I would have to pass even if I did see one. Just a personal choice.
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.
I have killed several button bucks. By December/January, they are about the same size as an adult doe.
All young critters get a pass from me.
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!
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
Kind of like marrying an ugly woman. I know some men who did that on purpose. None of my business.
Walt Disney got to you guys :^)
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.
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!!!
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.
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.
Wayne Pacelle, is that you? Seriously, give you head a shake. Maybe two...
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
I'll eat what I can handle.
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!
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.
You talking to me?
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.
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?
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.
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.
"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....
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....
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?!?
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.
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.
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?
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...
Just to be completely ridiculous is why I asked:)
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.
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.
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.
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.
If it satisfies you , shoot it .
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...
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
If you’re THAT sneaky, I would think killing any deer, let alone a fawn, wouldn’t be that sporting.
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.
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.....
And BTW, I notice on that "covey" shot, only that skipper on the left is offering a good angle....
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! :)
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!
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.
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!" ;-)
But none of them can have spots, right???
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).
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.
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.
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!