Hunting Exotic Animals in Texas

Jaimie Robinson // March 5

Many people go to Texas to hunt hogs. But for some, the idea of going to hunt exotic animals is something they frown upon. They throw out the words “trophy hunting” and “canned hunt,” meaning it was easy. You just go, kill for the joy of it, and then go home with your grip and grin. I know I started out thinking that until I went.

Last year, I went hunting exotic animals in Texas – an Axis doe hunt at Winger Ranch near San Angelo, Texas. We were there for a day and a half to hunt with hopes of taking home a few hides. As we drove around the first day, looking for axis, I could not believe how thick and lush it was. It's a perfect place for them to hide.

Hunting Exotic Animals in Texas

On the first night, I fell in love with exotic hunting in Texas, despite the stigma of hunting on a high fence ranch. I suppose if you had infinite money and did not care what you shot, you could always take an animal. I was in love with the variety. I had wildebeest next to all the colors of fallow bucks, Sika, blackbuck, and an Axis buck that I stayed up thinking about.

This spring, I had the opportunity to hunt a broken horn Scimitar Oryx. After seeing one last year, I was fascinated with this majestic animal.

Hunting Exotics in Texas

Hunting Scimitar Oryx in Texas

These animals have one of the most amazing stories of how “trophy hunting” has changed the life of a species. The Scimitar Oryx have been extinct in the wild for nearly 30 years. As the exotic hunting community has increasingly valued the Oryx and other exotic animals, they have been bred increasingly in Texas. In the past few years, after breeding programs have brought their numbers in captivity to the tens of thousands, they were introduced into their natural habitat in Chad. These animals have started having calves in the wild and appear to be thriving. These animals are protected in the wild fiercely. One must go to a ranch where they have been bred, usually in Texas, specifically for hunting.

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My Oryx was the only one left on the parcel I was hunting. We searched for him for hours in the morning and the afternoon, hoping to see a spot of white. We had seen them the year before, so it seemed like a big white animal would stick out in all that green. Unfortunately for spot and stalk on that first day, luck was not on my side. He did, however, come into my blind that night. I was able to take what appeared to be a perfect shot. After waiting, we started tracking, a hard task as it was quickly getting dark and the foliage was thick.

We had to wait until the next morning to pick up the trail. The guide was able to spot him and I was within 30 yards before I could see him. This was daunting as these animals are known to be aggressive. I was able to harvest this beautiful animal and take part in hunting something that is beneficial to my family as food. But also to the continuation of this species in the wild.

As hunters, we all have our own ethics. I enjoy trying new types of hunting and exploring the world as a hunter.  While I have found things that do not fit in my personal bubble, I find that hunting exotic animals in Texas is not one of those styles. It has proven to be both challenging and exhilarating. Watching the “native” wildlife as I hunt is one of my favorite parts of the hunt. I have sat fascinated watching Cardinals, squirrels, and deer in the offseason. The ability to watch wild animals that I have only read about, seen on TV, or in a cage, is an experience that I feel should not be missed.

What is your favorite exotic animal to hunt in Texas?

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About the Author

Jaimie Robinson

Jaimie lives north of Denver, Colorado. She is the mother of two wonderful children. All her life, she has had a passion for the outdoors. She concentrates this passion on archery, hunting, and fitness. She grew up in rural western Pennsylvania, where she developed an appreciation for nature and worked on her knack for shooting guns. Spent hours just watching deer move from her back porch and explored the forest. When she moved to Colorado in 2006, she went on her first hunting trip and harvested an antelope with a rifle. In late 2006, she tried archery for the first time and fell in love. She has been active in the archery community in Colorado ever since. Archery has become Jaimie’s passion and she strives to learn everything she can about it. She does her best to share her passion for archery with everyone she meets. She has expanded her horizons to waterfowl and upland hunting, fishing, and rifle hunting. She spends as much time in the outdoors as she can. Jaimie is passionate about making the sport better for women and helping others become better hunters.