This classic Texas Cross Timbers hunting and agricultural ranch overlooks approximately 2.5 miles of the Colorado River between Brownwood and Brady. There ranch is improved with a 7,000 square foot main lodge and several smaller homes. In addition to the river, the ranch has over 40 lakes and ponds. It is very difficult to find a ranch that offers as much high quality deer, duck, quail, dove, turkey and fishing opportunity in one package; plus agricultural income potential, beautiful accommodations and the majority of the mineral estate with total surface control.
Location: The ranch is located near Winchell, TX on the north side of the Colorado River between Brownwood and Brady just a few miles off of Hwy. 377. The ranch is less than 3 hours from Dallas, and 2.5 hours from Austin and San Antonio.
Habitat: The Winchell River Ranch is at the conjunction of the Cross Timbers and the Edwards Plateau regions of Texas. The property is dominated by a mix of live oak stands and expansive grasslands with cedar breaks running along the high country topography coming up from the river bottoms.
Approximately 1,200 acres of the ranch are in the river valley between the escarpment to the highlands and the river. This area is dominated by oaks, junipers and elms with some pecans and hackberries along the three drainages that extend through the ranch to the river. About half of the river frontage has a cliff making for fantastic views of the river and the bottomland, with the other half sloping down the river to offer easy access and several good grassland/food plot/dove field opportunities. Plenty of good soils with mixes of improved grasses and native prairies run through this portion of the ranch.
An escarpment runs above the river valley along the length of the ranch for about five miles. This area is dominated by cedar breaks with rolling native grasses in areas that flatten out between the uplifts. This area offers terrific views and creates a great strip of heavy brush to offer cover for the wildlife inhabiting the ranch.
The remainder of the ranch is the highlands above the escarpment that is rolling lands with mixed heavy oak forests and open to semi-open grasslands. Multiple small drainages run through this region making for a great mix of habitats.
The high fencing on the ranch separates the ranch into two high fenced pastures and one small low fence “pasture” along the river. The two high fenced pastures will allow a new owner to pursue different management strategies in the different pastures (e.g. more intensive white-tailed deer program, exotics, etc). The northern high fenced pasture is approximately 1,100 acres. The southern high fenced pasture pasture is about 3,400 acres. The remainder low fence portion of the ranch runs alongside the river and is about 55 acres.
Throughout the ranch there are outcroppings of both sandstone and limestone creating some beautiful sites and areas.
Wildlife: The white-tailed deer on the property are abundant. The ranch has been managed to allow for deer with desirable traits to reach maturity and they regularly take deer over the 160 class. Improved genetics were introduced about twenty years ago and the ranch has been managed to continue to produce trophy animals over the years since. The ranch is under the MLD program with Texas Parks and Wildlife and surveys show the population to be approximately one per 10 acres with a ratio of 1 buck to 1.5 does. There are 10 protein feeders that are maintained with protein from February through August when the feeding is switched to corn for hunting season.
Quail hunting on the ranch is good, with much of the property excellent for running bird dogs among mixed oaks and grasslands. The birds have had a great rebound since the drought and their future on the ranch looks fantastic.
This region is known for having excellent dove hunting and the ranch has several large pastures growing native sunflowers to establish great field hunting opportunities. The multiple ponds and lakes on the ranch are also mowed along the banks to offer great tank shooting as well.
Turkey hunting is very good with plenty of mature hardwoods to provide roosts. The birds are abundant along the river bottom particularly.
Many of the lakes and ponds are stocked with bass, bluegill, catfish and crappie and offer unlimited fishing opportunities all over the ranch. Fishing in the Colorado River is also very good.
There are also several herds of blackbuck on the ranch to offer some exotic hunting.
Agriculture: The ranch is currently a cow/calf operation with a normal herd of around 115 mother cows and 5 bulls. The ranch is cross-fenced into multiple pastures for easy rotation. It is apparent on the ranch that there is no overgrazing as the grasses are all in terrific condition and several of the improved fields are annually sprayed and fertilized for grazing or hay production.
Improvements: The main house was built in 2006 and is a two-story lodge with over 7,000 square feet of living space. Downstairs there are four bedrooms and a large game room, while upstairs is the master bedroom and a huge den with large modern kitchen. A large fireplace dominates the upstairs . The second floor also has a wrap around screen porch with fabulous views of the surrounding country and the nearby main lake. There is also a large multiple car garage with mudroom in the main home compound and the entire area is fenced with nice oaks and maintained lawns. The exterior is limestone with a metal roof.
The second home was built in 1987 and is a small two story wood house that sits on the bluff over the river with unbelievable views of the valley and river below. This home is just under 2,000 square feet and includes an upstairs and downstairs porch/deck to enjoy the outdoors plus a small two car garage. The home has 4 bedrooms and 2 baths.
The older “hunters cabin” is a fantastic little cabin that has three bedrooms with great den and kitchen. It is located away from the other homes and has a rifle range adjacent to it.
There is a 3,000 square foot barn for equipment storage which includes a tractor with shredder, maintainer for the roads, and new seed drill. There are also two excellent sets of pipe cattle pens, one found on the south side of the ranch and one on the north side.
Roads on the ranch are in excellent shape and are primarily made with caliche which is found on the property. There are three entrances to the ranch off of gravel county roads, two for the south pasture with improvements and one on the north pasture. Fences are all well maintained and many of the gates are bump gates to avoid having to stop and open them.
Water: The Winchell River Ranch is certainly one of the best watered ranches to be found in this region. There are over 40 ponds and lakes scattered throughout the ranch, most of which have been stocked with fish. The largest lake, located by the main house, is over 7 acres and is spring fed. There are multiple other 1 to 2 acre lakes in addition to the many smaller ponds.
While historically there have been multiple water wells utilized on the ranch, currently they are hooked into two county water meters which are piped throughout the property.
The Colorado River has multiple deep holes for fishing and recreational enjoyment.
Electricity: Electric lines are found throughout the entire property.
Minerals: 100% of the Executive Rights convey with the ranch and between 75% and 100% of the entire Mineral Estate. Historically there has been production on the ranch; however, at this time, there is no current lease and all existing wells have been plugged or are currently shut-in..
History: The family that owns the ranch purchased the property over 35 years ago and the ranch was high fenced shortly after that. The owners put in numerous new roads, built scores of lakes and ponds and established multiple fenced pastures and food plots over time.