The 5 Tastiest Exotic Wild Game Species In Texas And Where To Find Them.
When it comes to Exotic Hunting, no other state and one could argue no other continent offers a better selection of exotic wild game than the state of Texas. From the rolling hills to the deep brush country, Texas has a suitable region for all exotic species to thrive.
Let’s now take a look at 5 exotic species that will leave your mouth watering long after the last slice of dessert is gone.
5) Red Deer (Red Stag aka Red Elk)
Originating in Great Britain, with the greatest populations throughout Europe and New Zealand, Red deer are the second largest deer species on Earth second only to the moose. However, Red deer in Europe do not have the vast free-range lands we have in Texas. As a result, Texas grows some of the largest Red Stag in the world today.
Red Deer are prized for their massive size, huge elk-like antlers and exceptionally delicious table fare.
4) Blackbuck Antelope
Blackbuck are native to India and Pakistan where they were once widespread in open woodlands, plains and desert mountainous regions, thus making them right at home throughout the Texas Hill Country and western rangelands.
The circular rings on Blackbuck horns are unlike any other, making them one of the most beautiful wall mounts you will ever hang. Blackbuck meat is one of the best exotic table fares around. Blackbuck are true gazelles; grazers. Grazers tend to be a mild meat with little to no gamey-ness.
3) Fallow Deer
Indigenous to Eurasia, Fallow deer quickly established a free range population throughout central Texas when introduced in the 1900’s. Fallow bucks are the only deer species to grow palmate type antlers – characterized much like antlers on a moose.
Fallow deer venison is excellent and similar to that of Axis. For this reason, Fallow deer have been introduced and raised on all inhabited continents in the world today.
2) Nilgai Antelope and Oryx Scimitar Horned
We have a dead heat at #2. This tasty choice will be left to you.
Nilgai were introduced to south Texas by the King Ranch in the 1930’s from their native India. Since then, Nilgai have ran wild and prospered in the brush country of south Texas.
This quarry poses one of the toughest hunting challenges as they are highly vigilant and wary. Spot and stalk Nilgai hunts are one of the toughest exotic hunts you will experience. To the lucky hunters who are fortunate enough to successfully harvest a Nilgai, reaps a freezer full of one of the most sought after exotic wild game meat in Texas.
Oryx Scimitar Horned
The Oryx Scimitar Horned once inhabited the semi-desserts and desserts of Northern Africa where it adapted to live in extreme heat and low rainfall areas making it right at home here in the Lone Star State. Unfortunately, it is now extinct in the wild of Africa, but thanks to Conservation through hunting in Texas, the Oryx Scimitar Horned has made a recovery and is being re-introduced to its native homeland.
Being one of the most tender of all exotic meats, Oryx Scimitar Horned are not only valued for their exceptional table fare but their majestic burnt orange, ivory color and back-curving spiraled horns.
1) Axis Deer (Chital)
Axis deer are still the undisputed tastiest exotic wild game in Texas. A native of India, Axis now make the rolling hills and brush country of the lone star state their favorite home. They were introduced to Texas in 1932 and by 1988, Texas Parks & Wildlife found free-ranging Axis in 27 counties in central and south Texas.
When it comes to the Rut, Axis bucks have a mind (or Biology) of their own. Each buck may enter the Rut at different periods throughout the year. As well, 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.
Axis meat is tender, mild and much more moist than that of other native and exotic wildlife.
Thankfully Exotic Hunting in Texas is open year round and the opportunity to harvest an exotic trophy comes down to choosing which wild adventure you want to go on. Get out there and find your wild! #WildBuck
Additional Info & Resources:
AllAboutExotics.com – Book Your Exotic Hunting Adventure
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Carlos Riojas is the Creator of WildBuck and contributor and editor to various entities in the outdoor industry. He was fortunate to be introduced to hunting and fishing at a very young age where he grew up in a small rural town just southwest of San Antonio, Texas. He enjoys the beauty, serenity and excitement that is had in the wild waters and woods of Texas. His passions are hunting, archery, fly fishing, kayaking, stand up paddle boarding and wildlife photography. His favorite animal is the Whitetail Deer.