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Girls get the job done, Velvet it is!

I sit here on my second day of the axis hunt looking for the same axis deer. I’m in the blind, playing all these mistakes in my head over and over. Hopefully, today will be better, luck will be on my side and the wind. It’s about time for them to be strolling by. We creeped in several hours early just in case we spot the axis taking an afternoon stroll.

This time was different. I had a different guide, a wonderful friend Lindsey. She is calmer. The day was different. The wind was replaced by drizzling rain. I know that every part of hunting is unpredictable! It’s a little after 6 PM, an unusually sized fox on a mission came through and a few whitetails have passed through, beautiful to watch, but out of season. A blessing to see, now we know wildlife is up moving around. What a great sign!

Looking out a window on Lindsey’s side of the blind (where I’m not able to see) I’m told ‘Here they come, get ready!’

Ok! I’ve been ready for 2 days lol! Patiently waiting for some axis to come into sight. I’m getting situated and controlling my anxiety. I think I’m doing great, just don’t ask anyone else that was there! Heavens to Betsy! There he is!! IN FULL VELVET!!

At a steady jog, the axis makes his way to the feeder. Waking around, blocked by the feeder for a few mins. I’m situated and pumped! Lindsey has given ‘strict orders’ to take this axis! We are going to make it happen today! Lol! Acting like he may not stick around long, I’m given a shot, he is face on. Now, an animal face on is not my favorite shot to make, especially after yesterday’s ‘chaos’ but I didn’t have time to let him get broadsided. Straight on shot to the chest, again 50-55 yards away and with the same gun. The trigger is pulled, he’s hit, and he hauled tail outta there!! Watching him through the scope run into the brush he FALLS! Good sign, but it’s never a promised ‘done deal’. We give him a few mins, I’m ready to shoot again in case he gets up and runs. These axis are tough and adrenaline runs hard through them. We make our way slowly to him, he made it about 40 yards at the most and ‘hugged a tree’.

Advice from Lindsey, she keeps telling me to keep it together, the girls got it done!! While waiting on backup to come help load him up, we were able to recover a beautiful 300 lb axis in full velvet. He has many battle scars and is even missing a toe from his younger years. An amazing sight if you ask me! I’m a member of SCI (Safari Club International) so when we got him to the taxidermist and meat processor, we have him measured and scored. This axis scored a 149, after taking away a deduction for being in velvet, he came out to 146 2/8. Now to some that may not mean much, but coming from a low fence, a hectic hunt the day before and now hunted by 2 women obsessed with the outdoors, that’s huge! Actually, that’s impressive!! Now I can’t wait to find another hunt that I can do with ‘Sergeant’ Lindsey,

I’ll remember this hunt forever and everything about it. It’s not always the harvest that’ll hold a special place, it’s the stories and memories that make it special. If we can remember for ‘everyone to stay calm’ and follow ‘strict orders’ in a high anxiety situation, we can make anything possible!!

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