Doe Harvest Criteria

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Are you selective on your doe harvest? An accomplished hunter was preaching to take out the alpha and beta does from a group because they are typically the most seasoned and will pick off hunters more readily. A show I recently watched encouraged the taking of yearling does and leaving the mature, experienced does that were proven producers and more likely to have twins. What’s your opinion?

Jim (Oklahoma)


I agree that older does typically are more likely to detect the presence of a predator (two or four legged). This is one reason mature does usually have a higher success rate at raising fawns compared to younger does. However, my primary objective for harvesting does is to balance the herd’s density with the habitat’s capacity to produce quality forage throughout the year. Hence, my doe harvest criteria is based on meeting a quota to improve or maintain the local herd and habitat’s quality. This is much more important to the herd’s overall health than attempting to select a specific age class of does to harvest and not reaching the harvest quota.

Growing Deer together,