Final Frontier Game Ranch

Species Information


The Axis Deer is also known as chital deer, or spotted deer, has a golden orange coat that speckled with white spots. Its antlers usually have three tines, curve, and they may extend to 2 ½” ft. The axis deer is native to wooded regions of India. It stands about 3 ft tall at the shoulder and weighs about 187 lbs. Males tend to be larger than females. Its lifespan is around 8–14 years. In 1932, axis deer were introduced to Texas and by 1988, self sustaining herds were found in 27 counties in central and southern Texas.

Axis deer are primarily grazers and feed on short, sprouting grasses. However, they will also browse as well as eat forbs, fruit and branches of trees. Bucks often stand on their hind legs to feed on tree foliage. Axis prefer to be near water.

Axis meat is delicious and is even preferred to whitetail by a number of people. Like venison from the whitetail, it is extremely lean, and is best cooked with added fats.


The blackbuck (Antilope cervicapra) is an antelope that is native to the India. Males and females have distinctive coloration. Male blackbucks are dark brown, black, and white and have long twisted horns, while females are fawn colored with no horns. A Blackbuck stands about 32 inches tall at the shoulder and weighs about 75 lbs. The horns of the blackbuck are permanent, they do not shed like animals with antlers. The horns are ringed with 1 to 4 spiral turns, rarely more than 4 turns, and can be as long as 31 inches. Blackbuck are very fast; speeds of more than 50 mph have been recorded.

Blackbuck prefer to live on open grasslands, dry thorn and scrublands. Their diet consists of mostly of grasses, although it will eat pods, flowers and fruits to supplement its diet. The maximum life span recorded is 16 years and the average is 12 years.

Blackbuck is good for eating, and their meat is considered a delicacy by many.


The Fallow Deer is a ruminant mammal belonging to the family Cervidae. This common species is native to western Eurasia, but has been introduced widely elsewhere. Adult bucks stand anywhere from 33–37 inches at shoulder height, and typically weigh 130–220 lbs. Does weigh anywhere from 66- 110 lbs. The life span of a fallow is around 12–16 years. The species has great variations in the color of their coats, with four main types.

The Common or Chestnut coat has white spots that are mostly pronounced in summer. Their tail is light with a black stripe. Most Fallow deer coats get darker in winter and loose their spots.

Menil also have spots that are more distinct then the Common in summer. They do not have any black around the rump patch or on the tail. In winter, spots still clear on a darker brown coat.

Melanistic or Black Fallows have a year round black shading. No light-colored tail patch or spots.

Leucistic (white, but not albino) are born as cream-colored fawns and as adults become pure white with dark eyes and nose. They do not have spots.

Most herds consist of the common coat variation, yet it is not rare to see animals of the Menil coat variation. The Melanistic variation is rarer and white very much rarer still.

Fallow buck have antlers that are broad and shovel-shaped (palmate) from 3 years. In the first two years the antler is a single spike. They are grazing animals and their preferred habitat is mixed woodland and open grassland. Agile and fast in case of danger, fallow deer can run up to a maximum speed of 30 mph over short distances.

The use of fallow as farmed livestock for venison is well established, going back thousands of years. Fallow meat is extremely palatable, and like most game is lower in fat and cholesterol than our traditional beef and pork.

Dybowski Sika

Sika, also called the world smallest elk, are native to Far East Asia. There are approximately 20 subspecies of Sika, with the primary differences being size & coloration. In the Texas exotic industry, you will commonly hear of 4 distinct subspecies being available, Japanese, Formosan, Manchurian and Dybowski.

The Dybowski Sika, or Northern Sika is much larger than the Japanese Sika and has more impressive antlers. It is considered the largest race in the world. Dybowski Sika stand approximately 43inches at the shoulder and weigh 250 pounds or more.  Females weigh about 60 percent as much as males. Their coats are a red chestnut color with white spots in summer; they have a distinctive patch on their rump with a bright white underside that fluffs when alarmed.  Antlers grow and extend upward and branch, typically sporting 4 points per side can range from 24 to 36 inches. Ours mostly have 4-5 points per side.

Sikas are very adaptable and feed on grasses, leaves, twigs, and tender shoots of woody plants depending on seasonal availability.  In Texas, the spring preference is for grasses, although browse may also be consumed regularly.

Sika meat is excellent, and it has fat within the muscle giving it a juicy quality in contrast to the leanest game. Even so, their cholesterol levels are much lower than beef and pork.

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Final Frontier Game Ranch
Jim Meinke
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