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Y.O. Ranch - Hunting Guide and Fishing Guide Reviews
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Y.O. Ranch
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Description: Y.O. Ranch: Celebrating 125 Years of Ranching in Texas


MOUNTAIN HOME, TEXAS - For 125 years, the Y.O. Ranch near Mountain Home has been part of the legend and lore of Texas. And it all started with one man and one dream.


In 1852, Charles Schreiner arrived in Texas with his family who emigrated from Alsace-Lorraine. Because of his father's untimely death, Charles had to grow up quickly and by the time he was 16, he was patrolling the frontier with the Texas Rangers. His travels took him into the heart of the Texas Hill Country, which impressed the young man with its beauty and untapped potential.


There in the rolling hills and rugged canyons, Charles knew he had found a home, but it would be many years before he could claim it. First, there was a failed attempt at retailing. Next, there was a stint in the Confederate Army and the lean years of Reconstruction. Then, there was his first success - a mercantile in Comfort, which was followed by a bank. These businesses provided him the means to buy cattle and land, which would become the basis of an empire. More than 300,000 head of Longhorns bearing Captain (as he was now called) Schreiner's, brand were trailed up to Dodge City, Kansas. Eventually, the Captain amassed 566,000 acres of land, including, in 1880, the 69,000 acres that would become the Y.O. Ranch.


When the Captain divided his vast holdings among his eight children, he left them more than land and cattle. He left them a passion for the natural world and a legacy of experience. In his life, Captain Schreiner learned the importance of diversification, the importance of changing to meet the needs of the time, and the importance of taking cautious risks.


These are lessons that have been passed down to each succeeding generation and still provide the framework for the legend that is the Y.O. Ranch today. While on its 125th anniversary the Y.O. Ranch is different than it was in Captain Schreiner's day, the family patriarch would surely approve. Why? Because his descendants have adapted to a changing Texas by creating a diverse array of enterprises that are directly tied to the land without losing sight of the ranch or its storied heritage.
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Longhorns
Like most of Texas' famed ranches, the Y.O. Ranch was founded on the hide and horn of Longhorn cattle. Unlike most Texas' ranches, though, Longhorns still graze on the Y.O. In the aftermath of the devastating drought of the 1950s, Charles Schreiner III recognized the value of the breed's inherent hardiness and set about to save the Longhorn from near extinction. In the process, he helped create the Texas Longhorn Breeders Association of America, raised the breed's visibility through high-profile cattle drives, established the Y.O. Ranch as one of the world's premier seedstock producers, and transformed "business-as-usual" private auctions into fun-filled social events. Today, under the guidance of Managing Partner Charles Schreiner IV, the Longhorn breeding program is being reinvigorated. In addition to providing the finest Longhorn genetics available, the cattle serve as the cornerstone for many ranch activities including the Spring and Fall Cattle Drives and the Cowboy Camp.


With more than 60 species of animals calling the Y.O. Ranch home, it's not surprising that some guests have referred to it as the "cradle of life." Thanks to the ranch's long-running conservation programs, people can see animals such as North African scimitar-horned oryx and Indian barrasingha deer that are severely threatened on their home ranges. Other species that live free-range on the 40,000-acre ranch include: black buck antelope from West Pakistan; aoudad sheep from North Africa; corsican rams from Corsica and Sardinia; sika deer from China and Japan; and axis deer from India; fallow deer, red stag and mouflon sheep from Europe; red sheep from Iran; and eland from South Africa as well as native white-tailed deer and Rio Grande wild turkey.
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Hunting
Today, hunting is as economically important to Texas ranchers as cattle work. This hasn't always been the case. In fact, the widespread practice of lease hunting - charging guests an access fee to pursue game on a private ranch - got its start on the Y.O. Faced with holding the ranch together after the untimely death of her husband, Myrtle Schreiner contemplated what the ranch could sell in addition to cattle, sheep and goats. The answer was white-tailed deer hunts and in 1943 she leased the ranch to Petty Geophysical Engineering for hunting. Since that time, the Y.O. Ranch has been a destination for those who enjoy the great outdoors. Today, the ranch offers seasonal hunting opportunities for native game and year-round opportunities for 30 species of exotic game. Hunters who come to experience the thrill of the hunt are sure to have a satisfying adventure because the game is conscientiously managed to maximize each animal's genetic potential and each excursion is conducted under the watchful eye of one of the ranch's professional guides, who cumulatively have 300 years experience.
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Tourism
Because the Y.O. Ranch is home to the mystique of the cowboys and the grandeur of Mother Nature, it has become a destination for people who want an escape from the mundane. In fact, about 40,000 people per year come through the main gate to enjoy the myriad of activities the ranch has to offer. Many are drawn to cowboy-themed events such as the Spring and Fall Trail Drives, where greenhorns work side by side with seasoned cowhands to push a herd of Longhorn steers up the trail. Others come for the renowned photography safaris or special 4x4 Y.O. Wheelin' weekend runs. Still others trek to the ranch for the famous parties, such as the Y.O. Social Club Party held annually in September or the Y.O. New Year's Eve Party, a must-attend event for anyone who enjoys a rollicking good time. Of course, everyone comes for the hospitality. Facilities include 13 private cabins; the Pavilion, an open-air site of equipped to handle special events; and the Lodge, the heart of the ranch's social scene.


Every day the ranch offers Y.O. History and Wildlife Tours that allow guests to get close enough to appreciate the creatures' magnificence and take one-of-a-kind photographs. On these tours, participants might encounter 19-foot tall giraffes, zebras, red-necked African ostriches, Australian emus, East African wildebeests, South American rheas, South African springboks, Asian water buffaloes and Texas Longhorns, just to name a few. Interestingly, the exotic wildlife got their start on the ranch when Charles Schreiner III agreed to take surplus blackbuck antelope from the San Antonio Zoo and conduct an experiment in adaptation. This experiment was one of the first times that exotic wildlife had been introduced onto Texas rangelands, and its success served as the foundation for exotic wildlife ventures on ranches across Texas. Most people don't realize that many of these rare species occur in greater numbers in Texas than in their native lands.
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Adventure Camp
In 1977, Charles Schreiner IV and his wife Mary Helen founded the Adventure Camp, as an opportunity for children to experience life on the Y.O. Ranch. Like everything else on the ranch, the Adventure Camp has changed with the times. Today, the original Adventure Camp, which focuses on a wide variety of outdoor skills ranging from rope craft to wilderness survival and shelter building, is joined by the Cowboy Camp and the Hunting Camp. As their names imply, the Cowboy Camp and the Hunting Camp are designed to enhance skills in very specific areas of interest. At the Cowboy Camp, youngsters find themselves horseback for much of their stay - roping, riding, trail driving and experiencing the day-to-day work of a cowhand. At the Hunting Camp, young hunters are immersed in a hands-on curriculum designed to improve not only their woodsmanship and shooting abilities but to increase their understanding of the natural world and the role of responsible, ethical hunting. Each year more than 2,500 youngsters from around the country come to the Y.O. Ranch to learn about nature and end up learning some very important lessons about themselves as well.
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Y.O. Ranch Stores and Galleries
Every celebration needs commemoration. When the Y.O. Ranch reached the century mark in 1979, Mary Helen Schreiner and Norma Schreiner opened the Y.O. Ranch Store to provide their guests with a vast selection of fine, limited-edition centennial items such as spurs, belt buckles and collectible Colt revolvers. The store and the merchandise reflected the founders' commitment to Texas' charm, elegance and tradition.


Today, with a store on the ranch and another in the nearby city of Kerrville, Y.O. Ranch Stores and Galleries continue to provide a ranch-inspired shopping experience for those seeking unique, high-quality jewelry, and furnishings as well as Y.O. and Texas Ranger memorabilia. Many well-known artisans and craftsmen, including Jim Morris, who creates sterling silver Y.O. jewelry; Rick Lopez, who creates hand-engraved sterling silver and 14 kt. gold Y.O. and western jewelry; Bob Pena, who creates leather pillows, leather bedspreads and leather throws; Kirk Fraiser, who creates Hill Country furniture, lamps and boxes crafted from cedar, pine and mesquite, have been commissioned to create a stunning variety of wares that allow people to take the spirit of the Y.O. Ranch home with them. The inventory also includes classic, one-of-a-kind pieces of traditional Native American jewelry.
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Y.O. Ranchlands
Not everyone is blessed enough to be born into a historic ranching family, but the Schreiners have made it possible for others to become part of the Y.O. family. In 1986, the family set aside 11,000 acres to be sold as home sites, ranging in size from 50 acres to 100 acres. The lucky residents of Y.O. Ranchlands get to enjoy all the benefits of life on the Y.O. Ranch, including exotic wildlife in their backyards, without any of the management responsibility. In addition, Y.O. Ranchlands residents are always welcome to use the headquarters - the Lodge, the cabins, chuckwagon restaurant, swimming pool, horse arena, Africana game viewing cabins and more. Strict covenants protect the landowners' investments as well as the natural beauty of the rugged Hill Country.
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Y.O. Brand Licensing LLC
The Y.O. brand is famous throughout the world, but few people know its history. The brand was first used in the 1850s by Youngs O. Coleman of the Fulton family ranching empire which operated near Rockport, Texas. Eventually the brand changed hands and a herd of cattle bearing the brand made its way to Kerrville. In 1880, Captain Schreiner purchased the cattle and the brand from James Clements and J.W. Taylor, who had moved to the Hill Country to escape the bloody Sutton-Taylor Feud. From that time forward, the distinctive Y.O. has symbolized quality and integrity.


Today, the Y.O. brand adorns fine products, services and establishments. Two of the licensees are the Y.O. Ranch Resort Hotel and Conference Center in Kerrville and the Y.O. Ranch Steakhouse in Dallas' West End. The resort offers the Y.O. experience within the city limits of Kerrville. Guests enjoy unique decor, good food and the relaxed hospitality that made the ranch famous. The Y.O. Ranch Steakhouse, established in 1996, brings a taste of the ranch to the big city by delivering innovative preparations of hearty cowboy-inspired fare. Diners at this ranch-chic locale can choose from a half dozen varieties of wild game as well as prime-aged beef and seafood.


For those interested in adding the cachet of the Y.O. brand to their high-quality products, licensing opportunities are still available.


Y.O Ranch -1736 Y.O Ranch Road
Mountain Home, Texas 78058


Phone: 830-640-3222, 1-800-967-2624
Fax: 830-640-3227


Email: eric@yoranch.com


Web: http://www.yoranch.com
Keywords: Mountain Home,Texas, Hunting, Wild Life



 
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