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Texas Exotic Dilemma

Discussion in 'Hunting' started by Guns_and_Labs, Sep 12, 2007.

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  1. Guns_and_Labs

    Guns_and_Labs Member

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    The problem: I've been invited on an exotic hunt (actually two) in Texas, and I'm supposed to choose my target preferences. Unfortunately, while I've seen pictures of them, I've never tasted most of the choices. So, if taste is a bit ahead of trophy, what are the leading contenders for my table, choosing from:

    Axis Deer
    Sika Deer
    Fallow Deer
    Black Buck Antelope
    Aoudad Sheep
    Ibex cross
    Barbados Ram
    Texas Dahl Ram
    Catalina Goat
    Corsican Ram
    Mouflon Ram
    Black Hawaiian Ram
     
  2. phantomak47

    phantomak47 Member

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    Not to be rude, but please tell me this isnt a petting zoo hunting operation?
     
  3. 2RCO

    2RCO Member

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    Ah seriously a canned Hunt.. I won't even go into it cuz I don't want to Flame anyone. But for one other than the obvious knee jerk complaints they are a huge waste of cash. Save your money go to Africa and hunt in the wild! Then your friends won't make fun of you behind your back when you show them the mounts.
     
  4. PotatoJudge

    PotatoJudge Member

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    1) The hunt is likely on a ranch with high game fence, so it depends on the size and number of animals on the property. Whether it's got "petting zoo" density, that's a judgment call. If he's happy with it, who cares?

    2)The fact that the OP is asking about the meat means it's not just a "sporting hunt" but rather a meat gathering hunt, in which case I don't care if he says "I want that one" and the guy plucks it out of the lobster tank. All depends on his opinion of the kill, which none of us can really speak to. Now if he was to brag about his "trophy" I'd be more interested in the circumstance of the kill, but meat is meat no matter how you get it.

    I haven't eaten any of the animals on the list, but don't get the Barbados for food. If you want to eat one of those get a lamb for $20 at the local livestock auction.

    Wish I had your problems. Enjoy your hunts.
     
  5. Guns_and_Labs

    Guns_and_Labs Member

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    Well, I've never been to either ranch. One claims 25 square miles, which seems small for that diversity. The other claims "hundreds of square miles", which sounds like marketing, not ecosystems.

    But as I said, I'm not in it for the trophy, I'm in it for the meat, and for the camaraderie of the guys hosting it. I figure I might as well try it -- but I haven't cancelled my fall wilderness hunts either.
     
  6. PotatoJudge

    PotatoJudge Member

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    1 square mile equals 640 acres. Those are both big places.
     
  7. Kurt S.

    Kurt S. Member

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    I have eaten axis deer meat and blackbuck antelope. If I hadn't known what I was eating I just would have thought the axis was a venison steak off a whitetail. Similar for the blackbuck, just like antelope which I can barely tell from deer anyway. I love the taste of both antelope and deer, though.

    Aoudad are generally hunted for the heads. I have never tasted the meat but supposedly it is pretty nasty except for very young lambs. I've heard the same about Mouflon.

    Enjoy the hunts, I know for a fact that most of those specialty ranches really treat hunters like royalty.
     
  8. Triple S

    Triple S Member

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    The axis and the black buck fare the best from this group as far as taste goes. Typically, these species get better reviews of their meat quality over wild, native animals becuase of thier diets. Most imported exotic species (like the axis) are grazers, not browsers like white tail. In return, this gives their meat a less gamey flavor. If you are strictly in it for for the meat, shoot a younger buck or doe of either species. They are much like many other animals in that the mature bucks can be a little gamier in flavor. Take the outing for what it is and you might suprise yourself on how much you actually enjoy the experience. Tanning the hide of the axis make beautiful throw rugs or covers to lay over couches or chairs.
     
  9. Jimmy Newman

    Jimmy Newman Member

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    Axis is very nice meat. I've been told it's one of the main things you get in restaurants when you order venison (it being illegal to sell native game for commercial purposes). They also have beautiful fur, if you're interested in a throw or something.

    Sika deer, at least that I've seen, tend to be smaller. Fallow deer are pretty big, but I've heard some people say they taste great and some people say they taste awful - I haven't actually shot one, so I couldn't tell you from personal experience.
     
  10. phantomak47

    phantomak47 Member

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    Why? Because there are clowns out there literally buying goats and other exotics from actual petting zoos and putting them in small pens where in five minutes you will either be shooting an animal or having one coming up to let you pet it. I am sorry but that is far from hunting.
     
  11. Leadbutt

    Leadbutt Member

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    If hunting for meat, leave the goats alone, go for the Axis and Blackbucks
     
  12. quicktime

    quicktime Member

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    Dang another missleading thread title. I thought it was going to debate the best strip club in Texas. As for the thread I have no idea but maybe H&H hunter will drop by he has been to Africa a few times and wopuld probably know what a few of the critters taste like. Good luck and have fun on your hunt.
     
  13. .41 magnum man

    .41 magnum man Member

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    I have eaten Barbados ram and wouldn't go for that or any of the rams if you are looking for the best meat. The meat didn't taste too bad, but the smell is awful. I have never eaten any of the exotic goats, but have had what I guess you call farm raised goat, and it was good. It had a beef/venison flavor. I would go for the axis and the blackbuck as I understand their meat is the best.

    I took the barbados ram at 42 yards on a bow hunt on a 300 acre game ranch in Oklahoma. I know some people don't like the idea of hunting such a place, but I enjoyed it. It wasn't a guaranteed hunt either. The animals were wild, and in several days of hunting this ram was the only critter I got a shot at. The way I look at hunting game ranches is this: First thing, I have plenty of deer, turkey and bear here at home to hunt, and I am not going to pay to hunt the same thing somewhere else I can get here. If I go somewhere else to hunt I want to get something different, and I cannot afford to go to Africa or Alaska. I personally like a place where you actually hunt, not just go into a pen and shoot, BUT if someone else wants to do that, I don't have a problem with it. I don't see it much different than some cattle ranchers who kill a big steer and mount the head. If the place guarantees an animal and a person pays money for it, then as far as I'm concerned they bought it and they can do what they want.
     
  14. Skoghund

    Skoghund Member

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    Have eaten sika and fallow. Go for a young one. Never shoot a fallow buck in the rut. The smell used to make my old dog cough.
     
  15. Nathanael_Greene

    Nathanael_Greene Member

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    The best game I've ever eaten was axis venison. I highly recommend it.

    Given the choices you've listed, I'd take the axis every time. And the hides are very decorative, as someone said.
     
  16. Art Eatman

    Art Eatman Moderator Emeritus

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    A number of hill country ranches in west-central Texas have the exotics so as to have year-around hunting. The terrain and vegetation combine to mean that any pasture of several hundred acres or more is fair chase.

    Art
     
  17. 22-rimfire

    22-rimfire Member

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    There are lots of ranches in Texas that have exotic game, especially South Texas and the Hill Country. I would not make the assumption that you're shooting them in a pen somewhere.

    I had a man ask if I wanted to take a really nice exotic buck... don't even remember the animal name.... beautiful horns/antlers... I passed as it really was like shooting one in a big pen. But he just wanted to get rid of the old animal and thought I'd like to take it. Big rack though. This deal sounds like a "hunt". I thought about it just to have the antlers for knives.

    I have heard that Axis meat is pretty good.
     
  18. MCgunner

    MCgunner Member

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    I've seen a couple of those penned animal places. Don't think of it as hunting, think of it as going to an animal farm where you have to slaughter and butcher it for yourself rather than letting some illegal alien working for 5 bucks an hour do it for you. Well, some of those places probably hire illegals to do the butchering, too, though. :D I'll never spend what most of those places want, personally. I can get T bones at Walmart or HEB a heckuva lot cheaper and they're cut, wrapped, and ready for the broiler!
     
  19. H&Hhunter

    H&Hhunter Moderator Staff Member

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    Axis Deer, Haven't tried it but am told they are good eating

    Sika Deer, Same as above

    Fallow Deer, Same as above

    Black Buck Antelope, Haven't tried it but I've heard it is not the best

    Aoudad Sheep, I've eaten this quite a bit. It is good meat but the old rams will be a bit tough and gamy

    Ibex cross, I've eaten both Siberian and Persian Ibex. A Persian ram is inedible IMO. It stinks it's tough and I won't have it in my house. A Siberian milder but still a stinky old goat.

    Barbados Ram, Couldn't tell you but if it's an adult sheep or a goat I generally won't eat it.

    Texas Dahl Ram, The Texas Dahl is NOT AN ALASKAN DAHL sheep that has been transplanted. It is a Corsican ram hybrid and I would guess that it falls into the category from above. But in reality I have no idea. A true Dahl sheep or a bighorn are good eating. That ain't what this is.

    Catalina Goat, There is a reason that cultures who eat goat tend to bury it and burn it for several days before they eat it.

    Corsican Ram, See above

    Mouflon Ram, See above

    Black Hawaiian Ram, Stinking, rotten, little bastards.

    Enjoy your hunt. And just because it is high fenced doesn't mean it's "canned". There are some good operations and some lousy ones.
     
  20. rbernie
    • Contributing Member

    rbernie Contributing Member

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    I think that a lot of folks posting in this thread are passing judgement on the OP or the hunt without having any first hand experience.

    Texas allows year-round hunting of non-native species. That means that many ranches with oodles of untillable land and a bunch of scrub have found a new source of income; enclose the ranch in a high fence, stock some non-native species, and hire a PH/guide. Remember, guys - Texas has a LOT of land that's not much fit for farming. Maybe there are some small 'lobster tank' kind of outfits, but I've not seen one yet. The smallest I've hunted has been well over 1000 acres. (Most outfits that do 'guided' hunts also allow unguided individuals to hunt on foot when they have no payin' customers, and that's what I usually do rather than try to maintain a lease..)

    IMO - anyone that sits on their dead butt in a stand over a feeder or feed plot has no right to suggest that stalking non-native deer thru the hot TX scrub for hours on end represents anything less than 'fair chase'. ;)

    ETA : Last fall's hunting story: http://www.thehighroad.org/showpost.php?p=3179331&postcount=27

    That rules out all of the sheep, according to most... If anyone has a decent recipe for eating it, I'd love to hear it. I've been scared away from trying any by the tales of how nasty it can be. Most folk that I know that hunt the sheep do so for the pelt and the trophy, and leave the meat for the hogs.

    Any of the deer will be fine eating - my kids love both the fallow and the Sika and I can't tell the difference. The Sika has a really nice hide that is well worth having tanned.

    I've not eaten Black Buck; most folk that I know that hunt them do so for the difficulty of the chase. They're pretty small. Well, in fairness - all deer and antelope in TX tend to be smaller than those further north. A decent whitetail or Axis or Fallow or Sika buck will probably top out at 120lbs and most doe are in the 75lb range.

    How are you planning on transporting the meat back home?
     
  21. WuzYoungOnceToo

    WuzYoungOnceToo member

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    Excellent point.
     
  22. MCgunner

    MCgunner Member

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    Well, opinions are like a holes.....

    Now, I need to get that feeder goin'......
     
  23. jaholder1971

    jaholder1971 Member

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    Congratulations! You've perfectly described the kill pen of every slaughterhouse I've ever seen, other than the method of shooting them may be different. If this bothers you so try going Vegan.

    BTW during deer season the area I go usually has so many deer it's more like deer shooting than actually hunting.
     
  24. MCgunner

    MCgunner Member

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    :D In some parts of Texas, the best method of deer hunting is on a 300 mile x 50 yard stretch of land using an F150 at 80 mph.....:D
     
  25. Geno

    Geno Member

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    Some of the ranches that I have hunted in Texas were massive! The owners claimed over 50,000 acres. The game was none too easy to get near, and I was plenty glad that I had my .300 Wea. Mag zeroed at 300 yards. Everytime the game saw the Jeep, or even just a human, they bolted!

    I hunted a couple of Dall and a Corsican. The meat was great. We had a meal with the family to which we donated it. They had become recently unemployed, and the guide tipped us their way. It seemed the right thing to do.

    The hunt was near Mt. Home, or was it Kerrville,TX? It was beautiful there!
     
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