Mathews Inc.
Exotics = off-season fun
Hogs
Contributors to this thread:
tkjwonta 11-Mar-21
wildwilderness 11-Mar-21
Zebrakiller 11-Mar-21
tkjwonta 11-Mar-21
ahunter76 11-Mar-21
Treeline 11-Mar-21
Knife2sharp 11-Mar-21
drycreek 11-Mar-21
INbowdude 11-Mar-21
Slate 11-Mar-21
Stinker 12-Mar-21
ahunter76 14-Mar-21
Shuteye 15-Mar-21
Chief 419 15-Mar-21
Bou'bound 16-Mar-21
From: tkjwonta
11-Mar-21

tkjwonta's embedded Photo
A Hunt to Remember
tkjwonta's embedded Photo
A Hunt to Remember
This was primarily a rifle hunt, so archery purists can feel free to exit here.

I had always viewed hunting for exotic species as a "second class" affair, not worthy of the attention of DIY mule deer and elk hunts. However, I decided to put my pre-conceived notions aside and head down to Texas for a welcome respite from the Midwest winter and try to do a bit of hunting.

As an added bonus, the hunt was planned so that both my son and my dad could tag along. A long weekend hunt at a lodge seemed like a much more feasible undertaking for this three-generation crew as opposed to living 2-weeks out of a backpack.

From the first evening, I could tell that this hunt would be more enjoyable than I had ever imagined. Sure, it was not the same as scaling sheer cliffs in search of mule deer above timberline, but the camaraderie of spending time in the blind with my son and my dad was irreplaceable.

After pointing out different species of deer that were coming past the blind to my young son, and encouraging him to watch out the window rather than read a book or play games on a handheld, the time was nearly at hand. All of a sudden, at nearly sunset, a regal spotted stag appeared amongst the trees. As it was our first night, we hadn't really discussed expectations, or who would be first on the trigger. Given my dad's hesitation, and the fact that an axis deer was my primary target on this trip, after some deliberation, I reached for my weapon and silently slid the blind window open.

I waited for what seemed like hours as the magnificent axis buck cautiously approached our setup with one of his less experienced compadres in tow. The smaller buck provided several nice opportunities at broadside shots, while the larger stag waited patiently back in the brush. With the last minutes of daylight starting to fade, the large buck finally emerged from the shadows. However, he took his position immediately in front of the smaller buck, not presenting an ethical shot. Trying to block out my son's repeated whispered urges of "shoot him!", I waited for the regal axis deer to clear his lesser partner. Finally, with only moments of shooting light to spare, the buck took two steps forward.

With a nearly breathless indication of "I'm going to shoot", I warned my companions that the time was at hand. With darkness nearly upon us, I gently squeezed the trigger and upon recoil saw the magnificent trophy harvested only a short distance away.

Some quick high fives and congratulations followed as we notified our guide of our success. This was not the most hard-earned trophy, but having my son and father there to experience the whole endeavor may have made it one of the most rewarding.

This type of hunt certainly can't replace the effort and intestinal fortitude needed to conquer many free range species across the mountain west. But it sure is a heck of a lot of fun, and much more enjoyable that sitting around and waiting for the snow to melt.

Although not for everyone, I thought this hunt was a blast. If you want further details about the outfitter we used, please PM me, everything was top notch. In fact, we are already booked for next year, when I hope to take on a similar adventure with only archery equipment at my disposal.

11-Mar-21
That’s a great axis buck! They are beautiful animals.

From: Zebrakiller
11-Mar-21
Exotic hunting can be a blast and a challenge on the correct Ranches, congrats, nice to see you gave it a shot. ? why didn't you just bow hunt first go round?

From: tkjwonta
11-Mar-21
I decided to go the rifle route since it was my son's first hunt and I didn't think he would have the patience necessary for an archery opportunity, and I wanted the first time to be successful so that he can hopefully develop an interest.

We did chase hogs spot and stalk with the bow after harvesting the axis, but no luck. That's now at the top of my son's list for next year.

From: ahunter76
11-Mar-21

ahunter76's embedded Photo
ahunter76's embedded Photo
Great & yes, it's a great way to enjoy in the off season. Many will give negative comments & thats to bad. I have done several bowhunts on 1200 & 4000 acre ranches & had an awesome, fun time. i did arrow an Axis after 4 different trips but definatley not an easy task with a Bow.. For the purists that give me a hard time I reference my 15 states, DIY public ground bowhunts for a wide varity of biggame. Congrats & I'm sure your son will remember this forever. I took my son too.

From: Treeline
11-Mar-21
Great axis, both of those! Love hunting them and eating them! Congratulations!

From: Knife2sharp
11-Mar-21
I've gone on several exotic hunts in the early 2000s, and always wanted an axis or fallow. I've heard the cost of exotic hunts have almost doubled since then, due to the cost of the animals. Seems most ranches are trophy fee based now and animals, other than rams or goats are about two grand, is that about right?

From: drycreek
11-Mar-21
That’s a nice axis buck tkjwonta ! A buddy and I have a free range axis hunt lined up next month. It’s a new place for us, so I have no expectations, it was a last minute grocery grab to replace one that fell through. I don’t view it as a hunt, I view it as putting meat in the freezer that you have to go to the farm to get, and I do love my axis meat !

From: INbowdude
11-Mar-21
Cool looking Axis. Well done.

From: Slate
11-Mar-21
Congrats

From: Stinker
12-Mar-21
nice axis

From: ahunter76
14-Mar-21
drycreek-you may change your view if your hunt is anything like mine was. Regardless, if you get one, the meat is delicious.

From: Shuteye
15-Mar-21

Shuteye's embedded Photo
In Texas.
Shuteye's embedded Photo
In Texas.
Sounds like a fun hunt and your dad and son got to enjoy it also. The real cold weather just destroyed a lot of fine animals in Texas.

From: Chief 419
15-Mar-21
Don't sell yourself short on those exotics hunts in Texas. Getting a specific trophy in front of you isn't as easy as it sounds. With this year's ice storm die-off this year, it will be more difficult in the next few years.

It can be a great, low pressure, much fun had, off season hunt.

From: Bou'bound
16-Mar-21
anyone running a deal on texas dalls that you guys are aware of. I always wanted a dall sheep and now may be the time to get one.

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