talking over someones head..... hate it when they duck though........

As I said... I have a goal every time I step in the field..... the goal is to kill something. Every. Time. The standards to meet that goal vary.... sometimes we are targeting a nice buck, other times we are looking for something good to eat. Young animals are the best eating..... But the goal is to kill something. Every. Time.

If you only have one tag..... or you have low numbers to hunt, maybe just don't care to eat game or have some affliction to dealing with killing something or dealing with dead animals.... I don't know. Whatever your reasons are, I'm fine with it. Do your thing. The name calling for those who aren't bound by any of those..... constrictions...... that I have an issue with.

Some have lost their way of what hunting really is and what it has always been about. Food. The quest for antlers, horns, etc. is a pretty recent trend and far away from the norm of what hunting has been for thousands of years...... as Ike said..... that is the basis for that rush and excitement and drive to hunt. It's hard wired into your brain. To kill something to feed your family. NOT to look at any other hunters and declare it was "too easy" or they shouldn't have killed THAT ONE and berate them. They set their standards but feel they set them for everyone.... and anyone who don't hold the same standards are to be called names and scolded because it makes the one scolding feel superior...... ppffffft....

NOBODY said ANYTHING about how great a challenge it would be, just that they taste good. And the only chest thumpers I've seen on this thread are the ones who see themselves too good to consider the food aspect. Or they are too cute or whatever. Like I said.... some aren't gonna make it on the farm....... they'd rather have someone else do their dirty work for them....

From: Thornton
23-Sep-17
This way of thinking came around long before you or I even heard of trophy hunting. I've always admired the way old ranchers evaluate a "big buck, or a good deer", much the way they value well built livestock. In an era where there are plenty of grown deer and nobody is starving, it is pointless to shoot a fawn and then brag about it. Typical hunters go through stages. The stage of killing. something. Every. Time. is the stage most immature teenagers are in. I'm sorry you don't have patience, or the maturity to allow a fawn grown up to its intended stature. This would also explain why you probably kill very few big bucks.

From: Thornton
23-Sep-17
Fuzzy- I'm sorry you failed to connect the dots. I referred to "barnyard animals" to make the point that fawns have the same mentality. If you are going to hunt something, make it an animal that has the potential of outsmarting you, otherwise go knock off a chicken in the barnyard.

From: Shawn
23-Sep-17
Thornton, I kill and have killed plenty of mature bucks. As I said you do what you want and I will do what I want. I do not want to shoot old mature does and I don't very often. I enjoy the young tender meat. So let me ask you this? Do you eat veal or lamb chops?? Come on, get real! Folks have been killing and eating baby animals forever. I love a good veal parm and so do a lot of folks who don't even hunt. Shawn

From: Tracker
23-Sep-17
I try to outsmart my old bucks. When I am after table fare it's a young deer. I fully understand the challenge issue you are trying to make but it does not apply in my situation.

From: SNYPER31
23-Sep-17
im here to defend Tony. some of you dont get it(at all). the reason he shoots fawns is because his organization requires the participants to shoot every antlerless deer. these urban hunts are not for trophy only. the agreement is to reduce the herd-period. some of you Ohio tools are real db's.

From: Ambush
23-Sep-17
Everybody has a reason that they hunt. Something that makes them go to the woods with weapon in hand. Something that makes them spend the time and resources to accomplish their goal.

The key word is "THEIR". Not me, not you, but "their". And only "they" can decide what fullfills "their" desire.

As soon as a hunter derides another hunter's desire or methodology, that person becomes an ally of the anti's

And that IS pathetic.

For the record, I don't shoot does or fawns, because my tags are limited and so are the deer I hunt. I think some people don't have a good understanding what tough hunting really is. If you can sit in your stand and see dozens of shootable animals per season, that's not tough hunting, and one could certainly be picky and scold others for not being so.

Or if you really DON'T care if you kill something, it's also very easy to look down on others if they do kill something not to your "standards".

But then, if you really don't care, are you really even hunting?!?

From: SNYPER31
23-Sep-17
ive been on these hunts. they are more "fun" than actual hunting.

From: tonyo6302
23-Sep-17
SNYPER31 - thanks. TD too.

.. ..

.. ..

Will, I called my Taxidermist, and asked him if he wanted the fawn skin for his studio display. He said, 'Hell YEA ! ' I stopped by on the way home, and I was in awe at the way he skinned out that fawn. He made about a six inch slit in the middle of the spine, and pulled the carcus out through that slit.

He then asked if he could have some of the meat, and I said, "Hell no ! "

Thornton, the fawn decoy is useful for decoying does, fawns, and bucks. When you rattle a buck in, it comes in with it hackles up, but when it sees the fawn, it immediately relaxes, giving you a better shot with a lower amount of string jump.

SWMNV also had a requirement that every third deer you killed, had to be donated to Hunters for the Hungry.

The upside of hunting year round is watching things in nature that you never see in the fall ( plus being able to shoot urban bucks ). For instance, I was up in a tree in June, and a flock of Black Crested Titmouse ( yes, birds ), landed on the tree in front of me. They would swoop upside down in a flash, and peck at the bugs underneath the leaves. Then right themselves, and fly off in a flock together.

I saw this wonder of nature because;

1. I was 24 foot up a tree in May, and . . .

2. I was not worried about what anyone else thought of my hunting, or what I killed, or if I thumped my chest or not.

I saw many other wonderful things of nature while up in a tree from February through July, that I have never seen before.

I could tell you about them, but you are too concerned about what I shoot and if I thump my chest, for it to be worth my while.

Good luck to you this fall, Thornton. - and Will too !

By the way, Thornton, not that it really matters, but last time I checked, I had taken one of the total of three Whitetail entries in the P & Y Record for Spotsylvania County, Virginia.

From: JusPassin
23-Sep-17
Nope,never have, never will, just never felt that desperate to fill a tag.

From: Shawn
23-Sep-17
JP why does one have to be desperate to shoot a fawn or any deer? Tough hunting, I see dozens of deer on a single sit a lot of times. I just don't get some peoples attitude towards shooting does or fawns for that matter. Shawn

23-Sep-17
Thorton, you can't see past your own reasons for hunting. You're delegitimizing other people's hunting because you don't understand it. Some meat hunters laugh at what you do, holding out for a mature animal - since they're not as good table fare. My ex-roommate's parents each shoot one deer every year and it's the first legal one to walk in front of them because they're meat hunters and they could care less about the age of the animal or its antlers. They're no less righteous as hunters than you. They just hunt for different reasons.

As far as I go, I'll kill a fawn for meat because it takes me 3-5 animals depending on their size to meet my meat requirements for the year. Last year I killed 5 deer and they're all but gone. If I held out for just mature animals, I'd run out of meat and one of my hunting goals, besides the experience/chase/satisfaction of getting a mature animal (like yourself), is filling the freezer with game meat.

You don't need or want 300+ lbs of game meat per year, which is why you have the luxury of holding out for a specific animal. Your brand of hunting is no more righteous than anyone else's - in fact, most of the non-hunting population support meat hunting and frown on your type of hunting. The entire institution of hunting started as a meat-procurement venture. Just because it's not that for you, doesn't mean it isn't for someone else and doesn't mean that their way of doing it is something to be frowned upon. The way you see the world is not the only way things work.

From: Jeff Durnell
23-Sep-17
Not enough meat on a fawn deer? Ok. How much meat is really on the biggest, oldest wild turkey you've ever killed? Rabbit? Geese? How many adult squirrels would it take to equal the amount of meat in a young deer? 40? I love me some squirrel 'n dumplin's, and never ask their age.

And for those who hunt animals other than deer(I know, gasp, right?) do you have the same sentimental attachment/aversion to eating their young of the year? Oh wait... they don't have spots, I forgot. Any idea how long it takes to bring a roaster chicken to the knife? Just weeks. Ever eat one, baby killer?

From: Jeff Durnell
23-Sep-17
And for those about to raise the challenge aspect... why hunt, with every legal advantage, mature animals during the days they're the most vulnerable and often throw as much caution to the wind as one of any age at any time? Because its physical age, alone, makes us seem, or feel, as if we've met a greater challenge? If we claim to do it for the challenge, do we pass on a big mature buck if his death comes too easy? Why don't the same values equally metastasize our relationship with 'lesser' animals? Deer, schmeer.

From: deerhunter72
23-Sep-17
Man! There are some really arrogant hypocrites chiming in here. This stupid holier than thou mindset is exactly what killed the Illinois forum a few years ago.

From: Shawn
23-Sep-17
Very true Jeff, good post!! I have shot fawns both here in NY and in the midwest that were as big as an adult deer in the lowlands of South Carolina so I really don't see the amount of meat argument at all. Killed a giant 8pt near Georgetown SC one year as all the locals said it was huge and it dressed 118#s and also shot a doe later that day and she dressed 78#s and she was at least 2.5 year old. You know Thornton not everyone lives in the midwest where deer have a tendency to be pretty well fed and have huge bodies, even the fawns out in Kansas and Iowa are pretty big compared to deer in the lowlands of NC, SC and Florida!! Shawn

From: Zbone
23-Sep-17
Have always wanted to shoot a spotted fawn strictly for the hide to make a cool looking back quiver, but our season doesn't begin until the last Saturday of September and haven't seen one still with spots at that time of year yet, although one did show up in the back yard just last week still with spots... Keeping my fingers crossed and hoping it keeps them for another week...8^)

I have no problems killing a young doe fawn, matter of fact, I try to kill the smallest doe (likely a fawn) in the herd and the most mature buck, most everything in between gets a pass from me, although it depends upon the situation, the year and space in the freezer.... By situation, I mean like one year I had what I assumed to be an orphaned doe fawn follow me around in the woods and I didn't have the heart to kill her...

By the way, those smallest doe fawns are unlikely to reproduce at age one so they are unproductive for two years...

23-Sep-17
OK, so how many of you would shoot a nursing fawn, while nursing if you had no shot at the mom doe?

Just to be completely ridiculous is why I asked:)

From: Hackbow
23-Sep-17
Trophy hunting and horn porn has ruined easy hunting access for millions of people - especially in the Midwest. Apparently, it has also ruined the sense of logic for a number of posters on this thread.

I exclusively trophy hunted for about 5 yrs, killed only 1 deer during that time and passed on multitudes of "lesser" animals. I truly enjoyed the process and work I put into killing a brute but realized I enjoyed a freezer full of venison much more.

As far as a challenge goes, which is more difficult; targeting a mature buck you've patterned in your food plots with a trail cam and waiting him out in a treestand or chasing the first legal deer on public ground as one dedicated to keeping his feet on Terra firma (my current situation)? I don't know. Still too many variables.

What I do know is that enjoy hunting my way, have never pounded my chest over any kill and relish the taste of venison.

Guess I'm pathetic as well.

From: Owl
24-Sep-17
fantastic input on this thread, Tony, er, "Mr. Oliver." :)

From: tonyo6302
24-Sep-17
Thanks, Owl.

From: TRADSTYK
24-Sep-17
I have been bowhunting longer than probably most of you have been alive. I stand by my desperate claim as to killing a 30 pound fawn. A little patience and dedication would surely yield a better choice. I am one of these ohio hunters you refer to. Pictures like the dead fawn pic certainly give the antis much ammo. All I have to say about that.

From: Owl
24-Sep-17
Walt Disney ruined America.

From: Salagi
24-Sep-17
I have killed 2 spotted fawns in my life. One with a rifle in late November (the spots were so faint I didn't see them until I got up to her. The other with a car (the meat was good but very expensive for sure. Would I ever kill another one intentionally? I don't know, just depends. There is one running around below our house (I think mama was a car casualty), that I probably won't shoot given the chance. I threatened to catch it and make a pet out of it but my wife said no. ;)

With that said, for those that said they would never ever kill one, I understand and respect that. Pound for pound there is not a lot of meat if you have only one or two tags. I have 5 tags this year as does my wife and we like deer meat. Helps our food bill considerably although I doubt we would ever try to fill all 10 tags, that is too much meat for the freezer. And, now with that also said, those of you that are practically cussing out the "fawn killers" on here, do yourself a favor and don't go out in a heavy rain. You have your snoots so high in the air you'll probably drown. Instead of being so self righteous and arrogant, how about allowing that not everyone believes the same as you? Is someone that is willing to hunt spotted fawns really hurting your hunt? Horns don't matter to some of us as much as others, shoot, I've let decent bucks walk because I figured they would make better breeding stock than meat on the table. I've let does walk because I just didn't feel like shooting one that day, I decided to wait for a decent buck. Does that make me better or worse than any of you? Not at all, I just have a different set of standards on what I will or won't shoot. It really shouldn't make a lick of difference to you as long as it is legal.

As far as yelling and beating on my chest, the only time I did that after killing a deer was 40 years ago when I killed my first deer which was with a muzzleloader. There weren't very many deer around here back then and at 16, I was excited. There was no chest thumping but there was some caterwauling that my father thought was a dog that had gotten loose. It was a yearling doe by the way.

From: Thornton
24-Sep-17
Shawn, there's no sport in it. I don't eat veal, or lamb and I never buy beef except to have a burger once in a while. I rarely shoot a doe and if I do, she has to be barren. Fact is, I never shoot does on my farms and I have a 1:1 buck doe ratio for 7 years. Some years there's more bucks than does.

From: elk yinzer
25-Sep-17
year·ling

?yirliNG

noun

noun: yearling; plural noun: yearlings

1.an animal (especially a sheep, calf, or foal) a year old, or in its second year.

Not to be an ass but just wanted to clarify a frequently misused word. Fawn and yearling are not synonymous.

For the record I have no problem shooting fawns but prefer more meat and hate shooting button bucks aka buck fawns. Only ever seen 1 spotted fawn while hunting. Doubt it survived the winter. Carry on.

From: Fuzzy
25-Sep-17
Thronton, a glow-worm has a prtty fair chance of out-smarting me, so I'm good. ;)

From: Shawn
25-Sep-17
Thornton you do know that very few if any does are barren. They can breed and have fawns into there 20's. Shawn

From: buc i 313
25-Sep-17
Times change with most hunter's.

Back in my early days I might not have shot a spotted fawn, but I would have shot a nursing doe with the fawn on a teat.

This said,

If it satisfies you , shoot it .

From: LKH
25-Sep-17
A. Only 1 tag here in MT B. Only about 1/3 the meat C. It's a myth that fawns provide better meat unless you like nearly tasteless venison. As far as tough goes, I can count on my thumbs the number of tough whitetails I've had an both were ancient does.

25-Sep-17
good post Salagi!

From: Jack Harris
25-Sep-17
guess I am a bow hunting wimp, because the thought of it turns me off. Then again - I pass up 99% of the deer I have in range, so why would I ever consider those? Not against it nor would I outlaw it - to each their own, but you couldn't pay me to do it.

From: GF
25-Sep-17
"Fact is, I never shoot does on my farms and I have a 1:1 buck doe ratio for 7 years. Some years there's more bucks than does."

Fact is, if you never shoot does and you have a 1:1 sex ratio.... well, SOMEBODY is shooting those does for you, whether you think so or not.

Either that, or you should have some big-time wildlife management folks come study your herd and write a groundbreaking paper. If your results could be replicated, we could eliminate the whitetail overpopulation issue in a matter of just a few years.

I just can't believe there are people out there who are so desperate to take a deer that they're afraid that somebody else shooting a fawn is going to hurt their chances...

25-Sep-17
Buck to doe ratios are way over stated. Does tend to give birth equally to bucks and doe fawns.

You got 10 bucks and 10 does. You shoot 9 of the Bucks during breeding season. That leaves a 1:10 buck to doe ratio. Guess what, next year, assuming the does give birth to two surviving fawns, you go from a 1:10 ratio to a total of 11 bucks and 20 does by fall hunting season next year. That's basically a 1:5.

That fall you shoot 9 bucks and no does. That leaves you with 2 bucks and 20 does. Guess what the ratio will be the following fall assuming the same birth rates. You have 12 bucks and 30 does. You are down to 1:4 ratio. Etc......

It's one of the reasons QDMA lost me when they started pushing their agenda crap about better buck management.

So, the only way you are staying 1:1 is because SOMEONE is shooting the does. I don't even believe that's possible outside of cages. God Bless

From: gobbler
25-Sep-17
When WV moved their season up to come in the end of Sept. we also made it illegal to kill or possess a spotted fawn.

From: Bou'bound
25-Sep-17
who is we

From: KJC
25-Sep-17
Spotted fawns?...Hell that ain't nothin'! I've shot spotted owls. They're not real tender, kinda like bald eagle meat.

From: GF
25-Sep-17
WVM - Don't forget that if nobody shoots those mature does, they're going to run their buck fawns right out of the territory when they come of age.

From: Shawn
25-Sep-17
Why does it matter if it has spots? I mean a fawn is a fawn. It is a young deer born in the calendar year it was born.(in most cases, I know some have seasons into Feb) Shawn

From: t-roy
25-Sep-17
How do you get close enough to tell that the doe is barren?

If you’re THAT sneaky, I would think killing any deer, let alone a fawn, wouldn’t be that sporting.

From: Thornton
26-Sep-17
its very easy to see if a doe has fawns if you watch them long enough, especially in the open Hills of Kansas where I hunt. i use the term "barren" loosely to describe a doe with no fawns in that particular year. To the guys that hat think I don't meat hunt, my wife and haven't bought beef in over a year. We have antelope, mule deer, whitetail, 2 turkeys, elk, pheasant, and several other bird species in the freezers. The last muzzleloader buck I killed, two fawns watched me for over an hour try to pick up his blood trail. Call it hunting, but like I said earlier, nobody on here is starving and you can afford to wait on something bigger.

26-Sep-17

IdyllwildArcher's embedded Photo
IdyllwildArcher's embedded Photo
Can certainly afford to, yet feel no moral imperative to. Look at that smile - that's 30 lbs of fine eating right there. I'll be frying some of his sirloin this weekend. His tiny, little sirloin. That button buck's entire hams went to steak.

26-Sep-17

IdyllwildArcher's embedded Photo
IdyllwildArcher's embedded Photo
If it makes you feel any better, I killed his mom too.

From: TD
26-Sep-17
" you can afford to wait on something bigger" Why? What is your measure of "better"?

I have a friend with a party coming up in a week or two and he asks me for some venison for it. Sure. I'll see what I can do. As small as a 30-40lber offers itself up (easy being the very definition of meat hunt)..... thump.... done. I can debone it and drop it off at their house on the way out many times. They are going to have some great eating. Depending on how much they want, how big the party, two of em might be awesome.... if they want it whole for huli-huli (rotisserie) or an imu (slow steam cooked underground) small is perfect. Funny the talk about anti-hunter fodder..... you want to convert someone into a proponent of hunting?...... you will see a good many converts in one night as they roll their eyes back in their heads while eating that deer at the party.

But meat hunting is a target of opportunity thing. I don't go out thinking "I want the littlest baby I can find..." Next one might not be so young, a lil spike would probably be near optimal. I really fail to see the problem. Not in my situation. You may in yours for a variety of reasons. Not a problem.

Maybe like veal, "society" needs to come up with neutral term for baby deer or fawn? Bambi I'd guess is trademarked..... Sorry, it doesn't bother me. I can live with it, sleep just fine, nobody has to worry on my account.

Other situations may vary as they have limited tags, etc. but for me it's not a hard call as there are no tags, limit, or seasons for that matter. Animals are meant to feed people. Pick your animal, your effort, your personal tastes or needs. If you don't process your own I could see that, nobody want to pay (or listen to the BS) to process a fawn, this years deer. Maybe don't care for game (likely eating old poorly handled game) maybe prefer yours from a market with less work.... I see no problem with that either. Long as the reasons are honest. But it is inarguable.....that young deer is going to eat better than that big headed ol doe or old grizzled buck. If food is the goal, young wins every time.

Please don't misunderstand though, if Mr. Wonderful crosses my path I'd not let him walk...... not adverse to changing goals in midstream.... =D

Just that fast food being the goal, not much is going to be let walk. If a mature buck is the goal I tread lightly so as not to disrupt them, I pass on a good many animals every week so as not to disrupt... no other reason. I go out to reach my goal, it's my reason and purpose. Yours could be just being out there, that's fine. I'm not that much into nature hikes or I wouldn't pack my bow, I plan on killing something I'm after, it's about the goal..... Yep. Every. Time.

From: T Mac
26-Sep-17
Well said TD

From: Thumper-tx
26-Sep-17
On my land, it will not happen on my watch.

From: Salagi
26-Sep-17
Thornton, you've been the most vocal one in your condemnation of anyone who would kill a spotted fawn so I'll ask you. Since you hunt in Kansas and I hunt in Arkansas why would you care if I killed a spotted one here,(since it is legal)? That's an honest question, I'm just curious.

26-Sep-17
Sal, my guess is the op asked for opinions. TD gave his, which he has a very strong opinion on this, and those with opposite opinions made their opinions known, which resulted in debate back n forth. He's obviously very one sided on this so its inevitable for him to continue to strongly argue his side bersus those strongly pushing for theirs.

This has been interesting for me to follow as i started as pretty one sided, not something i would at all want to do but dont care if others do, and after the debate, i still dont know for sure if i would, but i think theres been enough compelling debate here to at least make me rethink the possibility. I still like big ol' does.....

From: drycreek
26-Sep-17

drycreek's embedded Photo
drycreek's embedded Photo
Oh look, a covey shot !

26-Sep-17
Lol

From: Salagi
26-Sep-17
Stick, I understand someone not wanting to shoot a fawn, what I'm not understanding is why they are so belligerent about it when others say they have no problem with it.

From: GF
26-Sep-17
Everybody's irrational about SOMETHING - this just appears to be a popular option.

And BTW, I notice on that "covey" shot, only that skipper on the left is offering a good angle....

Jus' sayin'...

From: Zbone
26-Sep-17
By the way, even if a young deer sheds its spots it's still a fawn its first full year of life... By defination, it is not a yearling until after its first birthday...

From: Spookinelk
27-Sep-17
Fawns are what I call vealison.....Tasty! In southern states where you have several antlerless tags, I won't hesitate to take a fawn. Generally they have lost their spots by October though.

From: Catscratch
27-Sep-17
I can honestly say that I don't think I've ever killed anything out of desperation.

Long ago I came to terms with the fact that I kill the young of the yr all the time. Trap lines and small game hunting are very indiscriminate when it comes to age class harvests.

It's funny how upbringing can stick with you though. I did a lot of duck hunting with my dad in the 80's when numbers were really low, limits were small, and hen mallards were to be revered. Even though numbers are much higher now and it's legal, I'll be damned if I'm going to shoot a hen mallard (and I teach my kids the same)! Those are just off limits even if it doesn't make sense. Now a hen teal, gadwal, or widgeon??? Game on, they taste great too! :)

From: scentman
27-Sep-17
if it has spots, it drops!.... not really, i'll go get some wings at the Anchor bar before i see the need for that.

From: Rut Nut
27-Sep-17

Rut Nut's embedded Photo
Rut Nut's embedded Photo
This button buck fawn came in to 30 y with only minutes of shooting light left, 3 yrs ago during our early season antlerless hunt. (3rd week of Sept) I never saw the spots! At the time, I probably would not have shot it if I had.

We lost the blood trail when it ran across an open dirt field, but had an idea of what direction it ran. We decided to let it go overnight since it was a cold night and found it the next day. When I saw the spots, I was convinced it was not my deer! But after thinking about it and putting all the pieces together, we realized it had to be my deer! Just could not see those spots at last light at 30y.

When my buddy saw it he said "Cool! You gonna tan the hide? How many people can say they shot a spotted fawn in Archery season?!" After thinking about it, I agreed- pretty cool! It hangs over the back of my recliner up in the loft where I have all my mounts!

From: deerhunter72
27-Sep-17
I like that hide!

From: Rut Nut
28-Sep-17
Thanks Greg! It has become a favorite of mine and a great conversation piece! : )

From: Sage Buffalo
28-Sep-17
I'm sorry any fawn I kill is so prized for it's meat it's not even a comparison.

If I have 6+ tags I know I will kill at least one because there's NOTHING that compares to it on the table.

You don't want to shoot one - fine. You don't think it's manly - fine. You think your are a better hunter - fine.

You keep thinking and I will keep smiling as I eat steaks so tender you can use a fork to cut through them. Me and my family know what's up. You keep chewing those tough 4+ yo deer.

From: Rut Nut
28-Sep-17
BTW, I have now changed my mind on the subject. If I am ever lucky enough to get a shot at a spotted fawn again, I will take it in a heartbeat. After seeing the comment about making one into a back quiver, that just reaffirmed my decision! What a neat way to put that beautiful hide to use!

Also, we just concluded our annual 3 day early season hunt that helps out the local farmers and Hunters Sharing the Harvest. After talking to some of the Farmers, they don't care if the deer have spots or not. One of them said "if they have a mouth, they eat- if they eat, I want them gone!" ;-)

From: Thornton
29-Sep-17
Salgi- There's a reason why we grow giants in KS. It's proven B&C whitetails will grow almost anywhere if they aren't shot young. You guys that shoot fawns probably can't sit in a stand and have multiple bucks over P&Y walk by. Having tender meat is only a matter of preparation. Out of the dozens I've shot over the years, I only remember two that were too tough and that was because they needed aged.

29-Sep-17
I have always thought variables like soil mineral content, sub-species, herd dynamics, stress etc. Played a role, not just age?

From: Fuzzy
29-Sep-17
Thornton, get your populations up above 50-60 animals per square mile, with thin, acid natural topsoils and poorly managed second growth mixed hardwood timber and cattle pasture as the primary land use, with the rest sod-planted cornfields, then don't shoot anything under 3.5 years old, and see what your racks score.

From: Thornton
30-Sep-17
Where I live in KS, our numbers are probably less than 8 per sq mile. Sounds like you need to shoot more does?

30-Sep-17
Thornton, you can't even start to compare Virginia deer with Kansas deer. Totally different animals. They might be somewhere between North Carolina and West Virginia though.

From: GF
30-Sep-17
"Where I live in KS, our numbers are probably less than 8 per sq mile. Sounds like you need to shoot more does?"

But none of them can have spots, right???

LMSillyAO

From: Salagi
30-Sep-17
Thornton - thanks for answering. Age plays an important role in antler size that is very true, so does genetics and nutrition. All those play a factor why in my neck of the woods as to why we don't have a lot of BC bucks but age is not as much of a factor according to the biologists as the others here. But, some of us are not all that concerned with antler size, we are in it for the meat and just the enjoyment of the hunt. And yes, I can enjoy hunting deer of any size whether I kill one or not and except for that very first one 40 years ago, I don't whoop and holler when I do kill one. I have let deer of all ages and horn size or lack thereof walk "just because." To each his own there.

Only deer I ever regretted killing was an old doe that had a couple of big fawns following her late in the year. They were plenty old enough to take care of themselves so that was fine, but when I dressed her, she had triplets inside (this was in January). I've always wished I had just shot one of the fawns instead.

Lots of factors besides age make a difference on tenderness of meat. Some we can control some we can't. The biggest buck I ever killed ate fine. The only deer we ever had that we had to throw out was a doe from the same area. This was back when we were newly married and needed the meat too. There is no denying however that a fawn is going to be more tender than any other age class of animal.

Again, to each his own. I respect someone's desire to take only a particular type of animal even if I feel differently. If I am hunting with them, I will gladly abide by their rules (as long as it is legal).

From: Canuck
30-Sep-17
We get issued extra antlerless tags. I take a fawn of the year in December with it and leave the mature does who are pregnant, alone.

From: Sage Buffalo
30-Sep-17
Thornton: Fuzzy is 100% right. There's a reason some of us shoot fawns because we have so many deer that hunting really doesn't even dent the population.

At my old house we shot 13 last year. Several of the young deer we watched all summer. It was my kids so they could shoot whatever they were comfy with. This spring most of our does had triplets, not twins, so as much damage as we thought we did the population actually increased in my small area of the world.

They aren't like wild hogs but in some areas of the country it's almost a losing battle.

From: midwest
30-Sep-17
Joey Ward...."I'd shoot a deer egg, if it rolled by."

LOL!!!

From: Fuzzy
02-Oct-17
Thornoton, yes, now you are seeing the light. Shoot more does, shoot more fawns, shoot more antlerless deer. Let's say we have 50 deer per square mile, on a 4 square mile block right now, as our archery season rolls in, with lets say a 1.5/1 does to bucks ratio in deer over 1 year old and with >1/2 of total deer numbers being fawns. Our "goal" on our (realistic but theoretical) square mile block is to get under 15/square mile with a 50/50 ish buck doe ratio. We have 100 fawns, 66.6 does over a year old, and 33.3 bucks over a year old. We WANT to end up with 60 deer, 30 of those bucks and 30 of those does.

The way we do that is to "shoot more does"

we kill 36.6 does and 3.3 bucks, and we now have 30 over 1 year old bucks and 30 over 1 year old does but we STILL have 100 fawns and out numbers are 40/square mile. We have to kill 100 more deer.

Do we kill some bucks? No? Of course not, out buck age structure is skewed toward 1.5 year olds, so we would be killing off our future racks.

Do we kill all the does over 1 year old? Why not, we have 50 doe fawns coming along in the 100 fawns we have, so they will be next year's does, right?

OK , bam we wiped out our does. Now we are down to 130 deer.

33.5 per square mile.

Dang, still high. Have to kill 74 more.

OK, no problem. We VEEEERRRYYY carefully scan the remaining 100 fawns for evidence of "button" antler pedicels and penis sheaths on their tiny bellies. We carefully use out binocs to follow the skippers as they pass into sunny patches of the woods, and make sure no evidence of their fading spotas remain. Yep, a spot-free doe! Nail her!

Whew! it's been tough but we have now killed all the doe fawns. 50 of them. It was tough, we have to wait until early November to make sure the spots were all gone on some of them, it's been a warm fall, and the winter coats came in a bit late..

what have we got left?

30 bucks over a year old, and 60 buck fawns.

90 deer. that's 22.5 per square mile.

Well heck.

OK . We're close now though, let's keep with it.

That button there is kinda small, he might not be the best candidate for a November 2022 "Booner", whack him.

That one? Yeah he's limping, maybe damaged a hoof, coyotes might get him in January. Bang!

There are three together, lets get this over with, bangbangbang! OK, now we've got our numbers ...15/sq mile. 30 mature bucks, 30 button bucks.

Um wait... our buck/doe ratio... crap!

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