Axis Deer- Texas

JordanAdams

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 17, 2019
Messages
126
I've officially booked my first "out of my norm" hunt. Axis deer in Texas for June of next year. After getting to try axis for the first time a few weeks ago I want one of my own in the freezer. It will be a rifle hunt with Blackwater Guide Service in south Texas. Im super excited. I have begun reading more about the axis deer to kinda get my feet under me since i know nothing about them and so far I've learned that since I'll be after them after they are hard horned and are at the start of their rut it will probably be like trying to kill a big mature whitetail/mule deer (only thing i know to compare too since Ive hunted whitetail and have been around mule deer a bit). I've read their eye sight is phenomenal and sometimes they cant hear real well if there's a steady breeze and of course wind is important like in most cases. I've also read that they are pretty tough animals as well.

Anybody here ever hunt them? I'd love to read some stories, tips, strategies, ideas on anything and everything. I'm thinking I'll take my .308 for the hunt. If i do kill one i'm planning on having it euro'ed and the pelt made to hang up or lay on the back of the couch, something along that route. So if anybody knows any place I could send that too to have done right, that would be awesome. Thanks in advance!
 

Patton

Senior Member
Joined
Aug 26, 2019
Messages
117
Axis are by far one of my favorite animals to hunt. They are herd animals and grazers (not browsers) and can often be found laying in oak or mesquite flats which leads to great spot and stalk opportunities. They prefer to be able to see from a good distance as opposed to being in thick, over-brushed areas with limited views. In the rut, which is typically early June, it's not uncommon to hear 'roars' and see bucks cruising for does in the middle of 95* heat. The bulls, or bucks, do four sequential roars/bellows which can often give their position away if you aren't actively seeing or glassing them. The bucks and does both have a high pitch alarm 'bark'. Axis will also hit water daily, setting up over water holes can be productive. They have much larger stomachs than a whitetail which keeps their vitals more forward in the chest cavity- 'behind the shoulder' can quickly get you into stomach; on the shoulder is a much better point of aim. There is an 'ezy-axis' call that mimics a roar, I've heard some people claiming to use it with great success- I haven't tried it enough to say. If a buck has his head down feeding, and his horn tips are even with the top of his back/shoulders- he's around 30". Feel free to reach out with questions, I've been hunting free-ranging axis in the hill country since 2006. North Texas Tannery in Denton, TX is a popular place to drop off or send hides down to be tanned. $45 for an axis if I recall correctly. .308 is what I've killed the majority of my axis with.

A few pics I have on my phone.
C9C11B58-C4E5-4DC2-A5E8-D0E369123252.jpeg D2B82AB1-5E52-4CC3-9BB6-1F99BFB2D52B.jpeg EB6002C8-139A-4ADE-A0B2-05FF271B1240.jpeg 5406C828-A3CD-4A0E-B503-CE860204E47F.jpeg
 
Last edited:

Hank Hill

Member
Joined
Feb 5, 2017
Messages
71
Axis are by far one of my favorite animals to hunt. They are herd animals and grazers (not browsers) and can often be found laying in oak or mesquite flats which leads to great spot and stalk opportunities. They prefer to be able to see from a good distance as opposed to being in thick, over-brushed areas with limited views. In the rut, which is typically early June, it's not uncommon to hear 'roars' and see bucks cruising for does in the middle of 95* heat. The bulls, or bucks, do four sequential roars/bellows which can often give their position away if you aren't actively seeing or glassing them. The bucks and does both have a high pitch alarm 'bark'. Axis will also hit water daily, setting up over water holes can be productive. They have much larger stomachs than a whitetail which keeps their vitals more forward in the chest cavity- 'behind the shoulder' can quickly get you into stomach; on the shoulder is a much better point of aim. There is an 'ezy-axis' call that mimics a roar, I've heard some people claiming to use it with great success- I haven't tried it enough to say. If a buck has his head down feeding, and his horn tips are even with the top of his back/shoulders- he's around 30". Feel free to reach out with questions, I've been hunting free-ranging axis in the hill country since 2006. North Texas Tannery in Denton, TX is a popular place to drop off or send hides down to be tanned. $45 for an axis if I recall correctly. .308 is what I've killed the majority of my axis with.

A few pics I have on my phone.
View attachment 190123 View attachment 190124 View attachment 190125 View attachment 190129
+1 for North Texas Tannery, not only for price but quality worksmanship
 
OP
JordanAdams

JordanAdams

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 17, 2019
Messages
126
Axis are by far one of my favorite animals to hunt. They are herd animals and grazers (not browsers) and can often be found laying in oak or mesquite flats which leads to great spot and stalk opportunities. They prefer to be able to see from a good distance as opposed to being in thick, over-brushed areas with limited views. In the rut, which is typically early June, it's not uncommon to hear 'roars' and see bucks cruising for does in the middle of 95* heat. The bulls, or bucks, do four sequential roars/bellows which can often give their position away if you aren't actively seeing or glassing them. The bucks and does both have a high pitch alarm 'bark'. Axis will also hit water daily, setting up over water holes can be productive. They have much larger stomachs than a whitetail which keeps their vitals more forward in the chest cavity- 'behind the shoulder' can quickly get you into stomach; on the shoulder is a much better point of aim. There is an 'ezy-axis' call that mimics a roar, I've heard some people claiming to use it with great success- I haven't tried it enough to say. If a buck has his head down feeding, and his horn tips are even with the top of his back/shoulders- he's around 30". Feel free to reach out with questions, I've been hunting free-ranging axis in the hill country since 2006. North Texas Tannery in Denton, TX is a popular place to drop off or send hides down to be tanned. $45 for an axis if I recall correctly. .308 is what I've killed the majority of my axis with.

A few pics I have on my phone.
View attachment 190123 View attachment 190124 View attachment 190125 View attachment 190129
These pics just make me want to go that much sooner! I'm so excited. Thank you for the info!
 

180splitg3

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 25, 2020
Messages
388
Sounds like a really cool hunt 👍🏻. I'd love to hear more about the cost of something like this if you are willing to share. Either on the thread or in a PM...
 
OP
JordanAdams

JordanAdams

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 17, 2019
Messages
126
Sounds like a really cool hunt 👍🏻. I'd love to hear more about the cost of something like this if you are willing to share. Either on the thread or in a PM...
Of course! Others may like to get an idea to so I'll just stick the pricing run down here. For Blackwater guide service it is $250 a day per hunter and that includes lodging, meals, in/out field transportation, after kill help (Gutting, skinning, quartering). My hunt will be a 3 day-2 night trip. Their price for axis is $1,750 for the buck and $400 for does but those prices are only charged once the animal is in your hands. An they also have other species of animal on the ranch that they offer hunts for as well that range in price depending on the animal. So all in all if I'm able to put a buck on the ground I will leave paying $2,250 for animal and my 3 days and then whatever tip I leave for the gentlemen as well.
 

NateK

Member
Joined
May 9, 2017
Messages
99
Location
TENNESSEE
Definitely give an update after the hunt! I would love to book a hunt like this for me and my wife next summer.
 

MuleyFever

Senior Member
Joined
Nov 7, 2012
Messages
4,997
Location
S. UTAH
Very cool animal. I wish they were more wide spread and accessible. I got to try a tenderloin at a restaurant in TX once. Amazing.
 

AZ_Hunter_2000

Senior Member
Joined
Oct 8, 2019
Messages
945
I've hunted axis in HI and TX. They are one of my favorite animals to hunt. They are absolutely gorgeous and they are the best tasting animal that I've hunted.

Enjoy your hunt!
 

Throwin Darts

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 2, 2020
Messages
135
We've been eating Axis for the last few months here in my house and when it runs out I'm going to be really bummed. Its so delicious.

My only piece of advice is to try and place your shot where you don't blow out too much of that delicious meat! If you are in the brush country of deep South Texas a lot of time they want you to drop the animal in its tracks by blowing through the front shoulders to keep them from heading deep into the brush.
 

KHNC

Senior Member
Joined
Jul 11, 2013
Messages
1,997
Location
NC
i Have had an Axis hunt scheduled for July in Hawaii for the last year. FKN covid forced me to cancel it last week due to hawaii governor extending forced quarantine thru 07/31. I was really looking forward to the vacation and the hunt. Now i am fighting with airlines on getting a refund. Good luck on your hunt when you go.
 

AZ_Hunter_2000

Senior Member
Joined
Oct 8, 2019
Messages
945
i Have had an Axis hunt scheduled for July in Hawaii for the last year. FKN covid forced me to cancel it last week due to hawaii governor extending forced quarantine thru 07/31. I was really looking forward to the vacation and the hunt. Now i am fighting with airlines on getting a refund. Good luck on your hunt when you go.
The axis in HI is especially good. They eat a lot of wild basil.
 

AZ_Hunter_2000

Senior Member
Joined
Oct 8, 2019
Messages
945
Of course! Others may like to get an idea to so I'll just stick the pricing run down here. For Blackwater guide service it is $250 a day per hunter and that includes lodging, meals, in/out field transportation, after kill help (Gutting, skinning, quartering). My hunt will be a 3 day-2 night trip. Their price for axis is $1,750 for the buck and $400 for does but those prices are only charged once the animal is in your hands. An they also have other species of animal on the ranch that they offer hunts for as well that range in price depending on the animal. So all in all if I'm able to put a buck on the ground I will leave paying $2,250 for animal and my 3 days and then whatever tip I leave for the gentlemen as well.
Shoot a buck and consider shooting a doe as well. You won't mind the extra meat and get the doe's hide tanned. They are very pretty.

Here's a photo of one of my axis bucks. 35" main beams.
IMG_4169.jpeg
 

Mlank

Member
Joined
May 16, 2020
Messages
64
Location
Dallas, TX
Guys, this is the "whitetail" thread - jk

JordanAdams, where are you coming from? How'd you come across Blackwater Guides? Bc of you, I've looked them up and now my interest is piqued.
 

Mlank

Member
Joined
May 16, 2020
Messages
64
Location
Dallas, TX
Axis are by far one of my favorite animals to hunt. They are herd animals and grazers (not browsers) and can often be found laying in oak or mesquite flats which leads to great spot and stalk opportunities. They prefer to be able to see from a good distance as opposed to being in thick, over-brushed areas with limited views. In the rut, which is typically early June, it's not uncommon to hear 'roars' and see bucks cruising for does in the middle of 95* heat. The bulls, or bucks, do four sequential roars/bellows which can often give their position away if you aren't actively seeing or glassing them. The bucks and does both have a high pitch alarm 'bark'. Axis will also hit water daily, setting up over water holes can be productive. They have much larger stomachs than a whitetail which keeps their vitals more forward in the chest cavity- 'behind the shoulder' can quickly get you into stomach; on the shoulder is a much better point of aim. There is an 'ezy-axis' call that mimics a roar, I've heard some people claiming to use it with great success- I haven't tried it enough to say. If a buck has his head down feeding, and his horn tips are even with the top of his back/shoulders- he's around 30". Feel free to reach out with questions, I've been hunting free-ranging axis in the hill country since 2006. North Texas Tannery in Denton, TX is a popular place to drop off or send hides down to be tanned. $45 for an axis if I recall correctly. .308 is what I've killed the majority of my axis with.

A few pics I have on my phone.
View attachment 190123 View attachment 190124 View attachment 190125 View attachment 190129

Good info, thanks. I was also going to suggest N Texas Tannery.
 

Scottyboy

Senior Member
Joined
Dec 17, 2016
Messages
761
Location
Minnesota
This hunt is very high on my list for next year when I turn 40. However, south Texas in June sounds.....miserable. Knowing next to nothing about the weather that time of year, 90’s? 100’s?
 

Apollo117

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 22, 2018
Messages
454
This hunt is very high on my list for next year when I turn 40. However, south Texas in June sounds.....miserable. Knowing next to nothing about the weather that time of year, 90’s? 100’s?
Temps in the 90's and humidity in the 80's.
 
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