Keeping deer populations under control means maintaining the proper deer density for the habitat found in the area, and often this means implementing a proper doe harvest. Although shooting bucks removes deer and lowers the number of mouths using the native forage, nothing is more important at maintaining a healthy deer herd than keeping the proper number of doe. Some hunters will try to shoot young-of-the year (fawns) animals because they are easier to transport back to the vehicle, easier to cut up, and make for good eating.
Plus at Northern latitudes, young-of-the-year are the first to die in a tough winter and someone has to shoot does, and it should be every serious deer hunter’s responsibility to harvest at least one doe every year in areas with healthy deer populations. Another thing to keep in mind: it does not really make a difference whether a hunter shoots a doe fawn or an old doe, the goal is to keep the population from expanding beyond the ability for the habitat to support it.
Harvesting a doe does not make anyone less of a hunter. This was once the old way of thinking, but hunters now realize that doe harvest is extremely important. Instead, doe harvests demonstrates that you are an informed and conscientious hunter who understands that hunting is a vital part of wildlife management and not just about trophies. Don’t forget, doe permits are still available in a number of states, and these are also valid during the muzzleloader seasons with a muzzleloader, and through the archery season with a bow, but they are only valid in the unit described on the license.