Hunting Hawaiian Axis Deer
When most people think of Hawaii, they think of palm trees, sand, the ocean, luau’s and maybe even Hawaii Five-O. But the islands that are in the Pacific Ocean are home to some fantastic hunting. Sportsmen who travel there can find abundant axis deer, wild boar, mouflon sheep, Spanish goats, black Hawaiian sheep, Rio Grande turkeys, many species of upland birds and so much more.
I headed to Hawaii many years ago in pursuit of turkeys and have since revisited many times to hunt on the Big Island, Lanai, Maui and Molokai. Pat Fisher of Hawaii Safari’s runs a terrific operation, guiding for everything mentioned above.
Hawaii is known for its diverse climates that span from arid to tropical and also a land where axis deer are free ranging and roam in large herds.
As the afternoon progressed, we spotted a dandy axis buck in a draw all by himself. Being that it was pre-rut, he had yet to gather a herd of does. We began sneaking toward the buck, mostly crawling through the open country on the sharp lava rock. Needless to say, my knees were raw by the time we got into range.
I had my Bergara Sport Hunter in .300 Win Mag because the need for a long-range shot isn’t all that uncommon in Hawaii. We were able to get to within 140 yards of this buck, which sounds like an easy shot, but as he was bedded in heavy brush to avoid the heat of the day, I could make out a spot the size of a softball to thread the bullet through. I had extreme confidence in the shot as the rifle’s report echoed through the valley. The buck was the best axis deer I had ever taken. If you want to be successful in the field you have to be confident in your gun. And as it turns out, Bergara rifles are the most accurate I have ever shot.