Most authors would start off by trying to capture a reader’s interest through some type of story or mental illustration, but I am not your typical author. As a matter of fact, I am the furthest thing from an author. But I am a wildlife professional passionate for native and exotic game worldwide.
Through my business, Ahrens Ranch & Wildlife, I facilitate many Texas landowners with their native and exotic wildlife for different benefits that include propagating and investing in exotic wildlife, providing sources of revenue for ranches through commercial hunting programs, and capture/sales of surplus game. So, the reason for my article is to show all the Texas Ranch Sales readers, “The Exotic Side of Business” so that they can make their dreams of owning land in Texas, profitable.
Propagating and Investing in Exotic Game
Many years ago, the common purpose for owning land was to run livestock such as cattle, sheep, and goats. In the past 20 years, landowners have seen substantial monetary benefit of including exotic wildlife onto their ranches. Much like any investment whether you are investing in Wall Street or exotic animals, there is an initial cost of investment to get started. For example, we will say John Doe just acquired 120 acres in the Texas Hill country from Texas Ranch Sales and he wants to get into breeding Blackbuck antelope. Mr. Doe calls me, and we discuss his plans/goals for his ranch. After much discussion, we come up with a strategy to get one younger buck and five does to get his Blackbuck herd started. I then, through other ranches I work with, capture some of their surplus Blackbuck of their property, pay the landowner for the animals caught, and deliver said Blackbuck to Mr. Doe. Once the animals are delivered safely, I am paid for the animals and Mr. Doe now has his starter herd of Blackbuck (which can be claimed as AG Exempt).
Capture & Sales of Exotic Game
Now that John’s breeding herd of Blackbuck has been doing quite well for some time and grown to the point of needing to remove a few males and females to keep the herd at a comfortable number for the ranches stocking rate, he calls me once again to set up a capture. When it comes to capturing of exotic game, there are several methods that we can use, but the methods I primarily use are large catch pens, helicopter, or darting off the ground. Each method is decided upon the types of animals we are catching and catered to each ranch we are working with. Some ranches we can catch well off the ground or with a large catch pen, other ranches we have to use a helicopter to be most effective.
Once we have selected the method that best suits Mr. Doe’s ranch, we begin capturing animals. After we have caught our pre-determined desired numbers of animals, Mr. Doe receives a check from me for his animals and I haul them off to be sold to another ranch. Sometimes, landowners will take their money made from capturing some of their animals and reinvest in some different species for their ranch such as Oryx, Gemsbok, Sable, ect. With the right landowner and wildlife consultant partnership, owning, breeding, and returning a profit is a much easier process and is much more enjoyable.
Revenue Through Commercial Hunting
Switching gears from propagating, capturing, and selling exotic investments, we look at another aspect of “The Exotic Side of Business”. Through my company, we offer many packaged hunts on ranches all throughout Texas from free ranging Aoudad in the mountains of Marfa, Pronghorn and Mule deer hunts north of Amarillo, 40 different species of exotic hunting in the Texas hill country, and Whitetail hunts in the brush country of south Texas. Landowners looking to make revenue from commercial hunting a lot of times team up with someone like myself to build a long-term business partnership. This partnership is built on trust and honesty from both parties and that is essential. The landowner gets paid for their animals and facilities being used promptly, there is either myself or another company representative with our paid hunting client, and we treat the ranch with the up most respect before, during, and after our hunts.
Typically, I will sit down with a landowner and go over how many animals need to be harvested off the ranch whether it may be whitetail, Axis, Nilgai, Mule deer, or Kudu just as an example. These harvest numbers are generated based on the numbers of animals currently on the property and needing to accomplish two things, A) ethically thin the herd through certain harvest recommendations, and B) retain a revenue from Ahrens Ranch & Wildlife for commercial hunts with paid clients. Once we have a set quota for the year, prices have been agreed upon, and a contract has been signed, the rest of the work falls on me to book hunters, run hunts, and communicate with the landowner regularly.
There is a lot of detail I have missed in this article, but it gives you an idea about the possibilities with your current or future ranch. With all that said, give Texas Ranch Sales a call to buy your dream ranch, then give me a shout at Ahrens Ranch & Wildlife so together we can turn your dream profitable through “The Exotic Side of Business”.