Bucks or Does ??

Discussion in 'Hunting Forum' started by SWO1, Oct 14, 2012.

  1. SWO1

    SWO1 Well-Known Member Lifetime Supporting

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    When the conversation turns to WhiteTail Deer hunting it seems the first question always asked is "How many points did he have". What is the allure of the average hunter to taking an antlererd deer over a non-antlered one ?

    The Missouri hunting regulations allow only "One" antlered deer per gun season. Not a Buck but Antlered. Yes females do on occasion have antlers. A few years back a young girl a few counties over took a female deer with a Massive Non-Typical spread. My thoughts on the subject are:

    1. During the Rut (mating season) Male Deer (Bucks) are a lot easier to take than females. They have only one thing on their mind, causing them to be less wary. They tend to ignore typical danger signs and pursue does with reckless abandon. They also challange other males for mating rights and will respond to calls of grunts, antler rattling, doe bleats, and scent trails and lures.

    2. Meat for an average (2 year old) buck is less tasty than a doe. I'm a meat hunter and always perfer a doe over a buck. Have never found a good receipe for antlers.

    3. A BIG misconception is you can tell the age of a buck by the number of spikes on his rack. Not true at all. Deer DO NOT put on a spike a year. The average life span of a Wild Deer is 10 years. Some may put on a couple and never get any more the rest of their lives. The only sure way to tell is to check their teeth, like a horse. Kind of hard to do before you take them.

    So whats the driving force behind The Hunt. Is it the Primal Instinct to elimate other Male competition ? Or the satification of having that trophy Mount hanging on the wall ? Or is it another driving force to privide FOOD. I guess is a little of them all......:)
     
  2. Rich1028

    Rich1028 Well-Known Member

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    this will be our first season of hunting deer.
    Michigan
    we got a late in the season start,and can only get buck permits.
    so it will be bucks for us.
    since it is our first season...any size will do us just fine!
     

  3. SWO1

    SWO1 Well-Known Member Lifetime Supporting

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    The best of luck on your Hunt Rich. Remember there is Hunting and there is actually taking game. Dont confuse the two. Some of my most memoriable times have been when I didnt get anything. If nothing else you will LEARN. The time spent JUST DOING IT is the best part....ENJOY !!
     
  4. duster066

    duster066 Well-Known Member Supporting

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    For me I don't care what the heck it is I just want to kill a deer at least once. So I guess it's a primal thing for me. What ticks me off is I could kill em by the dozen if they didn't have to have horns!;) Now here's the kicker...there is an antlerless late bow season in that area. Hmm...I got fairly good at 3D competitions last summer, I even won one of them.
     
  5. Windy

    Windy Well-Known Member Supporting

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    This is a very interesting thread. I always wondered why no one talked about shooting does. I am learning something here.
     
  6. hombre243

    hombre243 Well-Known Member

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    Does vs Bucks

    Truth be told, the does are the smart ones and arebuck's eyes and ears during the rut. Mature does are the ones who prep the young does for breeding and when the buck plants the seed the herd dows run the newly bred doe so as to keep the juice in the jar, so to speak. Just like breeding horses...if they are walking or running they cannot piddle it out. The buck is just a horny guy at breeding time but trophy hunters see a large body size and a tall hatrack and a WWF fat neck and get all gooey , which is called buck fever. The does may or may not be better tasting but I like to shoot bucks for 2 reasons...bigger body/more meat, and less body fat.

    I killed my first doe and she was a barren doe...and she was 3 1/2 years old. The meat had fat marbling that cooked out, but left some residual fat in the meat that hardened on my teeth like candle wax. That is the main reasons I like shooting bucks. Meat quality.

    The does are the real trophy because she is the keeper and protector of the herds and just as there is a dominant buck there is a dominant doe. If one wants a true trophy that will be easy to get (has a weak spot), go for the lead doe. She sticks her neck out for the buck, but when he aint around, she is cagy as a cat. That is when a doe becomes the trophy.
     
  7. SWO1

    SWO1 Well-Known Member Lifetime Supporting

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    Good post Hombre !!! Glad you find this stuff interesting Windy. It could come in handy when you do get the chance or intrest in hunting. I have found over the years that observing, like during Turkey season or just sitting out and watching has taught me more about deer and other species than activily hunting them. One of the BEST seasons I ever had was when I first moved here and before my grandsons started hunting. My wife dosnt eat meat of any kind (just fish) so that year I decided to take only one deer. during Turkey season I observed quite a few deer and picked out a medium sized doe that seemed to have no fawns and was marked so I could identify her. I passed up many a shot on others including Bucks. Even passed on several occasions on her if the shot was not to my liking. On the 8th day it all came together. It was I think the best time I have EVER had hunting for myself.
     
  8. hombre243

    hombre243 Well-Known Member

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    Pre-season "Scouting" for deer...


    I have talked to many many deer hunters who diligently begin scouting their deer months before the season. I never bothered. I just went squirrel hunting where the deer were and connected every year for 5 years straight on opening day. If a deer gets used to your scent in the woods and learns that that scent is not predatory or otherwise threatning or frightening to the deer, most of the deer in the herds nearby relax a lot.

    I was napping under a huge oak while squirrel hunting one day and was awakened by the rustling of leaves very nearby. I raised my eyelids and didn't move a tiny bit and got the show of my life.

    As I described in a previous post, the herd corralled a young doe between several mature does and steadied her for breeding. The buck had to be extremely close, because when the doe dropped her hinders the buck ran in, double tapped and then ran off. The herd does trotted the new mom to be about 100 yards down and back so she could concieve without spilling.

    That buck was a 12 pointer that measured 168 6/8 B&C. I allowed a friend to babysit that head when I was homeless and when I went back to get it he said moths ate it. I asked for the antlers and he said they ate the antlers too. So I lost my proof. But in 85 it was the second largest taken in IL or IA, and I lived in IL The largest was about the same size but had a rag head that was somehow counted as a typical and had over 200 points...I do not remember the B&C score but that buck won.

    I guess I could be called a trophy hunter or was, but he was the only one I salivated over when I saw him in the woods. I hunted him but everytime I got close enough for a shot with the bow (I hunted him with a bow before gun season) the doe snorted and they ran off. I was within just a few feet several times but every time, it was the doe leading and snortinn and stomping and it was the buck who's white flag I saw first...and he wasn't surrendering. First day of gun season I was prone on a high bank over a flooded creek. I measured the distance at exactly 40 yards.

    The head placed second overall in the IL/IA Big Buck Contest. I happened to be at the right place at the right time when he emerged from his sleeping area and I popped him in the neck with a 20 ga slug, 2 minutes after shooting time started, opening day. He field dressed at 195 so the on the hoof size was about 234#. I took him to the processor and that convinced me to do my own butchering. The cape and head were expertly separated from the meat...as was I. I got 55 pounds of meat.

    Right place at the right time. To me though, the biggest deer gets the nod...or whichever crosses my line of sight. If it is too small I pass...but if it looks plump and juicy...well, you know. :D As one of the responding posts said...aint found no good recipes for horns and antlers.

    manoman, I hope I can get on the road. I need to hunt!
     
  9. SWO1

    SWO1 Well-Known Member Lifetime Supporting

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    I know around this area there are good and bad processors. I myself have NEVER used one as I grew up where we did all our own processing, beef, hogs and game. Had a large smoke house. I've heard stories about getting ripped off in returned #s and also you never know if you get YOUR deer or someone elses. Myself I dont see the difference in working up a deer or a squirrel. Just volume.

    LOL....gotta comment, just had a Turkey trot past the back porch as I sit here typing on my laptop.....:D Headed back toward the deerstand area.

    Holly Crap,,,There goes some more, about 50 yards out. Now is that an oman or WHAT.....To much to do this morning, got a honey dew list from the Boss, as I was gone all weekend with the Turkey Shoot. I cant sit here and watch this, got to get moving and to work.......later
     
  10. hombre243

    hombre243 Well-Known Member

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    I can see it now...

    You betcha its an omen...theyre wantin you to feed then BEFORE you go hunting. But they're patient...they'll wait on the porch.
     
  11. greyhawk50

    greyhawk50 Well-Known Member

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    I started deer hunting in 1973. Was invited to an annual hunting trip to Pa. by a friends. That adventure lasted 8 years until I changed jobs and had a couple years w/o enough vacation time. The laws in Pa. allowed for two weeks of Buck Season and then a third week for Does. We always hunted the opening week, Buck only. I had good success by bagging 5 deer in 8 years, (above average). The hunting was good and there were thousands of acres of National Forest to wander through. Although there were some patterns, the deer could be anywhere.
    I have returned 3 times since 1981 but it's not the same. (another story)
    Then I started hunting Ohio. A totally different type of hunt, to which I've never totally adjusted. Permission to hunt is required and the farms may range from 40 to 200 acres. And permission may not be available for the farm next door. Most farms are 80% tillable so there are "wood lots" spotted everywhere. The deer travel for area to area and without permission, finding their bedding and feeding area is tough. This research phase has been made easier with the introduction of Trail Cameras.
    Here in Ohio, I dedicate 1-2 days in the blind to looking for a bigger than ever Buck. Just to put a smile on my face. Then I focus on putting meat in the freezer. Actually, my last deer was a medium size Doe. That is my preference because they taste better, in my opinion. And the farmers prefer that the Does be taken. After they have mated, they usually conceive twins so for each Doe taken, you reduce the herd by 3.
    There seems to be 2 types of successful hunts. Either find a well used path where they travel from their beds to their feeding areas and set up a tree stand or a blind. This often requires hours and hours of scouting, sitting and waiting :eek:. Something that I'm not good at. Or, be part of a group hunt (which I am not) whereas you have Drivers and Standers. I was involved in this type of hunt in the early 80s and nearly got shot. :eek:
    One of the keys to success is to find a good spot with limited pressure. Hopefully, I've found just that spot this year.
    As for processing deer, I have done my own since 1974. My first job out of high school was as a meat cutter for 2 years. My first deer was processed in a butcher shop and wasn't fit to eat. The source of the strong gamey taste is from the fat and the bone marrow. The butcher shop used a band saw which wiped the marrow across every cut. Yuck!!
    If Ya'll want, for Windy's sake, we can discuss what we believe to be true or not true about Deer and the means by which we harvest them. Or do we need a separate thread??
     
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2012
  12. SWO1

    SWO1 Well-Known Member Lifetime Supporting

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    Great Idea greyhawk.....Not only for Windy, but Im sure I will learn something also....:)

    One of the biggest misconceptions is that the deer population has been deminished by human pressure. Really quite the opposite. Last thing I read was, and this was several years ago, there are More WhiteTail now then there were at the turn of the 18th century. They are one if not the most adaptiable species there is. There are quite large and thriving populations living in large metropolitan citys, New York City being one. Reasons given for this are:

    1. Elimaniation of natural preditors such as Mountain Lions in almost the entire U.S. and Bob Cats ( who will take deer)

    2. Vast areas all over the US being planted with Food sources that would not naturally be avaiable, And I mean commercially grown corn, wheat, milo, beans and grass crops such as High yield hay like alfalfa.
     
  13. hombre243

    hombre243 Well-Known Member

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    My dad liked to mention how much he liked hunting where he grew up. The thing is when he was growin up there were no deer in Fulton Cty IL. Now it is one of the top producers in the state. He had to wait 40 years before he saw a deer in his hometown but when he finally did, it was in a small herd. He said it was big news and got headlines in the local paper when someone spotted a deer. I have seen deer everywhere...except when I am hunting. I did see one extremely stealthy deer dressed as what appeared to be an ad for Target Superstores...
     

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  14. greyhawk50

    greyhawk50 Well-Known Member

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    Well said SWO1
    I have to agree, with only one exception. McKean County Pa. The over harvest policy of that area has reduced the herd size to a point that I may well never go back. (another story)
    In this area, I don't remember when the state started an open season for deer. I know it was after 1970 and the gun season was only 3 days, limit of one. There were extra days for archery and the firearms were limited to a shotgun with a single slug only.
    Now, the deer are everywhere in abundant numbers. When you figure that a Doe conceives her first time, she generally has a single fawn. Every year thereafter, she will conceive twins and sometimes triplets. Start out with a herd of 4 Doe and a Buck, using a calculator and see what you get in 10 years. The numbers are staggering.
    We understand that a deer's best means of defense is their sense of smell and their hearing. Their hearing can be defeated by ambient noise i.e rain and wind. Their sense of smell is less defeat-able. A debate looms on but I believe that deer are color blind. I think that what they see would be similar to us watching black and white TV. They have excellent night vision, therefore they have many more Rods (light detectors) in their eyes and less or no Cones (color detectors) I also believe that, to a deer, Solid Blaze Orange appears as bright white. Like a florescent light walking through the woods. That is why I use Camo Blaze Orange when I hunt during gun season. I also believe that deer have very poor depth perception. I have seen Does standing on a logging trail in Pa. at a distance of 100 yards. I've walked straight towards them to half that distance before they bolted. But they will detect lateral motion in a heartbeat. I believe that they have a photographic memory. They look at you, look away, look back, and if the picture isn't the same, they are gone.
    And as for their situational awareness, superb. I believe that they live and die in an area about 1 mile by 1.5 miles. And they know every inch of that area. It would be like you or me living in a 3000 sg. ft. house and an intruder enters. Their awareness is that keen.
    What thoughts do others have????
     
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2012
  15. greyhawk50

    greyhawk50 Well-Known Member

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    I have known of deer that would crawl on their knees to avoid detection. Even back up into a brush pile or hide in a Red Briar Patch to conceal their antlers. They will even lay down during a snow storm and become totally covered with snow so they look like a snow covered rock. If they know that there is someone around, they can pass through a wood without a sound. They are smart animals and if a mature buck can make it through 3 seasons, he will most likely die of old age. They don't get old by being dumb.
     
  16. greyhawk50

    greyhawk50 Well-Known Member

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    Not to hijack the thread but this was a trail cam pic. taken in Ohio in Sept. 2009.
    Virtually unheard of in this state.
    Coyotes are becoming a problem in our state. A friend confirmed that the ODNR introduced them from Mich. in an attempt to control the deer population. They deny it but he shot one with a Mich. I.D. tag attached so he called the numbers and they confirmed his suspicions.
     

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  17. SWO1

    SWO1 Well-Known Member Lifetime Supporting

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    I believe deer are color blind. I also believe they along with a lot of other animals can sence IR beams, weather sensors or flashes. When deer hunting i dont pay a whole lot of attention to clothing, except to keep warm. Of course I wear Blaze Orange just because its required by LAW. Cap and Vest. Sence of smell YES..sounds Im not so sure about. I have been working a chain saw in the timber, looked up and there is a deer standing 20 yards from me, just watching. Also have had them follow the tractor when mowing hay or brush. I know here they are not afraid of the Kids dog. Some time they will just trot off when confronted by them, but a lot of times will stand their ground. Had one a while back grazing in the back yard and my daughters cat was stalking it. the deer would just glance up at it once in a while but generally paid it no mind.....was funny to watch. Was always told a deer would perfer to NOT walk thru an opening in a fence. I didnt believe it until on one occasion I observed two deer walk down a fence line to a open gate. They paused and then walked about 10 feet past and jumped over the fence, walked back over to the lane and continuted on.

    When having two deer, a buck and a doe together, I always shoot the doe first. A lot of times, but not always, the buck will stick around, and even if he runs off, will return a very short time later. Shooting the buck first and the doe will be LONG GONE !!

    Shoot and miss a doe and youve seen the last of her for about a week. Miss a buck and he will a lot of time just stand there or trot off a few yards and stop again, or circle back around and show himself again. Have a REAL FUNNY story about a hunting trip with a Missouri Highway patrolman, his new pair of insulated coveralls and missing a buck the first try. Will tell later on in the thread.

    While at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina, at New River Air Station, right next door, the opening day of deer season for about 4 years a very large buck whould show up at the main gate and stand there all day about 30 ft from the traffic lanes. At dusk he would dissapear to reemerge again the next morning. He seemed to know with the MPs on the gate he was in NO DANGER. This would go on the entire season. After the closing day you never see him again till the next year.

    THEY KNOW !!
     
  18. hombre243

    hombre243 Well-Known Member

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    Bet I know why

    While at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina, at New River Air Station, right next door, the opening day of deer season for about 4 years a very large buck whould show up at the main gate and stand there all day about 30 ft from the traffic lanes. At dusk he would dissapear to reemerge again the next morning. He seemed to know with the MPs on the gate he was in NO DANGER. This would go on the entire season. After the closing day you never see him again till the next year.

    THEY KNOW !!

    "cause Gomer taught em survival skills.
     
  19. greyhawk50

    greyhawk50 Well-Known Member

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    Good information;
    Color blind - agreed.
    IR beams - sounds right. They sure get curious about my game cam with IR.
    UV - could be why blaze orange looks like a fluorescent light. They say that a UV Killer detergent will solve that problem???
    Sense of hearing. - I believe it is excellent, but they know what is normal. Most sounds are recognized as normal and passed off. Some sounds cause them to be on alert, engage their other senses and take a closer look. However, abnormal sounds i.e. metallic sound made by working the action or even the hammer/safety on a rifle will cause them to bolt.
    We have a Shorty Jack Russell. She is an excellent alert dog. About a year ago, my daughter and her family moved in with us. Our granddaughter was 17 and had a boyfriend. It was amazing how fast she picked up on the sounds in the night that were made by family and those that weren't.
    Chain saws and 2 stroke engines were illegal in Pa. during deer season. When the loggers would do their clear-cuts, the deer would move in at night and feed on the wood chips. Heard reports of deer standing back and waiting until the loggers left so they could feed. Two Stroke engines were considered an attractant.
    Like you say, THEY KNOW much more than we give them credit for.
     
  20. SWO1

    SWO1 Well-Known Member Lifetime Supporting

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    Again while Turkey hunting one fall I had set up in a large dozed log pile overlooking the top of a draw. After calling for quite a while I decided to move closer to the draw (about a hundred yards) by walking along a fence line to another dozer pile. About 50 yards down the line I junped a Large buck who had been laying on the fence line the entire time. He let me get to within about 5 feet of him before he jumped up and ran off. The only thing that kept him from running over me was he was laying on the other side of the fence. Scared the Crap outta me. I didnt know WHAT was commin up out of those weeds.......:eek: And NO....dry leaves DO NOT make good toliet paper......:p