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Taking pregnant does?

Safari Hunt

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Bradley County
My grandson and I blanked today but did find a good crappie fishing site. Later, my wife asked if does that are taken according to regulations are pregnant. That was one I couldn't answer or even BS my way to an answer.
 

JCDEERMAN

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NASHVILLE, TN
Yes - years ago TWRA used to do research on that and see how many fawns were in the fetuses of deer taken by hunters. Wish they did more of that type stuff and changed the regs on population accordingly
 
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DRSJ35

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Dec 2, 2015
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I wish they did to. Instead of 2 weekends a year at check station 50 miles from my house. Not saying there not doing all they can do. But politics seem to rule the day. But hunters are concerned about the deer herd not politics. If I can only kill 1 or 2 doe’s a year so be it. Refs can always be adjusted one way or the other. Good question though I would like to know myself.
 

DoubleRidge

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Nov 24, 2019
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Middle Tennessee
Great question to consider......and yes , does taken in the late season are likely pregnant....and with a healthy doe it would be common for her to be carrying twins....so in late season you take three does....it "could" equate to killing nine deer....and while it's true not all fawns will survive... many do.... something to consider in county's hit hard with EHD or for anyone who isn't seeing many deer in their area.
 

huntinkev

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Humphreys
Great question to consider......and yes , does taken in the late season are likely pregnant....and with a healthy doe it would be common for her to be carrying twins....so in late season you take three does....it "could" equate to killing nine deer....and while it's true not all fawns will survive... many do.... something to consider in county's hit hard with EHD or for anyone who isn't seeing many deer in their area.
Wouldn't killing the same 3 does in the early season have the same results? 3 does and potentially 6 fawns.
 

Antler Daddy

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I killed a doe two weeks ago that was still lactating. I guess the smaller deer with her will learn to eat more Greenbriar.
 

DoubleRidge

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Nov 24, 2019
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Middle Tennessee
Absolutely.

And I'm not saying I'm against shooting does.....I'm saying there are areas.... even in Unit-L....where hunters should consider laying off the does.... especially where EHD has hit hard..... The herd can bounce back if given a chance......half dozen mama's can make allot of babies.
 

BamaProud

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Shelby County, TN
On my farm in South AL, the rut doesn't peak until late Jan/early Feb and Bow season starts in mid October. So we don't see many "late hunting season" pregnant does (that we know of the babies would be very small) But its not uncommon to kill an early hunting season pregnant doe in October or November carrying a nearly developed fawn. I've seen fawns with spots well into December.
 

Gravey

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Jul 20, 2005
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Christiana (Rutherford County)
My brother killed a doe a few years back and when we gutted her she was pregnant with twins. Little rascals about the size of my thumb. It was kinda sad but as already mentioned it doesn’t matter if you kill her in archery season or late gun season she’s not gonna produce any babies the next spring.
 

Ski

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Nov 18, 2019
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Coffee County
While it doesn't matter for the doe if you shoot her early or late, the argument is that it matters for the bucks. Bucks use a lot of energy rutting. Its hard on them. Killing pregnant does is wasting energy bucks used up chasing, fighting, and breeding her. Killing the does early season and laying off after the rut allows efficient use of breeding energy. Thats the argument I've heard against shooting late season does, and I can see that point of view.
 

Headhunter

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Nov 14, 2000
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Tennessee
It doesn't matter if you kill them before or after they are bred. If the area is having population problems, you shouldn't kill them at any time. If you have a healthy population it does not matter.
 

BSK

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Mar 11, 1999
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Nashville, TN
As others have pointed out, post-rut most does are pregnant (although 5-10% are always barren). Doesn't matter population-wise whether you kill them before or after they get pregnant, they will not produce the fawns they would have had they lived through the season. This can be a good thing or a bad thing depending upon local circumstances.

How many (if any) does should be taken from a property/area depends on the local conditions, especially how much QUALITY food is available during the LOWEST food resource time of year? (usually February)
 

BSK

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Mar 11, 1999
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Nashville, TN
A doe that produced a fawn that survived until fall should still be lactating at this time of year. If she is not lactating, she probably lost her fawn(s) soon after birth.

In most situations, most does become pregnant with twin fetuses. Over a given location, studies usually find 1.7 to 1.8 fetuses per doe. However, difficult food resource issues in late winter or high physical stress levels can cause females to reabsorb fetuses. In addition, a shockingly high percentage (often near 50%) of newborn fawns die of natural causes. Then throw in predation of young fawns (primarily by coyotes) and fawn survival percentages can drop significantly.
 

Omega

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Dec 16, 2018
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Clarksville, TN
Just killed a doe yesterday, she seemed to be lactating. I don't check to see if they are pregnant or not, but often they are lactating. This one had some clear liquid in her teets, not the normal milky color. It wasn't puss or anything, and she was healthy so don't know what that could have been. In my area there are quite a few does, this one had three or more with her, and possibly a buck back in the woodline. Most years I take one or two does, and/or a buck or two, as I am hunting for meat, my neighbors used to hunt more often, but it seems to me the shooting has slowed down the last few years, while the deer population seems to remain about the same.
 

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