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Discussion Starter #1
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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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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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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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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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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Discussion Starter #7
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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Dan W York 5B said:
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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Discussion Starter #10
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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Discussion Starter #11
jmbear12 said:
Dan W York 5B said:
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.
thanks for the info... 1st year with a doe tag so I am getting excited! I had one in my sights last year at less than 20 yards... 1st day crossbow and watched it for 20 minutes on the ground base of a tree. I was shaking even know I knew i couldn't shoot it. Even got a video on my cell before it busted me. I will never forget that morning!
 

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I've never been able to notice any difference between young tender deer burger and old deer burger. But I can tell when I run out of burger. A big deer equals more meat, that's the one I want.
 

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Depends on why you want to harvest a deer. If any deer will make you happy, shoot any deer that is legal. If you are happy with any deer, and really like the meat, try holding out for a older doe. If you are interested in game management, which deer to shoot becomes important. if you shoot a fawn, there is a chance you are shooting a buck fawn, so learn what to look for to distinguish them apart. Older does are more likely to have multiple fawns, and the fawns have a better chance at making it. If deer numbers are low and you want more deer, shoot younger does, or bucks. If deer numbers are high and you want less deer, shooting older does is better.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
dpms said:
Depends on why you want to harvest a deer. If any deer will make you happy, shoot any deer that is legal. If you are happy with any deer, and really like the meat, try holding out for a older doe. If you are interested in game management, which deer to shoot becomes important. if you shoot a fawn, there is a chance you are shooting a buck fawn, so learn what to look for to distinguish them apart. Older does are more likely to have multiple fawns, and the fawns have a better chance at making it. If deer numbers are low and you want more deer, shoot younger does, or bucks. If deer numbers are high and you want less deer, shooting older does is better.
I hunt public/SGL and I haven't got a deer yet so I think I will go with any legal deer I can. Thanks for the info will use this in the future. I also started to follow QDMA for info... but right now I am just learning the woods and if I get a crack at a deer I'll be taking it.
 

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For the first, go with whatever deer gives you a shot. Don't get hung up on "management goals". To get your family into eating venison, start with making burger into stuff like chili, meat sauce for spaghetti, meatloaf, tacos, etc.... Then take the tenderloins - marinade for a couple days and grill to medium. Slice thin and make a nice gravy. The back straps you can cube up and make some awesome kabobs. For the steaks, you can cube up and make a nice stew. Roasts? We always make sauer braten but a nice pot roast will go over well.
 

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I try to shoot a bigger / older doe, unless it is flintlock season, and the freezer has not been replenished at all yet.

During flintlock season, it will be any legal deer I can get a shot on.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
WOL said:
For the first, go with whatever deer gives you a shot. Don't get hung up on "management goals". To get your family into eating venison, start with making burger into stuff like chili, meat sauce for spaghetti, meatloaf, tacos, etc.... Then take the tenderloins - marinade for a couple days and grill to medium. Slice thin and make a nice gravy. The back straps you can cube up and make some awesome kabobs. For the steaks, you can cube up and make a nice stew. Roasts? We always make sauer braten but a nice pot roast will go over well.
I really like a lot of jerky... so when i take it to the processor whats the best to order? I know ill want the back straps and the tenderloin. What do they use for the jerky? I really don't want to look like such a noob. HAHAHA... and do most places actually give you the deer you bring them or just the product they make based on the pounds you bring etc.? Thanks all!!!
 

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good post I have a doe behind the house that has twins or triplets ever other year. So which do I or should I shoot? I'm weak they all get a pass. But early archery that starts Saturday I'll shoot a young one. Good eating.
 

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If I'm in the mood to shoot a doe that day,I'll whichever doe gives me the best shot,excluding any fawns.
 
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