bowhunting deer

5 Reasons Why It’s Not ‘Just’ A Doe

Like most whitetail addicts, our family enjoys scouting for, seeing and hunting mature whitetail bucks. Therefore, we prepare all year just to have an opportunity to harvest a whitetail with a respectable set of antlers. Because of our desire to harvest something with bone on its noggin, we’re in the habit of saying, “it’s just a doe” after the successful harvest of a whitetail whose sex isn’t of the male gender.
So, after my son harvested a doe last weekend, “just a doe” was on the tip of my tongue when suddenly it occurred to me — it’s not “just a doe.”
[post_thumbnail size=”post-hero”]

It’s Not Just A Doe

With the whitetail rut in full swing, every bowhunter hopes this time of year will offer him or her the opportunity to harvest a mature whitetail buck. Even my kids have the same hopes and dreams. Invariably, after they have rubbed the sleep from their eyes I am met with the first question of the day, “Dad, did we get any trail camera pictures last night?”
Always wanting to know what antlered deer might have showed up under the cover of darkness, a new day sends their curious minds running to what they enjoy doing this time of year – bowhunting whitetails.

Bowhunting Is Work But The Work Is Satisfying

There are some that believe hunting is easy. Now that I brought up the ‘E’ word, what is ‘easy’ anyway? Who said all the work that goes into getting permission, scouting, trimming shooting lanes, and hanging stands for an entire family is easy? Easy, no! But it sure is satisfying.
Bowhunting whitetail
Isn’t that why we hunt? I have watched all summer as my boys have spent countless hours practicing with their bows. They take the ethical harvest of an animal very serious. Being proficient is not an option. The exploration, anticipation and preparation are all part of the hunt.
Of course, we would like to harvest a 180-inch brute we could brag about, but there is still a whole lot of satisfaction in the ethical harvest of a doe, especially for a 15-year-old. For our family, we take great satisfaction in all the work that goes into the harvest. There’s something rewarding about the journey. From the moment we start hanging trail cameras, clearing shooting lanes, and scouting for better stand locations, to the very moment of harvest, it’s all part of the hunt.

The Hunt Is A Journey And We Should Enjoy Every Step

Crazy? Maybe, but it doesn’t make it any less true. The hunt is a rewarding journey that ends with the satisfaction of knowing you earned it. So as I told my boys, it’s not “just a doe” and here’s why:

1. It’s not, “just a doe” when there were hours of practice and preparation that went into this harvest.
2. It’s not, “just a doe” when this harvest was beneficial to quality deer management.
3. It’s not, “just a doe” when my boys and I were able to share another experience together in God’s beautiful outdoors.
4. It’s not “just a doe” when my son gave the meat to a family that will greatly benefit from it.
5. It’s not, “just a doe” when an animal’s life was taken. It deserves my respect.

Although the desire to harvest a mature whitetail buck hasn’t changed, my vocabulary has. Thank you Lord for allowing us another day in the hardwoods.
Whoever is slothful will not roast his game, but the diligent man will get precious wealth. – Proverbs 12:27

21 thoughts on “5 Reasons Why It’s Not ‘Just’ A Doe”

  1. Well said and totally true. I am actually looking forward to arrowing a doe this weekend if I see one. I need some tasty meat in my freezer!

  2. Good stuff. I know it’s pretty much ingrained in us, but it really gets under my skin when someone talks about their latest deer and then they qualify it with stuff like, “it’s just a doe,” or, “it’s not much,” or, “he’s no trophy.” Why are they apologizing?
    The ethical kill of any animal is never “just” anything… or it shouldn’t be. Even if it’s “just for meat”, what the heck? You took a life to sustain your own. You embraced your nature. Those aren’t small things to be dismissed lightly, nor are they reason to apologize for showing off the fruits of your labor. If you didn’t feel bad enough not to kill it in the first place, you certainly shouldn’t feel bad about carrying it home afterward.
    Anyway, obviously a hot topic for me. Thanks for posting and letting me know I’m not the only one who thinks this way.

    1. “If you didn’t feel bad enough not to kill it in the first place, you certainly shouldn’t feel bad about carrying it home afterward.” Great quote and you definitely share my sentiments. Really appreciate your comment.

  3. As a second year bow hunter with my first harvest of a doe this season, this article sums up everything it means to be a bow hunter. To play an important role as a hunter/conservationist is a privilege, not a right and the generations in my family have always lived by that. I feel some tv shows have lost that respect and true hardship of archery hunting and it’s nice to see you share the same passion that lives in my family! Congratulations on this beautiful memory!

    1. That’s awesome! Enjoy the journey and please let us know how you do. There’s little that compares to the challenge of the bow.

  4. I agree. This needs to be preached over and over again because I feel like the true essence of hunting is being overshadowed by the My-Buck-Is-Bigger-Than-Your-Buck mentality.

  5. I’m late to the party, but still wanted to thank you for this article. I don’t have the money to have a “big buck” mounted even if I wanted to. For me, it is literally all about putting meat in the freezer and on the table, so I’d frankly rather not get that “monster buck” (who would be tough as all get out).

    The problem is that with so many people focused on getting a trophy set of bony protrusions , it’s hard to find information on hunting does successfully. All the articles seem to take it for granted that what we *really* want is a big buck. And that’s not true for all of us.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *