by Larry Bloomquist
For several years now I have been privileged to have the opportunity to hunt a remarkable south Texas low-fence ranch in La Salle County, south of Cotulla, Texas. This is in the well known area recognized as “the Golden Triangle.” It is big buck country where many Boone and Crockett bucks have been taken over the years. Yes, I have taken three nice mature whitetail on this property with scores over 160 and one very nice cull 8 that scored 154.
Hunting whitetails is my passion, but the added benefit is the amazing variety of wildlife I encounter. When I'm in a blind I frequently have my Nikon camera in hand with a variable 200–600-mm lens. I have taken thousand of photographs of nice trophy whitetails and the abundant wildlife that populates the mesquite and cactus habitat of this ranch and axis deer has been a prime target for my camera.
Many years ago the owner’s father brought in a few axis deer and they still thrive along the river that runs through the property. The family limits the number of axis deer taken each year so I have the opportunity to see and photograph some pretty nice axis bucks. Considering very few axis are killed each year on the San Cudo Ranch, the population appears to remain fairly steady, possibly because of predators. I know from first hand experience that axis deer have not affected the whitetail population. I usually hunt one or two days along the river in the main home area of the axis deer, and actually find them much more alert and weary than whitetail deer. I often hear their vocal communications and actions, much like the axis deer pictured on these opening two pages.