By Timber Hawk Pro Staffer, Jim Miller
This was the best time in the summer to hunt Axis Deer, as this is prime time Rut for the Axis Deer. FYI, Axis Deer have two (2) different times to Rut a year. In June/July is the Prime time for the summer Rut and the next Prime Rut is December/ January. Axis can and will breed year round but the two prime times is June/July and December/January. For me the June/July rut is the best as this has the least amount of pressure on the Bucks! In the winter Whitetail hunters will take an Axis as the meat is one of the best in the world except Nilgai! This is due to a hunter will fill his/her tag in Feb/Dec/Jan/Feb. whitetails and then as an additional opportunity will take a Axis Buck, which is great eating and great trophies on the wall very impressive 3X3 Racks.
We had hunted for several days at the Baker 3 Ranch and the heat was just brutal in the 100 plus every day and the Axis were moving at night time. We decided to travel to the farthest reaches of this 23,000 acre low fence ranch, to try and find a bedded Axis Buck. After a couple of hours of traveling we found an excellent 35 inch plus Axis buck bedded under an Oak Motte, we got down wind and started our stalk and we had perfect stalking, we got to within 25 yards of the Bedded Buck and he was NOT there? On the way back to the Rancher we checked every Oak Motte and Cedar thicket and No one was home? Once back to the Ranger we found out that the Buck had busted out of the Oak Motte well before we even got close to him.
We returned to the Baker-3 Ranch and went to number 3 pasture and it was a great afternoon as we sat in a Gorilla Blind and seen lots of Whitetails large and small all still in velvet, I called in a hen turkey using my voice just whistling kee, kee, kee which was fun. We had crows, ravens, at 20 yards and I knew we were well hid, when you can dodge those sharp eyed scavengers! Just at dark, way too late to film we had the Axis deer to come in and did they come to the Heartland Wildlife Inst. Autumn Addiction those Axis deer really loved that stuff but I had to just sit and watch that herd of about 20 does, fawns and 2 really good shooter Bucks. What an evening of hunting, No Shots but lots of game.
We returned to Baker-3 Ranch and crawled into the Gorilla Blind, which had been sitting for 30 days. It was a quite afternoon and allowed Collin Cottrell my new camera man to get everything going the way Tex Mex Outdoors should be! About 6:30 Pm we saw a herd of Red Deer coming in! Baker-3 is a low fence, free ranging animals, these Red Deer were in and out feeding on some Heartland Wildlife Inst, Autumn Addiction. These Red Deer were in and out but they Stag was very spooked? I have no idea why, but just very jumpy.
By 7:00 PM we had all kinds of Axis Bucks, does and fawns coming in and out feeding on the Autumn Addiction, we had Bucks with horns and bucks without horns which is normal this time of the year. I had several really good Bucks with 32 to 35 inch horns, but could never get a shot as there was way too much traffic in between the shooter bucks. Also seen a really great Buck but he was all broke up from the rut. Finally I seen at 7:15 PM a really great buck that was on the down hill side but a shooter, and he was very wary as he moved into the feeding area. It took the buck almost 15 minutes to get close enough for a shot. I had my bow up and ready for a shot, the camera was rolling and when the Axis Buck got broadside to me, I drew my Heilm back and launched my Victory VAP 350 Lost camo shaft tipped with the wicked Grim Reaper/Mathews Edition 3 blade 1 & ½ inch cut. When the arrow hit the Buck it sounded like you took a wooden Louisville Slugger and slammed it against a door facing! The Buck lunged forward and took off like a scalded ape and I was not able to follow the buck. Within 10 minutes it was dark! At this time all of the animals were gone and I got out of my blind and went to check for blood, when I got to the spot where I shot the Axis Buck, I found my arrow and with little blood? Not 5 feet from finding my arrow was a splotch of dark black blood? Liver hit? Heart shot? I knew that the arrow really whacked the buck but I was not sure. When not sure? Back off and wait, as an old Rollin Stones song would say, “Time is on my side” and I would wait till the next morning. When we returned to the Camp House we put the film footage on the big screen and found that we had a heart shot Free Ranging Axis Buck. All we had to do now was returning the next morning and do all of our cut aways and hero shots.
The buck had 30 inch horns / 11 inch dog catchers / and 6 inch caudles “the second tine up the main beam” and had 4 inch circumferences. Even though the buck was an old and down hill he was a true trophy.
Buena Caceria / Good Hunting
Arrows: Victory VAP 350’s
Arrow Rest: Ripcord
Bow: Mathews Helim
Broadheads: Grim Reaper / Mathews Edition
Bow Case: Lakewood Cases
Back Packs: Timber Hawk
Calls: Illusion Game Calls
Clothing: Gamehide, Eclipse Leafy 3-D
Cover Scent: Atsko
Decoys: Montana Decoy Co.
Food: Cholula Hot Sauce, Natures Coffee Kettle
Flashlight: Elusive Wildlife Tech
Feed: Heartland Wildlife Inst.
Game Scout Cameras: Spypoint
Insect Repellant: ThermaCell
Optics: Brunton Eterna 10.5 X 43
Releases: Scott Releases
Travel Bags: Watson Air Lock
Sights & Stabilizers: Axion Archery
Scents: Timber Valley
Targets: Hips Targets