“If we want to build populations up to levels they need to be at—sometimes thousands of animals—you may not be able to do that in their native habitat,” she said. But go beyond the gate, as I did one hot and hazy afternoon last summer, and you’ll soon come face-to-face with strange and majestic creatures transplanted from other worlds. Texas Hunts. Texas Monthly Recommends: Nighttime Kayaking, What My Aunt Yoli Taught Me About Being a Tejano. The editors agreed with me: to better understand a place like the Ox Ranch, I needed to go huntin’. People who love to hunt, surely love Texas Axis Deer hunting.Axis Deer are beautiful, plentiful and without any seasonal hunting restrictions in Texas. “They have to fly first, son! Axis Deer are Texas’ most populated and popular exotic. Because the whitetail at the Ox Ranch are also exotics, of a sort. And unlike native deer, which typically shed their antlers by the end of February, most species of non-native antelope, sheep, and bovine never lose their horns; axis bucks can drop their antlers any time of year. An “exotic” is a medium to large sized non-native mammal or bird that have been introduced onto Texas ranches and properties in either a confined or free-ranging status. When Seale inherited his family ranch, in the eighties, he wasn’t all that interested in cattle. Regulated as exotic animals by Texas Parks and Wildlife , these laws are intended to aid in the reduction of wild pig populations currently estimated from 3-5 million in Texas. There was just one problem. Soon, it’ll have glamping tents with private hot tubs, Oxley wrote me in an email, declining my request for an in-person or phone interview. “The line between wild animal and livestock is very much blurred here. A Thomson’s gazelle, native to East Africa. Though I hunted ducks, hogs, and squirrels to put food on the table while I was writing my first book a decade ago, I hadn’t been hunting much in years and had no interest in shooting a semidomesticated animal. The South Texas region account for the bulk of the free-ranging exotics – 59% of the statewide total. Our Whitetail Management Bucks are Rifle Hunts only and conducted from a blind. Then the hunters can throw open a window and use thermal scopes to shoot feral hogs—our future overlords—at one of eight feeders situated around the hill’s base. Adept at leaping over fences and wriggling underneath them, they regularly escape from properties where they’ve been stocked; herds of several hundred roam ranches where they were never stocked. The abundance of game is a big draw for big names. If you fill out the first name, last name, or agree to terms fields, you will NOT be added to the newsletter list. It Snowed Across America, and We’re Not Jealous. You’ll see a lot more deer from driving around. “We unfortunately cannot do business without offending people,” he told the San Antonio Express-News last March, after the Ox Ranch shared a video of an employee using flamethrowers to incinerate several boxes of toilet paper during the toilet paper shortage. Leslie advocates treating axis as destructive pests akin to feral hogs. He prized game animals for meat, not trophies, and never even belonged to any group with a lease on deer-hunting property. “I have deer that top three hundred inches”—a rack that could measure about two feet across the inside spread, perhaps with twenty or more points. Whitetail tend to browse on forbs such as flowers and weeds as well as brush and small trees. Of course, it’s much harder to put a price tag on a wild animal in its native habitat. More than happy to oblige, he cranked up his custom hunting Jeep, and our tour began. That’s when I began to worry. Despite his taste for axis venison, which Griffiths describes as his favorite hoofed game in Texas for its fine-grained texture and intrinsic tenderness, he prefers to hunt native whitetail does. My own hauls from our frequent father-son “hunting” trips were, more often than not, limited to a few pellet-riddled Dr Pepper cans rattling around in the bed of his truck. Sivells radioed one of his fellow hunting guides, Sam Morrow, who’d been training Doc, his Blue Lacy, to track game. (940) 393-5853 email@example.com I also raised chickens, turkeys, and goats for a while and taught myself to butcher them. Père David’s deer bathe in a lake in October 2020. Don't have an account? Ox Ranch CEO Jason Molitor sits among taxidermy at the palatial ranch lodge. I had taken the doves in unsportsmanlike fashion. “They probably can’t jump a damn fence. While cleaning my bounty afterward, I bragged that it was easy enough to shoot birds when I spotted them in the trees before they could fly away. 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