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
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
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.
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
|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
* 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.
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)
WASHINGTON (1851–1926). 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 1867–68, 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 1870–90.
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.
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,
Kurt House, "WEST, GEORGE WASHINGTON," Handbook of Texas Online
May 30, 2012. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.