Yes or No to Harvest Doe?
We get this question each & every year. So we are
sure some of you are already wondering what our
opinion is and/or what we are asking our hunters to
do on the subject of harvesting a doe. We know
this subject can at times be controversial and that
everyone has a difference of opinion. Please know
that we do respect & support all of the views and
opinions of all hunters with their right to hunting
whitetail. Just please try to be open minded as to
understand that we make suggestions and/or put
rules n regulations in place for the benefit of each &
every hunter, both present & future.
At Backwoods Whitetails we believe that as hunters it is and always will be
the responsibility of every hunter to exercise both conservation and
preservation practices. With the good efforts & proper thinking, Hunters can
and will help to keep the deer population in their area strong and healthy.
Thus the end result will be everyone having the best possible hunting
experiences each and every year.
So on to the question of Harvesting a doe while on your hunt. I think there
may be allot of outfitters out there that WANT their hunters to shoot a doe.
But know that I am a little different, lol. Ok I am probably ALLOT more
different to the point of probably seeming weird in a few ways too. But I do
think different when it comes to whitetails.
Now most guys don't come to Illinois to shoot a doe and they are here
specifically for a trophy buck and that is it. So for all of those that "ARE"
wanting to harvest a doe on their hunt. Please know that along with the
harvesting of one buck of your choosing, we do permit you the privilege of
harvesting one antlerless deer while on your hunt. Just know/remember that
IT IS NOT MANDATORY to harvest a doe at our camp.
For the Early Season Bow Hunter and the Earlier Peak Rut Bow Hunters that
are interested in/wanting to harvest a doe. We are requesting / suggesting /
asking that you please choose to shoot a doe fawn if you are wanting extra
meat to take home. Yes this can and will risk the harvesting of a button
buck. But as a guide, that is a risk I am willing to take. I do know that with
some extra patience and added effort from each hunter. If you were to take
the extra time to really look over the deer before shooting it. That will highly
decrease the chances for accidentally harvesting a button buck.
Now...lol...before anyone gets all ticked off & twisted about my way of
thinking. Please give us a minute to explain why we request that every one
does their best to comply with our program.
1st). A doe fawn usually will not come into its first estrous cycle until it is
6-7 months old. Therefore, it will not come into heat during the peak of the
rut, nor will not hold any value for attracting and/or holding any bucks to
your area. So by harvesting a doe fawn, hunters are not eliminating the
possibility for some live buck bait during the rut.
2nd). For the guys with the idea of "I will just shoot me a doe early and get
that out of the way" Well...We simply ask that you please put yourselves into
the position of ALL of the other hunters that will be coming to hunt the same
area "following your hunt". If you were to harvest/take out/remove a mature
doe that is and/or will be coming into heat this season? The biggest impact
is that now a local doe has been removed. Thus, she WILL NO LONGER BE
IN THE AREA to attract and/or hold mature bucks to/in the area for which
you and/or future hunters will be hunting. Always keep in mind that just
because she isn't in heat on Friday doesn't mean she wont be coming into
heat by Tuesday of the following week. So keep in mind that the taking out a
mature breed able doe during your hunt could not only cost you. But it could
also affect the outcome of a hunt for another hunter that is hunting the same
area following your hunt. So bottom line is to ask yourself "What would you
really want the guy before you to shoot knowing that you will be hunting the
area right after he does"?
3rd). MOST IMPORTANT!! A 1 1/2 yr doe her first time will usually
give birth to one fawn. A doe that is 2 1/2 - 3 1/2 will normally give birth to
twins for a couple three years. But, a mature doe in her prime will have the
ability to give birth to triplets. Therefore, by harvesting a doe
"fawn" you have only eliminated ONE deer from the
woods for next season. BUT, when you take out a mature doe you
have then eliminated three deer and maybe even four deer from the woods
for following years hunting season. And keep in mind that there are usually
always button bucks in that group of fawns.
Please know that because I have been encouraging this practice for the past
few years. We are seeing quite a few sets of triplets each year with sets of
fawns being reported by hunters as having one doe fawn and the other two
being button bucks. So know that the previous years hunters have worked
hard to help make your hunt a success. We hope that you will also choose to
pay it forward and please support the purpose for what we are trying to
accomplish. All efforts are for the benefit of everyone that hunts with us
each and every year. Please respect the fact that we are trying to build a
bigger and better deer population to help make future hunts better for not
only your.... but all future hunters.
Thank You for practicing conservation and preservation while hunting with
us here in Illinois. Your efforts as ethical sportsman are greatly appreciated
and will not ever go unrecognized. If anyone has questions on and/or wants
to discuss this subject with me a little more. Please feel free to call, email or
Thank you again, Brett & Bridget