Last weekend I was out trying to fill an antlerless tag. I was easing my way up a slough bordering an alfalfa field when what I thought was a doe appeared. It stood there broadside long enough for me to catch a knee and get ready to shoot. I absolutely was sure that I was shooting a full grown whitetail doe. I squeezed off a shot, the deer ran a little and collapsed. I walked up to it and found that it was a little yearling buck. I was very disappointed. I had even taken my time before shooting and thought about it for a minute, "is that an adult... yes, it is". It occurred to me that this was probably the 3rd time this exact thing has happened to me. Two common denominators have been that the deer was by itself and standing in tall grass. It' easy to tell when you have several deer your looking at... you can judge your doe by comparing it to the size of the others.
Ultimately, I just decided to be grateful and thank God for providing as it is my family's custom when hunting. It's frustrating, though, because venison is basically what we eat year round and I probably could have gotten twice the meat for that tag.
Do you guys have any general things you look for when trying to field judge a doe? Coloring? Length of leg compared to body? Anything you might share? ,)