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Old 07-05-2012, 11:32 PM
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Default Buck dispersal / Which does to shoot?

I was involved in a seminar/debate last weekend in Indiana with a small group of good ol' boys when the subject of "which does to shoot" came up. The seminar "leader" gave us 2 choices; old producing does or young does not yet with fawns. Opinions varied but I stated that I shoot older does with button bucks fawns because of research that I once read which showed that when the mother doe is still alive early in the spring, she will run off her buck fawns from the previous spring and roughly 90% of the time they will disperse to a new area averaging between 5 and 20 miles away from their birth-site. On the other hand, If a doe is killed and her buck fawns orphaned, roughly 90% of the time those buck fawns will remain within the area of their birth. The conclusion was that by shooting does with button buck fawns, one can encourage those buck fawns to remain close to the area. I am not 100% sure who conducted the study but it was someone with a recognized name within the whitetail community.

In order to start a new worthwhile discussion, I was hoping that someone (maybe BSK) could add some insight or direct us to other related studies. I would also encourage everyone to offer opinions and basis for those opinions on which does they shoot on their property.
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Old 07-05-2012, 11:46 PM
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I think it depends on a number of factors, i.e. deer density. We shoot 40 doe per year on 460 acres. We take doe with a bow till 10/20, then back off for bucks till 12/14, then finish the quota. Our doe have twins and sometimes trips so taking ones with nubbie fawns is no problem. Whatever we do we can never retain more then 5-7 big bucks each year and every year we are so excited about all the really big 2.5 yo's we have and they seem to disburse the next year. We do shoot doe fawns as they will die first in a tuff winter and taste really good. Having said all that, I will vote for whatever BSK suggests.

Last edited by popeyoung9 : 07-05-2012 at 11:53 PM.
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Old 07-05-2012, 11:58 PM
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Isn't the presumption that a doe runs her buck fawn off with the intent to naturally disperse genetics?

If one were to "manage" by selectively harvesting mature does with the intent of keeping those buck fawns local, would that not be defeating the natural means of interbreeding intervention?
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Old 07-06-2012, 12:04 AM
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Originally Posted by stumpgrinder View Post
Isn't the presumption that a doe runs her buck fawn off with the intent to naturally disperse genetics?

If one were to "manage" by selectively harvesting mature does with the intent of keeping those buck fawns local, would that not be defeating the natural means of interbreeding intervention?

Unlike humans, I don't think deer breeding sisters and Moms is an issue.Where is BSK to clear up basic genetic facts.

Last edited by popeyoung9 : 07-06-2012 at 12:56 AM.
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Old 07-06-2012, 12:14 AM
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My property has a low deer density so I'm not harvesting but maybe one doe a year even though we can take three.

When I do take a doe I try to take a somewhat younger doe. The older females have proven themselves to be good parents. I need does experienced at getting their fawns to be an adult whether buck or doe fawn.

When I first started hunting this property I had no identifiable doe families. Last season I had 3 distinctive doe families. A major improvement for me.

So I take the younger and leave the older to ensure more fawn survival to increase deer in my area.

Hope my reasoning is correct?
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Old 07-06-2012, 06:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by popeyoung9 View Post
Unlike humans, I don't think deer breeding sisters and Moms is an issue.Where is BSK to clear up basic genetic facts.

I routinely hunt a military base that is fenced, not completely but enough. There are about 3 basic racks that bucks have from the interbreeding. I would love to slip in some different genetics. My avatar pic was an exception.
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Old 07-06-2012, 07:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by baybayrn View Post
My property has a low deer density so I'm not harvesting but maybe one doe a year even though we can take three.

When I do take a doe I try to take a somewhat younger doe. The older females have proven themselves to be good parents. I need does experienced at getting their fawns to be an adult whether buck or doe fawn.

When I first started hunting this property I had no identifiable doe families. Last season I had 3 distinctive doe families. A major improvement for me.

So I take the younger and leave the older to ensure more fawn survival to increase deer in my area.

Hope my reasoning is correct?

I think that is a good choice where you want to increase deer numbers and especially if wolves or coyote predation on fawns is a big problem.

When deer numbers wre high, I tried to get an old doe who had fawns in the meadow/willows in front of my house and whom I watched run two of her yearling buck fawns off one spring. I never got her, but someone did after a few years.
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Old 07-06-2012, 07:43 AM
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Perhaps I can change the bend of thinking or discussion a bit. Sorry, Don but it might be important to you.

Which doe should you shoot if you are in or on the edge of a CWD area? In this case reducing deer numbers should be the first factor in the decision. Would targeting does with button bucks reduce yearling buck movement into your area or would the old doe do a better job of keeping other young bucks out?
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Old 07-06-2012, 09:10 AM
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My gut tells me that the idea of 'shooting momma doe to keep the buttons around' was really just a way to influence people to shoot does who otherwise would not shoot does. It might be true, but not that important. If you have a doe on your property instead of two bucks you likely will get more bucks using your land during the rut when the bucks are cruising looking for the hot doe. On the other hand if you have two bucks and no doe than during the rut you will likely have no deer on your property.

Really IMO it boils down to shoot does if you want to lower the population or keep it where it is.
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Old 07-06-2012, 09:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Don Higgins View Post
I was involved in a seminar/debate last weekend in Indiana with a small group of good ol' boys when the subject of "which does to shoot" came up. The seminar "leader" gave us 2 choices; old producing does or young does not yet with fawns. Opinions varied but I stated that I shoot older does with button bucks fawns because of research that I once read which showed that when the mother doe is still alive early in the spring, she will run off her buck fawns from the previous spring and roughly 90% of the time they will disperse to a new area averaging between 5 and 20 miles away from their birth-site. On the other hand, If a doe is killed and her buck fawns orphaned, roughly 90% of the time those buck fawns will remain within the area of their birth. The conclusion was that by shooting does with button buck fawns, one can encourage those buck fawns to remain close to the area. I am not 100% sure who conducted the study but it was someone with a recognized name within the whitetail community.

In order to start a new worthwhile discussion, I was hoping that someone (maybe BSK) could add some insight or direct us to other related studies. I would also encourage everyone to offer opinions and basis for those opinions on which does they shoot on their property.

The problem with some whitetailed deer behavior issues is that studies in different geographic locations often find very different results. And to complicate the issue, all of those studies may be accurate for their location. For any species as widely distributed as the whitetailed deer, different behavioral adaptations can develop in different geographic regions to compensate for different environmental influences. The environmental influences of the near desert environment of south TX are going to be very different than for northern boreal forests, and deer in the two regions adapt different behaviors to compensate.

Studies on Yearling Buck Dispersal (YBD) in different geographic regions have found different answers. In the South, it is obvious that mother does chase their male offspring out of their range, forcing these young bucks to leave the area (Marchington's study at UGA). In the South, if button bucks are orphaned, they almost always stay in their birth range. Other studies in different geographic locations, such as Mark Conner's work at Remington Farms on the East Coast, and the big studies done in PA, suggest factors other than mother aggression are at play in influencing YBD. The one aspect of YBD that appears to be somewhat universal is dispersal distances, and those are linked to the habitat. The more open the habitat (the less forest cover) the greater the average distance yearling bucks disperse. In "big wood"' habitat, yearling bucks have the shortest dispersal distance (just a mile or two). In open pasture and/or agricultural areas, average dispersal distances are usually considerable (many miles).
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Last edited by BSK_ : 07-06-2012 at 09:40 AM.
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