Axis deer are originally from India where they are referred to as Chital or spotted deer. The deer are thought by many to be the most beautiful deer as their coats are rust colored and covered with white spots, very similar to a White-tail fawn. They are sizable with does weighing in from 75-95 pounds while bucks can weigh in at up to 185 pounds. Axis are active throughout the day. In the summer, time is spent in rest under shade, and the sun’s glare is avoided if the temperature reaches 80 °F; activity peaks as dusk approaches. As days grow cooler, foraging begins before sunrise and peaks by early morning. Activity slows down during midday, when the animals rest or loiter about slowly. Foraging recommences by late afternoon and continues till midnight. They fall asleep a few hours before sunrise, typically in the forest which is cooler than the glades. In a stark contrast to Whitetail bucks, Axis bucks grow and shed antlers at varying times throughout the year making this species especially challenging to hunt.
Many consider axis Venison to be the best-tasting venison in the world. Axis venison has the mildest flavor and most tender meat and is the most approachable to people who may be afraid to try game meat. The meat is deep red in color and contains less than 1% fat and therefore can be marketed as fat-free. By comparison, Fallow Deer & Red Deer have a fat content of 5% – 7%. Axis Deer meat was judged best tasting wild game meat by the Exotic Wildlife Association.