Best Axis Deer Hunting Texas
Axis deer are one of the most common exotic species hunted in Texas, and if you’re looking for a giant axis deer hunt in Texas you’ve come to the right place! I hunt axis deer on several different ranches, but my ranch with the best axis deer hunting is 3600 acres in Real County. This ranch has the biggest axis deer I’ve ever seen and with 400-500 axis deer on the ranch, you will see numerous giant bucks to choose from while axis deer hunting. Because these axis deer are so big and score so well, I call this ranch my “super trophy axis” ranch.
Unlike a lot of people, I don’t refer to my axis deer based only on the main beam length. In my opinion, telling you my axis deer are 32” or 34” or 36” etc tells you very little about the deer, or the size of the deer. Because of this, when I’m talking about axis deer, I talk about them based on their SCI score. Much like giving you a B&C score on a whitetail, talking about the overall score of an axis deer gives you a much more accurate assessment of the deer. My average axis buck harvested on this ranch will score 160” +, which is well into the “Gold Medal” category for SCI. Every year we also harvest several axis bucks that break the 170” mark, which is an axis of a lifetime, as well as the occasional non-typical buck.
I also have management axis buck hunts available on this ranch which are huge body size, but don’t quite have the tine length to make them “super trophy axis”. These management axis bucks still provide you with a lot of great meat as well as a great hunt, but they save you a little money so you can come on another hunt.
Free Range Axis Deer Hunts in Texas
I’ve also got a couple of different ranches in the Hill Country with some great free-range axis. These axis deer are typically smaller than my super trophy axis bucks, but are still great trophies and are 100% free-range deer. Most of these ranches have hay fields that draw the axis in and during the rut, typically late May through mid-July, you never know what might walk out of the brush. Most of these hunts are done out of a blind, but occasionally we’ll spot and stalk hunt depending on the situation.
Axis Hunts Texas – Who is this hunt for:
Axis deer are considered an “exotic” in Texas and there’s no closed season on hunting exotics in Texas. This means you can hunt them year-round, but the best time for axis deer hunting in Texas is from May through September. During this time, the majority of my bigger axis bucks are going to be hard antlered.
The roads around the ranch are kept in very good condition, so as long as you can get in the cab of my Jeep Scrambler, or in the seat in the bed of my Jeep, you won’t have any issue getting around the ranch. Since the majority of my axis deer hunts are spot/stalk, if you really want to have a chance at a giant axis buck you will need to be able to walk on rocky terrain and shoot off of shooting sticks (out to about 250 yards) or while bracing off of a tree limb.
Spot and stalk axis deer hunting might be a little tough for a novice hunter, but if that’s the case we can always hunt out of a blind overlooking a feeder. But if you’re up for the challenge and want to get up close and personal with a lot of giant axis deer, this is the hunt for you!
Texas Axis Deer Hunts – Prices:
Trophy Fee for Super Trophy Axis deer:
$5500 for typical Axis deer
$6500 for any non-typical Axis deer
$2500 for management Axis deer
Daily Fees for Super Trophy Axis deer:
$275/night for single occupancy
$325/night for double occupancy
Deposit – $1000/Hunter
Free Range Axis Deer Hunt Prices
$4500 for a 3 day/2 night hunt
Deposit – $2250/hunter
Make sure to read my FAQs before you book. It has all the details about my hunts.
Included in all Axis Deer Hunts:
- Transportation around the ranch
- Field care of your trophy
Not included in Axis Deer Hunts:
- Valid Texas Hunting License (Non-resident Special 5 Day Hunting License – Type 157 – $48)
- Transportation to ranch
- Skinning, caping, quartering of your trophy
- Drinks other than coffee and water
Additional services available for all Axis Deer Hunts:
- Non-hunting guests – $250/person/night
- Skinning & quartering of your trophy – $100/animal
- Caping & freezing hide for transport home – $50/animal
Texas Axis Deer – Animal Specifics:
Axis deer, or Chital, are native to the Indian subcontinent and were imported into Texas in the 1930s and now occupy at least 45 Texas counties. With their bright reddish coat and white spots, they are considered one of the most beautiful deer species.
Most axis bucks typically have simple antlers, with 3 points on each side, and typically weigh about 200 pounds. In May, before they run their fat off, my super trophy axis will be 250 lbs +! Axis does are smaller and typical weigh 100-125 pounds.
Having very few natural predators and natural resistance to disease has allowed the axis deer to flourish in Texas. Axis deer are primarily grazers, but they can easily exist on forbs and woody browse. Being primarily a grazer, the meat from axis deer is considered some of the best tasting of any of the deer species.
Axis deer reproduce year-round, but the majority of their breeding, called the rut, occurs in late May through mid-July. During the rut, axis bucks bellow, I call it screaming, at each other and wander around looking for receptive does and rounding up their harems, much like elk.
Axis Deer Hunting Texas:
Most of my axis deer hunting in Texas is done by spot and stalk. We drive around until we locate a nice herd or a great buck and then stalk into position for a shot. At times we try and call them in (yes you can sometimes call axis in to you). When they are rutting, and bellowing/screaming at each other, it’s easy to locate them and then start stalking in their direction.
A typical day axis deer hunting begins before sunrise with something quick and easy for breakfast (coffee, juice, pastries, fruit). As soon as we finish breakfast, we load up in my Jeep and we are hunting immediately upon leaving the lodge. We typically hunt until 9:30 or 10 AM, when the axis deer head to the brush for shade, and then come in for a nice, hearty brunch (carne guisada tacos or breakfast tacos).
Because most of my axis deer hunting takes place in the summer it gets pretty warm during the day, so after brunch, we take a break from hunting until the early afternoon. This keeps the axis deer calm and gives us time to go swimming or fishing or just take a nap and relax around camp. About 4 PM I light the grill and start getting dinner ready. By 4:45 we’re eating dinner and then it’s back in the Jeep for the afternoon hunt. With the long days in the summer, we still get 4 good hours to hunt in the afternoon, avoid the heat of the day and we’re not eating dinner at 11 PM or midnight.
If we’re struggling to get in on the axis deer via spot and stalk, or if I have a hunter that can’t get around like they were once able to, we’ll head to the blind and wait for the axis deer to come to us. But I think the spot and stalk axis hunts are a lot more fun and exciting, so I’ll always try that type of hunt first.
Axis Deer Hunting Texas – Packing List:
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Since it’s typically pretty warm when axis deer hunting you are going to want to wear as cool and comfortable clothing as possible. I typically just wear jeans, snake boots (to keep the cactus and thorns/brush off my legs), and a long sleeve, lightweight camo shirt.
Since there is no closed season on axis deer hunting the weather will vary greatly depending on the time of year we will be hunting. If you are coming axis deer hunting anytime other than the summer months you will want to pack in layers as the days will warm up but the mornings and afternoons can be cool to cold.
For my hunts in the late spring, summer, and early fall (Axis, Blackbuck, late-season Turkey, early-season Elk, etc) one of the products I’ve found to be extremely important is Sawyer Products Premium Permethrin Clothing Insect Repellent.
We spend a lot of time walking/stalking through tall grass and with Sawyer Permethrin I don’t have to worry about getting chiggers or ticks on me. You spray it on your clothing, and once it dries it’s odorless and colorless. Chiggers itch so bad that they can really ruin a hunt, but with Sawyer Permethrin you don’t have to worry. I LOVE this product, and literally never leave home without it!
Here’s my suggested packing list:
- Valid TX hunting license
- Rain gear
- Backpack – a water bladder in your pack is helpful
- Comfortable boots/shoes
- Snake boots (I typically wear snake boots to keep the cactus/thorns/brush off my legs)
- Jeans/Pants/Insulated Overalls (Lighter weight pants for the Spring/Summer and heavier weight for the Fall/Winter)
- Camo shirts: Long Sleeve Shirts & Insulated Long Sleeve Shirts (I really love these KUIU shirts!)
- Hunting Gloves
- Insect Repellent Sawyer Permethrin
- Rifle & Ammo or Bow & Arrows
- Uninsulated & Insulated underwear
- Kuiu Socks and Darn tough Hiker Micro Crew Cushion socks are my favorite. They last close to forever!
- Comfortable camp clothes
- Personal Toiletries & Medicines
Also make sure to take a look at my recommended hunting gear list.
Texas Axis Hunting Regions:
Axis deer can be found in over 45 counties in Texas, but the majority of my axis deer hunting occurs in the Hill Country. If flying, San Antonio International Airport is the closest major airport and from there it’s typically less than a 2-hour drive to any of my axis deer hunting ranches.
Axis deer are amazing animals and a great hunt, whether you are a beginner or an experienced hunter. Don’t wait too long, my Axis hunts fill up quickly and you should reserve your spot as soon as possible.by