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Thread: Aging a doe before shooting

  1. #1
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    Default Aging a doe before shooting

    Do you guys have any tips for figuring out how big/old a doe is before you decide to pull the trigger? Ive put myself on a couple doe this past week, but haven't pulled the trigger because i want to make sure i take a mature doe that has lived longer than a year or two. Ive tried using landmarks like the barbed wire fences or bushes, but i still haven't felt comfortable enough to shoot.

    Last night, i had a doe and her two fawns walk up to me with in 20 yards. First off, i like to believe that with 27 days left in G11, i have the patience to wait for a doe without fawns. But I did take this opportunity to try to size her up. I could tell she was noticeably bigger than the fawns, but i still thought she was just the size of a big dog. Is this typical for what we have on VAFB? Her neck looked like it was the size of my calf.

    Ive got a picture of the one from last night, but i cant get it uploaded. Ill keep trying.

    Thanks for your input.
    Last edited by RileyCyrus; 09-05-2016 at 11:30 AM.

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    the easiest way is to ask for ID
    Last edited by JustGuy; 09-06-2016 at 01:55 PM.

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    A really big doe will go 90-100 pounds. You've got plenty of time to get a doe...I'd wait until they kick the fawns loose before taking one. That should be pretty quick now. Typically you'll start seeing rut behavior beginning pretty soon. Certainly around the last 10 days of the season.
    Life's short . . . Hunt hard

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    I think it also has to do with the district location as well. It was brought to my attention last year that deer nearest to Santa Ynez River tend to be smaller. After closer observation, I agree. I shot a doe last week in C4 and I estimate she weighed in the range of 120 to 130 pounds field dressed. I saw another big doe yesterday in C4. Pay close attention to the color and shape of head. Young deer heads to be more rounder on the edges and less box shaped than older deer. That's been one of my projects I've wanted to do by providing photos. Just have gotten to it yet. Right now, I'm looking for that special buck.
    Dave Gray
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    Unofficial VAFB Rod & Gun Club

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    Dave,

    Really C-4? What's left of that area that can be hunted? Interesting theory on the river.. why is that do you think? I'd have thought the closer to the water the bigger?
    Life's short . . . Hunt hard

    Quote Originally Posted by ltdann View Post
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    Quote Originally Posted by ltdann View Post
    Dave,

    Really C-4? What's left of that area that can be hunted? Interesting theory on the river.. why is that do you think? I'd have thought the closer to the water the bigger?
    There's plenty of acres on the outskirts of the UXO. But I did see some hunters that were in the UXO the other day, but it's easy to do because not all roads in have a sign as I have learned.

    Water has nothing to do with size. The answer as to why, I don't know. I don't believe it affects the antler size, just body weight. Although, my last year's fork horn is bigger than any I've seen this year near the river area.
    Dave Gray
    Webmaster
    Unofficial VAFB Rod & Gun Club

  7. #7
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    Thanks for the responses. Ive seen a few deer chasing each other and trying to mount each other. No obvious antlers, so it could be button bucks getting in the mood. Do deer also "flirt" like dogs do when they're in heat? It seems like they are chasing each other around before mounting/being mounted.

    Also, where is the Santa Ynez River? Ive been looking for water that could hold pigs nearby but i haven't been able to find any yet.

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