SOMBRERITO RANCH HISTORY
AND MANAGEMENT PLANS
Our family, owners of the Carter's Country Outdoor Stores in Houston,
Pasadena and Spring, Texas purchased 4000 acres of the Sombrerito Ranch in
1978 which was a part of a 12,000 acre Spanish Land Grant until the 20th
Century when it was purchased by some folks from out-of-state for it's
beauty and Quail Hunting...Sometime around 1970, Brown Oil Tools Company
purchased the property to raise cattle and for a company deer lease.
They also hired notable Wildlife Biologist, Murphy Ray, to implement a
state-of-the-art Whitetail Management Program. Several great bucks
were harvested including a 228 Gross B&C non-typical buck taken by a
Brown Oil Tools guest, Travis Kelly, of Eagle Pass, Texas.
Soon after we purchased the Eastern 4000 acres, 2000 acres more became
available and we added two more thousand acres to the Sombrerito. A
custom supplemental feeding program was implemented in 1980. The
results were amazing. Combined with fully mature whitetails, the
supplemental program produced high scoring B&C bucks on a regular
The Western 4500 acre portion of the ranch was incorporated into the Sombrerito Ranch in 1984, putting the Old Spanish Land Grant back together
A guided hunt program was underway by 1982...One of the first guides
was Jerry Tkac of Texas City. Jerry still guides at the ranch and
some of the very first hunters still return to hunt and photograph the big
bucks of the Sombrerito Ranch today.
The Sombrerito became an ideal place to photograph big, high-scoring,
mature bucks and many outdoor writers and famous photographers wrote
stories and published photographs. One of their favorite subjects
was a huge non-typical buck called "Stickers", who caused quite
a stir in the 1980's. You can still see some of those photos in the
famous photographer, Mike Biggs', books and also, in Acco Feed ads in the
Texas Trophy Hunters Magazine.
Putting the Sombrerito Ranch back together
and managing those beautiful 11,000 acres has been a dream come true for
me. Walking the river break hills and lush creek bottoms is a stroll
a few thousand years back into history. I am just as excited today
by the secrets of the Brush Country as I was when I first set foot on it
over 35 years ago. As
old-time Vaquero, Tomas Reyes, told me back on my first visit to the ranch
in '78..." She's a Muy Bueno Rancho for a few cows and mucho Muy
Grandes...She needs a little rain and a good Patron to love her.
and Wildlife Management
Graduate of Texas State...12 years hunting and guiding on Carter's Country Ranches in Texas and
Colorado....Hobbies are fishing and the
Texas City, Texas Hunted Whitetail Deer for 57
years...guided on Sombrerito Ranch for 32 years...has extensive hunting
experience in Africa, Canada and Alaska, collecting several record book
trophies. Jerry says guiding for Whitetail
Deer on the Sombrerito and Apache Springs Ranches is still his favorite.
Jerry is a certified scorer for the Texas Exotic Wildlife Association, the
Texas Big Game Awards and the Boone and Crockett Club.
Is an avid hunter, which has taken him all over Texas, Colorado, and New
Mexico on hunting adventures. He started guiding hunts ten years ago and
joined Carter's Country Ranches 8 years ago at Apache Springs and Sombrerito. He shares his love of hunting with his family and friends.
During the summer months he has an offshore fishing service out of Port
LAREDO, TEXAS Lifetime resident of South
Texas...started guiding at age 16 in Cotulla, Texas...has guided on
Sombrerito and Apache Springs Ranches for the last 27 years. Scott has had a
lifelong closeness to South Texas Whitetail Deer. His father, Darwin Avant,
is the founder and former owner of the famous Los Cazadores
Deer Contest at
Cotulla, Texas. He is also a Certified Texas Big Game Awards Measurer.
SPRING, TEXAS Has hunted whitetail Deer since age
8...worked as firearms specialist for Carter's Country during his High
School and College years...Mike is a certified Texas Big Game Awards
Measurer for Texas Parks and Wildlife. He has hunted and guided on
Sombrerito and Apache Spring Ranches over for 19 years.
HUNT, TEXAS Over 35 years ranching, wildlife management and
guiding experience in West Texas and the Hill Country. As full-time
Ranch Manager at Apache Springs Ranch, "Dee" has extensive year around
knowledge of the quality Deer Management Program there.
He is also a Certified Texas Big Game Awards Measurer.
Was born and raised in rural south-central Texas. He became interested in
hunting from a young age. Max spent his college years working as a hunting
guide at Cotton Mesa Ranch while acquiring a BS degree in Agronomy from
Texas A&M University in College Station. Max has guided the past 9 years at
Cotton Mesa, and past 8 years at Sombrerito, and Apache Springs. Max spends
his off-season time farming and ranching with his family.
ESTRADA... RANCH FOREMAN/ GUIDE...
Started work on Sombrerito Ranch as a part time ag-student at age 15...
Finished school and spent the next 30+ years on the ranch learning the
secrets of the whitetail deer, improving the brush country habitat and
sharing those secrets while guiding hunters.
CAMP COOK/ GUEST SERVICES...
Lulu's Tex-Mex brand of cooking receives many accolades and happy groans at
the dinner table. The wife of Tony, Ranch Foreman, she is right at home out
in the brush as well as in the kitchen.
SPRING, TEXAS has 65 years hunting experience in Africa,
Alaska, Mountain States and Texas. He has many award-winning trophies...the
Founder and CEO of Carter's Country Outdoor Stores...Bill says "The Sombrerito gives me the challenges of being the steward of a timeless and
pristine piece of the Brush Country...Now 36 years later, I still treasure
and learn from the challenge of managing a 100% native South Texas deer
"Our Sombrerito bucks are famous for their
width, mass and high scoring clean 10-point frames. No outside
"breeder" deer have ever been brought into the Sombrerito, insuring that our
gene pool has remained pure "Golden Triangle" South Texas. In fact,
excess Sombrerito does have been utilized to stock many other ranches
spreading our famous "Big 10-Point" genes all over Texas."
"After being in the retail side of guns and
"hunting stuff" for over 50 years, hunting all over
the world ourselves, and guiding and outfitting for over 30
years, we know how important it is to...MEET OUR HUNTERS' EXPECTATIONS Our commitment to meet those expectations has many of our clients coming back year after year."
GOOD HUNTING AND GOD BLESS!
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2002 - 2014