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Ladies Only Axis Hunt: Part 2

I recently organized and attended a ladies only axis deer hunt in Texas with International Adventures Unlimited and had the time of my life. The scenery, hunting, and camaraderie were unmatched and no one left disappointed.

Axis deer were imported from India to a Texas game ranch in 1932. They quickly adapted, multiplied and ultimately jumped the fences. There are currently 40,000+ Axis deer in Texas with over 6,000 residing on public lands. Axis bucks are absolutely beautiful. Their coloration is a beautiful chestnut, reddish-brown color with spots throughout the hide. Additionally, their faces have unique and beautiful markings making for beautiful trophies. Additionally, their back hides are beautiful and are worth tanning for decoration. All in all, they are a very unique exotic that is found on public land and low fence ranches. 

I admit, I have hunted in a number of states, a number of countries and hunted a variety of different species. I truly enjoy new experiences and look forward to each and everyone that comes my way. My axis hunt was no different! I thought I had a fairly solid grasp on what my hunt would be like and made some assumptions about the animals. Once again, I learned so much during this amazing experience.

    1. Axis Are Spooky

      Holy cow are they spooky. I didn’t really know what to expect in terms of how the animals would react to humans or even the essence of humans, but I definitely underestimated these critters. My guide told me specifically that if a mature buck came in range that I should be prepared to make a judgment and level off a shot as the bucks won’t give you much, if any time. That was a fact! The first couple of encounters I had, I barely had time to get my rifle set before they vanished. I learned to be constantly aware and prepared to shoot as the opportunity would soon disappear into the dense Texas brush.

    2. Axis Are Tough

      Extremely tough. I was surprised by their fight. Again, I fully realize every animal has fight in them, I had sorely underestimated them. Make sure to take the time necessary to make a solid shot as they will make a run for it before they know they are dead.

    3. Axis Are Tricky

      Axis will choose to die in the thickest, densest brush around. We had the great fortune of utilizing very well trained dogs to locate any wounded or down deer we couldn’t find. Without dogs, it would have been extremely difficult to locate these bucks in the dense Texas Hill Country.

    4. Axis Are Camouflaged

      Axis blend in incredibly well with their environment. Try to secure a spot where you can best visualize your surrounding area so you can take advantage of visual movement as well as color.   

    5. Axis Aren’t Nocturnal

      Axis deer feed during the day as opposed to many of the nocturnal counterparts. This is a nice feature as you have a good opportunity of seeing them come into feeders or feeding out in the open spaces during the day. This also allows a hunter to either spot and stalk or hunt from the blind.

    6. Axis Herd

      They are herd animals and are seldom found alone. If you spot a couple of does, hold tight and watch. There may be a buck around.  Likewise, if you glass some small bucks, there is a good chance there will be a larger buck not immediately seen.

    7. Axis Tastes Good

      The meat is exceptional. Seriously. It has very little gaminess to it and it is unusually tender. Thus far, my favorite wild game I have ever had.

    8. Axis Are Exotic

      Since Axis are exotics, they can be technically hunted any time of year with a non-resident 5-day hunting license. This also means that the bucks may be found in velvet or hard horns depending on the time of year you go.

So with that, an Axis hunt can be planned easily around your schedule. It is a fun and exciting hunt and even simply glassing the animals is enjoyable as they are so beautiful. I highly recommend this hunt to any hunter looking for fantastic meat, a good hunting experience, and beautiful trophies. While there are many ranches and outfitters that guide for Axis deer, I highly recommend International Adventures Unlimited for this free-range Axis hunt.

Hornady®-Sponsored David Preston Wins Southington Hunt Club PRS Challenge

Grand Island, NE – Hornady® congratulates the performance of Team Hornady® shooter David Preston, on winning the Southington Hunt Club PRS Challenge, June 21 in Garrettsville, Ohio.

Preston won the match using Hornady® 6mm 110gr. A-Tip™ Match bullets. “These bullets have made a noticeable difference for me this year” said Preston. “The A-Tip™ is an amazing bullet and its repeatability has allowed me to win three out of the four matches I’ve used them” Preston added.

Years of research and testing by the Hornady Ballistic Development Group, combined with advanced manufacturing processes and quality control measures have led to the creation of the ultimate low drag, high performance match bullet.

The most striking visual feature of the A-Tip™ Match bullet is its long, uniform, precision-machined aluminum tip. The longer aluminum tips are machined to be caliber specific and when coupled with highly refined AMP® bullet jackets, aggressive profiles and optimized boattails the result is enhanced drag efficiency across the board.

The materials, design and manufacturing techniques combine for the most consistent and accurate match bullets available. In addition to development projectiles that will shoot well in a variety of chambers, the Ballistic Development Group also designed the A-Tip™ bullets with the right balance between the center of gravity of the projectile versus the center of pressure to minimize in-flight drag variability.

Founded in 1949, Hornady Manufacturing Company is a family owned business headquartered in Grand Island, Nebraska. Proudly manufacturing products that are made in the USA, Hornady Manufacturing is a world leader in bullets, ammunition, reloading tools and security products design and manufacturing.

Hornady®-Sponsored McGregor Takes 1st in Heavy Optics at Nordic Vortex Tri- Gun

Grand Island, NE – Hornady® congratulates the performance of Team Hornady® shooter Scott McGregor at the 2019 Nordic Components and Vortex Optics Tri-Gun, June 21-23 in Forest Lake, Minnesota.

McGregor won the Heavy Optics Division using Hornady 308 Win 155gr. BTHP American Gunner® ammunition in his rifle and 40 S&W 180gr. XTP® American Gunner® ammunition in his pistol.

“It’s comforting to know whichever Hornady ammunition I’m using, if I do my part, it’ll get the job done” said McGregor. “Whether I’m shooting 3-Gun, pistol or long range, I know I can rely on Hornady ammunition” McGregor added.

The American Gunner® ammunition is a collection of tried-and-true, versatile loads that are popular with shooters for their target shooting, hunting or self-defense needs. Made in the USA with premium components, American Gunner® ammunition combines generations of ballistics know-how with modern technology.

Founded in 1949, Hornady Manufacturing Company is a family owned business headquartered in Grand Island, Nebraska. Proudly manufacturing products that are made in the USA, Hornady Manufacturing is a world leader in bullets, ammunition, reloading tools and security products design and manufacturing.

Team Beretta Shooters Win 12 Podium Honors at 2019 North Central Regional

Team Beretta shooters recently achieved 12 podium honors in 5 different events at last week’s 2019 North Central Regional at Claythorne Lodge in Columbus, KS.

Ladies Only Axis Hunt: Part 1

It’s that time again. Time for another Ladies-Only Hunt. This time, we are embarking on free-range axis deer in the Hill Country of Texas with International Adventures Unlimited. The outfitter, Justin Grosse, is actually willing to take on seven ladies, and has all of the planning set for this once-in-a-lifetime hunt. (Yes… seven ladies.)

What exactly needs to be done to prepare for a ladies only axis hunt in Texas? A lot, actually!

  1. Outfitter: When I set up ladies only hunts, the priority is identifying an outfitter that will truly provide a fantastic experience for female hunters. I find it very important to find an outfitter that I personally know and with whom I can have some very honest dialogue. It is my goal to ensure the ladies can all stay together in the lodge, have time without guides present and assurances that the guides are comfortable with women. Once we have those aspects of the hunt ironed out, we are ready to book up! This particular hunt is now the third hunt we have done with International Adventures Unlimited.
  2. Address: Provide the exact address, so it is easy to navigate to the lodge or designated meeting place.
  3. WiFi/Cell Service Availability: While I am not at all suggesting that these services must be available, women are more comfortable if they know what level of communication to home they will have at camp.
  4. Details of the Hunt: Communicating the exact hunting style is also imperative. Method of take, guide-to-hunter ratio, style of hunting, and times of day are very good to know when getting myself, as well as the ladies set.
  5. Sighting In: It is very important to get behind your gun before you head out. Knowing that the scope and rifle are dialed in, or knowing your pins are set on your bow before you leave is extremely important. I highly recommend making certain you can hit your targets accurately at the distances you will most likely be hunting from. Sighting in again once at camp is also important to ensure nothing has moved in transit.
    Ladies Only Axis Hunt: Part 1 | Mossberg
  6. Licenses: Check early to see what license you need and whether you can purchase it from a sporting goods store or if you can get it online. For this hunt, we can purchase a non-resident 5-day license for roughly $45. (That’s a steal in my opinion!)
  7. Airports, Airplanes, & Flying with Firearms: If you have not flown with firearms, I recommend getting online and checking TSA Requirements for Transporting Firearms & Ammunition. I suggest standard locks all keyed the same- inserting one lock in each available hole. I also suggest removing the bolt and running a lock through the action. (Some airlines want this and some don’t.) I simply do it to save time and heartache. Also, remember that your ammunition must be checked into a separate bag than the firearm. Some prefer to purchase ammunition upon arrival. I prefer to bring my own.
    Ladies Only Axis Hunt: Part 1 | Mossberg
  8. Packing: Don’t over pack! Follow your outfitter’s gear list. I often tell ladies to also wear what they can to save room. Meaning, boots, jacket, etc… Additionally, I use my day pack as my carry on. For this particular hunt, I highly recommend lighter weight clothing due to the heat. Personally, I also recommend merino wool shirts as they wick moisture and actually cool. Did I mention they are odor free as well? Snake boots are a must as well as lightweight gloves and accessories for concealment. A lightweight jacket for mornings is also beneficial. Limit your clothing choices, especially if there is a way to wash clothes. Grab up your optics and some camp clothes and you are set!
  9. Gear: I highly suggest bringing shooting sticks, binoculars, and a range finder to any hunt. In the past, I have tried to skimp on my packing, only to find that I desperately needed something I forgot. For this particular hunt, I will most definitely be needing all of the aforementioned items!
  10. Communication: Circle the wagons! I have found that communicating with all of the ladies/hunters to coordinate flights and rental car shares goes a long way! As fate would have it, we were able to cram all seven women on this hunt into two vehicles.

Therein lies the preparation for this upcoming ladies hunt to Texas for Axis deer. Stay tuned for part two of this series where we showcase the hunt, hunting styles, and how ladies only hunts are such great platforms for getting more women into hunting!

Mossberg Patriot Walnut – Vortex Scoped Combo