By Rich Miller
With all the private land and hunting clubs, managing the deer herd is happening now more than ever. When we talk about managing deer everyone automatically thinks “growing big bucks”. Although growing big bucks is one of the goals, making the whole heard healthy as possible is the main goal. To do this we as hunters have to take some of the does out of the herd every year, also.
The number of does we need to take is dependent on several different factors like the size of the property, the number of deer per acre and tour buck to doe ratio. The problem is shooting them when we have the chance. In the beginning of the season, I normally don’t shoot does because there is a certain buck that I have my eye on and I don’t wont to mess up the place I am hunting. I know that this is the most opportune time to take does, but between the heat and the other factor I just mentioned I can’t make myself do it. I always wait till this time of year and decide I want to shoot some does and then they are hard to see.
I got back in town late Thursday night and my little boy told me, “Let’s go hunting!” I have a good friend of mine that is trying to take a lot of does off his property so Tye and I took him up on his invitation and headed that way Friday afternoon. On the walk we noticed the food plot we had to cross to get to the stand was torn up with deer sign. That really give me a lot of confidence that we would see some does in there.
Tye and I had hunted together a lot this year and have seen a lot of deer, but all of them were small bucks and does – when we weren’t shooting does. I was really hoping we would get lucky and get a shot. The whole evening was a typical one and we were on pins and needles the whole time thinking something was going to come out any minute. As luck would have it. nothing came out until right at the end of shooting light and a decent little 7-point buck came strolling into the food plot and fed all the way across. At least we got to see a deer and that really made Tye’s evening; but as usual, when we are after big does, they don’t show.