Size of property: Approx. 25,000 acres
Rocky Creek Ranch has been under the same family’s control and ownership for 108 years this year. Until about 24 years ago it was only lightly hunted by family and friends. Since we began hunting the ranch commercially, it has been hunted only under strict game management and we’ve been able to harvest several 160-175 class whitetail bucks over the last several years. Most of the bucks harvested have been in the 120 – 160 range with the top scoring buck from the 2007/08 season grossing 183 3/8″ with over nine inches of tines broken off from fighting.
We do a helicopter survey each year and we are currently maintaining a Level 3 Managed Lands Deer Permit. This allows for a longer than normal whitetail season. Our buck to doe ratio as observed last fall was 1 buck/1.3 doe. We use these counts along with biologist’s recommendations to determine our harvest rates each year. In a normal season we have recommendations of 30 trophy bucks and 60 management and cull bucks. We also harvest a recommendation of 130 to 180 doe. Our hunters in the past have been diligent in harvesting according to these recommendations. The harvest recommendations in the past have been based on ranch management asking that we manage for trophy whitetails and not maximum sustainable numbers.
The wildlife has taken a front seat along with the livestock at Rocky Creek Ranch and we have recently installed several miles of creeks into the USDA’s continuous conservation reserve program to protect and improve wildlife habitat and riparian areas. We maintain the water in all pastures at all times. As we rotate our livestock, many pastures are left vacant for months at a time.
As for hunting facilities, we have a nice compound with two houses, barns, cleaning shed, trailer/motor home hookups, and a walk-in cooler all for use by the guests. These facilities are on a quiet, but paved farm to market road at the entrance to the ranch. The ranch is within 17 minutes of San Angelo, Texas. There are currently several commercial airline flights that service San Angelo from Dallas/Fort Worth airport each day.