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 basis.

The Western 4500 acre portion of the ranch was incorporated into the Sombrerito Ranch in 1984, putting the Old Spanish Land Grant back together again.

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.

     

                   

Travis Carter
"Wildlife Manager"
....Business 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
latest technology.

 

 

 

 


 

Jerry Tkac...
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.

 

 

RUSTY TRONICEK...
SHINER, TEXAS
  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 O'Connor.

 

 

 

 

SCOTT AVANT...
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.

 

 

 

MIKE THIELE...
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.

 

 

 

 

"DEE" SMITH...
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.

 

 

 

 

Max Pohler...
YOAKUM, TEXAS
 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.

 

 

 

 

                                 

                                                

 

TONY 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. 

 

 

LULU ESTRADA...                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.

 

 

 


BILL CARTER...
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 herd."

"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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