Exotic Bow Hunting in East Texas

About the Exotics: Axis


Axis Deer (i.e. Chital, Cheetal)

Author: Mikayla Perry



The Chital or Cheetal, are commonly referred to as “spotted deer” or Axis deer. They are native to the Indian subcontinent. Moderately sized, the Axis deer have made a bit of a name for themselves among hunters and collectors for their unique coat and even their horns. The Axis is the sole member of the genus Axis family.

 3     The males are usually larger than the females, the males are also the only ones to carry horns. They have three pronged antlers, growing tall and would make a great mount on any hunter’s mantel. Their coats are a russet brown covered in white spots, white throat, underbelly and inside of their legs. They also have a black  stripe down the middle of their back, another trademark for the Axis deers’ appearance.
   The Axis deer are very vocal, like their close cousin, the Elk. They let out what are known as “bellows” and “alarm barks”. Dominant males will make “high-pitched growls” at lesser male while with a female; males may often “moan” while showing signs of aggression or resting. Fawns often “squeal” when looking for their mother.
  The Axis deer prefer to move during the early mornings and late evenings, sleeping or resting during the middle of the day. They tend to move less often in the summer due to the heat. Axis deer are also known to forge well into the night, stopping around midnight only to wake again before sunrise. Peak movement happens during early morning.
  Axis are easily spooked and with their strong legs, are able to clear a little less than five feet; although they prefer to dive under fencing. Whilst fleeing, the deer will raise their tail to reveal the white hiding underneath; similar to that of a Whitetail deer.
The Axis like to make matriarchal herds, consisting of the mother and typically the offspring from both the previous and present year. Herds can expand and disperse at different tim2es of the year, depending on the location and captivity of the herd.
  Males often leave their scent (marking behavior) by rubbing against branches and tree trunks.

The species prefer vegetations, grazing most days. They also have been known to enjoy certain fruits and herbs.

   Breeding happens all year for the Axis, peak season varying geographically. Testosterone levels peak in the fall when the males grow their antlers. The female’s cycle usually lasts for three weeks, during which the male will follow her around to ensure conception, as well as to guard and protect her. A rutting male will fast during the breeding season.

    A newborn will be hidden for a week (the shortest time compared to most deer), the mother-fawn bond isn’t very strong as they will often be separated but can usually find their way back to one another as most herds are cohesive. Should the fawn have (sadly) died, the mother will be able to breed once again; as to give birth twice that year.
     Axis have been known to be able to live up to 22 years in captivity. In the wild, they are known to live far less, only 5-10 years.
  They are also known to thrive in certain areas of Texas, our weather and vegetation not too different from their natural diet and temperature tolerance. Here on the ranch, we do everything we can do ensure they are well cared for and get all the nutrition they desire.
    Our Axis herd is often caught on game cameras and even by our photographers. They travel over the entire course of the property, somewhat showing preference for the more dense thicket around the ranch.
  Pricing is listed on our website under Price Sheet.

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