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Image by Keith Misner

the Hunter's Lane
summer hunter's guide:
axis deer


















Native to India, Nepal, and Sri Lanka, Axis Deer were introduced into the United States in 1932 as a game meat. They were kept on farms or controlled hunting sites for food purposes. Since their introduction, axis deer have escaped captivity and established in Texas, with over 6,000 free ranging animals and 40,000 kept on private hunting ranges. Axis deer can be hunted year-round, providing warm weather hunting opportunities throughout the spring and summer especially.

Where: Texas, California and Hawaii

When: Year-round 


Preferred Habitat: 

Axis deer feed on grass and sedges in fields near wooded or sheltered areas. They can be found in open areas during warm periods of the day, but are primarily active at dusk or dawn. Since the axis deer prefer warm weather they thrive in the state of Texas. 

Active Times:

Axis deer can be observed throughout the day, but are typically most active during dawn and dusk hours. 


Axis deer tend to be more active throughout the day than whitetails, and alternate between bedding and feeding, especially near known bedding locations. Axis deer prefer flatter terrain and are generally more commonly seen grazing in the valleys, orchards and lowlands. Keep that in mind, especially if having a harder time locating deer.


Axis deer, like other deer, have relatively poor vision but their vision. Alhough they are relatively short-sighted, they are able to detect even the smallest movements around them.  They also have a very strong sense of smell, regularly check the wind for the tiniest hint of any potential predators in the area. As always, it is crucial to minimize and control your scent as well as being mindful of the wind direction, especially when using the stalking method. When on the move, whenever possible, be sure you're heading into the wind to prevent your scent from giving you away to any deer that may be up ahead, out of sight. If you decide to sit for your hunt, minimizing your movements and utilizing nature cover whenever possible is crucial, particularly when hunting from the ground. Camos that most closely emulate the colors and style of the habitat in which you're hunting is very important in helping you stay undetected, even when ample natural cover is sparse. Remember to position yourself to face your intended shooting zone to ensure the wind is blowing toward you. 

Recommended Caliber for Whitetail Deer Hunting: 

.270 Winchester

  • Similar knock-down power to the .308 Win, but with slightly less recoil, aiding shot accuracy

  • High-velocity, flat-flying wind-resistant round, great for flat open terrain where Axis deer are found

  • Excellent power and performance well past 400 yards.


Taking Aim:

When taking aim on an Axis deer, you can employ the same strategy as you would with Whitetail deer.  You want to hit the vitals, ideally in the lungs or heart to help facilitate an ethical kill. Ideally, you want the deer to be quartering away from you, clearing the way for your shot to penetrate the vitals most effectively. Aiming for the heart and lungs, you want to places your crosshairs or sight just behind the deer's elbow, into the chest. The red target on the photo below represents the best shot placement to achieve a quick and ethical kill.


If the deer has run off, be sure to watch carefully to see where it runs to so you know where to go to attempt your recovery. Mark the time and take note of where the deer was when you shot it and which direction it ran, then wait for at least 45 minutes to an hour before beginning to trail. After incurring a mortal wound, an animal, after a short run, will usually lie down, go into shock and die. If you move in too quickly, the animal's flight instinct will kick in.

Tracks - Deer.jpg
Image by Mamun Srizon
Image by Dror Ben David
Axis Deer.jfif

[5] .270 Rifles for
hunting axis deer

Supporting Your Success

Image by Keith Misner

New! Christensen Arms:
Ridgeline FFT Bolt-Action Rifle

Caliber: .270 Win
Finish: Stainless Steel
Stock Color Options: Carbon Gn & Tan

Take on the toughest hunts with added confidence in match-grade accuracy and extreme weight reduction from the Christensen Arms® Ridgeline FFT Bolt-Action Rifle. The FFT (Flash-Forged Technology) now gives you up to a full pound of weight reduction over previous models. The aero-grade, carbon-fiber-wrapped barrel includes a removable side-baffle muzzle brake, offering ultralight performance and reduction in recoil to make up for the added recoil from reduced weight. Wrapping barrels with carbon fiber promotes the rigidity of bull barrels without adding weight, so you can carry on remote hunts where accurate, long-range shots are commanded. Free-floating barrels also feature match chamber, button rifling and stainless steel thread protector.


Cabelas - Christensen Arms Ridgeline FFT BA rifle.PNG
Image by Keith Misner

New! Tikka:
T3x Lite Veil Alpine Bolt-Action Rifle

Caliber: .270 Win
Finish: Cerakote Desert Verde
Stock: Veil Alpine

Perfect for the mountains or snowy landscape, the Tikka® T3x® Lite Veil Alpine Bolt-Action Rifle delivers outstanding performance in extreme conditions. The T3x features a Veil Alpine camo synthetic stock, a highly accurate, cold hammer-forged barrel, and a butter-smooth receiver. A high-quality recoil pad makes shooting the T3x Lite extremely manageable, and interchangeable grips allow you to modify the angle of the grip for shooting from multiple positions. Additional screw placements on top of the receiver provide for secure attachment of a scope base or Picatinny rail. The T3x uses a 2-lug bolt with a 75° lift that cycles smooth as silk. The 75° bolt lift aids in keeping hand and gloves away from the scope and speeds the cycling process. An enlarged ejection port facilitates feeding rounds one at a time. A single-stack polymer magazine feeds reliably, and facilitates in loading and unloading the rifle. Also features an adjustable single-stage trigger that delivers a consistent, clean break at just 2 lbs. to 4 lbs. of pull.


Cabelas - Tikka T3x lite veil alpine ba .270.PNG
Image by Keith Misner

Savage Arms: 
110 Ultralite Bolt-Action Rifle

Caliber: .270 Win
Finish: Carbon Fiber Wrapped
Stock Color: Black/Gray

The Savage® 110 Ultralite Bolt-Action Centerfire Rifle is specifically designed for long-range and competition shooting. A Savage blueprinted 110 action, coupled with a lightweight, skeletonized stainless steel receiver with a Melonite finish offers ultrareliable, lightweight performance. This bolt-action rifle comes equipped with the iconic, user adjustable Savage AccuTrigger® for a crisp, custom trigger pull. The AccuFit® system allows you to make quick length of pull and comb height adjustments, while the synthetic, 3D-secured AccuStock® boasts a soft grip forend and pistol grip, offering a custom fit and function, as well as improved ergonomics. Boasting a 1:10 5GR twist and a carbon fiber-wrapped stainless steel barrel from world-renowned PROOF Research®, this rifle is button-rifled with an 11-degree crown for impeccable precision accuracy, and is threaded (5/8 x 24" thread pitch) for suppressors and other muzzle devices. 


Cabelas - Savage 110 Ultralite BA Cenerfire Rifle .308 win.PNG
Image by Keith Misner

X-Bolt Composite Stalker Bolt-Action Rifle

Caliber: .270 Win
Finish: Blued
Stock Color: Black

The Browning® X-Bolt Composite Stalker Bolt-Action Rifle provides the reliability and accuracy Browning rifles are famous for. The Composite Stalker hunting rifle features a super-tough composite stock and an Inflex® Technology recoil pad that reduces felt recoil. A free-floated, target-crowned barrel delivers precision accuracy. Browning's Feather Trigger also enhances potential accuracy by providing a clean, crisp pull with no take-up and a minimal overtravel (a screw adjusts trigger from 3 lbs. to 5 lbs.). The X-Bolt also features a glass-bedded, matte-finished steel receiver that's drilled and tapped with a 4 screw per base design to ensure a secure and stable placement of the rifle scope


Cabelas - Browing X-Bolt Composite Stalker BA rifle.PNG
Image by Keith Misner

AB3 Hunter Bolt-Action Rifle

Caliber: .270 Win
Finish: Matte Black
Stock: Walnut

The Browning® AB3 Hunter Bolt-Action Rifle comes with a satin finished walnut stock that features a straight comb and the Inflex Technology recoil pad. The barrel and receiver feature a matte blued finish, and the receiver is drilled and tapped for scope mounts. The AB3 bolt utilizes a rotating head with 3 locking lugs common to all A-Bolt centerfire rifles. 3 locking lugs allow a short 60° bolt handle lift for fast cycling and increased scope clearance. The bolt knob's shape is slightly flattened and canted at an ergonomic 30° angle that fits the hand naturally. The AB3 uses a top-tang safety that's quick to deploy, and a bolt unlock button allows you to open the bolt for loading or inspection with the tang safety in the safe position. A detachable, steel box magazine allows quick re-loading and safe unloading. A free-floated steel barrel delivers fine accuracy needed for long range shooting. The Browning AB3 Hunter Bolt-Action Rifle represents a great value for a high quality hunting rifle.


Cabelas - Browning AB3 Hunter BA rifle.PNG
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