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#6095734 - 12/21/15 09:03 PM Axis versus Whitetail?
TurkeyWhisperer Offline
Tracker

Registered: 01/28/08
Posts: 799
Loc: Aledo, Tx
My son and I are going on a TPWD hunt next week near Junction. He can shoot axis and whitetail. I have seen axis, but never hunted them before. It seems like when I have seen them, they were in large groups.

Do axis travel in big groups more so than whitetails? Also, do bucks and does generally travel together or separate?

Thanks!
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#6095746 - 12/21/15 09:07 PM Re: Axis versus Whitetail? [Re: TurkeyWhisperer]
Creekrunner Offline
THF Trophy Hunter

Registered: 10/19/12
Posts: 7157
Loc: Bexar/Gillespie, hunt Terrell
To answer your first question, yes, mostly. Not always "big" groups, but groups nonetheless. You'll occasionally see a doe wandering around by herself, or with just a fawn/young one. Bucks and does travel together a lot.

Hope you and your son have a great hunt.
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#6095762 - 12/21/15 09:15 PM Re: Axis versus Whitetail? [Re: TurkeyWhisperer]
GimmeABuck Offline
Tracker

Registered: 11/07/15
Posts: 609
They're free range all over my area, and almost always in a big herd.

I have found them to be more skittish than whitetail, especially the bucks. Elusive critters! (my theory is because they can be taken any time of year...)
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#6095912 - 12/21/15 11:21 PM Re: Axis versus Whitetail? [Re: TurkeyWhisperer]
John Humbert Online   content
Pro Tracker

Registered: 12/13/10
Posts: 1620
Axis are very social and interact with each other a lot - much more so than whitetail. So it is very common to see them in groups. In fact, it is more rare to see a single than a group. Larger herds can be in the dozens, and smaller groups in 2-5. Smaller groups tend to be does, and singletons tend to be younger bucks or older bucks.

They feed in those groups, and often coordinate feeding. Very often they will send a "sacrificial doe" out to the feeder first, or to cross an open area first - while the rest of the herd hangs back in the brush and sees what happens.

They often travel single-file.

Because of their social behavior, you almost always are dealing with many pairs of eyes and ears. Very common behavior for groups is to have some of the herd feed/graze while others (usually the biggest bucks) stay off to the edges and keep watch. For this reason, they can been very, very spooky and difficult to hunt. Their ears are more sensitive, and their eyes are WAY better than whitetail (and I have heard they see in more colors than whitetail, perhaps having even full color vision).

If you see axis - especially a group of axis - don't wait very long to take a shot, or you will be sorry as the herd all thunders off. If you know the herd has big bucks, and you see them walking single file - the biggest buck is often trailing the line. But be ready, because those big bucks have a habit of waiting until the end of the line, then scampering quickly past the rest of the animals in the line to the head of the list and the first to disappear into the brush.


On a TPWD draw hunt, where you only get one chance - I would shoot the first axis you see, and be very quick about it.

If a large group of axis shows up - they have an annoying habit of bunching up where you cannot get a clear shot at any single animals - then off take off together in a bunch. More than a few times I've had 25-30 axis out right in front of me for 10-15 minutes and never been able to get a clean shot.

If you are near Junction, there are tons of axis around there. If you are put in a blind or section near a creek or river, you'll probably see axis as they have a fondness for using drainages for highways.

Oh, and I would shoot a crappy axis over a good whitetail any day - and twice on Sunday. smile

P.S. Keep the hides on axis - I know inexpensive places to tan the hides, and if you don't want it - there will be plenty of others that do!

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#6096111 - 12/22/15 07:43 AM Re: Axis versus Whitetail? [Re: TurkeyWhisperer]
sparrish8 Online   content
Pro Tracker

Registered: 01/13/13
Posts: 1193
Axis over whitetail fir too many reasons to list. It may be challenging to find one hard horned right now.

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#6096148 - 12/22/15 08:06 AM Re: Axis versus Whitetail? [Re: sparrish8]
nyalubwe Offline
Woodsman

Registered: 12/10/15
Posts: 232
Loc: Montana
Interesting responses. I prefer Axis over whitetail for a lot of reasons too...but I thought I was pretty much alone in that! smile

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#6096190 - 12/22/15 08:29 AM Re: Axis versus Whitetail? [Re: TurkeyWhisperer]
TexFlip Online   content
THF Trophy Hunter

Registered: 08/18/12
Posts: 8631
Loc: Harris County
If you are hunting S LLano chances are you will see an axis for every whitetail if not more axis than whitetail. You will possibly get multiple shots on axis. Our property is less than 10 miles as the crow flies and we are covered with axis. On the river in the state park and WMA they are even more thick. A guy I know hunted there a few years back with his daughter and she was able to shoot two axis in one sitting.




In our area a large group would be between 12-20 but typically we see groups of 5 or so. Bucks are typically in herds with the does and there will often be several good bucks along with one outstanding buck in a group. The herd is typically led by a doe so if you see a doe and have time you might want to wait a few moments to see if a few more are tailing her.


Edited by TexFlip (12/22/15 09:14 AM)
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#6097728 - 12/22/15 10:55 PM Re: Axis versus Whitetail? [Re: TurkeyWhisperer]
TurkeyWhisperer Offline
Tracker

Registered: 01/28/08
Posts: 799
Loc: Aledo, Tx
Great info guys! Thank you so much! We are leaving Sunday and can't wait! We are camping and the lows are going to be in the upper 20's/low 30's. Ought to be an adventure!

Anybody know of an inexpensive place to get an Axis hide tanned around the Fort Worth area? I definitely would like to do that!
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WILD GAME HUNTING PODCAST: For everyone who has a passion for hunting and the great outdoors!

LISTEN FREE HERE: http://wildgamehuntingpodcast.podbean.com/

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#6103367 - 12/26/15 09:25 PM Re: Axis versus Whitetail? [Re: TurkeyWhisperer]
kusai Offline
Outdoorsman

Registered: 11/05/11
Posts: 65
I used to go to rocksprings a lot, and the only time I would see Axis was at night when going to town or coming back, like 3-4 every few hundred yards. And unfortunately they were either on road or on someone elses property.

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#6106331 - 12/28/15 02:11 PM Re: Axis versus Whitetail? [Re: TurkeyWhisperer]
Sully Offline
Bird Dog

Registered: 11/13/08
Posts: 282
Loc: Denton, TX
For hides, go to North Texas Tannery in Denton. Only place I'd take one.

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#6109055 - 12/29/15 10:21 PM Re: Axis versus Whitetail? [Re: John Humbert]
chital_shikari Online   content
Minor in training

Registered: 08/03/11
Posts: 11387
Loc: Katy, TX
Originally Posted By: John Humbert
Axis are very social and interact with each other a lot - much more so than whitetail. So it is very common to see them in groups. In fact, it is more rare to see a single than a group. Larger herds can be in the dozens, and smaller groups in 2-5. Smaller groups tend to be does, and singletons tend to be younger bucks or older bucks.

They feed in those groups, and often coordinate feeding. Very often they will send a "sacrificial doe" out to the feeder first, or to cross an open area first - while the rest of the herd hangs back in the brush and sees what happens.

They often travel single-file.

Because of their social behavior, you almost always are dealing with many pairs of eyes and ears. Very common behavior for groups is to have some of the herd feed/graze while others (usually the biggest bucks) stay off to the edges and keep watch. For this reason, they can been very, very spooky and difficult to hunt. Their ears are more sensitive, and their eyes are WAY better than whitetail (and I have heard they see in more colors than whitetail, perhaps having even full color vision).

If you see axis - especially a group of axis - don't wait very long to take a shot, or you will be sorry as the herd all thunders off. If you know the herd has big bucks, and you see them walking single file - the biggest buck is often trailing the line. But be ready, because those big bucks have a habit of waiting until the end of the line, then scampering quickly past the rest of the animals in the line to the head of the list and the first to disappear into the brush.


On a TPWD draw hunt, where you only get one chance - I would shoot the first axis you see, and be very quick about it.

If a large group of axis shows up - they have an annoying habit of bunching up where you cannot get a clear shot at any single animals - then off take off together in a bunch. More than a few times I've had 25-30 axis out right in front of me for 10-15 minutes and never been able to get a clean shot.

If you are near Junction, there are tons of axis around there. If you are put in a blind or section near a creek or river, you'll probably see axis as they have a fondness for using drainages for highways.

Oh, and I would shoot a crappy axis over a good whitetail any day - and twice on Sunday. smile

P.S. Keep the hides on axis - I know inexpensive places to tan the hides, and if you don't want it - there will be plenty of others that do!
up up up
I second every word. Great info and axis tastes better, looks better, and IS better than whitetail
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#6109175 - 12/30/15 01:36 AM Re: Axis versus Whitetail? [Re: TurkeyWhisperer]
TexFlip Online   content
THF Trophy Hunter

Registered: 08/18/12
Posts: 8631
Loc: Harris County
Well, how'd the hunt go?
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#6109200 - 12/30/15 04:02 AM Re: Axis versus Whitetail? [Re: chital_shikari]
Simple Searcher Offline
Extreme Tracker

Registered: 12/30/12
Posts: 4145
Loc: Helotes, Hext
Originally Posted By: chital_shikari
Originally Posted By: John Humbert
Axis are very social and interact with each other a lot - much more so than whitetail. So it is very common to see them in groups. In fact, it is more rare to see a single than a group. Larger herds can be in the dozens, and smaller groups in 2-5. Smaller groups tend to be does, and singletons tend to be younger bucks or older bucks.

They feed in those groups, and often coordinate feeding. Very often they will send a "sacrificial doe" out to the feeder first, or to cross an open area first - while the rest of the herd hangs back in the brush and sees what happens.

They often travel single-file.

Because of their social behavior, you almost always are dealing with many pairs of eyes and ears. Very common behavior for groups is to have some of the herd feed/graze while others (usually the biggest bucks) stay off to the edges and keep watch. For this reason, they can been very, very spooky and difficult to hunt. Their ears are more sensitive, and their eyes are WAY better than whitetail (and I have heard they see in more colors than whitetail, perhaps having even full color vision).

If you see axis - especially a group of axis - don't wait very long to take a shot, or you will be sorry as the herd all thunders off. If you know the herd has big bucks, and you see them walking single file - the biggest buck is often trailing the line. But be ready, because those big bucks have a habit of waiting until the end of the line, then scampering quickly past the rest of the animals in the line to the head of the list and the first to disappear into the brush.


On a TPWD draw hunt, where you only get one chance - I would shoot the first axis you see, and be very quick about it.

If a large group of axis shows up - they have an annoying habit of bunching up where you cannot get a clear shot at any single animals - then off take off together in a bunch. More than a few times I've had 25-30 axis out right in front of me for 10-15 minutes and never been able to get a clean shot.

If you are near Junction, there are tons of axis around there. If you are put in a blind or section near a creek or river, you'll probably see axis as they have a fondness for using drainages for highways.

Oh, and I would shoot a crappy axis over a good whitetail any day - and twice on Sunday. smile

P.S. Keep the hides on axis - I know inexpensive places to tan the hides, and if you don't want it - there will be plenty of others that do!
up up up
I second every word. Great info and axis tastes better, looks better, and IS better than whitetail


Indeed, very good axis observations.
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"Man is still a hunter, still a simple searcher after meat..." Robert C. Ruark

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#6109525 - 12/30/15 09:58 AM Re: Axis versus Whitetail? [Re: TexFlip]
John Humbert Online   content
Pro Tracker

Registered: 12/13/10
Posts: 1620
Originally Posted By: TexFlip
Well, how'd the hunt go?


Yes, we are all interested in knowing!

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#6109953 - 12/30/15 02:12 PM Re: Axis versus Whitetail? [Re: TurkeyWhisperer]
wrknonit Offline
Bird Dog

Registered: 06/23/11
Posts: 321
Loc: Ingram, Texas
They go nuts for molasses and alfalfa hay. I have seen them pass on corn feeders without so much as a second glance. However, put down some sweet horse feed or alfalfa hay and they WILL come to it. As stated by others, be ready to shoot quickly, as they spook easily. Best meat you will ever eat, IMHO.
texas
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