In my last article, I shared information with you regarding ways to experience reasonably priced deer hunting in Texas.
I certainly hope you have been successful this deer season. However, if you didn’t harvest your white-tailed deer, or if that big buck was almost too tough to eat, I have a great solution. This might not fit the needs of every hunter as now your goal must be gourmet venison table fare — not horns.
This means the quest for tender, tasty venison from the axis deer.
Now, at this point, I might lose some of our “fair chase” hunters.
Most of the time, this hunt is not exactly a fair chase, but that is not why you would be on this ranch, which is usually an exotic ranch. And the Texas Hill Country has many.
You are there to fill your freezer with wonderful venison flavor for the coming year.
You have two ways of acquiring this special meat. If you are a fair-chase hunter and have not tried axis deer, you owe yourself the opportunity to savor the wonderful flavor that an axis doe offers. The fact is on an exotic ranch, one of those large axis bucks can go from $1,500 to $3,000. But we’re speaking about superior venison, not trophies.
Our goal is an axis doe, a much cheaper hunt. I will assist you in your research. Depending on which ranch you choose, this is typically a one-day or two-day hunt.
How much does it cost?
This is where we get into a large variance depending on what is provided. The ranches in the following list will have a range from $350 per doe up to $799. That is a big swing in price, but I will allow you to do the research on your computer and discover why one ranch is more expensive than the other.
Then, you can make your choice.
I am listing nine ranches and you can check out the website for each by doing an online search. All of these ranches have axis doe hunts. Some of these ranches are in the Hill Country and others just off its edge.
1. Sister Creek Ranch, Comfort
2. Serengeti Ranch, Comfort
3. Lonesome Bull Ranch, Sandia
4. Cross Oaks Ranch, Brady 5. Double FF Ranch, Sonora
6. Texas Hunting Lodge, Ingram
7. Stone Creek Ranch, Gatesville
8. El Chital Ranch, between Brady and Menard 9. Berryhill Ranch, Burnet
There are many free-ranging axis deer roaming the Hill Country at present that have escaped from exotic ranches. Many ranches that once only had white-tailed deer are now seeing axis on their properties. Not all axis hunts are high-fence hunts. With axis deer being an exotic, you can hunt them year-round. There are no specific seasons for axis.
Now for plan B.
You want that fine axis meat but don’t want to go on a hunt. Can you get axis meat without hunting?
Yes, you can.
There are at least three companies or ranches that provide axis meat by the pound, even online. By researching the names of these companies you will truly appreciate the value of axis meat. The cost for axis per pound may astound you, but it is so tasty that many people place orders for it each year. Here are three venues that handle it:
1. Broken Arrow Ranch, near Ingram
2. Venison World, near Eden
3. Elk USA, near Del Norte, Colorado
Prices range from $36 per pound up to $65 per pound.
I would like to introduce you to a new deer processing and meat market business in our area. It also has a taxidermist connected to the market.
Hudson Meat Market is located at 1405 State St. in Marble Falls. They are just one of many processors in the Hill Country.
Now, you have a good pathway for a year of tasty venison. Whenever your freezer gets low, the information above is an option to keep a smile on your face. Enjoy some axis tenderloin soon.
I hope to see you in the woods or on the water.
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