Hey Mike, saw the post about fawns and it got me thinking. I know proper doe management is a key to growing big bucks. But is it just me, or is it cruel to shoot a doe with a fawn? Once you kill the mother it is likely the fawn will be eaten by a predator or just die. Whenever I watch a hunting show and a guy shoots a doe with a fawn it makes my stomach turn a little bit. I wouldn't shoot a doe with a fawn because of moral reasons, and I was just wondering what other people think. Thanks, David
I ran this by my buddy Sarge Vasquez, biologist of Jacalon Ranch in South Texas:
Mike, nice question, the hunters on BIG DEER have a conscience. I actually get this a lot from hunters down here: Which does should I shoot, and what about the fawns?
I tell them to look for older does. On the Jacalon, we try to shoot the sentry does, the old ones that always seem to know what’s up before everyone else. I also ask hunters to shoot “dry” does. For whatever reason these does do not have babies; it might be lack of nutrition, poor choice of fawning area, etc.
I think the moral problem people have in general with shooting does is that we've been taught since biblical times not to hunt the mother animals.
Sarge and I think a lot alike.
I’ve never been all that keen on shooting does. It’s not a moral thing for me, but I was bought up back in the day when hunters shot bucks, not does. Old habits die hard.
But this is a different time, and I obviously understand that killing does is a key element of modern deer management in most areas. I'll add that by the time fall/winter hunting season rolls around, most fawns are big enough to survive if their mothers are shot or die of other causes.
But today when I shoot a doe, it’s a big old gal like Sarge alludes to. If she’s dry and alone, better yet for me.
But I hunt with friends (most of them younger) who will happily shoot every legal doe they can for both management and venison purposes. Nothing wrong with that, and I happily help my buddies drag and clean them.
Now to David’s question: Where do the rest of you fall as doe hunters? comment