As a teenager in Texas in the 1950s, I quickly learned I shouldn’t shoot does. That was a standard no-no back in those days. But as it turned out, it also was bad advice — or at least incomplete.
In that era not long after World War II, deer-management efforts were still being aimed at restoring populations devastated by the overhunting abuses of the 19th century. The need to control deer numbers wasn’t even a significant concern in management when I was a kid. Several generations of hunters had grown aware of the need to let the herd grow.
Yet I also recall that just over a decade later I stood by an East Texas campfire, trying to convince members of a...