PROPERTY DESCRIPTION: The historic 2,680-acre Antelope Creek Ranch provides some of the most scenic views in West Texas. This beautiful ranch is high fenced for game management purposes, and is an extremely balanced combination hunting, cattle, or family ranch. A highly managed trophy whitetail deer and quail program has created an abundance of wildlife throughout the property. Antelope Creek Ranch has outstanding Bobwhite and Blue Quail populations due to brush management and habitat preservation and may possibly be one of the top quail hunting ranches in west Texas. Formally part of the historic 200,000-acre L.B. Harris ranch, it was the route of the Butterfield Stagecoach which carried mail from St. Louis to California. There are several Calvary lookout points on the ranch which were used to protect the stage from the Comanches, who used the area for their hunting grounds. There are 13 miles of high fence, 2 lakes as well as stock tanks, 8 + miles of interior fence, multiple food plots and multiple blinds, corn feeders, and protein feeders. The current owners retained a wildlife biologist in 1995 and began a strict game management plan designed by Texas Parks and Wildlife and the Rolling Plains Quail Institute. The ranch has been awarded the State of Texas Game Management Certificate and is under the MLD Level III program, which allows for an extended deer hunting season. Antelope Creek Ranch has also received awards from Texas Parks and Wildlife and the Rolling Plains Quail Research Institute for its outstanding management practices and habitat management.
LOCATION: Antelope Creek Ranch is located at the northern edge of the Edwards Plateau near the town of Robert Lee, Texas, and is situated about 1 ½ miles from the Colorado River. The property is 76 miles Southwest of Abilene, and 30 miles North of San Angelo. The main entrance to the Ranch is about 4 miles from the center of Robert Lee. Distance to the ranch from Fort Worth is 224 miles with an estimated travel time of 3 1/2 hours.
TERRAIN: The terrain of Antelope Creek Ranch is consistent with that of the Coke County area with several exceptions that really differentiate this property from neighboring ranches. The terrain possesses some of the most beautiful topography in the area with elevation changes on the ranch from 1,640 ft up to 2,425 ft within its boundaries. The range conditions on this ranch are special with a good mixture of brush, food plots, canyons, creeks and draws. A brush management plan was established in 1997 and includes the removal of cedar, some mesquite, burns and reseeding, which has created exceptional wildlife cover and food sources throughout the property. The current owner estimates the clearing of over 2,200 acres of cedar since the plan began. They have done extensive dozer work clearing areas for planting food plots and improving the grass conditions for wildlife and livestock.
TREES, BROWSE, AND GRASSES: The tree cover is diverse with the predominate species consisting of mesquite, oak, ash and soapberry. The ranch also has fantastic grasses and browse consisting of sideoats grama, big bluestem, little bluestem, windmill grass, green spindletop, winter rye grass, catclaw, lime prickly ash, elbow brush, holly, acacia as well as others.
SOILS: The ranch sits in what is called the Central Rolling Red Plains and consist mostly of Tillman, Vernon, and Hollister soils.
WATER: Surface water on the ranch consist of two (2) manmade lakes stocked with channel catfish, and 3 stock tanks. Coke county has an average rainfall of 22 inches annually with higher amounts throughout the county. There are 3 wells on the ranch and 6 miles of underground water lines that will provide water for the lodge and additional water for cattle and wildlife.
WILDLIFE: The owners of the ranch retained a wildlife biologist in 1995 and the property has been under a strict game management plan designed by Texas Parks and Wildlife and the Natural Resources Conservation Service since that time. The property is rich in wildlife and is under the MLD Level III program, which allows for the most flexible seasons and bag limits. Current helicopter surveys estimate about 300 native whitetail deer, rio grande turkey, javelina, ducks, and the ranch has excellent dove hunting on the food plots and lakes. The current owners have been very strict with the management plan and only harvest 1-2 trophy bucks per year. The owners continue to focus their attention to the culling of management bucks and does in line with their management program keeping a current buck to doe ratio of 1:1.2. This management practice has allowed for the increase in trophy quality, and the reduction of bad genetics. This makes hunting on the ranch very exciting because of the quality and the number of deer that you will see while hunting on the ranch.
In addition to the native wildlife, the ranch is also home to three (3) species of exotics. Axis deer and blackbuck make for a very challenging hunting experience with their elusiveness and ghostly movement through the brush on the ranch. Excellent quality Fallow deer can be seen grazing in the food plots in the early morning and late afternoon among the whitetail deer.
QUAIL: The ranch has one of the largest Bobwhite and Blue Quail populations per acre in Coke County. In 2002 the owners of the ranch formed a relationship with the Rolling Plains Quail Research Institute to place an additional focus to sustaining and growing the excellent quail numbers that were on the ranch. This quail management plan includes the development of adequate year-round food supplies and water, along with reasonable protection from the hazards to the bird’s kind of living. As a result, this continued management plan that includes grubbing and seeding, the ranch has reestablished native grasses, food sources and brush shelters that create cover for the birds. The ranch has hosted Dale Rollins Quail Appreciation Day and has 20 quail call stations that have been used for research by his students.