Should you shoot does in early archery season? This tends to be a hot topic for many hunters. While I have no problem shooting does early season, I know other hunters who are 100% against it.
So, what seems to be the issue for so many hunters? Well, it comes down to one simple thing, a fear of spooking the bucks. A lot of hunters believe there may be a big buck lurking somewhere out of sight, and if you pull that trigger to take the doe, the buck is going to get away. Or, they think if you shoot a doe or two, the bucks won’t come around anymore. I guess either scenario is possible, but neither is very likely. Especially the second scenario, unless you’re killing the only does on the entire property. And, let’s face it, that’s even less likely!
Now, why do I favor shooting does in early season? Well, I have a few reasons. Here are my top 4, starting with my #1 reason for taking does during early archery season.
Quality Deer Management
You are less likely to shoot a button buck or a shed buck! Button bucks are typically much smaller during early season, making it less likely to shoot one by mistake. And, then late in the season, many of the bucks have already shed their antlers, increasing the chance of shooting a shed buck by mistake.
Less Pressure On You
As far as pressure goes, this is the perfect opportunity to get rid of the hunting jitters. I always prefer to take a doe first; there is a big difference between shooting the target in the back yard and shooting the actual living animal! Not to mention, taking a doe always increases my confidence, so I feel much better about taking a shot on that big buck when it steps out.
Less Pressure on the Deer
Deer are more relaxed during early archery season. Once the woods fill with gun hunters, the pressure is on, and even the does become more wary. So, if you want to fill your doe tags, early archery season is the best time to get it done! That’s not to say you have to kill all of your does during early season, I’m just saying it increases your chance of getting it done.
Improves Buck to Doe Ratio
While many hunters think that having a bunch of does around increases the chances of bringing in that big buck, the reality is quite the opposite. In fact, having too many does decreases the chances of getting that buck. Ideally, you want your buck to doe ratio to be one buck for every two to three does, or less. Though, it is doubtful that anyone could ever achieve a ratio of less than 1:2 or 3; even reaching those types of numbers can be impossible for some hunters. So, start thinking the opposite as to what you have been; remember, less does equal more bucks!! It’s all about the competition; that’s why it’s called the rut!
Well, there you have it. This is my list of why you should be shooting does during early archery season. I know I am not going to change everyone’s mind on this topic. And, that’s okay. I believe everybody has a right to their own opinion; I will respect yours, and in turn I hope you will show me the same respect. My goal is to simply get as much information out there as possible, but in the end, the decision is all yours.
So, now that you have read my thoughts on this topic, tell me what you think? Do you shoot does early season? If not, I would love to hear from you. It is always nice to know the “why” behind the reason. And, remember I will respect your reasons, as I hope you will respect mine.
Let your passion fly!