How is the ranch managed
Halff Brothers Ranch is a 19,600 acre ranch that has been hunted
by the family or by lease hunters under a strict management program
since 1980. In 1999 we began doing all of our outfitting with full-time
ranch personnel with the goal of continuing to increase the quality
of our herd.
How do you hunt the Ranch?
We hunt the Ranch in many different ways. A lot depends on what
the deer are doing. We have permanent blinds near feeders, and
we have ground blinds and tripods to go after deer that are not
coming to feeders. We also have tree and ladder stands for bow
hunters, and from time to time we build a brush blind or use Double
Bull blinds to get a chance at a particularly sly buck. We also
rattle and stalk. Basically we have so many different varieties
of terrain that we can always find the what it takes to create
a memorable outdoor experience.
What kind of deer herd
do you have?
We feel we have a top quality deer herd here on the Ranch. A few
years back we had an independent biologist tell us that our Ranch
ranked in the 98th percentile of ranches in South Texas for quality
and quantity of deer. The Frio Trio were taken from the Halff
Ranch. The majority of our bucks taken with a bow will be P&Y
class. We have an abundance of eight and ten point 140" to
155" bucks on the Ranch. We also have 180" and 190"
class animals although they are very difficult to take. Our goal
is to increase this number by lowering the hunting pressures that
force these large deer to go nocturnal. We implemented a protein
feeding program on the ranch in the winter of 1998 for our deer
herd. This should add mass and inches to all of our bucks.
What are the chances
of harvesting a Whitetail deer?
Although some sportsmen come just for the chance to shoot a trophy
buck, many of the hunters on the ranch come for the outdoor experience.
We have an abundance of game, deer, hogs, turkeys, coyotes, bobcats,
quail, and doves. Spending time in the woods, seeing the many
animals is an exhilirating experience.We figure a 65% success
rate for bow hunters and an 85% success rate for Rifle hunters.
When is the best time
The most exciting time to hunt in South Texas is frequently during
the month of December. Typically that is when our bucks rut. We
have had November ruts and secondary January ruts also. At this
time rattling is most productive and the bigger bucks are chasing
does, allowing for an easier shot. However the rut also makes
the deer much more unpredictable. Their hormones dictate their
actions. They may be less wary, but they may also deviate from
their established patterns. It is a challenge. October bow hunting
can go either way and it changes week to week. It all depends
on rainfall, and temperature. Moon phase is also an important
factor to look at, however we have taken some good bucks even
with a full moon.
What about processing
The ranch can recommend excellent taxidermists in the San Antonio
area. If you plan to depart on a commercial airline with your
game, check with your airline to determine the rules for checking
ice chests as luggage. Since 9/11 many of the rules have changed.
If you choose not to take your game limit with you we will distribute
it to local charities, friends or other groups who will benefit.
We do not condone, nor do we allow, harvesting of animals without
the intention of eating or mounting the animals.
What kind of accommodations
do you have?
We have built a lodging quarters on the Ranch that will accommodate
14 hunters comfortably. The Lodge has four private entrance bedrooms
with bath and then a larger room that will sleep up to seven comfortably
with its own bath. Each private room will sleep two individuals
in twin beds. The rooms are modest, they open to a covered deck
overlooking a stocked bass tank. We have a separate building for
meals and lounging located adjacent to the quarters.
What would be appropriate
Texas has a wide range of temperature variability during the winter
months. Beginning in November and into March be prepared for cold
weather particularly during the evenings, nights and early mornings.
Warm clothes and thermals are essential. A medium insulated or
down jacket is appropriate. Include warm socks, gloves and a scarf.
Otherwise regular camouflage hunting clothes, hiking boots with
ankle support and a hat. We have been known to have unseasonably
warm days so lighter clothing is also recommended. Casual clothes
for dinner. In Texas and on the ranch Hunter Orange is not required
during the hunt.