Shoot does for better herd management

When it comes to knowing and hunting deer, most of us probably consider ourselves pretty well versed.

I have found, however, that there are some whose knowledge and experience go far beyond my own on this subject.

Young deer hunter Caleb Roux does not mind improving the herd by shooting does.

C.J. Winand is one of America’s top white-tailed deer biologists. This man knows as much about deer as Jimmy Dean knows about sausage.

Seriously though, he does know his stuff about deer. Much of this biological and behavioral knowledge can come in handy to those of us who hunt deer. I will do my best to accurately pass along what I have learned about deer biology from C.J. Winand.

A lot of the deer behavior I had learned in my youth was either substantiated by C.J. or totally shot down. The best example of the latter is how I was taught that doe always urinate in scrapes.

According to C.J., that may happen, but it is not the usual thing for a doe to do. When a doe runs across a fresh scrape, she may just stay in that general area waiting on the buck to return, if she is in estrous. A buck does not have to put his nose in her urine to know she is around and to know she is in season.

While we are talking about female deer, let me give you C.J.’s number one tip for herd management: “SHOOT DOES!!” Here is the rationale for that, based on a behavioral view: When young deer, say 6- to 8-months old, are still with their mother, they follow her every command. As these small deer begin to mature, the old doe will run them off, literally. She chases them off with such vigor that most often the young bucks leave this home area, never to return.

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