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  1. #81
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    "To me... trophy hunting IS the ethical thing to do. Harvest mature animals."

    To me yes. That is the ethical thing to do. Again as my post stated "to me, where I live", a place you hunt from Sept 1st thru Jan 15th and can harvest 7 deer
    The ethical thing to do is harvest mature animals. There is no reason to take younger deer. Doe or buck. Kids of course are another story.

  2. #82
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    I agree with you Montana. I have to admit when hunting for meat, I still won't kill a young buck and don't like to see some other hunter do that either. It happens.

  3. #83
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    confusing Musket man. I cannot make out what you are trying to state. Just do what makes you happy I guess.

  4. #84
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    Just wanted to say I'd ratter someone trophy hunt than what they do here shoot first thing they see just so they can say they got one an if your meat hunting whats wrong with doe or cow. I hunt for the hunt I know what I'm going to shoot when I see it, its not how big the antlers are or if it even has any its what it takes to get to that point in the hunt that matters.

  5. #85
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    I am both. Whether you trophy or meat hunting its still hunting. Being in the outdoors and that's what its all about. IMO

  6. #86
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    Doe Management Equals Deer Management


    By Kevin Holsonback, Wildlife Biologist, Black Warrior WMA

    What does “doe management” mean? Among most wildlife professionals, doe management is synonymous with antlerless deer harvest. Antlerless harvest should be one of the most important components of a deer management plan. While most hunters and clubs realize the importance of managing bucks on their property, many fail to realize the importance of managing antlerless deer as well. Many things can be accomplished with an adequate antlerless harvest, all of which ultimately affect the buck population. A balanced sex ratio, shorter and earlier breeding season, increased reproduction and recruitment, and improved herd health are a few of the objectives that can be met with proper antlerless harvest.

    Wildlife biologists often encounter concerns about antlerless harvest recommendations when assisting private landowners and hunting clubs with developing deer management plans. Hunters and landowners are often reluctant to harvest does because they are afraid they do not have enough deer. This misconception can often be dissuaded with sound information concerning general deer biology and the affects of antlerless harvest.

    One population characteristic that is greatly affected by antlerless harvest is the adult sex ratio. Why is a balanced sex ratio important? If there are a disproportionate number of does in a deer herd, it is reasonable to assume all will not be bred in a timely manner. Many does will not breed and conceive on their first estrous cycle because there are not enough adult bucks in the population. These does may not be bred until their second, third or later estrus. The result is a long protracted breeding season. Also, these does will give birth later in the year than does that conceived during their first estrous cycle. These late summer, early fall born fawns typically encounter vegetation that is generally poorer in quality and quantity as it “hardens off” for winter. This causes most late born fawns to come out of their first winter in poorer condition than early born fawns. In addition, many late born bucks will have poorer antler development as 1˝ year olds than fawns born earlier in the year. With an extremely unbalanced sex ratio, some does may not breed at all.

    Too many does also means the bucks will have to do very little searching for breeding opportunities, reducing a hunter’s chance of seeing a buck. When the number of does greatly exceeds the number of bucks, the bucks do not have to compete for the right to breed. This reduces the number of rubs and scrapes observed during the hunting season. Prolonged breeding seasons wear bucks down more than a shorter, more intense rut. Bucks in this situation enter late winter and early spring in much poorer physical condition. These bucks face a much tougher recovery period in the spring and summer, which can affect antler development and body weights the following year.

    A given habitat can only support a certain number of deer in healthy condition. If the number of deer exceeds this level, habitat degradation and poorer herd health result. About one-third of a deer herd should be removed each year to maintain the population at a stable level. If the sex ratio is balanced, doe harvest should make up between 40 and 60 percent of the overall harvest to maintain this healthy balance. After only a few years of aggressive antlerless harvest, doe sightings may decline. Many hunters fear the decreased sightings are a result of drastically reduced deer numbers, when in fact; they have only educated the surviving does with the increased hunting pressure.

    Fawn production and recruitment typically increase as a result of doe management. Does usually begin breeding at 1˝ years of age, and if healthy, will reproduce each year until they die. Fifty does in good condition produce more fawns than 100 unhealthy does. Additionally, fawns produced by healthy does tend to have higher survival rates than fawns born to does in poor condition.

    When deciding to harvest does, hunters must be careful to avoid harvesting buck fawns or “button” bucks. This can easily be accomplished with just a little practice at identification. Hunters can learn to tell the difference between adult does and fawns by observing body shape and size. By waiting until several deer are present, a size comparison of the deer can be made. Additionally, adult does typically have longer and larger faces than fawns. The shape of the head on most buck fawns is flatter than a doe’s head and the developing pedicels or “buttons” are often visible upon close observation. Behavioral cues may help distinguish age classes of antlerless deer; fawns are usually more playful than adults and are generally not as cautious. Plus, fawns are often the first deer to arrive at a feeding area.

    Managing antlerless deer harvest is just as important as managing buck harvest. As a matter of fact, a good deer management plan will always place equal importance on managing bucks and does. Often, in their attempt to meet harvest goals, hunters may forget that hunting does that have been pressured can be just as difficult as trying to harvest a mature buck. Don’t overlook this opportunity to enjoy a challenging and exciting hunt when trying to improve your deer herd.

  7. #87
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    Quote Originally Posted by Montana View Post
    The ethical thing to do is harvest mature animals. There is no reason to take younger deer. Doe or buck. Kids of course are another story.
    I used to think the same thing, but was curious why most western states have specific managment objectives for calves & fawns, so I did some research. Here is an interesting article from Alaska Fish & Wildlife...

    http://www.adfg.alaska.gov/index.cfm...articles_id=52

  8. #88
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    Quote Originally Posted by Montana View Post
    "To me... trophy hunting IS the ethical thing to do. Harvest mature animals."

    To me yes. That is the ethical thing to do. Again as my post stated "to me, where I live", a place you hunt from Sept 1st thru Jan 15th and can harvest 7 deer
    The ethical thing to do is harvest mature animals. There is no reason to take younger deer. Doe or buck. Kids of course are another story.
    I'm all for letting young bucks grow up and reach their potential, but I won't hesitate to shoot a yearling doe for meat. A very good reason for that is excellent eating. Another reason is the amount of food it takes that yearling doe to reach, say 5 years of age. A doe that is already 3 or 4 years of age takes significantly less food to make it to 5 yrs. You can't control the feed that's already been eaten, but by taking a few younger animals, it increases the available food for the remaining herd, including trophy animals. That is basic ecology.
    Live to hunt, hunt to live.

  9. #89
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    I guess I fall somewhere in the middle, if there is such a place. I used to be the guy everybody hates because a trophy was the only thing that mattered. I have nearly divided my family and gave my dad a heart attack over stupidity. My dad has leased the same land we hunt since the year I was born(83). Around the time I was in high school we started managing our bucks a little more. Each year the deer we killed got a little bigger. My freshman year in college, my dad killed a 144" buck. Not a monster when you hunt where most of y'all hunt but in south Louisiana, that's a stud! That buck did something to me. I seen the potential we had and went 5 years without pulling the trigger on a buck because nothing was big enough. I always kept up on management by killing a couple does with my bow each year but let every buck I seen walk. My older brother who lives out of state now would come over for holidays and shoot a young buck every year, most of which were bucks I had already let walk that year. He would be so excited and I crushed the excitement every time. Holidays around my parents house wasn't the fun time it was supposed to be and I was 100% to blame. The only way my dad could shut me up was threaten to drop the lease. Since i was in college i couldnt afford to pick it up. Then I finally killed a buck that I considered a trophy for where I hunt. All I could think was, its not worth it. The only thing that made that buck special was it was the first buck i killed, with my dad in the woods also, in a very long time. I will be the first to say I was wrong. Even though he is 10 years older than me, he never hunted as hard as me so his meaning of a trophy wasn't the same as mine. I was too immature to see that. Since then apologies have been made and now we are closer than ever. He has sent me a text message everyday for the pasted 2 months of a number. That number being the number of days until we leave for WY together for the first time. This morning it was 13. I still hunt for what I think is a trophy but I will always try to fill a doe tag for the meat. I picked up a leftover cow elk tag in my mule deer area this year because I have never cooked elk and I really want to try it. I am also looking forward to the pack out so I can see what all you guys have been talking about

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  11. #90
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    I am a hybrid trophy hunter I guess. I hunt where pack outs are long and the terrain is rough so I will not shoot a deer or bull under the age of 3 years old anymore. I say anymore because growing up I shot any buck or bull I would see. Now the urge to shoot any buck or bull is gone, I like to challenge myself by taking mature bucks and bulls, plus this usually extends my season. I still fill the freezer every year because I buy an extra cow and doe tag for meat tags. I do not fault anyone for taking younger class animals and I feel this is another "live and let live" hunting situation kind of like the other argumentative topics we have debated on this forum. As long as you do not make hunting competitive to the point you quit enjoying it then I say do it the way you choose. One thing I hate is people putting down other hunters for not shooting animals that do not meet a size standard, especially new hunters and youth. I say you shoot the buck you think is worth your tag and I will shoot the buck I think is worth my tag. Then at the end of the hunt we shake hands, say congratulations, and all look forward to next season.
    A bad day in the woods is better than a good day at work.
    Shoot the best, Shoot PSE!

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