Shooting a Doe With Fawns: What Are the Pros and Cons?

Hunters often wonder, if you shoot a doe with fawns, can the fawns still survive? QDMA breaks it down for us.

The QDMA is an outstanding organization every deer hunting enthusiast should follow and support. They provide quality information regarding everything you can imagine regarding whitetail deer management.

In this video, they answer a frequently asked question I often wonder about myself because of the many different answers I've heard. Is it OK to shoot an adult doe when she has fawns with her?

Will those fawns be able to survive without her? What are the long-term effects on the deer herd?

Well, now you'll know.

Fortunately, the seasons are set in dates when the fawns are mature enough to survive without their mothers.

But as Kip mentions, one of the best ways to judge in the field is to look and see if the young deer still has spots.

Last year I remember having a lot of young bucks cruising the main food sources on my hunting property, and I was seriously considering culling some of them to help the buck to doe ratio.

Instead, I found myself doubting the age of the certain button bucks, and couldn't distinguish between the yearlings. It's hard enough for an experienced bowhunter like myself, I can't imagine what it is like for beginners.

No hunter or conservationist worth their wits would ever recommend shooting fawns; that's detrimental to the health of the deer population. But during hunting season, we sometimes get blurred vision, and it can be admittedly difficult to properly identify individual deer. A female can look just like a male antlerless deer, a fawn can be bigger than normal, and a lot of other scenarios can come into play. Are you bowhunting in the early season, or hunting during the rut?

But it's up to individual deer hunters to determine their skills are adequate enough to be able to detect the situation, and avoid an issue like shooting a doe with fawns.

Hopefully this can put those questions you had to bed begin putting meat on the table and in the freezer before the big boys start showing more daylight activity.