Sitka Gear
When to kill does?
Whitetail Deer
Contributors to this thread:
wildwilderness 24-Oct-21
Brian M. 24-Oct-21
Rgiesey 24-Oct-21
Corax_latrans 24-Oct-21
t-roy 24-Oct-21
JL 24-Oct-21
TooMany BowsBob 24-Oct-21
MA-PAdeerslayer 24-Oct-21
Highlife 24-Oct-21
btnbuck 24-Oct-21
wildwilderness 24-Oct-21
timex 24-Oct-21
ahunter76 24-Oct-21
Bowfreak 24-Oct-21
WV Mountaineer 24-Oct-21
rallison 24-Oct-21
Huntskifishcook 24-Oct-21
MQQSE 24-Oct-21
APauls 24-Oct-21
EmbryOklahoma 25-Oct-21
JL 25-Oct-21
orionsbrother 25-Oct-21
Ollie 25-Oct-21
DEMO-Bowhunter 25-Oct-21
KY EyeBow 25-Oct-21
ELKMAN 25-Oct-21
LBshooter 25-Oct-21
wild1 25-Oct-21
njbuck 25-Oct-21
Bob H in NH 25-Oct-21
Rut Nut 25-Oct-21
Z Barebow 25-Oct-21
BowSniper 25-Oct-21
Bake 25-Oct-21
dnovo 25-Oct-21
Rut Nut 25-Oct-21
timex 25-Oct-21
Meat Grinder 25-Oct-21
TD 25-Oct-21
JusPassin 25-Oct-21
Shuteye 25-Oct-21
Hancock West 26-Oct-21
wildwilderness 26-Oct-21
badguybuster 26-Oct-21
Fuzzy 28-Oct-21
Rut Nut 29-Oct-21
Stix 29-Oct-21
StickFlicker 29-Oct-21
Dino 29-Oct-21
TGbow 29-Oct-21
Grey Ghost 30-Oct-21
StickFlicker 01-Nov-21
Missouribreaks 01-Nov-21
ohiohunter 06-Nov-21
24-Oct-21
When do you like to kill does and why?

I have heard pre-rut is best? What about late season? Many suggest NOT during the best Rut week will mess up the buck hunt?

From: Brian M.
24-Oct-21
When I get a shot at one.

From: Rgiesey
24-Oct-21
I shoot does in December

24-Oct-21
For me… When they give me a shot I want. I’m not picky.

I suppose probably most of us have killed a buck that was trailing a doe that had just walked by…. With a rifle, I’ve let the doe walk, but with a bow (if you can manage the gutting, dragging and butchering on a twofer), killing the doe would keep her from busting you while you’re trying to get drawn on the buck.

That’s a bigger deal for those shooting zero let-off….

From: t-roy
24-Oct-21
When they’re as far away from a deep ravine, as possible!

I usually wait until late November, at least, and usually fill most of my doe tags during late season, in late Dec/early January. I’m definitely not going to shoot any does during the rut, and intruding into the timber, looking for /retrieving them.

If they’re stomping or blowing at me, then all bets are off.

From: JL
24-Oct-21
My two pennies......if you're in an area with a lot of deer....

Wearing a hunters hat....in the late season after the rut.

If I was wearing a farmer's hat that was getting a lot of crop damage....year-round 24/7.

24-Oct-21
In my estimation there are two kinds of deer. There's "braggin deer" and "eating deer". I've got one of the braggin ones, the meat was terrible. Even the hamburger was tough.

I'd much rather have a full freezer. TMBB

24-Oct-21
Late season mostly out of state. In state I’ll shoot one tomorrow if I see it. Do get out as much as I’d like to cuz of kids family and work. But out of state were on doe patrol for a farmer in PA. We stack em up pretty good for him come December.

From: Highlife
24-Oct-21
Anytime I get a chance.

From: btnbuck
24-Oct-21
I get a few as early as I can in the season and then try to lay off them during the rut when a buck may be following. If it’s late in the morning or last light and I won’t/can’t hunt for a few days they’re in trouble though. ;-). It’s not the end of the world to me if I don’t kill a buck as long as the freezer is full of does.

24-Oct-21
The draw back I see from early season is it can be hot. More bugs a possibility and getting it butchered fast unless you built a nice cold storage

From: timex
24-Oct-21
I'm fortunate to hunt in two of the highest small grains producing county's in va. Lots of corn & soy beans here. Now it's a fact that cows & hogs are grain fed before slaughter so I believe deer are best eating when killed in the early season while their still on corn & beans. Perhaps im wrong but this just makes sense to me. I'm a meat hunter don't get me wrong if a big enough buck comes by I'll kill it & be proud. But a freezer full of venison is my priority not a big set of horns.

From: ahunter76
24-Oct-21

ahunter76's embedded Photo
ahunter76's embedded Photo
I have no problem with anyone shooting Does, regardless of when or how big. I have been blessed in my 65 years of bowhunting with many and a wide variety of assorted Bucks. I was never a horn hunter. NOW, that being said, I no longer shoot Does and set a goal on my nwxt Buckso I "am now a horn hunter". I encouage my kids & G-kids to take Does & any Buck they want (7 are bowhunters). I feel I am letting them pass for the younger & newer hunter. I "love" deer Bowhunting & even when I pass one, I feel it's a great hunt for me. I fooled them on their home turf & picked the right spot for my stand. I had 5 of 6 does pass right past me the other night, 5 yards. Where my limbsaver is about where two are feeding.

From: Bowfreak
24-Oct-21
Whenever they walk by me. I've screwed up quite few rut hunts by shooting does. Lol.

24-Oct-21
Yesterday evening.

From: rallison
24-Oct-21
I haven't shot a doe in years...but with EVERYTHING skyrocketing in cost and empty shelves, Im gonna start!

24-Oct-21
When they walk by, because they are delicious.

From: MQQSE
24-Oct-21
We spread out the harvest all season long unless we are honed in on a buck we are really dialed in on. Having almost 80 doe tags on our farm, means we have to take them when they offer.

From: APauls
24-Oct-21
During the rut I am buck hunting. That leaves early or late season. Our season ends at the end of Nov, so that means early season lol. But only if I don't have a big buck patterned on that piece. Early season you pretty well know if there is a big buck in there or not. So if there isn't.....doe time. Great way to dress rehearsal.

25-Oct-21
Opening day (Oct. 1-24thish), I’ll shoot a doe, if it is an easy retrieval. Then… after thanksgiving and until January 15th. Again it has to be something that is convenient to get out. Most likely morning hunts as well.

From: JL
25-Oct-21
Should have a Bowsite Biggest Doe contest.....

25-Oct-21
Whenever they seem numerous. I will pass on them in the Northwoods if the winter has been hard and numbers are down and eat my antlerless tag, but I have no issue with killing does in IL when I’m seeing healthy herds. Whether it’s October, November or December.

From: Ollie
25-Oct-21
When I get a very close shot from a stand where it will be an easier retrieve with minimal disturbance to the area. Also like to shoot one when the weather is cool enough that I don’t have to process the deer same day.

25-Oct-21
I'm an early and often kind of guy!! If one walks in bow range and gives me a decent shot, I'll usually take it.

From: KY EyeBow
25-Oct-21
I'm with DEMO. I prefer to kill them early in the season but it doesn't always work out that way and it is hard for me to not shoot them when they offer a good shot.........

From: ELKMAN
25-Oct-21
Primarily September but I do dry does only.

From: LBshooter
25-Oct-21
It depends only our mission. If you own the property and are a trophy Hunter leave the does alone to attack bucks. If your herd balance is really off then you probably want to take some does. If your hunting public land in my area then shoot does whenever, the buck to doe ratio is horrible.

From: wild1
25-Oct-21
Generally speaking, whenever I get a chance. If you're managing a property, I'd kill off the older, wiser, barren does and leave the younger does alone. Does attract bucks, but mature does will kick a dna-related buck out of the property to avoid inter-breeding - plus those older does are smart and tend ruin best-laid plans and spook off your target buck and the moment you've been waiting for.

From: njbuck
25-Oct-21
I like to take them early and then late season. From mid October till tail end of November I leave them be, unless they snort at me, then they signed their ticket to the next life.

From: Bob H in NH
25-Oct-21
If the freezer is full, I will donate them, or give to friends who need the meat. I will wait for a good sized one, but if I get one that's good sized, in range, the arrows are flying.

From: Rut Nut
25-Oct-21
I have no problems taking a doe during the RUT, even though my primary goal is a buck! But it has to be cool, so I can keep hunting. I even did this once prior to PA changing the law and you had to tag the deer before shooting another. I shot one at 8:30, gutted, tagged and dragged it under a pine tree and got back into my stand and kept hunting. Had a buck come in about 11am but no shot. Shot another doe about 4:15 and had to inform my buddy I had a deer for him to drag out! ;-)

Now we don’t have to tag it right away so I stay on stand and keep hunting if it’s cool. Get down at mid-day to gut/tag.

Of course I always look behind the doe to make sure there is no buck chasing or following her! Heck, I figure a REAL doe(even a dead one) laying there is about the best buck attractant you can get! : )

From: Z Barebow
25-Oct-21
When I have tags that allow me to do so, and they give me a shot.

From: BowSniper
25-Oct-21
Opening weekend of the hunting season, to warm up the skill set and calm nerves. Then preferably not again until after thanksgiving.

From: Bake
25-Oct-21
I usually do it early. Don't shoot many late, and try not to shoot during the rut unless it is just perfect conditions for it. I'm way behind this year. I think I've been out 5 times and haven't had a deer in range yet. Trying to learn a couple new farms and staying out of my normal places for longer

From: dnovo
25-Oct-21
Only when they give me a shot.

From: Rut Nut
25-Oct-21

Rut Nut's embedded Photo
Rut Nut's embedded Photo
Last year I shot a doe less than 10 min before shooting this buck. Shot the doe and she ran about 40y and crashed. Nocked another arrow and saw this buck tending a different doe(they came from opposite directions.) In fact, the doe and buck must have come within about 30y of the dead doe as they approached less than 10 min later!

From: timex
25-Oct-21
The area I live in va has a significant deer population problem. This season they've enacted the earn a buck restriction. Your license comes with 3 either sex tags & 3 antlerless tags but before you can harvest a 2nd buck you must harvest a doe. It seems to me that in my area the younger generation of hunters have no interest in a freezer full of venison and a pic of them on fb with a big buck Is their main objective. The farmers in my area are really between a rock & a hard spot. They get good money for hunting lease but the hunters arent killing does so the crop damage nullifies the extra income.

From: Meat Grinder
25-Oct-21
LBShooter--if does are attacking your bucks, I'd probably go ahead and thin them out a bit. ;-) Good Hunting to all.

From: TD
25-Oct-21
What many have said, I shoot does pre rut or post. A wise ol' New Brunswick bear hunter told me once "never shoot the bait....." meaning the real bait in his hunts were sweet lil sows that made the boars stupid. Made sense, applies to many hunts, deer,elk.... life really. Sweet lil anything has the capability to ruin your day..... never forgot it.

And not to burst any bubbles..... an ol' horse face doe doesn't eat any better than an old buck. And a good many does are older than most bucks. If you haven't noticed in many places it's hard to find a buck much older than 3. And while true, you can't eat horns..... those things with the horns are still made of meat.

Another factor is like stated above..... what is the priority of the property management? A couple places we can hunt, the rancher gets on us for shooting only bucks.... calls it " The Titanic Rules"..... women and children first.....

From: JusPassin
25-Oct-21
When the shot presents itself, if and only if they are mature. No fawns, No yearlings.

From: Shuteye
25-Oct-21
I normally let the yearlings go by and shoot an adult doe the first chance I get. I wait until cool weather now that i am retired and can go as often as I want. I have often let a buck pass to shoot a doe.

From: Hancock West
26-Oct-21
Dec 1st or later for us. Always after the main part of the rut

26-Oct-21
Will shooting does early make the rut better in your area? ie less does will make more competition and the bucks rut more? less locked down time?

From: badguybuster
26-Oct-21
l will bag older doe in the early and late season but dont touch them from mid October til the first week of December

From: Fuzzy
28-Oct-21
I use a simple Venn diagram to decide. When "doe legal" "bow in hand" and "doe in range " overlap I shoot.

From: Rut Nut
29-Oct-21
I actually let a doe walk tonight with 20 min of daylight left-thought there might be a buck following it. Turns out the buck came in running and chased another doe 10 min later...................

From: Stix
29-Oct-21
Anytime I get a shot. I never pass on my first day of hunt that I wouldn't pass on last day of hunt.

From: StickFlicker
29-Oct-21
According to the Game and Fish in my state, NEVER! You will lose your license for 5 years. They're never legal to kill here.

From: Dino
29-Oct-21
I like to shoot them whenever I can!

From: TGbow
29-Oct-21
Whenever I get a shot at one

From: Grey Ghost
30-Oct-21
I've never shot a doe, mostly for 2 reasons. First, I only get one deer tag each year in Colorado. Second, I'd like to see the deer population grow in my area, and I think killing does is counter-productive to that. If I hunted an area that was over-populated with deer, and I could get multiple tags, I wouldn't hesitate to kill does at any time of the season.

Matt

From: StickFlicker
01-Nov-21
According to the Game and Fish in my state, NEVER! You will lose your license for 5 years. They're never legal to kill here.

01-Nov-21
Early in the season, and late, after the rut. I only shoot does on marginal stands I do not hunt during the rut, never in my prime buck areas. Private land provides flexibility, opportunities at does comes most days.

From: ohiohunter
06-Nov-21
I like an early doe to get out the off season jitters. Then I don’t chase does until I kill a buck or gun season, whichever comes first.

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