Excitement Calling Axis Deer

Excitement Calling Axis Deer

Story by Tom Claycomb III

Texas is the undisputed whitetail capital of the world! However, a lot has changed since I was a kid. The Lone Star State is now also the capitol of the exotic world.

Sure, when I was a kid there were some Pineywoods rooters in East Texas and by the time I hit college there were some hogs up in the Hagerman Wildlife area. I was raised in North Texas and in those days, there was no internet, let alone Facebook or Instagram. So, you basically only knew what was going on within an 10 mile radius of where you lived. I heard a rumor there were a few wild hogs around Sadler but didn’t really believe the rumor.

As a young kid, all of the deer had long since been poached out of Grayson County but in high school I remember hearing rumors of some big bucks up on Lake Texoma. Then in the 11th grade Richard Jaco and I would go out on Friday nights with Sammy Brown, the local game warden and try to catch deer poachers.

Then, during my first year of college I worked on a pipeline in the Hagerman National Wildlife Refuge area and sure enough, I saw some BIG bucks. That couldn’t have been 18 miles from my house but yet it was still pretty much a secret.

I’m sure there were more wild hogs than I knew of, but now — Wow! Texas is being overrun by wild hogs plus has plenty of free-ranging black bucks, axis deer, Aoudad sheep and who knows what else? We could discuss for hours whether this is a good or bad thing and the potential impact free-range exotics have on native animals and the landscape. But the bottom line  — they’re here!

Regardless of your view or position, exotics game animals are here, so I’m going to hunt them. I’ll gladly fulfill the role of a conservation minded hunter to help try and keep the numbers of exotic animals in line and minimize their impact to native game and the rangeland.

That comment brings me to today’s topic — axis deer hunting. Up until a few years ago I had zero experience hunting axis deer. In 2019 I went hunting axis deer with Adventure, Missions and Retreats down by Menard. I was using the Umarex .50 cal. Hammer. After that trip I was sold.

To read more, click here to SUBSCRIBE