Anyone interested in hunting Axis Dear? Check out the Bar B ranch just south of San Antonio Texas. Check out http://www.barbranch.com/ or [email protected]. Was ther myself hunting whitetail. Had a great time! Just tell them "Doc" sent you.
That link you posted was just to e-mail them. Is the web address simply whitetail.com? Tell us about your hunt, the accomodations? Did you see many Axis while there? Any big axis while there? What were the hunting conditions, style like? markc
Mark and Graybeard.
I"m new at this so I mess up a bit. I hunted the B Bar Ranch last November. I spent three days there. They have about 1500 hunderd acres total, five hunderd acres are in what they call high fence. They have a nice ranch house for their guest on the property.They also have some area for primative camp sites if a hunter likes to rough it. Excellent food! Its a family own ranch, very nice people. I only went to hunt for white tail. I did see axis deer in the distant .They are kept in the high fence. The first morning that I was driven to my stand, we came across a hog. Where I live in illinois we don't have wild pigs so I can't give a comparison since that the first wild pig I have ever seen. For the three days I was there, I saw a lot of deer. I took a eight pointer, weigh in about 200 pounds and a doe. (found out american airlines will not let you carry on deer antlers ) I Heard turkeys in the distant each moning I was hunting. I really like the place and the owners, so I throught I would put in on the forum for anyone else that might want to hunt in texas. I did look at my brochure again. The correct web page for the ranch is; www.barbranch.com
Went to the site and looked it over real good. Seems 500 acres is a bit small for a high fenced area to offer much of a challenge but depending on terrain it might be OK. Bare minimum but if thick enough can be a worthwhile experience for sure.
Pricing is a bit high in some cases and quite reasonable in others. Their axis price is quite high and the only one pictured is not worth that kinda money for sure. The doe/hog hunts look like a bargain. Dunno about those buck hunts but I guess by TX standards the prices aren't unreasonable.
Sounds like it could be a nice place to visit and have a fun hunt if the pressure is kept low and not too many hunters are accomodated each year.
Some of those white tail bucks appeared pretty nice but wow the photography quality was so poor it's hard to tell on others.
After reading your last post regarding the Doc Contender's experience at the -B ranch, and after looking over their website, I am curious as to the following:
Doc was there and seemed to like it pretty well.
Have you been there also, or are you speaking from years of experience in Texas? :roll:
Also, was wondering how you arrived at the conclusion that 500 acres might not be much of a challenge.
From my near 30 years of experience hunting, all in Texas, I can tell you from from firsthand, Elmer Keith style "I was there" knowledge that 500 acres of guajillo, mesquite, white and black brush would provide plenty of challenge to anyone looking to find animals that know their home territory better than you, me, or anyone else.
I wonder if the guy that took that Axis mention waited for a big one, or just took the first one that walked out. Either way I figure, to him, it must have been worth it or he wouldn't have shot it. Knockin a hunting place based on photographs seems kind of like judging a book by it's cover.
I have looked over webpages for several ranches in Texas and would be curious as to what anyone who has hunted in Texas has to say about their experiences. Anyone else besides Doc hunted at the -B, or somewhere else in Texas? I am always looking for new spots to try out. I think I'll give the -B Ranch a try this year, and let you know how it turns out.
BUT I have been to a bunch of ranches of various sizes. Generally speaking a ranch of that size is NOT gonna have game that is naturally reproducing on it. Generally speaking the hunting will be put and take and the game will NOT be intimately familiar with it as they will not have been there very long when shot.
Ranches that operate on a put and take basis have to buy all their game from someone somewhere. Some of it no doubt comes from large ranches where the game does naturally reproduce and might know the home range and might be wild. BUT way more of it is just pen raised for the smaller ranches and that portion is NOT wild and does not know the area.
If you read my comments you should have seen I said that IF the area is thick enough it might be a sporting or at least interesting experience depending on the game in it. Nothing is gonna make a barn yard raised sheep a challenge. Some animals are a challege as long as there is a bit of cover to hide behind as it is their very nature and they are good at it.
My comments were general in nature and based on being on a bunch of ranches of all sizes. That experience has shown me that generally speaking ranches of that size are strictly put and take and most animals "put" are pen raised not from the wild and they aren't very wild themsleves. Those are generalities and are not specific to that ranch.
I have to agree with your comments about put and take ranches in the exotic and native game hunting business. I spend between 75 and 140 days a year on various hunting ranches around not only Texas but the southwestern and southern part of the US. After doing this for over 25 years now I have found that most places under the 750 - 1,000 acre range are mostly put and take places if they have any kind of active hunting operation. For example, there is a place near Groveton, Texas that it 650 acres in size. Each year they average harvesting between 150 and 200 exotic deer and blackbuck antelope. It is physically impossible for a place of that size, with its limited carrying capacity, to be able to handle a herd that can reproduce enough animals on a yearly basis and then maintain them the 4 to 5 years it takes for them to reach trophy status and are taken by hunters. The number of animals that a herd of the nature requires would be staggering for a place this small. This does not include the various rams that they take off the place each year, in 2002 it was in excess of 250. I talked to the owners of this particular ranch and they did not try to hide the fact that they buy animals on a weekly or semi-monthly basis from auctions in such places as Huntsville or Harper.
On the other hand I do know of a place that is only 450 acres near Fredericksburg that only raises blackbuck antelope and in which the only road on the place is the ¼ mile drive from the gate to the house. They have a sustaining herd of around 300 animals, supplemental feed year round and only harvest 20 trophy quality animals a year. They have been in business since 1964 and do have a replenishing herd. However, if they were to open it up to taking 100 animals a year they would soon run out of trophy animals and would have to supplement the herd with animals from auctions.
With all of that said, it is up to the hunter to investigate and determine the nature of the animals that he or she would be hunting on the ranch they intend to visit. If they are ok with hunting animals bought at auction within the last few days then more power to them. However, for me and those like me I prefer hunting a place that offers a challenging hunt in which animals do not come running to the diner bell. That usually means a larger ranch.
Had the opportunity to speak with Mrs. Boone at the -B Ranch earlier today. Had a nice long conversation with her regarding their operation, and here are a few specifics that I found to be informative:
They have made two animal purchases.
In 1996 they purchased approximately 30 Axis deer. The Axis population has been naturally reproducing since then, and she seemed rather amused when I asked if they seemed tame.
Their second purchase was 16 Blackbuck antelope deliverred this year. She stated that the Blackbuck would be allowed to breed, reproduce, and become aclimated for several years prior to permitting them to be hunted.
Last bit of information-- They have owned the ranch (1500 acres total, with 500 under high-fence) since 1986, but this past hunting season was the very first time they had opened their ranch up to allow anyone to hunt other than a few family and close friends. Mrs. Boone said that they really enjoyed hosting young hunters, and that they were working with several women hunting groups as well for next season. She stated that the hunting pressure was kept low, and that they had turned away many hunters by not allowing the consumption of alcohol on the ranch. She said they wanted a safe, supportive, and successful atmosphere, and that alcohol just did not fit into the equation. All of the hunters they hosted this past season were successful, and the testimonials she read from different hunters that had come out were very complimentary both towards the ranch, and the staff.
She stated that they recently hosted a rather well-known Houston based custom gun-maker who was deliverring a rifle to her husband, and that he took a very nice Axis buck. Measured 33" x 27.5" and weighed well over 200 pounds. She plans to post the pic on their sight soon.
I'm convinced and have booked my hunt. If anyone has any questions about their outfit, I strongly suggest you check out their webpage, and or give them a call.
I've been in Texas since 82 so I'm prejudiced. It looks pretty good to me. Some of the put and take places are cheaper and have a pretty good hunt, so its a trade off the way I see it. They may have some animals not very wild sometimes, because they don't control what comes to the auction and can't tell much about that when buying, but there will be some wild exotic big ones too at a good price because of their volume.
That web page clearly shows high fence parts and not high fence parts of the ranch and that is good, so people are not surprised.
I just finished the book, Life at Full Draw, its a biography of Chuck Adams. He has some P&Y whitetail from a Texas high fence hunt entered in their records. P&Y used to enter them on a ranch by ranch approval and then stopped in 2001. TGR and ROE and SCI enter high fence animals still but have some rules also, not dependent on size of the ranch, but whether the animals can freely run away and hide from the hunter. P&Y is keeping those animals pre 2001 in their records. Chuck Adams has like 111 P&Y animals (way more than any human being alive or dead) and 189 SCI record book animals, he said the Texas whitetails were wild as **** and the club was right to put them in the book. That's supportive of some high fence hunting being good hunts.
In case folks are interested, the axis I took was 39 inches long and 27 1\2 inch spread. I deliverd a Winchester 70 in 358 Win to Mr Boone. In my opinion, this is a first case operation. I will be going back. Some pics of the axis I took should be up on their site soon.
I can attest to the quality of Charlie Sisk's work. He built a .300 Win Mag and a .30-06 for me late last spring. These guns were used by Andy Dale, who runs the Outdoor Channel, and I as we hunted axis deer and blackbuck on the Claude Habe ranch in Vanderpool, TX for a segment of the Huntingleases.com TV show last June. Andy made 2 one shot kills on both his axis buck and blackbuck with the .30-06. They were at 282 yards and 365 yards as measured by my Bushnell 1000 yard rangefinder. (Not bad for a man who had previously only been a bird hunter and had primarily been a shotgun shooter for most of his life.) These were his first two big game animals ever. I, my 17 yr. old son and a friends 17 yr. old son used the .300 Win Mag to harvest a fallow doe at 245 yards, a whitetail doe at 215 yards, an 8-point whitetail buck at 465 steps, a huge Mouflon ram at 385 yards and I finished a nilgai for another hunter at 422 steps.
Charlie not only builds you a great gun, he also provides you with a box of ammo for the loads that the rifle was built around. If you get a chance ask him about the 9.3mm Sisk cartridge that he has developed. Talk about knock down power!
By the way Charlie is building me a .280 to take on an aoudad hunt in a month or so. Cant wait to get my hands on it as I just love shooting accurate guns!
Thanks for the welcome. If the members want a custom rifle forum, I will help any way I can. I can answer questions and give advice if I can. Some of my thoughts are not 'main stream" but when I make a statement I usually have some data to back it up or I say "this is what I think'. Recently I preformed a test by shortening barrel from 27 inches to 21 inches and the results were not what I expected. I still posted because these were the actual results. I would reather be straight with folks because most of us hear enough bul#@%$ without hearing it from a rifle builder. I like your site. I think I will view this more often.
..........always use enough gun......
Congratulations on a #1 axis! That's my bet, it has a good chance of being number one in TGR or ROE for the next edition, when you look at the old ones. 39 inches is really great! I don't have a current SCI book to see how it would rank in there.
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