The chital or cheetal (Axis axis) spotted deer or axis deer is a deer which commonly inhabits wooded regions of Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bangladesh and India, and on the Veliki Brijuni Island in the Brijuni Archipelago of the Istrian Peninsula in Croatia. They are found in small numbers in Pakistan as well. It is the most common deer species in Indian forests. Its coat is reddish fawn, marked with white spots, and its underparts are white. Its antlers, which it sheds annually, are usually three-pronged and curve in a lyre shape and may extend to 75 cm (2.5 ft). It stands about 90 cm (3 ft) tall at the shoulder and masses about 85 kg (187 lb). Its lifespan is around 20–30 years.
Axis deer most commonly occur in herds of ten to fifty individuals, with one or two stags and a number of females and young. They are often fairly tolerant of approach by humans and vehicles, especially where they are accustomed to human disturbance. They do not occur at higher elevation forests where they are usually replaced by other species such as the Sambar deer. Axis deer eat primarily grasses and vegetation, but also eat their shed antlers as a source of nutrients.
The chital has a protracted breeding season due in part to the tropical climate, and births can occur throughout the year. For this reason, males do not have their antler cycles in synchrony and there are some fertile females at all times of the year. Males sporting hard antlers are dominant over those in velvet or those without antlers, irrespective of their size and other factors.
Chital Deer In Australia:
Maryvale Station.The most successful liberation of the species was near Charters Towers in northern Queensland, where William Hann released two pairs in 1886.
Today this herd represents the largest population of Chital deer in Australia. The majority live on private property and landholders in the area generally regard the deer as a resource. Guided hunting is allowed on some properties, with trophy fees payable to the landholder. Chital Deer meat is very tasty. It is a great fat free meat and probably one of my favorites! Visit the cook book page for cooking Chital Deer
Bowhunters Lodge offers World Class Chital-Axis Stags near Charters Towers Queensland Australia. Bow Hunting Only!
Chital Deer AKA Axis Deer