Friday, November 25, 2011

Deer, It's what's for dinner

Yum.  My dad got another Axis Deer.  It's the second he's gotten this season and my brother has gotten one as well.  There have been a few Whitetail fall as well (nothing by me, yet), but if you've ever eaten Axis it's just unmistakably better.  I haven't been able to spend the time in the field and, in all honesty, tend to be extremely (too) picky early in the season.

Anyway, where was I?  Oh, yes.  Axis Deer.  They are a beautiful animal.  Also known as the chital (or cheetal) and pronounced as the latter is spelled.  They originate in India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal.  They have adapted insanely well to Central and South Texas.  The climate is perfect for them.  They do not have a "breeding season" as Whitetail Deer do.  Breeding is year round and a doe can have multiple fawnings in a couple of years.  There is something of a love/hate relationship with these deer in Texas (mostly love).  You see, they are free-ranging now.  They escaped from game ranches decades ago and have set up shop and taken over.  The love portion is the great meat and beautiful hides.  They travel in large herds and I've been known to pick more than one (much more) out of a single herd.  The "hate" portion of the relationship is the direct competition with indigenous deer and (not indigenous) livestock.  The incredible table-fare they provide pretty much outweighs any negative view people have.

and the presentation is fabulous

On the other hand, we have the much maligned (and rightly so) wild pig.

 This one was taken by my brother on Thanksgiving night.  Sorry for the small picture, but it was emailed.  Then, there is this...

Sharply dressed

Nasty little buggers.  Well, this one wasn't little.  It weighed in at 245 pounds.  Also, those tusks are serious.  I've seen what they can do and it isn't pretty.  It looks like between this and the deer that have been taken so far, we are looking at our first batch of sausage.  I'll post when we do that, you can count on it.


  1. Lucky fella, you. Those tusk on the hog remind me of set I took off one of my kills back when I was a teen. Dried them after I had placed them in an ant hill. Cleaned 'em white as white can be and they made a nice display on my dresser until my mother put her foot down and said, 'chunk 'em.' Women.

  2. So the hunting is good :-) And Axis deer IS a taste treat; but they are overpopulating and driving the white tails out!

  3. Can't beat wild rooter for some fine eating. I wish Axis were as prevalent in the Piney Woods of E. Texas as they are in the Hill country.

  4. Stephen - feels lucky when the Axis comes rolling in. Funny thing, I have a similar story. It's a 400 pound boar I got in S. Texas. It's shoulder mounted at my parents house and not allowed in ours.

    NFO - That is the exact problem. We've definitely done our share of managing them, but I fear with how they breed they will be taking over in the future.

    Rich - I wouldn't wish pigs on anyone, but it sure is nice when you don't have to buy pork for making sausage. :) The Axis are nice to have, but I'm worried they are having an affect on the native Whitetail. Especially when we have years as dry as this last one.