The Ox Ranch (oxhuntingranch.com) is literally indescribable, but this old Michiganiac guitar abusing bowhunter will do my best to describe it, waxing poetic the breathtaking vision of Brent Oxley and his master ranch manager Tony Harden where the rolling Hill Country meets South Texas .
We didn’t see hundreds of deer on the Ox Ranch, we saw thousands of deer. I’m telling you this premier south Texas habitat is proof positive that God is real, and His miraculous touch obliterates the so-called “Big Bang” theory. And my big bang ain’t no theory, it’s real!
Mountains, valleys, deserts, rockscapes, cliffs, cactus, cedars, pinyon pines, live oak forests, rivers, lakes, waterfalls, and every imaginable natural, indigenous, ultimate deer nutrition vegetation that a deer lover could hope for as far as the eyes can see make for a wildlife dreamland.
I thought I had died and gone to bowhunting heaven, and I do believe I am indeed well beyond just the thought process. I lived it.
With the clever and successful Texas Parks and Wildlife’s Managed Land Deer Permit program in place for more than twenty years, private landowners, which control more than 90 percent of the Texas land mass, determine the optimal harvest rates for our own property.
The simple science of habitat carrying capacity and whitetail deer population dynamics being well established, this private “we the people” control has the Texas deer herd healthier or more productive than ever before, and that translates into more fun deer hunting than anywhere else I can imagine.
At the Ox Ranch, as an army of dedicated workers remained busy on the construction of a huge, palatial lodge and custom cabins and chalets, Kris and I spent every morning and every afternoon in treestands and popup blinds surrounded by deer and other wildlife.
We saw herds of zebra, Oryx, wildebeest, African red lechwe, Asiatic buffalo, American bison, blackbuck antelope, axis deer, sika deer, fallow deer, Pere David deer, never ending flocks of Rio Grande turkeys, rafts of waterfowl on all the waterways, every imaginable songbird, and of course unbelievable numbers of the mighty whitetails.
Hidden up in the thick scrub covered hillsides were growing, breeding herds of African Aoudad sheep, Iranian Red sheep, African eland, kudu, waterbuck, addax, and wild hogs galore.
Tony Harden and master guide Raice Davidson gave us tours of the endless terrain, and set us up in some killer ambush locations for great hunting every day.
Having never been commercially hunted yet, the game was always in sight and rather relaxed compared to the Midwest deer I have been tortured by in Michigan all my life. Here at the Ox Ranch the deer didn’t actually give it to me, but my ultra-stealth approach did pay off with some wonderful arrows on some great mature whitetail bucks and does for upcoming killer Spirit of the Wild TV on Outdoor Channel.
I should clearly point out right here and now that nobody could possibly appreciate such a bowhunting dream like the Ox Ranch more than this old bowhunter, and quite honestly, I remained bug-eyed and totally gaga during my entire, incredible experience there.
For a guy growing up in the shadow of Fred Bear, trying to figure out how to kill maniac spooky Michigan whitetails with my yew wood longbow back in the 1950s and 60s, I thought my heart was about to slam out of my chest every minute I was on stand at this place.
Do not underestimate the increased joys, challenge, sport, meat and trophies that await dedicated deer hunters at the Ox Ranch. When the deer season wraps up where you live, I would encourage you to join the many deer hunting families from around the country that extend their deer hunting fun and excitement in Texas.
There are many opportunities throughout the Lone Star state that you have to experience to believe the level of enjoyment and quality of hunting that is available.
I started my own Sunrize Safaris guiding, booking and outfitting business many years ago to assist new and veteran hunters to find the best quality places to hunt, and as of this recent trip, I put the Ox Ranch right up at the top of the heap.”