If I owned the ranch you were hunting on and you showed up wanting to shoot an axis doe at 80 yards with a 20 gauge shotgun I would not let you hunt. Do yourself a favor and bring a deer rifle also.
Absolutely!!! I see folks saying "Ok" on this thread citing examples on whitetail. Clearly have not been axis hunting. It is a BAD idea to use a shotgun for axis. While I admit their could be certain circumstances where it could be pulled off, it is contra indicated for a paid meat hunt on a axis doe - stupid really.
Why? Let me count the ways:
(1) Axis travel in herds. And they often feed tightly packed together. If using buckshot, you are going to hit multiple animals. Heck, I've been on axis hunt with a rifle and watched a herd of 25 for 45 minutes and never could get a shot.
(2) Axis sometime come to feeders like whitetail all nice and neat. But more often they are more cautious and your only opportunity will be longer than 80 yards. You're on a paid hunt, why severely limit your success?
(3) You're meat hunting - a slug or buckshot is going to rip up too much meat.
(4) Axis are tougher than WT by far. I've made perfect heart/both lung shots on axis with a .308 and STILL had them run a couple hundred yards with no blood trail. While I have no doubt a 20ga slug could bring an axis down at shorter ranges - the lack of precise accuracy and longer ranges over 50-100 yards, and the rapid loss of energy is likely mean a wounded and/or lost animal.