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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Wanted your guys opinions on what happens to a calf that is with a cow that you shoot during the archery?

Passed on many cow shots already because I think it would end up killing the calf if I killed the cow...
 

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Not sure.. my gut tells me to shoot the calf instead just because of what might happen. Depends on the size of the calf though. A yearling would be fine on its own I think.
 

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The calf should be eating solid food by now and may or may not make it without the cow. Then again it may be adopted by another cow in the herd. Most hunters have no problem shooting a cow when there are cafes around and at times you will get a dry one that has cafes around, you never know unless you see the calf sucking.

I have never had a problem shooting a cow if that is what I am looking for and just want meat. It doesn't matter if a cow comes into range first or a calf.
 

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Interesting question. I personally feel if the calf can find another cow or herd it will survive. I had a cousin shoot a cow out of a small group last year on the archery hunt. After she went down the others ran off with the exception of the calf who went and tried get her up by nosing her and bleating. It was quite a sad site but after the group had run off a couple hundred yards one of the remaining cows started mewing and the calf ran off and joined them. It appeared as if she was telling the calf to join them.
On two other occasions I have been calling and had calves come bolting in. My guess was they had lost their mothers and were looking for company. There is safety in numbers and I believe their instinct drives them to find others.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I believe it would be pretty rough to have to run of the calf if you shot the cow or run off the cow if you shot the calf...

Sounds like I'm looking for just a spike!
 

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The cow almost never sticks around close for more than a minute or two in my experience (I've shot or been with the shooting of about a dozen calves and more deer and antelope fawns). Nothing beats wild veal, you might be sad the first time you kill one but that disappears quickly after the first bite
 

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If you're going to shoot one, I would shoot the calf. I pass on a cow with a calf, yes they may be eating solid food, but that doesn't mean they'll survive IMO. I've never even been the biggest fan of being able to shoot a cow so early on in a calves life, I wish they would make it spike only during the bow hunt. I know many won't like that opinion but orphaning a calf isn't what I care to do. It's up to you and you're tag, you can make the judgement, but I would definitely give the calf a better chance if it has its mama.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
The cow almost never sticks around close for more than a minute or two in my experience (I've shot or been with the shooting of about a dozen calves and more deer and antelope fawns). Nothing beats wild veal, you might be sad the first time you kill one but that disappears quickly after the first bite
Ive killed many of bulls and may very late season cows ( december/January) without it getting me me, but seeing how close the calves follow the cows and vise versus and the fact that im not in any serious need for meat, I'm thinking I won't let the arrow fly on a cow/calf
 

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Ive killed many of bulls and may very late season cows ( december/January) without it getting me me, but seeing how close the calves follow the cows and vise versus and the fact that im not in any serious need for meat, I'm thinking I won't let the arrow fly on a cow/calf
And none of the late season cows were pregnant right?
If you are really worried about it don't hunt cows /calfs. IMO
 

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Your main problem is going to be telling if the calf with the cow is her calf or not. It is a catch 22. If you are into a herd the only way to tell is going to be if the calf is sucking, other than that you'll have to get the cow to lift up one of their hind legs to see if she is wet or not.

If you have a problem with killing a wet cow then just don't target any cow.
 

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Exactly what Critter said! If people have a problem shooting cows with a calf, then they should avoid shooting cows altogether! You will never know for sure if you are shooting mommy!
 

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My opinion on what happens to a calf after the mom is taken by an archer is that the calf experiences a similiar fate later when the late antlerless hunts open up if im carrying a tag. Tastiest meat ever!! I came upon two calves together when I was hunting solo several years ago. I took one calf out and the other one slowly walked off as I was wishing by bro came along with his tag. (A calf elk double would be freaking AMAZING!!) Of course the next weekend he is waking me up at 9:00 am to come help him pack the fattest cow elk on the mountain that was killed in the exact same spot I shot my calf. Doah!!
 

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If you are solo hunting elk a calf is perfect im sure itll be much easier to carry out a calf than a full sized elk.
This.

Also I would like to think that If calf's died after the cow was shot that we would see more evidence of it. Especially with archery getting to shoot cows and then we have all the cow hunts. My opinion is that most of them must survive or else we would hear and see more evidence of the contrary.
 
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