Axis Deer

Unless you are from Texas or a hunter, I will bet you have never heard of Axis Deer.

These animals are originally from India and Sri Lanka, where they are referred to as Chital or spotted deer.  The deer are thought by many to be the most beautiful deer as their coats are rust-colored and covered with white spots, very similar to a White-tail fawn. They are sizable, weighing in from 110-135lbs, while bucks can weigh in at up to 200lbs.

Exotic and Invasive Species

Texas has a current estimated population of up to 125,000 animals, according to the Exotic Wildlife Association.  The highest populations of Axis Deer in Texas are now mainly found around the Edwards Plateau area.  Axis Deer are grazers and will eat for food a broad variety of grass, forbs, and browse. This contrasts with White-tailed Deer, who are much more selective, eating predominantly forbs and browse (tender shoots, twigs, leaves of trees and shrubs, etc.).


Forbs (sometimes referred to as herbs) are herbaceous, broadleaf plants that are not grass-like.  Cropland forbs are typically annual plants that fill seasonal gaps in high-quality forage. Examples of Forbs include:

Axis venison is widely considered one of the tastiest wild game venison.  It is extremely lean (less than 1% fat on average) and lacks much of the “gamey” taste, which is often associated with most venison.

Ecological Threat

Considered as an exotics and invasive species, axis deer are known to occupy the same ecological niche as whitetail deer. This means they compete with whitetail deer for available resources. With an increased resistance to native diseases, axis deer are not susceptible to the same population decreases resulting from local disease outbreaks. This would allow the axis deer populations to grow out of control while the whitetail deer suffer from local disease outbreaks. Local farmers are at risk of damage caused by axis deer populations growing and foraging in cultivated fields or gardens.

Axis tend to be cautious by nature and show many similarities to the daily activity patterns of whitetail deer – becoming most active around dusk and dawn.  Both sexes communicate alarm calls sounding much like a high-pitched bark.  Male antlers are shed and regrown annually.  Antler cycles are often irregular, depending on what time of the year they were born, with some showing hardened antlers while others are in different stages of growth.  This unique trait allows axis to be hunted year-round.  Breeding normally occurs in June and July but can occur throughout the year.





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James has unique experience in selling,  managing ranches, and real estate negotiations. With a passion for wildlife and land management, James’ expertise goes well beyond selling a piece of land.  In addition to his knowledge and experience, James has built the largest in the world ranch community that shares his passion for land education and sustainability.