“Somewhere in South Texas.”
I can still remember those words when my dad first told me about a ranch in the brush country of the South Texas Plains he and two of his brothers had just become owners of. I’d grown up outside Houston in the small town of Humble, spent a good amount time with my parents on summer vacations in and around Austin, Kerrville, and the Texas Hill Country, but when my dad mentioned this ranch was “near the historic town of Cotulla,” my next words were “where is that?” “Somewhere in South Texas,” my dad said before pulling out a map and showing me.
I was in high school at the time and soon after I was off to college and entered the military where I’d serve over the next three decades. A good bit of those years were spent overseas, much in Florida or at least east of the Mississippi, very little back home in Texas. Little did I know when I left home for college, I’d never set foot on what is now TheRanch@Camp Ka Hui ‘Ana until after I’d retired from service and my father had passed. We never had a chance to walk these grounds together. I miss that.
While I was seeing the world, my dad and I remained close. He’d sometimes bring up the ranch and talk about some of the things one of his younger brothers was doing to help support the native wildlife and especially the white-tailed deer that knew it as home. My uncle “lived” for hunting and watched over the entire property with a careful eye.
My dad never once came to this place “somewhere in South Texas” to see what he’d taken responsibility for, walk the grounds, or smell the air. I do remember he never answered my question about why he’d never gone. Shortly before he passed, we briefly talked about it and all I remember him saying was, “it will be yours soon, go there, see what you see, it’s up to you what happens after that.”
My first trip to TheRanch was in January of 2013…I was hooked from the second I opened the first gate. It was my first time to drive South of San Antonino on Interstate 35 and as I drove through miles and miles of brush country, I was certainly wondering what I would find.
TheRanch is an extraordinary place. While it’s not the most beautiful I’ve seen, there is something about the mixture of brush, open fields, variety of wildlife, and a sense of spiritual peace that make it singularly unique to anywhere I’ve been throughout my travels. Not long after my first visit, we began to find artifacts from others that had walked this part of the earth, hunted here, and maybe even lived here. The items we’ve found date anywhere from a few hundred years ago to as far back as near 15,000 years ago. It’s hard to imagine that people have walked these lands over time for thousands of years. Perhaps they too stared at the horizon to watch one of the spectacular glowing orange sunsets we so frequently have. Perhaps they too sensed there was something very unique about this place. I knew we had to share it with other people. Others needed to feel what I felt when I first stepped foot here and what others had likely felt for thousands of years. TheRanch@Camp Ka Hui ‘Ana is our way to do that.
When we started to look at sharing our experience with others, it didn’t take us long to realize one of the best ways was to offer select, exclusive opportunities to hunt white-tailed deer.
TheRanch is located south of San Antonio and is in what many deer hunters and wildlife experts call “the Golden Triangle,” an area known for the size and quality of trophy-class white-tailed deer. We immediately began to assess the native herd, the habitat, local environment, and any threats like coyotes and bobcats to the wildlife l
iving here and developed a plan to both support that wildlife…and especially the white-tailed deer…and prepare it for others to share in.
Over the course of the last seven years, we’ve grown the quality of the white-tailed deer herd under the direction of Warren Bluntzer, a noted wildlife biologist here in Texas; installed a vast network of underground water lines and above ground water troughs; placed both protein and corn feeders throughout the property; set up new, enclosed hunting blinds at key locations; and added other infrastructure to support our overall operations.
TheRanch is ready!
Your trophy white-tailed deer is waiting for you!
Welcome to TheRanch!