Yearling or older doe? - The HuntingPA.com Outdoor Community
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post #1 of 87 (permalink) Old 09-14-2016, 01:22 PM Thread Starter
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Yearling or older doe?

Do you prefer a yearling rather then an older doe for the freezer? 2nd year hunting - 1st year with doe tags. Thanks!
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post #2 of 87 (permalink) Old 09-14-2016, 01:30 PM
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Re: Yearling or older doe?

For me, it depends on the time of year. I get nervous about shooting doe in rifle season because I don't prefer to kill pregnant doe. I used to never worry about that stuff, but now that we take a more strict management approach to the property I'm more apprehensive about it. We go through about 6 deer a year, so I like to shoot the bigger doe early in the season if I can. The younger deer are more tender obviously, but I have killed some giant older doe and haven't had an issue with taste/tenderness. I soak all of my meat for a few days in ice water. It removes a lot of the gaminess and seems to keep the meat more tender.

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post #3 of 87 (permalink) Old 09-14-2016, 01:47 PM
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Re: Yearling or older doe?

Gaminess? Remember the odds are just over 50% that the yearling is a young buck that may grow into a monster.
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post #4 of 87 (permalink) Old 09-14-2016, 01:49 PM
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Re: Yearling or older doe?

I used to take older does as well. One of my suburban spots has smart does that learn from momma. They know to look up in the trees when going thru a funnel I hunt. I would take the older does hoping they wouldn't pass on this info. I have since learned that older does tend to have more experience raising younguns and more likely to have twins or triplets. From a conservation point I now tend to shoot the yearling does and limit my movement in the stands. They have looked right at me and as long as I am still ,they will ignore me after a few minutes.

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post #5 of 87 (permalink) Old 09-14-2016, 02:02 PM
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Re: Yearling or older doe?

Unless I have a compelling reason to shoot a young deer I try to take bigger, older deer....be that doe or buck. I have, in the past, shot a 6mths old doe because I knew I needed 10lbs of meat to finish out my quota for summer sausage. I didn't need 30lbs of meat and didn't have a real good reason to shoot a bigger deer to get more meat than I needed.

If the freezer filling up is your goal it's a lot easier and faster to do with bigger deer. It also takes almost as long to butcher a 60lbs deer as it does to butcher a 170lbs deer....AND, that bigger deer is easier to butcher because there's a greater meat:waste ratio.

There's a little perspective from someone that does weigh and butcher his own deer.

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post #6 of 87 (permalink) Old 09-14-2016, 02:06 PM
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Re: Yearling or older doe?

Yes I prefer a yearling deer rather than an older deer. Sex don't matter they all taste the same if taken under the same conditions.
45 years hunting and lost count of the years with a doe tag or more. Waugh!

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post #7 of 87 (permalink) Old 09-14-2016, 02:17 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Yearling or older doe?

Really good insight from a lot of view points!

Question... So you shot what you think is a yearling doe but it turns out to be a buck. How do you handle this as its not a legal buck right?

Thanks all just want to be sure I am good to pull the trigger!
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post #8 of 87 (permalink) Old 09-14-2016, 02:20 PM
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Re: Yearling or older doe?

6 month old doe is what I target for food.

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post #9 of 87 (permalink) Old 09-14-2016, 02:33 PM
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Re: Yearling or older doe?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dan W York 5B
Question... So you shot what you think is a yearling doe but it turns out to be a buck. How do you handle this as its not a legal buck right?
If the spikes are less than 3", it counts as an antlerless deer. If they're longer, best call the local WCO and sort it out with him.

That said, the smaller deer are either young doe or button bucks, and if you're patient, you can usually see the bumps on the head which will tell you it's a buck.

I generally go for a nice, long-nosed older doe... less concern about shooting a button buck, and I'm a fat kid that can go through three decent sized deer in a year's time. An adult doe will yield me 15-20 packs of steaks and ~20 lbs of scrap for burger, bologna, etc.

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post #10 of 87 (permalink) Old 09-14-2016, 02:41 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Yearling or older doe?

So as a new hunter and my family never had venison other then jerky... should I try for a younger doe so I can get them into eating a less gamey meat, make a lot of jerky or just say the heck with that and eat it all myself.
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