Taking a doe with fawn(s)

Discussion in 'Bowhunting Talk' started by kwachHTX, Sep 26, 2016.

  1. kwachHTX

    kwachHTX Weekend Warrior

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    My way of thinking may be wrong but I always had the mentality of not shooting a doe with fawns. Maybe my morals are not correct being I have been noticing it often on videos. What is everyone's opinion, it would be nice to be persuaded otherwise being it would give me more opportunity at does. But as of now I feel the fawns life is in danger without mom.
     
  2. Sota

    Sota Legendary Woodsman

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    As long as the fawns are weaned they should be fine.
     
  3. kwachHTX

    kwachHTX Weekend Warrior

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    How can you tell? Spots vs no spots?
     
  4. Western MA Hunter

    Western MA Hunter Die Hard Bowhunter

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    By the time most hunting seasons arrive, does are capable of living independently... once the spots are gone and the deer aren't their summer orange any more, I say they are fair game.
     
  5. BradC36

    BradC36 Weekend Warrior

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    Choot'em
     
  6. BB4tw

    BB4tw Die Hard Bowhunter

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    Fawns are capable of survival without milk long before they are actually weaned.

    Personally, I use spots as the line in the sand. Spots gets a pass, no spots is fair game.

    However, it's entirely possible to take a doe and not even know that she has a fawn following her if it stays hidden. If that possibility is bothersome then it's probably best to pass on all does in the early season.

    It's a 100% personal call and will receive no judgement from me either way as long as everything is done legally.
     
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2016
  7. Jake/PA

    Jake/PA Grizzled Veteran

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    They can definitely survive. I have fawns that were abandoned at an early age hanging around my house. They're really stupid, but healthy.

    I personally TRY to target the does without fawns. But it doesn't always workout that way.
     
  8. Justin

    Justin Administrator

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    One of the farms I hunt is littered with coyotes. Worse than anywhere else I've ever hunted. For this reason I try to pass does with fawns. Not just for the sake of the fawns she has with her during the fall, but for future generations. It seems the "smart" does know how to keep their fawns safe from the yotes when they are first born. Year in and year out I get pics of does in certain areas with fawns, and does in other areas without. My intuition tells me the ones without are most likely getting eaten by the yotes shortly after birth and I believe I'm seeing the same does year after year with the same results. Some does seem to get it, while others don't.

    Deer density on this particular farm is much lower than it should be so I try to pass up the ones who are effectively helping the population.

    In pretty much all other cases by the time October rolls around she's fair game - fawns or no fawns.
     
  9. cantexian

    cantexian Grizzled Veteran

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    My rule is spots vs. no spots. Spots and mama gets a pass. No spots, mama gets an arrow. By the time me season is open, most of the fawns are old enough to be on their own. The property I hunt has a buck to doe ratio that is highly favoring the does. So in this properties case, any doe, mature or just out spots, is getting shot if it presents the opportunity. Buck movement during the rut is low because of such a high doe number.
     
  10. NebMo Hunter

    NebMo Hunter Die Hard Bowhunter

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    on shooting fawns I'd say no spots
    on shooting does with fawns, Ive always been told by Nov. it shouldn't matter to the fawn
    If at all possible I wouldn't, but if I have lot deer numbers I might
     
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2016
  11. Coop

    Coop Grizzled Veteran

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    I have before, but now days try to take solo does. As mentioned, you can't always tell and I have shot a single doe to find she had milk. But now days I do try to be choosey which ones I take.
     
  12. bradn4201

    bradn4201 Die Hard Bowhunter

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    The one I shot was the lead doe, with 3 does and 1 fawn behind them, but she had milk.. felt bad after but I didn't know at the time.
     
  13. Jeremy/PA

    Jeremy/PA Weekend Warrior

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    Man this very topic has cost me a few deer the last couple of years. I normally have a doe work her way towards me and then I see a fawn(s) following behind and the deal is done. No shooting.

    However, I may try and change that for this year. I have to see how I feel once I'm in the stand. I need that one lone doe!
     
  14. alaska at heart

    alaska at heart Weekend Warrior

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    I tend to pass does that have a small fawn or two with them, but when they come out in a group it is hard to tell which doe the fawns belong to. Likewise, I have shot a nice doe in prior seasons and then had a young one come wandering out of the brush a few minutes later. The last time I had that happen, the youngster hung around the area for a while and then wandered off when another doe with two young ones came along. The next hunt that same doe had 3 youngsters hanging out with her so nature has a way of dealing with such things. If it bothers you, then take the advice above and pass them until the doe runs them off just prior to the rut.
     
  15. MUDSHARK

    MUDSHARK Grizzled Veteran

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    If fawn has spots NO SHOT / IF FAWN HAS NO SPOTS MOMA IS DEAD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    thou I had a set of fawns follow mom into the golden rod were she died. they hung for the gutting
     
  16. axtell343

    axtell343 Die Hard Bowhunter

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    In my extensive bow hunting experience, I can say that I have killed two does with a bow and arrow. Two of them had fawns and both were shot early season, I remember hunting the late bow season and still seeing those motherless fawns up into late January, (in good condition I might add, not skin and bones) after that I did not spend any time in the woods so I can't say for sure that they made it all the way through winter. but I figure that if they can make it from Oct 1st to near February, they should be fine.
    Just my experience, drop em like a rock!
     
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2016
  17. axtell343

    axtell343 Die Hard Bowhunter

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    From what I have heard and seen, deer are very communal, they stick together especially during the winter when they group up, any fawns that you viciously leave as orphans in this cruel world will soon find another role model to imitate :sheep:
     
  18. Shocker99

    Shocker99 Grizzled Veteran

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    I did it a couple times and it wasnt an issue until I shot this one doe with two fawns. the doe dint go far and piled up. fawns didn't know what was going on and just stood there bawling. so I got down thinking they would surely run off...nope. I had to throw Sticks at them and shoo them and they still didn't go far. Now I'm pretty hard but it was just a sad scene. they ended up watching me gut her from about 70 or so yds away. Talk about uncomfortable. Otherwise I think they stand a good chance in a low predator impact area.
     
  19. SheddingLightTravis

    SheddingLightTravis Weekend Warrior

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    I had a doe and fawn pass by the first evening of the season. I saw a doe following who was probably last years fawn. She hadn't been bred yet. She's the one I took. The older doe knows how to raise them and keep them alive. There's no way of telling what the young doe will do. A little less meat but she will taste better anyways.
     
  20. Shocker99

    Shocker99 Grizzled Veteran

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    To add to that, if given a choice I'll take a yearling or 2 yr old doe before an older one because older does tend to me more capable of birthing twins and trips and keeping them alive. unless there is doe over population then it's kill em all
     

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