The Big Axis Bulls Are More Difficult to Hunt!
Axis deer on The Patio Ranch are famous for enlightening hunters on the high difficulty level of a hunt when the quarry is smart, wary and well-versed in normal ranch activity patterns. Charles had arrived at the ranch to hunt Axis Deer and would soon learn what a challenge these beautiful spotted deer (also known as Chital deer) from India could prove to be.
After a mid-afternoon arrival on a hot Texas summer day, the hunting party started out for the rifle range to test the accuracy of their weapons. On the way to the rifle range, Michael (the guide) and Charles spotted a large axis bull 120 yards from the road presenting itself broadside for inspection. Because the rifle had not been checked and that the hunt was less than 5 minutes along, the bull was passed and a fleeting thought passed through the hunters’ minds that this may be a simpler hunt than all had planned. On the return trip from the rifle range, as would be expected, the cooperative axis bull had moved and was no longer visible. For the rest of the first day, a number of good axis bulls were spotted in both hunting pastures; however, not one tarried long enough for Charles to view them through the scope or to set up for a shot. The hot summer day faded to a tolerably cool evening as the group of friends retired to the historic main lodge to trade stories and catch-up on life events since they had last spent time together.
The next morning dawned cool, and the hunting party hoped to find an axis bull taking advantage of this cool time to feed. It did not happen before lunch and the time for departure was very near. A frustration sometimes sets-in on these hot days when time is running out and the deer are doing what they do best…elude the hunter. However, Michael and Charles kept focused on the plan: have a great time on the ranch enjoying the beautiful Hill Country, share a great hunt with like-minded people and take a good axis bull. After a short rest for a cool drink of water and a quick bite to eat, the refreshed hunters returned to the pasture. With the departure time near, the search for trophy axis bulls started again in earnest. A lone axis bull was finally spotted before it had become aware of the hunters’ presence. This gave Charles an opportunity to move into a good shooting position and take aim. Charles was ready and took the shot….his aim was true and the axis fell where he stood.
Sometimes it takes a few days of contemplation on the part of a hunter to put the hunting experience in perspective. Some hunters will filter out the uncomfortable parts and only remember the pleasant parts of their stories. Others take the whole experience and weave the fabric of the hunt into their memories as a unique life experience. For that reason, I always enjoy the opportunity to visit with past hunting clients by telephone or on a return trip to see how the experience has settled into their memory. However Charles weaves his tale, we look forward to hearing it as we know that he will surely “…tell a different hunting story!!”
Sight in your rifle, brush up on your hunting skills and get ready for the upcoming season…