I don't know about you, but I have a harder time killing does in Pennsylvania's firearms season than I do bucks. I seldom fail to get a buck, but I usually fail to get a doe. I've thought long and hard about why, and I think a mama whitetail is smart. She has one purpose in life — to protect her little ones, and that has made her more wary than many bucks older than she is.
If I had to bet, I'd put money on a mother deer at age 2½ being smarter than a 2½ year old buck. She's probably smarter than a 3½ year old buck. A 3½ year old doe might be the smartest deer in the area where you hunt. That's why, once the guns start going off, it can be very difficult to shoot a mature doe. Read my December 22 column in the Jamestown (NY) Gazette: "Don't Underestimate Mama."
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