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Take a Lone Star Summer Safari

The arrival of summer doesn’t have to mean taking a break from hunting. Many Texas ranches offer multiple animal safaris for exotic-game animals. If you add the cost savings in airfare and taxidermy shipping, a multi-animal Texas adventure compares favorably with the Dark Continent. Texas ranches offer excellent amenities, so you can take your family on all or part of the adventure and visit some of America’s great cities and attractions while in the Lone Star State.

Everett BlackbuckHard-antlered axis deer are particularly exciting to hunt in late spring and early summer, since they have a mating season at that time. A group of friends just returned from the Canyon Ranch, where they scored 100% on free-range axis bucks and where hunter Everett Deger took a trophy blackbuck. The Canyon offers both high-fence and free-roaming options for other exotics, as do many Texas hunting operations.

A summer safari helps to bridge the time between the seasons and will build your skills for the real deal come fall. Archers in particular must keep their range judging and accuracy skills honed, and what better way than to challenge the real thing in an exciting habitat? Texas has few firearm restrictions, so you can use an AR or crossbow, whatever your choice. Finally, wild hogs are in near epidemic proportions on many ranches, so plan to include some pork barbeque in your safari bag.

Mike Stroff manages the Canyon Ranch, which can be found on the Southern Outdoor Experience website. Texas Hunt Works offers information on 300 guides and outfitters.

Joe Byers has more than 1,000 magazine articles in print and is currently a field editor with Whitetail Journal, Predator Xtreme, Whitetails Unlimited, Crossbow Revolution, and African Hunting Journal magazines. He’s spent the last three decades depicting the thrill of the chase and photographing the majesty of all things wild. Byers is a member of the Professional Outdoor Media Association and numerous other professional and conservation organizations.