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September 23, 2008


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That seems like a fair way to do it.


I think it's a great way to increase doe harvest. Unfortenately a few urban areas are the only ones doing it here in Ohio.

That sounds reasonable. How many bucks tags do ya get? Here in WI we get one buck tag for archery and one buck tag for gun. We also get three doe tags and then after that you gotta pay a small fee for each doe tag. You been out in Virginia yet is the season open? Do you hunt alot there (in your backyard?,lease?,permision?) or do you hunt out of state all the time? Any drop tines tied up?


That is a sweet deal for sound deer management. I can see portions of VA producing more quality deer in the future....and it appears that the people who championed this harvest criteria have a positive attitude to best meet hunter and deer management goals!

There are areas in my neck of the woods (Indiana) that need to institute something like E-A-B. We have a few urban zone areas that regulate particular harvest quotas ,
but overall , this state needs more practical regulations like E-A-B. We still have low doe hunting participation (high doe ratio) , and it is really impacting the herd quality.

that sounds as close to perfect as possible for state mandated deer management......great system....i do have do diagree on the 5 deer a year though Mike.
my family eats about 4 1/2 and parents and in-laws eat a half and i give one to a fellow church member and usually one to whichever one of our group of buddies had an off year .......God has blessed me with 7 deer each of the last 3 seasons and i don't feel it is an over harvest in my area......after season i glass about ever 3-4 days all winter and watch to keep tabs on the pop.
last winter one evening me and a buddy counted 320+ deer in 3 sections of land...... that is too many for that small of an area......(little timber mostly ag)
so while numbers are high my family will eat well....God willing

hanback the hybrid is gonna be in the shop for 10 days a lil old lady pulled out into me on sunday and took out the back left panel and the back bumper i dont know what im gonna do if i shoot that big one this weekend might just have to put in on the loonewr prius now that would be funny lol but im ok and its al covered so its all good oh and IMO would rather have every one earn a buck first, EAB saves alot more bucks that people realize.

In Ohio, we get one antlered deer per year, but if you use your tags right you can get 5 does.

and watta you mean, like granddaddy said, I say that now:) So excited for sunday

Sounds like a good plan to me Mike. As Eric stated,here in Indiana, the IDNR has made doe tags and limits very liberal. We still can't get enough does taken. We have a one buck limit all seasons, you would think the meat hunters would load up on does.

In CT you get a "either sex" tag and an antlerless tag with your private land permit.

In zones 11 & 12 you can get replacement antlerless tags when you bring a deer to the tagging station. For every 3 does, they will issue another "eaither sex" tag. Thats our version of "Earn-a-Buck"


Tennessee has, in my opinion, gone over board with their policy. I think I like this EAB business much better. TN has a huge chunk of the western half of the state in Unit L - 39 counties. Unit L allows 3 bucks total (1 per day) for all seasons; you can take all 3 during any of the seasons. To encourage doe harvests (I guess) Unit L allows what must be the most liberal doe harvest bonanza in the country: 3 PER DAY for EVERY DAY of EVERY SEASON!!!??!! Unit L has a total of 105 days of deer season (primitive and modern weapons) plus 2 more for a youth season. That comes to 315 does you can legally take in a year plus 6 more if you are 6 - 16 years old. Now I seriously doubt anyone will take 318 dear in a year but the law allows it. I bet there are a handful of yahoos out there who will try to get close just to watch them stack up wreaking havoc on that particular area, but I bet most guys still shoot more bucks than does and maybe even just bucks. This EAB system would likely bring more doe down statewide in a much more sustainable and meaningful way than the sporadic doe slaughter that I think happens under our Unit L system. Rather than making everyone take a balanced harvest of deer statewide, I think our system allows many to continue with buck only tendencies and a select few to go crazy and decimate their local doe population. Anyone out there in a Unit that allows more than 318 deer to be taken in a year?

"The Big Doe Blog". Has a ring to it.

I like your system in VA, Mike, but I think it could have issues. As a hypothetical, what happens if I shoot that big buck out of the gate and quit hunting for the year? Would I still get to shoot a buck out of the gate the next year or does the system carry over form year to year. The point I'm making is that the average hunter isn't going to shoot multiple deer a year. If they shoot that buck then they're likely to be done for the year. The system fails to get more does shot. Most of us on here would shoot the additional doe after the buck and get qualified again to shoot another buck. But we're not the norm.
Personally, I love your system. Average hunters will like it more than our Wisconsin EAB, but I will bet less does will taken in the VA EAB.

Illinois residents can shoot as many deer as they can afford to buy tags for with archery gear (only 2 bucks though regardless of weapon/season). i have a self imposed limit of 1 buck to 2 does, but usually shoot many more does (ex 2006 1 buck 6 does) now that is herd management :)

the 320+ deer seen as mentioned earlier, only 6 bucks were seen that day... granted there may have been some small forks and spikes we didn't see and some may have dropped horns (time was late Jan.) but of the 6 we saw 3 were Giants and 1 was probably close to 170" (other 2 140-145")

maybe other big bucks were not feeding yet or maybe we just have too many does in Ill.

last season during late gun(doe only)season
we had more deer than we could count around us, after shooting one the rest ran off a few hundred yards and kept eating (i would say food was there main survival concern)

I had another thought. Can you ever get your buck to doe ratio so low that bucks start leaving your area in search of an area with more does to breed?

Live in Va and actually e-mailed Mike about this a couple of weeks ago and we both agreed it was a good idea. Still think it is. I have never shot a doe(finished one off for a younger hunting partner one day but it was his first deer so I don't count it). This system will make me shoot at least two does. FOr the last three season I have wanted to kill a buck with every firearm I hunt with (bow, muzzleloader, and gun). Have been successful wit hthe guns but never a bow. So do that now I have to kill at least two does. Will probably try to kill all 6 deer this year, like to kill somehting doing drives later in the year so if all goes as planned that would be 6th and final deer, a doe. For the last 3 years I have killed 2 bucks a season and most my hunting party has done the same, some killed 3 last year and all but one of them killed several does. I think its a good way of cutting down the doe population b/c where we hunt (in Bedford, one of the counties affected) does outnumber bucks by a long shot (and to give you an idea last season I think I saw btw 80 and 90 DIFFERENT bucks throughout the season. Just hunting mainly saturdays from Oct to the end of Jan.) and there are a ton more does...


im hunting in northern minnesota and i have not yet seen a even a rub but on the trail cams have gotten alot of does and small deer...could i still have bigger bucks on my property and just not be seeing them? what could i do to help bring them in or find them?

thanks for the good question, Jon! I will be answering it on my new blog/website soon, www.mikehanback.com, check it out!

why do we have to earn a buck and what makes it good because doe are the ones giving us the buck so then why would we want to kill them that would be dumb

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