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#5841414 - 07/21/15 01:17 PM Deer, Daughters, and Daddy-Longlegs (Axis Hunt w/Guadalupe Outffitters)
John Humbert Offline
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Registered: 12/13/10
Posts: 1631
Central Texas summers are more suited for backyard barbeques by the pool, cold beer and margaritas, and perhaps coastal fishing than hunting. After spring turkey hunting, most folks put up the guns until dove season rolls around in September. Even those with hunting leases tend to think of summer chores of brush clearing or filling feeders as something to do quickly before heading back home to the pool and air conditioning.

However, there are a few die-hard nuts, like myself, who know that those brutal months of late June, July, and August are the time to try for axis deer. While axis can be taken all year long, the vast majority of axis deer are hard-horned in the summer. In fact, it can be argued that when the mercury starts pushing triple digits in July, and the axis begin to rut, is the best time to bag a true monster axis of 35” or better.

It is also a time when planning a trip with your kids becomes easier when kids are out of school for summer break. Exotics such as blackbuck and axis are readily available, and booked guided hunts for these species can be found with many outfitters. The cost for these hunts, especially does, are affordable for most budgets and provide some excellent meat for the table.

It was all these things that had me, and my daughter Hannah, heading to the Boerne/Comfort area for our annual summer axis hunt.

At our hunting spot in Boerne, we usually have plenty of axis and the past two months we had seen two real monsters that would top the magical 34-35” mark. In fact, a few short weeks ago, I was there during the heavy rains and floods and had an opportunity at one of these trophies – only to miss a long shot. I wanted some redemption.

I arrived first, and just got through putting out a fresh bale of alfalfa and a molasses block when my daughter rolled in. Within a few minutes, armed with her .270 and plenty of water, we headed for the popup for our first sit.

I wish we could say we had a good sit, but while the company was great – the animals were just not moving. We had two small, young bucks come visit several times from 6-9pm, but that was about it.

We did have a brown sow hog with two gray piglets come help themselves to our generous corn/alfalfa/molasses buffer – and Hannah thought about getting some pork – but in the end she let them walk and we finished the day by pulling cam cards for review.


SUMMER AXIS HUNTING IS ABOUT COMFORT, NOT CAMO



FAWN KILLERS ON THE PROWL


UP AND COMER FOR SEASON


IT'S HOT!!








Edited by John Humbert (07/21/15 07:34 PM)

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#5841416 - 07/21/15 01:19 PM Re: Deer, Daughters, and Daddy-Longlegs (Axis Hunt w/Guadalupe Outffitters) [Re: John Humbert]
John Humbert Offline
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Registered: 12/13/10
Posts: 1631
Now Hannah likes to hunt alone, and this weekend was no different. Rather than sit back at the hotel, I booked a day with Cody/Guadalupe outfitters for myself on Saturday because I had been seeing all the great harvest pics the prior couple of weeks posted right here on THF, and it was clear that Cody has some nice trophy axis.

So the plan was for Hannah to hunt Boerne, while I skipped up the road towards Waring a few miles away and hunt with Cody for a monster.

I made it clear to Cody that I didn’t need to shoot a deer, and was going to be selective on the shot. I was looking for a big one. I was thinking that Hannah would take an axis of some sort (she’s usually pretty lucky) and so it would be “trophy only” for me.

Cody was more than accommodating and in agreement, and he indicated he had a number of properties, and a number of large axis that were still walking around.

That was the plan, anyways. But free-range axis hunting rarely goes according to plan – and this trip was proving that true.

Cody called and was very upfront – he had checked the cams and said that he was just not seeing many axis on cam – at least, none that would be what I was looking for. I knew he was being honest, because after checking the cards from our cams – we saw the same results – or rather the lack of it.

While normally we have cams filled with pictures of deer, and many axis – the last 3 weeks of pictures show a remarkable lack of animals. A few whitetail, only 3 or 4 axis, and smattering of hogs and turkey. And two big coyotes.

Armed with this knowledge, and the optimism of a new day – we all still followed through with the original plan. Hannah to Boerne, me to Guadalupe Outfitters with Cody.

After meeting Cody right on time at the Waring County Store, he set me up on a prime piece of property on the Guadalupe river only about a mile away from where we met. Even on that short drive, I saw about 2 dozen deer moving in the fields and along the road.

The spot and popup he put me in had axis written all over it. I couldn’t of drawn up a better spot to hunt if I had wished for it for XMAS. A popup set up next to tree in a small coastal field next to the river. There were two hills, and two draws, and a couple of feeders and a big protein block that had obviously had deer tearing into it recently.

I wasn’t the blind 5 minutes, and could still hear the sound of Cody’s diesel pulling away before deer started coming out right and left. My head was on a swivel trying to keep track – and spot an axis.

For the next 3 hours, I had deer trickling in every 15 minutes or so at a slow, but steady pace. But they were mostly all whitetails. A had a pair of axis does right in front of me for a bit, and they kept looking over the shoulder. I fully expected to see some more axis follow them out – but nothing ever showed except WT – and one big toad of a buck that would have been a definite shooter during season.

Honestly, I could see some deer back in the brush – and I got the feeling they were the bigger axis – but never really got a look at them clearly.

Meanwhile, over in Boerne – steady texts were coming in from Hannah every few minutes. She was having about the same results, reporting several nice whitetails, a huge group of turkeys, and not much else.

She also reported that the popup was infested with thousands of Daddy-Longlegs and a few scorpions. Neither Hannah nor myself have much fondness for spiders.

By 9am, the heat started getting uncomfortable, with sweat pouring off my head and back, and we decided to call it a morning.

For summer axis hunting, things are a bit different that traditional deer hunting. First, while I commonly sit a blind all day during regular deer season – and have taken plenty of animals during mid-day, even axis – during the summer, it is a losing proposition to sit all day.

Ever see the movie “Bridge on the River Kwai”? Remember the scene where the Japanese prison commander put the English colonel in the small “hot box” all day for punishment? Well blind hunting for axis in the 100 degree during the day is a bit like that. Well, scratch that – it is EXACTLY like that, only with more legroom.

It’s not pleasant, and I have known buddies who strip down to their tighty-whitey during summer axis hunts.

I don’t care what anyone says – I believe that axis deer are FAR more wary than most whitetails. They will see you better, and smell you better, and avoid you better. And when you are sweating buckets, it makes scent/wind all the more difficult hunting.

Many of us like to add additional challenges to our hunting as we progress in the sport. Rifles give way to bows. Sitting in box blinds gives way to spot-and-stalk. And feeders become a thing of the past.

Well, if you want a challenge – try hunting free range axis in July in Texas. It is definitely a challenge.

Anyway, back to the story…..

After eating breakfast, and a shopping trip to Wheeler’s in Boerne (you really should check out the story since the remodel – it’s awesome) – we had a conference and a change in plans.

Hannah and I decided to switch positions. Since it seemed more likely to see some sort of axis on Cody’s ranches, we decided to have Hannah hunt there – since her requirements on axis were less stringent this trip than mine. She could take a axis doe, or lesser buck just fine for meat – while I would roll the dice on the chance that one of the big boys would show up in Boerne.

Although I suspect a big reason was she did not want to deal with being covered in spiders. Can’t say I blame her.

Cody was very accommodating – and he had gone the extra mile to check the cams on all the other ranches he had, finding some consistent axis action on one spot.

So late Saturday afternoon, Hannah headed over to Sisterdale and I went back to our Boerne honey hole.

Neither of us saw much until around 7pm. I had a couple of WT show up – the usual suspects, but Hannah said she could hear axis bugling close by.

Then no texts for a while. And knowing my daughter – that means she was getting ready, or had just taken a shot. I waited for the results…..

Finally, I got a text that she had some axis, along with a good axis buck, come in – but before they cleared the brush – they spooked off because of something. Maybe they winded her, or maybe just got spooky. But she was hoping they would return soon.

They never did – and I didn’t have squat show up until way after sunset – when I say “something” big on the thermal cross the field.

And so our second day ended. Cody was agreeable to hunt the next morning (thanks buddy, I know we only booked a day and an impromptu extension probably took you away from family). Hannah REALLY wanted to return to that spot the next morning, as she felt she would have good opportunity on at least a doe.

I should mention another thing about summer axis hunts that make it hard. During the summer, it stays light so late – that it is not uncommon to have shooting light well past 9pm. By the time you pack out of the field, have some Mexican food and margaritas, shower – it can be close to midnight – and then you might have to get up at 4:30am to get into your spot well before daylight which comes early.

GIVE HIM A FEW YEARS


"WHITETAIL CITY"






Edited by John Humbert (07/21/15 07:36 PM)

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#5841428 - 07/21/15 01:27 PM Re: Deer, Daughters, and Daddy-Longlegs (Axis Hunt w/Guadalupe Outffitters) [Re: John Humbert]
John Humbert Offline
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Registered: 12/13/10
Posts: 1631
So, after a VERY short night, I am settled in with my thermal among the spiders and scorpions in the popup. A few minutes later, I get a text from Hannah that she is locked, loaded, and in position.

Almost immediately I have deer coming out of the woodwork. At one point I have 8 bucks around me – and some of them are pretty nice. It’s going to be a good season in Boerne this fall.

Hannah also reports she is covered up in whitetail – “Deer city” as she puts it, and send me a photo from her phone.

I have the pigs show up again, and I am trying to line up the piglets for a two-fer. But they manage to slip away before I can get the shot I want.

It’s then I realize that I haven’t gotten a text in a while from my daughter. No sooner than I reach for my phone than it vibrates and a picture of a very nice axis buck on the ground shows up.

She had connected with “not just any doe or meat buck”, but a real trophy axis of 35”! This girl has all the luck. Score another one for Hannah!

She had notified Cody of the kill, and he was in route to her. I started packing up at my location, and met them 30 minutes later as they were at Cow Creek processing and Taxidermy outside Boerne.

It was a tough hunt, taking several sits – but Hannah hung in there and Cody delivered. In a few minutes, he had the cape in the cold room, and the meat in our coolers. Hannah was chatting with Richard at Cow Creek about the mount she wanted.

The axis was 35” on one side, but had broken the tip on the other. Good cottles, the brows weren’t the longest – but he had a couple of bumps on the main beams and, as Hannah put it, “has lots of character”.

Well, the weekend didn’t exactly go as planned – but very happy with Cody, Diane, and Guadalupe Outfitters. He definitely has the spots for axis, and was fully committed to making the hunt a success. I would definitely use them again – and will for sure!

And the two big boys that are on our place in Boerne are still there for the taking. Maybe Dad will get lucky next trip. That is, if my daughter or the daddy-longlegs don’t beat me to him.

FIRST TEXTED PIC


HANNAH AND HER "HORSE"





CODY & HANNAH

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#5841438 - 07/21/15 01:32 PM Re: Deer, Daughters, and Daddy-Longlegs (Axis Hunt w/Guadalupe Outffitters) [Re: John Humbert]
sparrish8 Offline
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Registered: 01/13/13
Posts: 1200
Heck of an Axis congrats to your daughter.

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#5841461 - 07/21/15 01:46 PM Re: Deer, Daughters, and Daddy-Longlegs (Axis Hunt w/Guadalupe Outffitters) [Re: John Humbert]
kdkane1971 Online   content
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Registered: 01/30/14
Posts: 1807
Loc: Mesopotamia
up texas
Congrats to you and your daughter John!

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#5841535 - 07/21/15 02:52 PM Re: Deer, Daughters, and Daddy-Longlegs (Axis Hunt w/Guadalupe Outffitters) [Re: John Humbert]
G ranch Online   content
Pro Tracker

Registered: 05/24/11
Posts: 1778
Loc: Texas
cheers
_________________________
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Bobby.Grieger@yahoo.com or 254)495-0799
Los Robles Exotic Ranch & Southern Cross Whitetail Ranch

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#5841734 - 07/21/15 05:40 PM Re: Deer, Daughters, and Daddy-Longlegs (Axis Hunt w/Guadalupe Outffitters) [Re: John Humbert]
Guadalupe Outfitters Offline
Woodsman

Registered: 03/16/15
Posts: 162
Loc: Boerne, Texas
John! I love your story telling! Congrats to Hannah on her buck! You make us feel like we are out there with you... And the pix are great! Only one thing John.... I never knew about the " tightly whitey" thing. As I was reading that, the visual was coming in and I was seriously laughing out loud! Well I think you always have a good time and I hope you get your big buck soon... You've been very patient!! Can't wait to see Hannah's taxi!!
Diane
_________________________
Diane Reiner Sodoro
Guadalupe Outfitters
Hunt Coordinator
281-723-9989
Diane.guadalupeoutfitters@gmail.com

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#5841931 - 07/21/15 07:41 PM Re: Deer, Daughters, and Daddy-Longlegs (Axis Hunt w/Guadalupe Outffitters) [Re: John Humbert]
John Humbert Offline
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Registered: 12/13/10
Posts: 1631
Thank you Diane.

Here are some more pics of the bucks we have on the Boerne place. Should be a good season.






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#5842141 - 07/21/15 09:30 PM Re: Deer, Daughters, and Daddy-Longlegs (Axis Hunt w/Guadalupe Outffitters) [Re: John Humbert]
Guadalupe Outfitters Offline
Woodsman

Registered: 03/16/15
Posts: 162
Loc: Boerne, Texas
Super nice bucks and I love to see anything in velvet! I think all of the rain we have had is going to keep the taxidermists busy this year!
_________________________
Diane Reiner Sodoro
Guadalupe Outfitters
Hunt Coordinator
281-723-9989
Diane.guadalupeoutfitters@gmail.com

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#5842287 - 07/21/15 11:18 PM Re: Deer, Daughters, and Daddy-Longlegs (Axis Hunt w/Guadalupe Outffitters) [Re: John Humbert]
Heart A Ranch Offline
Green Horn

Registered: 07/27/10
Posts: 2
Loc: Texas
Great Buck!
_________________________
Jason Schwarz
Heart A Ranch

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#5842343 - 07/22/15 04:44 AM Re: Deer, Daughters, and Daddy-Longlegs (Axis Hunt w/Guadalupe Outffitters) [Re: John Humbert]
texfork Offline
Veteran Tracker

Registered: 09/01/08
Posts: 3194
Loc: Irving,tx
Great buck , congrats to you and your daughter , Great write up and pics to .
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Prayer is the "ultimate" wireless connection .

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#5842367 - 07/22/15 06:06 AM Re: Deer, Daughters, and Daddy-Longlegs (Axis Hunt w/Guadalupe Outffitters) [Re: John Humbert]
Elkhunter49 Online   content
Veteran Tracker

Registered: 06/21/11
Posts: 3268
Loc: Oak Harbor, Slidell La
Congrats to your daughter on a great hunt and a fine trophy!!! Nothing beats hunting with your kids, well done sir!!! Baker
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A true friend reaches for your hand but touches your heart.

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#5844360 - 07/23/15 10:00 AM Re: Deer, Daughters, and Daddy-Longlegs (Axis Hunt w/Guadalupe Outffitters) [Re: John Humbert]
rbw1 Online   content
Bird Dog

Registered: 10/20/14
Posts: 253
Great story.

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#5845835 - 07/24/15 08:33 AM Re: Deer, Daughters, and Daddy-Longlegs (Axis Hunt w/Guadalupe Outffitters) [Re: John Humbert]
Mako My Day Offline
Woodsman

Registered: 08/26/14
Posts: 187
Loc: Friendswood, TX
Great story, thanks for sharing!

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#5845977 - 07/24/15 09:36 AM Re: Deer, Daughters, and Daddy-Longlegs (Axis Hunt w/Guadalupe Outffitters) [Re: John Humbert]
txmark1959 Offline
Woodsman

Registered: 02/27/15
Posts: 128
Thank you so much for sharing......good job

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