When to shoot a doe

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MuskieHunterDave
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When to shoot a doe

Unread postby MuskieHunterDave » Fri Aug 28, 2020 8:50 am

I have made it a secondary goal to shoot 3 deer this season - a buck and two doe (this is a lofty goal as I've never managed more than a single deer in a season).
My primary goal is to get my first archery buck. My question is: when do you shoot a doe, knowing that it could end up spooking a buck?

So for example, if it's 45 minutes before dark and a big doe walks by, I could shoot it, but that'll probably lower the chances that a buck walks by during that last 45 minutes. I'd rather not wait until after I get a buck to start targeting does, because that could end up not happening all season.

When you're in the tree waiting for a buck to walk by and instead you see a big doe, how do you decide whether or not to shoot?


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milkweed-militia
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Re: When to shoot a doe

Unread postby milkweed-militia » Fri Aug 28, 2020 8:58 am

Personally, I decide what I'm doing before I go. Many times if you don't know what you're going to do when you leave, you will second guess yourself and miss an opportunity that you will wish you would have took.

I've also shot deer and within minutes had other deer coming out (bow and gun kills).
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backstraps
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Re: When to shoot a doe

Unread postby backstraps » Fri Aug 28, 2020 9:13 am

For me, your last paragraph sums it up easily

If I am sitting in a tree waiting for that buck to come....then I am waiting for the buck to come by

I agree with MM... I know what I am hunting when I close the door to leave

I will say though, when I target does for the freezer, then I go to places for a doe. Im not in the areas I buck hunt to shoot does

Hope that helps some
Best of luck this season, I hope you meet your goal and have a safe and happy season
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Brad
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Re: When to shoot a doe

Unread postby Brad » Fri Aug 28, 2020 9:14 am

Here in MO we have an archery tag that allows 2 "any deer". During archery season you can also purchase antlerless tags. I decided that if I am hunting any area that allows the use of antlerless tags, I would shoot a doe there unless I think I'm on to a buck. If I am hunting an area that does not allow the use of antlerless tags, I am only hunting bucks. This works out well for me because the places that allow antlerless tags that I would be hunting don't seem like areas that would be great for hunting nice bucks... but if one shows up, thats what I'm taking.
If it's getting close to the end of the season and I have an any deer tag that I feel I am not likely to fill, I'll use it to take a doe.
Thats how I decided I'm going about it, and that takes the guess work out of it.
Last season I passed on 3 does because I was i an area that didn't allow antlerless tags. I ended up not filling one of my buck tags, but it happens.
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Re: When to shoot a doe

Unread postby Dewey » Fri Aug 28, 2020 9:17 am

If your goal is to get your first archery buck you probably won’t do that if your killing every doe that shows up. I see a lot of guys setting up in great buck staging areas and then can’t pass on the first doe that just happens to walk by. I can’t comprehend ruining a good buck spot like that. After a kill and the required disturbance to get it out that spot is usually ruined for quite some time especially for decent bucks. Also all the time your dragging does, butchering them and whatnot is time removed from actually hunting a buck. It’s all about priorities and only you can decide. If an archery buck is your main goal check that off first and then tackle the task of killing multiple does.
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Re: When to shoot a doe

Unread postby Bowhunting Brian » Fri Aug 28, 2020 9:22 am

If you can hunt a lot this year, shoot the first one you can if you really want 3 deer. Once you get one down, you can get more picky. That's what I would do.
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Re: When to shoot a doe

Unread postby MichiganMike » Fri Aug 28, 2020 9:25 am

backstraps wrote:For me, your last paragraph sums it up easily

If I am sitting in a tree waiting for that buck to come....then I am waiting for the buck to come by

I agree with MM... I know what I am hunting when I close the door to leave

I will say though, when I target does for the freezer, then I go to places for a doe. Im not in the areas I buck hunt to shoot does

Hope that helps some
Best of luck this season, I hope you meet your goal and have a safe and happy season

Yup! second that for sure. Well said
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<DK>
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Re: When to shoot a doe

Unread postby <DK> » Fri Aug 28, 2020 9:40 am

Early season deer have a lot of weight/meat to them. I like taking a doe in Oct. Also a nice doe that just changed to her winter coat sure is a pretty deer! Im about to shoulder mount one actually.

In relation to the scenario - My issue is passing turkeys! Lol Its rare to have them walk by me within bow range and get drawn on them. Add on the fact that Toms are grouped up and I have some seen some real trophies in the fall. Although I have shot one, retrieved him and climbed back up to hunt. That was a cool hunt.
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Re: When to shoot a doe

Unread postby venisonassassin » Fri Aug 28, 2020 10:59 am

Ive battled with this myself, especially since my wife likes venison and we eat a lot more of it now .It can be tough because I'm a buck hunter at heart and don't want to mess up buck areas. Usually try and settle it before I hunt like has been said. You know what they say, you can't eat the horns ;)
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Re: When to shoot a doe

Unread postby Hawthorne » Fri Aug 28, 2020 11:11 am

I haven’t shot a doe in a few years but before that I shot one every year for a long time. My goal was to always get one early in early October. Or our early doe season in September. Then start seriously buck hunting late October . Now with the scouting I do and ground I cover I’m in the game every hunt for a nice buck so does aren’t on my list. Good luck they are over populated in some areas
Last edited by Hawthorne on Fri Aug 28, 2020 11:31 am, edited 1 time in total.
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AfootTrack56
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Re: When to shoot a doe

Unread postby AfootTrack56 » Fri Aug 28, 2020 11:24 am

Sadly, I dont get to shoot does anymore. It’s buck only for Arizona. If I had the chance to arrow a big doe again I’d do it in a heartbeat. Unless I knew a monster buck was gonna be coming out. I used to intentionally hunt does all the time when I lived in Wisconsin. I love it!!
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Re: When to shoot a doe

Unread postby PAbowhunter10 » Fri Aug 28, 2020 11:37 am

backstraps wrote:For me, your last paragraph sums it up easily

If I am sitting in a tree waiting for that buck to come....then I am waiting for the buck to come by

I agree with MM... I know what I am hunting when I close the door to leave

I will say though, when I target does for the freezer, then I go to places for a doe. Im not in the areas I buck hunt to shoot does

Hope that helps some
Best of luck this season, I hope you meet your goal and have a safe and happy season


I second this^^
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Tribute80
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Re: When to shoot a doe

Unread postby Tribute80 » Fri Aug 28, 2020 11:47 am

When they are quartering away under 20yards and after the camera is turned on. If you want to kill more deer shoot them when you see them. You will kill a buck when the opportunity presents itself. Shooting does is fun. I wouldn’t over think it.
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Re: When to shoot a doe

Unread postby RookieBeast2019 » Fri Aug 28, 2020 11:57 am

I decide before I go out as well. However if I’m going for a buck and it’s early enough and cold enough if a doe comes by I’ll think about it. Anything within an hour of dark is all buck. :dance:
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Re: When to shoot a doe

Unread postby brancher147 » Fri Aug 28, 2020 12:03 pm

I usually shoot does before the last week of October and after November. And I shoot a lot of them. Also if I get into a spot looking for a buck and the sign is just not there I may shoot a doe. But some areas I buck hunt are just too rugged to get a doe out so they are buck only. I don’t overthink it, just make the best out of the opportunities that present themselves.
Some do. Some don't. I just might...


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