The Ranch History
In 1976 Robert B. Trull, the father of Barbara Kana, purchased six sections of land from Charles Schreiner III, owner of the YO Ranch. The ranch was continuously grazed with goats and cattle until the late 1980’s, when Barbara observed the damage this was causing the land and the wildlife. It wasn’t an easy battle convincing her father to relinquish the land. He believed the land should be run by “good ole boys”. He looked at the land primarily as an investment.
Barbara quickly became the seminar queen, learning all she could about land management. Some years later, Barbara was transferred management of the family’s entire holdings into her now proven capable hands. Barbara’s philosophy of land ownership reflects her respect for Native American populations who believed that the land did not belong to man, but rather, man belonged to the land. "For some reason, this piece of property has been entrusted to me, and it's my responsibility to take care of it," she says. The emotional bond Kana feels with the land is shared with her two adult daughters, Ashley and Kelcie, who now help run the ranch.
The ranch is located in South Central Texas in what is known as the Hill Country. (Edwards Plateau) We are located on Highway 83, 100 miles west of San Antonio and 45 miles northwest of Kerrville. While some of the Hill Country is very hilly with steep canyons, our ranch is located on the divide between the Hill Country and West Texas, so the terrain tends to be level to rolling. In rainy, spring seasons, the famous Texas Wildflowers adorn our hunting pastures, so don’t forget your camera.
All of our whitetail, exotic deer and sheep are free roaming animals. These animals were born and raised in the wild. Since our ranch encompasses 10,500 acres, under game fence, our deer have the ability to establish territories as well as travel long distances. In other words, this hunt is in the true sense of the word, “fair chase.”
Since 1989, the ranch has implemented every tool available in order to enhance our whitetail deer habitat. Since domestic goats and sheep directly and heavily compete with whitetail for available forage, we discontinued grazing anything but the cow over two decades ago. The cow can actually enhance deer forbs if grazed and rotated correctly. Besides a light rotational grazing program, the ranch mechanically removes many acres of cedar each year and uses prescribed fire to keep cedar from encroaching, crowding out valuable deer habitat. Finally, though every hunter likes to see plenty of deer on the range, too large a deer herd is actually counterproductive to a whitetail buck reaching his best antler potential. Each Fall during the months of August and September, we conduct a driving spotlight census to ascertain both total whitetail numbers and sex ratio. After our wildlife biologist formulates a management plan, we use our annual deer harvest to both remove genetically inferior bucks and numbers of doe and spike antlered deer. In addition, approximately 20% of our mature buck herd is harvested each season. We are careful to remove only 6-8 year old bucks so that plenty of mature bucks are available to our hunters year after year. Our average whitetail deer density is a deer to every 7-10 acres, which varies from pasture to pasture. Our sex ratio is kept very close to 1 buck per doe.
Our ranch has a variety of exotic species includes, Axis Deer, Blackbuck Antelope , Aoudad , Sika, Fallow Deer, Mouflon Sheep, Scimitar Horned Oryx, Rocky Mountain Elk. Because each exotic species behaves differently in the wild, we offer a number of hunting methods for the exotic. Depending on weather and habitat conditions at the time of your hunt, you may be hunting from a “blind”. The second style of hunting is “safari”. Exotics sometimes run in herds, and with much territory to cover, vehicles are often used to locate the animals. The third style of hunt is “spot and stalk.” Once the herd is located, your guide may advise a short hike in order to successfully harvest your trophy. He or she may incorporate any combination of these hunting styles, always keeping your success and safety in mind. The only hunting method used during whitetail season is the “blind.” The ranch maintains over 40 blinds and automatic feeders. They are ample size, clean, and most are insulated. We don’t “safari” or “stalk” for whitetail or exotic animals during the months of Nov, Dec & Jan.
All of our hunting guides have years of hunting experience in Texas and know the ranch very well. In advance of your scheduled hunting date, the guides scout areas in order to locate the animal/animals you have booked. We strive to give you the best opportunity to harvest an animal. However, we must stress that we cannot control Mother Nature or any other conditions that might impede your success. The West Kerr Ranch offers you superb deer habitat, an adequate population of exotic and whitetail species to hunt, a knowledgeable guide, and the opportunity to harvest a trophy animal.
Exotics can be hunted year around. They have no specific season as specified by the State of Texas. However, certain species are better suited to be hunted in certain months of the year. Our booking agent will suggest the optimum time to hunt each type of exotic.
Once again, we appreciate you interest in our operation. The past two decades have been dedicated to developing and supporting one of the largest continuous hunting spreads left in the state of Texas. We do it for the love of the hunt and the love of the land. Please consider joining us on your next hunt.
Call for reservation (830) 329-5171