USA: Texas Axis Deer

3 Hunting Days
Additional Species Available:
  • 3
  • 4
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 6
  • 7
  • 8
  • 9
  • 10
  • 11
  • 12
  • 13
  • rsz_scott_b
  • Keith_M_768x
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 6
  • 7
  • 8
  • 9

Free-range epicenter for the species in Texas. Peak rut timeslots boast impressive numbers of big roaring bucks, on several huge low fence ranches. Under appreciated, but arguably one of the world’s best free-range deer hunts

 

TRIP DURATION  3 professionally guided hunting days
PHYSICAL LEVEL Easy
PRIME TIME Year round, but peak ruts are February and late May through June
WILDLIFE STATUS Wild, Free-ranging & Introduced

Package Highlights

Quite possibly one of the worlds finest free-range deer hunts. Target these elusive, beautiful and delicious deer in one of their two annual ruts on some of the best and most strategic low-fence ranches in Texas hill country region. Arguably the Lone Star States epicenter for the species, this outfitter has produced several recent top 10 all-time SCI free-range Axis bucks off these very ranches! The number of deer and amount of action observed each day while hunting is simply incredible. Several hundred deer days are not uncommon. Able to observe and judge numerous mature bucks over 30 inches each day translates to extremely high trophy quality standards. Average bucks go 33-34 inches with long tines. There is no doubt, this hunt might produce some of the largest free-range Axis anywhere.

The majority of the free-range Axis are members of the summering herd, and their rut is at its fiercest from late May through most of June. It’s hot, but groups of big hard horned bucks that are roaring and fighting makes you forget about the heat. Conversely, the wintering Axis herd in Texas ruts throughout most of February. While Axis deer are open year-round, the two rutting windows are the best time to see the most and be most selective. This spot & stalk style hunt is not only affordable, but offers many hidden perks. For starters, additional Axis bucks or does can be taken on a trophy fee basis upon success. And while these are already stunningly handsome deer on the outside, they also rank as some of the world’s all-time finest venison. Axis deer are delicious any way you cook them, and all hunters are encouraged to bring at least some meat home.

Free-ranging Blackbuck, Catalina and Scimitar horned Oryx are also observed quite frequently and provide prefect free-range Texas safari style opportunities for those interested in combo hunting options. The winter might be the best window for combo hunting as cape quality is at its finest. Blackbuck also rut in February. Hogs, Racoons, or other varmints are a no-cost bonus, and quality custom rifles are available if desired. The lodges are remote and private, nestled directly in the hunting area with classic Tex-Mex cuisine and cocktails after hours – accompanied by the distant roars of Axis bucks, echoing in the night.

Typical Day & Tactics

Get yourself to the ranch. Depending on arrival time be ready to change and head out hunting shortly after arriving. Pile into a supped up side by side with your outfitter and his trusty tracking dog on a classic spot and stalk free range deer hunt. Cruise the Sendero’s and ranch roads, glassing off high points and into valleys looking for groups of Axis, Blackbuck, Scimitar Oryx, Catalina and other oddballs like Emus or varmints. It’s hill country so you never know what you might run into.

The Axis rut twice annually, and if you plan your hunt during the rut the Axis will be congregated, vocal and distracted. It’s an excellent time to pursue them, allowing hunters to look over a great number of bucks in the hopes of connecting with something well above average. Typically, a trophy buck is anything with up to 30 inches beams, but here 33-34 seems to be the benchmark, then selectively judging for mass, long brow and caudle tines. You can be choosy. Typical shots are made off shooting sticks, and are usually between 75-150 yards, but can extend past 200 yards at times. During the winter or outside the rut, shots have the potential be longer. Archery hunting is also very conducive, especially during the summer rut. Axis are like cattle and drink twice daily, so blinds or stands over waterholes can provide all day action as bucks chase stags, fight and bellow in the surrounding thickets. In this case, the hotter the weather the better, so midday to dark are often busiest.

Lunch is usually back at the lodge, and as soon as the sun starts to slide, head back out for the evening hunt. Continue probing different corners of the ranches, glassing, spotting and judging deer along the way until a shooter is located. Axis are extremely cunning and elusive, arguably even keener and cagier than whitetails. Wind is always a factor, and herds as large as 200 deer or more takes getting into range quite tricky at times. Before long, several bucks roaring out of sight reveal their presence, and minutes later a good stalk can place a hunter right in the thick of things.

Once successful, the deer are dressed, caped, quarter and placed in a walk-in cooler until is time to leave. Axis hunts are perfect combination of an action-packed experience, beautiful capes and antlers, but also some of the world’s finest venison, all for bargain prices, and open-year round with no real tags or limits. What’s not to love?

Landscape & Climate

Gently rolling hill country mixed Savannah type terrain. It is generally brushy with patches of live Oak montes, dense juniper thickets or mesquite trees in the bottoms and valley floors are interspersed with small grassy meadows. The ground is also littered with prickly pear cactus colonies, clumps of Yuccas and seasonal native flowers. The fauna in this region are diverse, yet all uniquely able to coexist. In additional to the Axis, hunters are certain to encounter Whitetail Deer, Blackbuck, Scimitar Horned Oryx, Catalina, Hogs, Raccoons, Ringtail Cats, Armadillos, Skunks, Grey Foxes, Jackrabbits, Emus, Turkey Vultures, Rio Grande Wild Turkeys, Cardinals, Hummingbirds, Road Runners and the occasional Tarantulas, Scorpions, Western Diamondback Rattlesnakes and Coachwhips! In the low fence Hill Country, all kinds of other exotic oddball species can also suddenly just show up.

With the season open year-round, the weather can vary greatly. During the winter rut its quite cool but frost is still uncommon in the mornings and it generally heats up during the day that nothing aside from a sweater or jacket is required to stay comfortable. During the summer rut the weather has the potential to get quite hot. The sun can blaze in the midday which is the perfect time for a siesta. It’s not uncommon to hunt in T-shirts and shorts in the afternoon.

Meals & Accommodations

The outfitter bases these hunts from several private ranch style homes on active working ranches in the remote Texas hill country. AC, private bedrooms and bathrooms, common lounge and dining areas, fire pits, a swimming pool, full kitchen, fridges, freezers and catered meals provides comfort to guests. Also nice is the quiet, remote private setting directly in the hunting area. Cell phone service or wifi is available at most locations but not all.

Fresh home-made tortilla chips and salsa are available round the clock. Aside from quick coffee, toast, juice or fruit, breakfast is normally served once every one is back in from the morning hunt. Breakfast burritos, waffles or western omelets are classic. Lunch is usually sandwiches, chips and salsa and other snacks. For dinner enjoy some Tex-Mex favorites such as BBQ Brisket, Cowboy Steaks, Axis Enchiladas or Fajitas! Cold drinks are always available.

Key Equipment Suggestions

This hunt only requires basic equipment. A day pack, 10x binoculars, rangefinder, thin pants or shorts, comfortable walking boots, headlamp and flashlight, ballcap, sunglasses, sunscreen, some bug spray and a digital camera covers the essentials. Personal shooting sticks, rifle/bow and snake boots or garters can be recommended. Hunter orange is not required.

Pricing

Trophy Rut Hunts: 3 full days – 2×1 guided – x1 Axis Deer – Year-Round = $3650

Included

  • All meals and accommodations during the hunt
  • Opportunities for x1 trophy Axis Deer buck with no size restrictions
  • 2×1 professional guiding
  • Rifle rental for the duration of the hunt & ammunition
  • All ground transportation while hunting
  • Bonus Hogs, Coyote, Foxes, Raccoons
  • Basic meat, and trophy skull & hide preparations for the taxidermist

Not Included

  • Travel to San Antonio or San Angelo airports in central Texas
  • Any pre and post-hunt meals or hotel accommodations
  • Airport pick-up and drop-off shuttles – personal or rental vehicle required
  • Texas state exotic hunting license (approx. $50)
  • Trophy fees for any additional game animals harvested
  • Gratuities to guides and staff
  • Taxidermy and custom meat orders or trophy shipping
  • Personal side ventures, vacationing or tourism
  • purchases of a personal nature, alcohol, souvenirs etc.

Additions

  • Extra hunting days: $350/day (if possible)
  • Extra overnight at lodge: $150/night (if possible)
  • Non-hunting observer days: $150/day

Trophy fees for additional game species;

  • Trophy Axis Deer (no size restrictions) = $2950
  • Trophy Blackbuck = $2950
  • Trophy Scimitar Horned Oryx = $4250
  • Catalina/Spanish Goat (no size restrictions) = $1500
  • Management Axis/Blackbuck (Guides choice) = $1000
  • Doe Axis Deer/Whitetail Deer = $500

Destination City

Hunters are asked to arrive at either the San Antonio or San Angelo airports, which would be closest and less than 2 hours drive to the various ranches and hunting areas south of Sonora.

Travel Suggestions

The various ranches are scattered south of Sonora. The San Angelo airport is closest, perhaps only 1 hour north. While San Antonio offers better connections, and is roughly 2 hours southeast of the hunting areas. Airport shuttles are not included and so a rental vehicle will be required, unless driving from home.

Airport Shuttles

Round trip airport shuttles between the hunting areas are not included and hunters will need a personal or rental vehicle.

Special Info

Passport required for all international travel. Visa’s or Immunizations may be required for certain destinations

Boyd – Texas Axis Deer 

We had never booked a hunt through a hunting consultant before and I was worried about what I was getting into. After talking with Adrian for a few times over the years about different hunts he got me excited about a summer Axis deer hunt in Texas.  I decided to give it a try and trust his recommendation …WOW WAS I SURPRISED!!! Turned out to be an awesome hunt and me and my dad had an amazing time.

The food was great as well as the conversation and hospitality we had with the ranch owners where we hunted.  Everything Adrian described about the hunt and the accommodations was accurate.  My dad tagged out on the first day with a big ole Axis with paddled our main beams. I took mine day 2.

The amount of Axis you will see is incredible, I bet we saw a few thousand deer on a 3-day hunt.  And hunting during the summer rut is crazy with all the males roaring nonstop.  I can’t express how good the hunt was all around but I can say that the guides know the land and where to go, and Adrian was spot on about this hunt. Me and dad are looking forward to a hunt in Europe that Adrian has us eyeing. THANKS AGAIN ADRIAN FOR THE GREAT HUNT!


Josh – Texas Axis Deer 

Hunting free rang Texas axis deer climbed to the top of my bucket list the very first time I laid eyes on these regal creatures.  I instantly fell in love with their spotted coat and swooping three-pronged antlers.  My problem was finding the right outfitter, as several of my friends told me stories of going Axis hunting only to see a few, poor quality animals and returning disappointed and empty-handed.  All of these concerns evaporated after I heard Adrian describe my soon to be “free rang mega trophy axis” hunt.  Without hesitation, I was booked and headed to Texas!

Only a few minutes upon entering the ranch my heart jumped at the sight of my first axis buck.  Not 5 minutes later (and still on the way to camp) we saw a heard of about 20 with several awesome bucks.  Needless to say, I was in the right place for Axis deer.  After stalking and judging hundreds of Axis deer, I connected with an old 33” brute!

This was a complete adventure from start to finish: the hunt, the ranch owners, the guide, and the country were all top-notch.  On top of seeing hundreds of Axis deer, I saw scimitar horned oryx, blackbuck, emu, Catalina goats, and several other native species.  My trip was 100% as advertised – Thank you Adrian!


 

Scott – Texas Axis Deer

I had a great time on this hunt!!  Lots and lots of animals to see.  The outfitter works very hard to get his hunters the animal they are looking for, and knew that we love spot and stalk hunting!!  First Axis for me and would definitely book another hunt with him.  The ranch owners and hosts made my group feel at home with great fellowship, conversation, and great meals. Left there feeling as we had made new friends and can’t wait to go back.  I would definitely recommend this hunt to anyone!!


 

Keith – Texas Axis Deer

Fantastic time at a fantastic ranch with fantastic guides and hosts! The outfitter worked his tail off to get our group opportunities at a tremendous number of animals. He asked what kind of animals we wanted to hunt and then put is on them. The ranch owners were the most gracious of hosts and provided warm meals, warmer hospitality and great conversation. Free-range, spot and stalk hunting at its finest. I would highly recommend to anyone- young or old/ experienced or not.