Contributors to this thread:
Favorite Exotic to hunt and why?
I have overlooked exotics in the past as I have often just seen them as put and take animals that you go shoot in a small enclosure. I know that is not always the case. I am intrigued by a few exotics like Nilgai, Auodad, Axis or Sika deer. What exotics have you hunted and what do you like about them? Is it being able to chase something with your bow in the off season, the table fare or something like the price fits your budget? I'm curious to hear from you guys that have experience in this area.
Oryx or else refered to as gemsbok, is considered by many as an exotic. They can be hunted in a non fence environment such as New Mexico . getting a free range oryx with a bow in New Mexico is rare and would be quite the accomplishment.
Nigai ,aoudad, axis all awesome hunts especially on big ranches, where they are born. Hard hunts beautiful animals and season open year round
I'll try to touch on each point and give my opinion with out taking up all Pat's server space.
For me personally it is the year round aspect of it that is the main draw. I am a year round hunter and they are available year round. I think it is also short sighted to assume they are all high fence and small pens and all that. Sure there are those places, but there are plenty of opportunities without fences. I would be willing to bet Nilgai specifically are FAR more prevalent on ranches without fencing. Plenty of opportunity for no fence Aoudad in west TX, the Oryx mentioned above in NM, Sika deer in MD, Axis deer in HI, I can go on...
Unfortunately, I think it is also kinda naive to believe they are all low cost, they are not Stone Sheep money, but the prices are consistently rising the last few years. Specifically a Nilgai hunt i did a few years ago for $1850 is now over $3400, same ranch, same property, same animals, way more money! I'm doing a free range Auodad in March, and i cringe to think of what i'm spending, again 5 years ago a similar hunt was 1/2 (or less). That said there are still some very reasonable deals if you keep your ears open and network in the right crowd.
I have hunted several of the species you listed, If i had to choose my "favorite" I guess i would go with Axis or Nilgai. As I said the scheduling flexibility of Exotics is a huge plus, would I give up a AK moose hunt in September for an Axis in TX? Well of course not, but in February or July? Hell Yeah, they are sounding pretty good! This winter I will hunt Alligators (not exotic) and iguanas in FL, Nilgai in South TX, and Aoudad in West TX. There are not many other hunts I could do during these time periods, and damn they are fun!
It's all what you make of it, some of the high and mighty here on BS can commence to telling my how wrong i am and how horrible it all is now.
Pheasants and brown trout. :^)
I have hunted high fence in the off seasons, all places had alot of acerage. Not for everyone, but I had fun....shot with long bow a corisan ram and a blue hiawain ram, a boar, and a Texas dall., and last year a mouflon last spring. Meat was given to legal migrant workers nothing wasted. Lots of fun for me. Now I am saving for a fallow deer and a axis......
"Pheasants and brown trout. :^)"
I'll second that, and add rainbows and tarpon to the list. ;-)
Axis. Smarter than any native deer. Damn good to eat!
Should know more about nilgai soon...
The Nilgai is something that I think is really cool The fact that you get so much meat from one is a huge draw for me. Supposedly the meat is excellent too.
I have hunted exotics in TX once, shot a Sika Spike and a one horn corsican ram. The deer are definitely more fun and free range in places. I have been on a couple hunts on fenced sheep areas accompany a friend and its not much other than shooting. Pigs are always tough. missed one in Texas
Now I have been hunting goats on Hawaii a number of times, very fun and cheap for a DIY. As mentioned the flexible season dates is what draws me. I hunted pigs in CA public land for a few years when I lived there but only got 1 with a shotgun. pretty tough unless you have a feeder.
I hunted Australia for Sambar and it was awesome! I only had a couple days and had a local to go with and got one with a rifle. I will go back to Australia.
Axis in Hawaii is on my short list, as well as mouflon when I can figure out how Lanai works.... The Na Pali is a hike everyone should do- tough backpacking and feral goats! HI is one of the few places you can still DIY but its not cheap getting/staying unless you camp. But if I have to take my wife to Hawaii I might as well hunt!
Unfortunately, the State of Hawaii has been systematically eradicating goats on public lands. The DIY option is unfortunately not what it once was!
Barbary in NM was awesome but nothing compares to NM ibex!
The only exotic I’ve hunted is axis does, and that was mainly for the meat. Where I go I can take my wife, he has good accommodations, and she enjoys it. I look at it like grocery shopping and we’re going again at spring break, as she’s the high school librarian where we live, and that’s when she has time off. What I’ve done I wouldn’t call hunting, but there are lots of places in Texas that have free range axis, Nilgai, aoudad, etc. They are mostly private land and usually someone’s lease. Free range axis are pretty tough from what I hear, much more spooky than whitetails.
I have not, but I would like an Axis or Fallow hunt.
I’ve only arrowed Aoudad in the exotic category. Was fun and may do it again.
There is no dall like a Texas dall
LOL Bou! When I was but a wee boy I would have said sparrows and starlings. How quickly we all forget our early hunting roots!
Deer, they are so scarce up here they might as well be exotic. Deer and the Three Toed Snit.
Hogs are one my favorite of anything to hunt. Personally I feel God put them on Earth for bowhunting.
Love to hunt hogs. I'm surprised nobody mentioned blackbuck. I've done corsican, mouflon, texas dall, black Hawaiian, 4 horn, painted desert, fallow deer and blackbuck. Tried axis a couple of times but couldn't seal the deal. For the money, I prefer hogs as they are fun to hunt, smart, and delicious! I'd like to try nilgai one of these days. I need to follow BPM and Zebrakiller, they are the masters!
Free Range Axis without question. Make you a great elk bow hunter. They are tough to get i. Selfbow range on Ground.
Best deer flesh on planet.
This is a USA exotic report. K
Hogs and Sika. Sika because I don't need a special license and they are great for eating.
In Texas the two absolute perfect exotic hunts are true free range Aoudad and nilgai
Others are great but those two are the best
FYI. GROUND HUNTER I think it's black Hawaiian ram. Blue Hawaiian would be a drink. No big deal. Sure it was a typo
What Treeman said also !!
Yes English Sparrows are great fun with a pellet gun.
My kid got good picking off eurasian collared doves with his 22 cal pellet gun at 60+ yds
Also a few pigeons when ever I get the chance.
My why on Hogs - first, you can shoot a pile of them. If you get on a place that has a bunch, like the place I hunt in So. TX every year, you might find you are encouraged to shoot as many as possible. There really aren’t many other big game animals in NA that offer the chance to shoot so many animals on the same trip. I’ve had multiple trips where I’ve shot as many as a dozen pigs in a long weekend hunt. Pigs are just built to bowhunt. They are the perfect spot/stalk quarry. Wary enough to be a challenge but approachable enough to get plenty of up close opportunities. And they can be dangerous, so that adds some excitement to the hunt. Finally, you can hunt hogs at night, in the dark. There just aren’t that many species you can legally chase at night, and it you’ve never done it, hunting in the dark with a varmit light mounted on your bow adds an element to the hunt that you just don’t get with any other hunt. My annual hog hunt to Texas is always the most fun trip of the year!
I debated about this for a couple years b/4 doing it. Now, I've done several bow & it's been awesome. It allows me to bowhunt an animal I could not afford to hunt in their native land. I've always bowhunted day lease ranches (no trophy fees & no guaranteed kill) that were 2500 through 4000 acres. I've never went for a specific animal as it's just fun for me to see what I get a chance for. I've taken a couple sheep but not for me (I cannot stand the meat) & always made arrangements to give it away. Fallow, Axis, Red Deer are excellent eating. I've actually been looking for a Red Deer Hind bowhunt just for the meat. I have bowhunted Sikas twice in Md & thats a fun hunt but they are tough littler critters. I love the fact it's an off season hunt for us & we usually go in Feb or March & get away from the snow & cold. We also go where we can take hogs along with an Exotic. Never get tired of shooting at hogs. I've bowhunted 15 states, DIY, public land so I know the difference of hunting HF. I'm planning on using my Longbow on the next one.
Roe deer are so cool. Awesome hunt. Axis is a awesome bow hunt as well. I'm headed to Australia in a month to hunt hog deer, Fallow deer,sambar, and axis. Then hop over to New Zealand for the Roar!
Oryx. Never wasted the time trying with a bow for obvious reasons.
Forest there gonna be any game around with the fires going on ?
Forest, You still plan on going. Nothing seems good there right now.
Fires are hundreds of miles from where I'm going. It would be like not going to Texas because of the fires in California... it's a big place. Heard they got some rain yesterday.
We’re pretty low on selection around here.
Actually, that’s not true. In this part of the world, Coyotes are an exotic.
Pheasant or Hungarian Partridge over pointing dogs...
Oryx on white sands was a great hunt for a rifle,would be really tough with a bow
Well, the nilgai hunt fell through. Government culling underway that totally bombed that concept.
Working on an off the range oryx deal now. Not sure it will top the “favorite” list as it will probably be a one and done kind of hunt due to the cost. It will be with the longbow.
Looking back at the OP - have hunted lots of exotics over the years. Hogs, blackbuck, fallow, axis, auodad, goats, sheep and scimitar horned oryx in Texas. Ibex and auodad (Barbary sheep) in New Mexico. Red stag and water buffalo in Argentina.
Pigs can be a ton of fun - if they are there. Prefer hunting big west Texas ranches spot and stalk but those opportunities are really limited any more. Used to have crazy fun around the 4th of July when the wild plums were ripe sneaking up on them in the thickets! Hotter than hell and covered up in ticks and chigger bites but killed lots of pigs! Meat is OK but not that great.
Free range auodad and ibex are very challenging hunts. Ibex are the tougher of the two to hunt. Aoudad have better meat quality but neither are great.
Axis are very plentiful in Texas, Florida, and Hawaii. Can be hunted free range or high fence. A big buck can be expensive unless you know someone but does can be very cheap or even free. Get on the right place and you may get to shoot as many as you want if they are over populated. And the meat is the absolute best venison you can get!
Hawaii seems to be the place to go. Lots of variety, liberal limits, long seasons and the option for the wife to lay on the beach while you hunt.
These guys are a lot of fun and even better to eat!!
Damn! I need to do that one Hunt! Will have to set up a trip!
I apply for the archery Ibex hunt in the Florida Mountains of NM every year. Used to be an easy draw when there was no R/NR split, but that party is over. It's a very low success hunt, but would be fun to give it a try. They also have Oryx and Barbary Sheep draws. All 3 exotics can be hunted DIY.
Aoudad it very fun to hunt And also for me, the Nilgai. I haven´t shoot a nilgai that the reason to be top in my list