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Location: New Brunswick
Joined: 08/07/2006
Posts: 20
A questions of ethics maybe?

I have been scouting out my hunting location for about a month now. There has been a cow and calf there for all that time and no sings of anything else. Just wondering what I should do on the big day of the hunt. Shoot the cow and have that sick feeling of knowing the calf will probably die on its own? Or shoot the calf and have the cow possibly try to protect its young and not let you come to retrieve it. What would you do if you where in this situation? Should it even be something I’m contemplating or should I just let them walk away and hope a bull comes around the corner?

Don Fischer's picture
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Location: Antelope, Ore
Joined: 03/24/2005
Posts: 3173
A questions of ethics maybe?

I wouldn't shoot either one. Let the cow have her calf and raise it. Who knows, it may turn into a huge bull. If that cow has a calf, it's even money that somewhere in the area is a bull. If not, there's probally another cow without a calf around.

I have no problem with shooting females. I think our hunting would vastly improve in my area (deer and elk) if we shot a few more females and let the males mature. Less females creates more competation for males and fewer females get bred by inferior males or suffer the long term effects of to much inbreeding.

But a cow that's with a calf would be off limits for me. Sounds like you have a bit of a problem with that yourself. Good luck! Hope you find one your looking for.

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Location: ontario
Joined: 07/07/2006
Posts: 237
A questions of ethics maybe?

Take the calf without a second thought. One or two days later the cow won't even remember. Calves are the most expendible part of the herd anyway.

Don Fischer's picture
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Location: Antelope, Ore
Joined: 03/24/2005
Posts: 3173
A questions of ethics maybe?

Calves are the most expendible part of the herd anyway.
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While that is true, you'll never know if that was one that would not make it or one that turns into a big bull. Best case, if it lives, it'll give you more meat next year than this year than it will this year.

Location: Colorado
Joined: 07/09/2006
Posts: 260
A questions of ethics maybe?

Wait out a bull and if nothing take a cow but try to get ya a bull

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Joined: 11/14/2006
Posts: 68
A questions of ethics maybe?

I think I would leave the two alone. The good news is that if you have a calf there then a Bull must be somewhere nearby (nearby is a relative term lol). I would keep looking for something a little better to take.

If you were purely after a little meat then for quality purposes the calf would probably be the best choice. However you will get far more meat out of a mature animal. Ultimately I think you will want to let the calf grow and see how it turns out in the next year or two (or longer). That being said the calf will likely not survive if you kill its mother really making both animals invalid targets for you.

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Joined: 12/03/2005
Posts: 1691
A questions of ethics maybe?

A calf would probably not make it through the winter with the heavy snow falls NB usually gets. The cow breaks the trails and provides protection from predators.

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Location: Canada
Joined: 12/26/2006
Posts: 323
A questions of ethics maybe?

There are many jurisdictions that do not offer cow moose any more. It is bull or calf. Some areas offer immature bulls and draws for mature bulls etc.

Most wildlife managers will tell you (it has been said here already) that the calf is the most vulnerable to predation and winter kill. The killing of the calf leaves the cow to be bred and produce another calf next year.

So, if you can't get a bull, take the calf and leave the cow. While it isn't big it will be fantastic meat.

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Location: Upper Snake River
Joined: 09/01/2006
Posts: 86
A questions of ethics maybe?

once you eat a calf moose/elk you'll wonder why you bothered with adults
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Joined: 08/23/2008
Posts: 11
A questions of ethics maybe?

If I needed meat for the freezer and was running out if time , that calf would get it in a heart beat. Yummy

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Location: new brunswick
Joined: 03/09/2007
Posts: 164
A questions of ethics maybe?

Well you've only got what a 4 days season here so while I may have my qualms over it, moose meat is moose meat. That said you've got 4 weeks to try and find a new location, or the bull in your current location. Once the shooting starts and if you get luck the rut, things can change very quickly.

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