Don’t believe exaggerated tales about massively skewed doe-to-buck ratios.
QUESTION: I live in northern Louisiana. Can you tell me the buck-to-doe ratio where I live? Also, is it okay to take one doe out of the area in the first week in December? — Jimmy S.
ANSWER: Without contacting the state wildlife biologist responsible for the area you live, I have no way of knowing what the buck-to-doe ratio is. Even they might not know the answer for your specific area. There are so many factors that can influence it. I can tell you that the biological maximum for a pre-hunt adult population is 5:1. Space precludes me from explaining why that is so, but you can find a detailed explanation here.
As for taking a doe in early December, my short answer is: If the regulations allow it, then it will not be harmful to your deer population. The question then becomes whether or not you want to remove does before the rut, which in your case probably occurs somewhere between late December and early January.
Again, there are numerous variables, but in terms of energy conservation, I believe it’s better to remove does before the rut — before they and the bucks have extended energy toward breeding that will not be realized into the population if that doe is removed. Besides, taking a doe before you go after bucks helps boost your confidence, takes the pressure off and puts venison in the freezer. — Recent Ask the Biologist Question:
Hang ‘em High: The debate continues on whether it’s best to process a deer immediately or to wait.
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