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Spot and Stalk Hunting Axis Deer in Lanai

Bow Hunting Axis Deer

It was early August on the Hawaiian island of Lanai. I’m with my good buddy Randy, his son Gatlin, and our guide Alec for a three-day Axis deer hunt as we labored over maps and strategized our hunt for Hawaii’s most coveted big game species.

Spot And Stalk Hunting For Axis Deer

Spot and stalk hunting for Axis deer in Lanai is simply tough. In many circles, they are regarded as the most challenging big game animal to get within bow range. This is partly because Lanai’s Axis deer have no other predators other than the human hunter. Through generations of hunting pressure, these deer have learned how to evade hunters.

Luckily, it’s not uncommon to encounter as many as 50 Axis deer a day when hunting in Hawaii. They were introduced from Asia in the 1860’s and flourished on the landscape. Now, their booming population grows at a rate of 20-30% each year.

While I was sure we’d have plenty of opportunities at seeing deer on this trip, I knew closing the distance was going to be difficult. To pull off a successful spot and stalk, I knew I had to be precise in my movements, slow in my approach, and aware of the wind.

On day one we glassed a bachelor group of bucks in thick brush. With the wind in my face, I stalked slowly into position. I found a grove of bushes and tucked in close behind them. A trophy buck was bedded down just ahead and it was within archery range.

I waited for the opportunity at an ethical shot. After 45 minutes, the buck finally stood broadside. I made my move, drew back, and locked into my anchor points before releasing an arrow. It was a tough shot on a big buck, and when the deer took off, I knew it was a clean miss. We headed back to camp, empty-handed yet undeterred, to prepare for the next day.

Spooking an Axis deer on a failed spot and stalk attempt runs the risk of setting off a chain reaction. When one deer barks, so does every other one within earshot, and they all bolt in opposite directions, spooking even more deer. This can make for frustrating hunting conditions. But it also presents a challenge to the hunter that’s hard to replicate anywhere else. In part, this is what makes the challenge of hunting Axis deer so alluring.



The next morning, we returned to the field with high spirits and renewed confidence. A bluebird day with low and steady wind. There plenty of Axis deer on the Lanai landscape. It’s just about waiting for that right opportunity. We hiked all morning without finding a chance to redeem ourselves. Then, by late afternoon, we found a large herd of bucks and does and were able to creep within 40 yards of them.

Daylight dwindled without a shot opportunity. Just before dark, we had to call it a day. We head back to camp for one more night of rest before the last day of our hunt.

One of the beauties of spot and stalking Axis deer in Lanai is the weather. It’s a far cry from chasing late-season elk in Montana and would put you more in the mind of spring turkey hunting with daytime temps reaching into the 70’s and 80’s. It’s t-shirt weather, and that helps a lot when you’re trying to cover a lot of ground on a spot and stalk hunt.

There is usually wind on the Hawaiian Islands and keeping the wind in your favor is a must.  Sometimes you may need to put on many more miles to get into position but make the wind your friend, not your enemy.  Do your best to stay as scent free as possible, but playing the wind should be your priority. In Lanai, where a spooked Axis deer will run away seemingly forever, keeping your wind right is a huge factor in finding success. Dressing comfortably in quiet clothing allows you to move freely without much risk. Next to scent control and playing the wind, the greatest enemy when stalking a big game animal can be the unnatural sound of fabric on fabric friction, the scraping of clothing on bushes, or even squeaky boots.

The next day I headed to a new spot where we saw a lot of deer. After we surveyed the land, a final spot and stalk was planned, this time with Alec by my side.

It isn’t long before we move in on a group of bucks. The wind is right, and a trophy Axis deer stood broad side at 66 yards. I am comfortable with the shot. I stand up, pull back on my bowstring, and sail an arrow just over the buck’s spotted flank. A little lower, or if they buck hadn’t dropped as the arrow got close, and it would’ve been in the sweet spot. These are spooky critters.  Much like hunting the hyper-alert whitetails in Texas, you should concentrate on aiming for the heart.  If they drop, you’re still in the lungs and if they don’t, you’ve still hit the heart.  I failed to remember that on this buck and I was hoping for another opportunity, but it’s the last day of our hunt and were forced to call an end to our Axis deer adventure



The Hawaiian landscape offers boundless outdoor opportunities, and although I wasn’t able to fill my Axis deer tag, Gatlin was able to fill his. On our final day in Lanai, we head offshore for a productive day of fishing and return to camp for a delicious backstrap dinner from Gatlin’s Axis deer, bidding Lanai, and its coveted herd of Axis deer, a final farewell.


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Can You Hunt Enough To Feed Your Family For YEARS?

Survival Cave Food is here.

As masters of the hunt, you understand the thrill and satisfaction of providing for your family through your skills in the wilderness. However, relying solely on hunting and trapping may not be enough to ensure your family’s well-being in times of crisis. The stark reality is that whatever you’re able to hunt may not be sufficient to feed yourselves and your loved ones. At Survival Cave Food, we recognize the importance of having a reliable backup supply to augment your hunting efforts and provide peace of mind during emergencies.

Why Survival Cave Food?

Our commitment to providing the best survival foods is driven by a deep understanding of the challenges hunters face. While your hunting skills are impressive, unpredictable circumstances such as extreme weather, dwindling game populations, or even natural disasters can significantly impact your ability to procure food. Survival Cave Food offers a range of premium emergency food solutions meticulously crafted to augment your hunting efforts and provide long-term sustenance for you and your famil

A Reliable Backup for Your Hunting Success

Survival Cave Food stands as your dependable backup supply for the best survival foods. Our freeze-dried meals and high-quality canned meats are carefully crafted to provide essential nutrients and support your family’s well-being, complementing your hunting skills. Don’t let uncertainties in the wilderness leave you and your loved ones hungry – our products offer a reliable solution to ensure your family’s needs are met, no matter the circumstances.

Supporting Your Hunting Lifestyle

As skilled hunters, you’ve honed your craft and pride yourselves on providing for your family. Survival Cave Food aligns with these values, empowering you to maintain your independence and self-sufficiency while also being prepared for the unexpected. Our products not only offer sustenance but also peace of mind, knowing you’re prepared to support your family’s needs through any challenge.

Made with Care, Trusted by Hunters

At Survival Cave Food, we take pride in our products, which are made with care and integrity. Our canned meats and freeze-dried meals are not just provisions; they’re essential components of your hunting lifestyle. Whether you’re stocking up for emergencies, planning hunting trips, or simply seeking convenient, nutritious options for your family, our products deliver on quality and reliability.

Join Us in Securing Your Family's Future

Join countless skilled hunters like yourself who prioritize preparedness and self-sufficiency. With Survival Cave Food, you’re not just purchasing survival foods – you’re investing in the security and well-being of your loved ones. Take the first step towards a more secure future by exploring our selection today.

Order Now and Augment Your Hunting Success

Don’t let uncertainties in the wilderness leave you vulnerable. Take proactive measures to ensure your family’s well-being with Survival Cave Food. Explore our range of premium survival foods and experience the peace of mind that comes with knowing you’re prepared to provide for your family, no matter what lies ahead.

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Rangefinders: Advanced Techniques for Enhanced Hunting Success


The utility of rangefinders in hunting extends far beyond their fundamental purpose of determining accurate distances for shooting. While commonly associated with aiding marksmanship, rangefinders can be leveraged in innovative ways to optimize hunting strategies and increase efficiency in the field. For both novice and seasoned hunters alike, mastering advanced techniques with rangefinders can significantly enhance the overall hunting experience. In this comprehensive guide, we delve into two distinct but invaluable techniques for utilizing rangefinders to their fullest potential.

Strategic Stalking: Planning with Precision

Hunter Education Course. Hunting in Russia. Nature places for hunting

One of the most profound realizations among hunters is the strategic value of rangefinders in planning stalks. Beyond mere navigation toward the prey, identifying optimal shooting positions can be a game-changer in hunting success.

Consider a scenario where a hunter spots a deer bedded downhill, with a prominent boulder positioned behind it. Traditional wisdom dictates estimating the distance to the deer and planning a route accordingly. However, the innovative use of a rangefinder elevates this approach to a new level of precision.

By ranging both the deer and the boulder, the hunter gains critical insight into the landscape’s geometry. Suppose the deer is determined to be 500 yards away, while the boulder registers at 547 yards. This data reveals that reaching the boulder would position the hunter approximately 47 yards from the deer. Armed with this knowledge, the hunter can strategize the approach, confident in the understanding of potential shooting distances.

Dynamic Distance Assessment: On-the-Move Tactics

Hunter with hunting gun and hunting form to hunt

In dynamic hunting scenarios where targets are mobile or their exact locations are uncertain, rangefinders emerge as indispensable tools for real-time distance assessment. Rather than relying on fixed objects for reference, hunters can adopt a proactive approach by utilizing rangefinders while on the move.

Imagine stalking a buck actively rutting in dense woodland. In such scenarios, maintaining situational awareness and adaptability are paramount. Here, the continuous use of a rangefinder proves invaluable.

Equipped with a rangefinder, the hunter can seamlessly integrate distance assessment into their movements. With each step, the hunter periodically scans the terrain ahead, utilizing the rangefinder to gauge distances to potential targets. This streamlined approach minimizes unnecessary movement and ensures readiness for decisive action.

In the dynamic and unpredictable world of hunting, mastery of advanced techniques with rangefinders can be a game-changer. By embracing strategic stalking and dynamic distance assessment, hunters can optimize their hunting strategies and increase their chances of success in the field. 

Whether planning meticulous stalks or maintaining situational awareness on the move, the versatility of rangefinders empowers hunters to navigate diverse hunting scenarios with confidence and precision. As hunters continue to explore the boundless possibilities of rangefinder application, the pursuit of the game becomes not just a challenge, but a deeply rewarding adventure fueled by innovation and expertise.

Do you have any tips for using rangefinders? Leave them in the comments below.

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Which Round Is Best For Hunting Wild Hogs?


In the vast tapestry of American wildlife management, few creatures present as perplexing a challenge as the wild hog. Revered for its delectable meat yet reviled for its destructive impact on ecosystems, the wild hog embodies a unique dichotomy in the realm of hunting. With festivals dedicated to their honor amidst the havoc they wreak, these invasive species demand a nuanced approach from hunters.

Understanding the Complexity

Herd of wild hogs rooting in the forest for food

To embark on a successful hog hunting expedition, one must grasp the intricate interplay between pest control and recreational pursuit. The wild hog’s adaptability and resilience render it a formidable adversary, requiring hunters to employ strategic tactics and appropriate equipment. Amidst this backdrop, the choice of cartridge emerges as a pivotal decision, wielding significant implications for the outcome of the hunt.

Harnessing Firepower

In the arsenal of hog hunters, cartridges serve as the cornerstone of their strategy. Each cartridge offers a unique blend of power, accuracy, and versatility, catering to different hunting scenarios and preferences. Among the plethora of options, certain cartridges have carved out a niche for themselves, earning acclaim for their efficacy in hog hunting.

The .308 Winchester

At the forefront of hog hunting cartridges stands the venerable .308 Winchester, revered for its versatility and widespread availability. With a diverse selection of bullet weights and a proven track record in the field, it remains a steadfast choice for hunters seeking reliability and performance across various hunting conditions.

The 6.5 PRC

For those venturing into the realm of long-range precision hunting, the 6.5 PRC emerges as a compelling option. Combining impressive ballistics with manageable recoil, it empowers hunters to take precise shots with confidence, ensuring ethical kills even at extended distances.

Exploring Short-Range Solutions

In the dense underbrush where wild hogs often roam, short-range encounters demand cartridges capable of delivering decisive stopping power. Among these, the 350 Legend stands out for its potent performance and adaptability, offering hunters a formidable tool for close-quarters engagements.

Unleashing Raw Power

Man hunting with Rifle

In the pursuit of wild hogs, where the stakes are high and the margin for error slim, cartridges renowned for their sheer stopping power reign supreme. The .30-06 Springfield, with its robust energy delivery and wide selection of bullet weights, stands as a testament to this ethos, ensuring that no hog escapes unscathed.

Embracing Innovation


As technology advances and new cartridges emerge, hunters are presented with a wealth of innovative options to explore. Among these, the 300 HAM’R stands out for its unique blend of performance and familiarity, offering hunters a compelling alternative in their quest for hog hunting excellence.

In the ever-evolving landscape of hog hunting, mastery lies not only in marksmanship but also in the thoughtful selection of equipment. By carefully considering factors such as hunting conditions, personal preferences, and ethical considerations, hunters can wield their chosen cartridge as a potent tool in their pursuit of wild hogs. As they navigate the untamed wilderness, armed with knowledge and expertise, they embark on a journey that transcends mere hunting—it becomes a quest for harmony amidst the wild.

What is the best round for hunting hogs in your experience? Leave your thoughts in the comments below. 

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