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Deciding on my first Axis hunt - buck vs. doe? #8093028 12/17/20 03:42 PM
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I plan on booking my first 2 day Axis hunt for this summer (driving from GA), and I want to make sure that I'm booking this hunt in such a way to align with my interests.  I suppose the easiest way to do this is to try and answer the question - does an Axis doe offer significantly better quality meat as compared to an Axis buck?

While I certainly wouldn't shy away from shooting an Axis buck, as a guy who loves to cook, my real "trophy" is a freezer full of quality meat.  The mount is probably secondary to me. Though having said that, I still want the challenge of a unique spot and stalk hunt.  If there's very little difference in the meat, then perhaps I will treat myself to an Axis buck (and a European mount) for this first hunt.  But if the doe meat is significantly better, then maybe it makes more sense to shoot a doe or two and save some money in the process?

What is your experience with Axis doe vs. buck meat?  Is there a big enough difference in the meat or the type of hunt to go one way or the other for a first timer?  Appreciate the input.

Last edited by Steve from GA; 12/17/20 03:43 PM.
Re: Deciding on my first Axis hunt - buck vs. doe? [Re: Steve from GA] #8093115 12/17/20 04:49 PM
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Axis is superb venison, and while a young doe might yield slightly better meat, you're still going to get fantastic meat from an axis buck. If I was driving all the way from the great state of Georgia to the great state of Texas for an axis hunt, I'd shoot for a buck. Axis bucks are HUGE, and the meat yield is much higher than on any whitetail you've ever seen (their hams alone yield a ton of meat vs. a whitetail). If you find the right outfitter, maybe you can negotiate to also shoot a doe for a bit more money? That type of deal is pretty common with Texas outfitters.


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Re: Deciding on my first Axis hunt - buck vs. doe? [Re: Exiled] #8093130 12/17/20 04:55 PM
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Originally Posted by Exiled
Axis is superb venison, and while a young doe might yield slightly better meat, you're still going to get fantastic meat from an axis buck. If I was driving all the way from the great state of Georgia to the great state of Texas for an axis hunt, I'd shoot for a buck. Axis bucks are HUGE, and the meat yield is much higher than on any whitetail you've ever seen (their hams alone yield a ton of meat vs. a whitetail). If you find the right outfitter, maybe you can negotiate to also shoot a doe for a bit more money? That type of deal is pretty common with Texas outfitters.


I'm leaning the same way. If there's not that big of a difference in meat quality, and I'm driving all the way from GA, might as well stalk a big buck. I'm sure the doe is negotiable, though my wife and I don't have kids, so the meat volume might be overkill. After all, I don't want the freezer to be too full - robs me of my excuse to get back out there and hunt another one. wink

Really appreciate the input.

Re: Deciding on my first Axis hunt - buck vs. doe? [Re: Exiled] #8093385 12/17/20 08:14 PM
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Originally Posted by Exiled
Axis is superb venison, and while a young doe might yield slightly better meat, you're still going to get fantastic meat from an axis buck. If I was driving all the way from the great state of Georgia to the great state of Texas for an axis hunt, I'd shoot for a buck. Axis bucks are HUGE, and the meat yield is much higher than on any whitetail you've ever seen (their hams alone yield a ton of meat vs. a whitetail). If you find the right outfitter, maybe you can negotiate to also shoot a doe for a bit more money? That type of deal is pretty common with Texas outfitters.


This. Bucks are comically larger than does.

Re: Deciding on my first Axis hunt - buck vs. doe? [Re: Steve from GA] #8093425 12/17/20 08:55 PM
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all good points made above

to give you some context on meat yield.
when i pick up a whitetail buck from the processor, it will all fit inside my 60 qt cooler

when i picked up a 300 lb red deer hind, it filled up my 100 qt cooler all the way to about 4 "inches from the top of the cooler
and when i picked up my 230lb axis buck from the processor, the 100 qt cooler would barely close and i had to take a couple of packs of burger and put in my other cooler

the does are awesome too, but the meat yield on a mature buck is amazing. they are built like quarter horses smile

if you are processing yourself, try to leave the meat attached to the bone for a few days in your cooler, before processing. it will really help the meat be at its most tender to let it go thru rigor mortis and age a bit before cutting it from the bones. (when you cut from the bone, muscle fibers shrink and become tougher)
and please make sure to cook medium rare to medium only. you will thank me later

not trying to be too bossy here, it is just such a great piece of venison and i have had buddies really unhappy with their axis after deboning it that same day and also overcooking it

Last edited by rsquared; 12/17/20 08:58 PM.

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Re: Deciding on my first Axis hunt - buck vs. doe? [Re: rsquared] #8093520 12/17/20 10:24 PM
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Originally Posted by rsquared
all good points made above

to give you some context on meat yield.
when i pick up a whitetail buck from the processor, it will all fit inside my 60 qt cooler

when i picked up a 300 lb red deer hind, it filled up my 100 qt cooler all the way to about 4 "inches from the top of the cooler
and when i picked up my 230lb axis buck from the processor, the 100 qt cooler would barely close and i had to take a couple of packs of burger and put in my other cooler

the does are awesome too, but the meat yield on a mature buck is amazing. they are built like quarter horses smile

if you are processing yourself, try to leave the meat attached to the bone for a few days in your cooler, before processing. it will really help the meat be at its most tender to let it go thru rigor mortis and age a bit before cutting it from the bones. (when you cut from the bone, muscle fibers shrink and become tougher)
and please make sure to cook medium rare to medium only. you will thank me later

not trying to be too bossy here, it is just such a great piece of venison and i have had buddies really unhappy with their axis after deboning it that same day and also overcooking it


No worries - this is great info and really appreciated. I'll have it processed here in GA, so I'll probably leave it on ice for 3-5 days beforehand. No red meat gets cooked past medium rare in this house. salute

Re: Deciding on my first Axis hunt - buck vs. doe? [Re: Steve from GA] #8093578 12/17/20 11:06 PM
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Re: Deciding on my first Axis hunt - buck vs. doe? [Re: Steve from GA] #8093708 12/18/20 12:57 AM
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I typically do both. Usually you can get a doe added into a package for a couple hundred more. In fact, the ranch I hunt for Axis offers a buck & doe as a package deal for a bit less than most places offer for just a buck.

I will agree with what was said above in regards to the amount of meat. A typical axis doe will give you about the same amount of meat as a standard GA whitetail doe. A typical Axis buck will give you more meat than any GA whitetail (except for maybe the pen-raised ones).

Final thing. You may want to speak to the processor you are going to use and find out if they will accept Axis. GA doesn't have a lot of exotics and depending on the licensing, they may not be able to take them in. I butcher my own, so I don't worry about stuff like that, but you may want to look into it. Also, you may want to look into butchering the deer yourself. You have a lot more control over what you get out of the deer and I can guarantee you will have less waste.


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Re: Deciding on my first Axis hunt - buck vs. doe? [Re: Steve from GA] #8105209 12/28/20 03:24 AM
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Axis are tropical deer that can and do breed any time of the year. A doe may well have a fawn in her which is a real bummer when you realize you just condemned a baby fawn to death. Better to shoot a buck.

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