We recently received the following question and thought our reply may help others…
Question: What is the ideal age of does to harvest? Young or old?
Answer: Harvesting enough does to ensure the entire herd has enough groceries during the late summer and late winter is much more important than the age of does harvested. Many folks miss their doe harvest goal because they are trying to select a certain age class doe to harvest.
Older does tend to be a bit better mothers. If the habitat is improved, younger does have the benefit of being produced and nursed by a doe that was in better shape! The health of the doe can make a huge difference in the health and productivity (antlers or fawns) of the fawn throughout life.
Hence, it’s best to work to improve the habitat and harvest enough does to ensure the entire herd has ample quality groceries.
For more information on doe harvest, watch this video, DEER HUNTING: WHY AND WHEN TO HARVEST DOES.