Axis deer hunting in Texas is considered a prestigious trophy hunt. Adult males have antlers that are a reddish-brown color. The antlers average in the 20 inch range; antlers between 30 and 36 inches in length are considered exceptional. Each side usually has three tines, and the antlers are shed annually. The meat is of excellent quality and lacks the strong game flavor sometimes associated with venison.
Scientific Name: Cervus axis Erxleben
Price: Buck - $4,500
The axis deer is native to the Indian subcontinent. It is considered to be the most beautiful and majestic of deer, with a bright reddish coat marked with rows of white spots that persist throughout life. Antlers of males are large but simple, usually with only three points. Male heights range from 29 - 39.5 inches. Mature weight is from 145 - 250 pounds. Bucks are larger bodied than does with thicker necks and broader chests. Female Axis stand 26 - 33 inches and weigh from 90 - 150 pounds.
The Axis was introduced to Texas in 1932. In 1988, Texas Parks and Wildlife found free-ranging herds of Axis Deer in 27 counties of central and southern Texas. The species could be found confined on ranches in 67 other Texas counties. The 1988 survey estimated a population of just over 39,000 Axis deer in Texas. In 1984, Concho County, Texas, was the first place Axis Deer were ranched for commercial venison production although excess animals had been taken off Texas hunting ranches for several years previous.