About Us

 

The JHA Ranch lies in the heart of the South Texas Brush Country, conveniently located halfway between San Antonio and Corpus Christi, Texas. The ranch was originally a portion of the 140,000 acre ranch of George West, founder and namesake of the nearby town.

The JHA caters to hunters and nature photographers and features some the most beautiful terrain found in the Coastal Bend. The wildlife on the ranch has been intensively managed for the last 17 years allowing us to offer world-class hunting and outstanding nature photography opportunities. The ranch hosts a wide variety of flora and fauna rarely found together in Texas; comprised of incredibly productive virgin native habitat, the JHA includes a wildlife-rich creek drainage system, native bull mesquites, large Live Oak trees and a strong diversity of South Texas brush communities. The ranch also hosts a unique variety of soil types ranging from deep sand to heavy clays, resulting in a diverse ecosystem.

This ecosystem is managed to promote and protect the habitat throughout the ranch to benefit all wildlife and plant species. It is this truly unique diversity of soils, features and habitats that make the ranch an ideal location for the observation and photography of many types of flora and fauna, including over two hundred identified bird species.

 

The terrain is rolling with several higher vantage points yielding beautiful, panoramic views of the South Texas brush. The ranch is a unique mix of improved pasture for cattle and native brush providing excellent habitat for wildlife. There are several prominent draws throughout the ranch, including over four miles of Spring Creek and its tributaries.

 

Some of the many wildlife species found here include:

* White-tailed deer and Rio Grande turkey
* Bobcats and coyotes
* White-winged and Mourning doves
* Great Kiskadee, Green Jays and hundreds of other identified bird species
* Caracaras, barn owls and numerous other birds of prey
* Texas Horned lizards and many more reptiles
* Exotic African hoof stock
* Numerous duck species and other game and non-game animals
* Sandhill cranes also winter here

As stewards of the ranch, we are very focused on attaining our goals of land preservation and wildlife conservation. We carry forth this responsibility by implementing wildlife, livestock, range and game management practices to enhance the overall habitat for the betterment of all wildlife.

The JHA maintains a year round supplemental feeding program for whitetail deer and participates in the Managed Lands Deer Permit (Level III) program through the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. There are several beautiful ponds stocked with bass, bluegill and catfish and we have installed miles of buried irrigation pipe to deliver water to wildlife throughout the ranch.

We operate two distinct breeding operations. With our deer breeding we offer the best in South Texas whitetail deer genetics, while AoK Cattle Company has become a premier breeder of Exotic and American Show Cattle with numerous winners in the show ring!

Guests at the JHA stay in our lodge where each bedroom has a private bath. The Trophy room is equipped with a wide screen, high definition television and fireplace.

We offer an indoor pool for cooling off when the weather is warm and an outdoor fire pit to enjoy during the cool South Texas evenings. There is wireless Internet throughout the compound. Meals are served in the Main House with snacks available throughout the day.

 

Please enjoy browsing the website for information on the many activities available at the JHA and contact us to discuss availability or to schedule a visit!

 

History of George West (the town and the person)

George Washington West WEST, GEORGE WASHINGTON (18511926). George West, cattleman and trail driver, eldest of three sons of Washington and Mary B. (Willauer) West, was born at Shannonville, Tennessee, on March 10, 1851. In 1854 Washington West moved his family to Lavaca County, Texas, and their home became an important stagecoach stop, which developed into the community of Sweet Home. George was one of the first to drive longhorn cattle to the Kansas railheads in 186768, and he continued driving until the trails closed. In 1870 he contracted with the government to deliver 14,000 longhorns to the Rosebud Indian Reservation in Montana. Although he was the youngest man with the herd, he was the trail boss, and this drive, from Lavaca County, Texas, to the destination, just 100 miles south of the Canadian border, probably qualifies as the longest trail drive on record. George had two brothers, Ike and Sol, who were also trail drivers in the period 187090. George West married Katherine "Kittie" Elizabeth Searcy, a descendant of the early American colonist John Searcy on June 18, 1874. They had no children. During the 1870s West made many drives to Kansas, Nebraska, Montana, Wyoming, and the Dakotas. In 1880 he and his wife moved to Live Oak County and purchased a 140,000-acre ranch and 26,000 cattle.

This ranch included the site of the present town of George West, which he founded in 1913, and extended from the Nueces River on the north and east to McMullen County on the west. He had 80,000 cattle in 1882, when he lost so many in the drought that he had to sell off half of his ranch. J. Frank Dobie, another Live Oak County son, records that cowboys employed by West were instructed to chop off the left horn of every dead steer and bring it to a pile at the ranch headquarters. After the height of the pile exceeded that of the gatepost and was estimated at between 3,000 and 20,000 dead animals, they quit. About the turn of the century West sold 60,000 acres to Charles Simmons, of St. Louis, Missouri, who subdivided it, held a lottery for lots, and established the town of Simmons, Texas, in 1907. About 1910 West also turned his efforts toward colonization and town development by donating $100,000 and a free right-of-way through his ranch to the San Antonio, Uvalde and Gulf Railroad (called the "Sausage Line"), and the railroad became a reality in 1912. He also established the town named in his honor in the succeeding years and built a $75,000 courthouse in order to remove the county seat from Oakville, a $50,000 school, highways, bridges, public utilities, and a hotel across from the railroad depot. He moved to a permanent residence in San Antonio in 1904 and attended the Baptist Church there. He died in San Antonio on February 16, 1926.

Citation:
Kurt House, "WEST, GEORGE WASHINGTON," Handbook of Texas Online (http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/fwe62), accessed May 30, 2012. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.


Contact Us:  Brett Anderson - JHA Ranch  | Call (210) 260-9064  | brett@jharanch.net

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