King Ranch has a long history of wildlife management and the leasing of ranch acreage for hunting and recreational use. The first King Ranch lease was on the Encino Division in 1979. Since that time, leasing property has become a major part of King Ranch’s South Texas operations.
King Ranch leases just over a half a million acres to corporate businesses and private individuals for a variety of outdoor recreational uses. This is an exclusive opportunity which allows them to enjoy the expansive ranges and hunting on King Ranch. These select lessees are granted year-round access to the property to enjoy a variety of outdoor recreational activities.
The average lease size is over 22,000 acres, although they vary in size. The leases don’t turn over frequently, given the average lessee on King Ranch has held a lease for over 15 years. Each lease is required to have a ranch approved wildlife biologist, either on-staff or on a retainer, to help manage and steward the wildlife resource. This qualified biologist also assists King Ranch’s wildlife department in data collection and in professionally managing the wildlife and the harvest on each lease. This program, as administered by King Ranch, has become the benchmark for leasing programs as well as the management of all game species and native flora and fauna in South Texas.
This density-based, sustainable-harvest approach as well as conservative grazing practices have been incorporated into everyday ranching operations, improving the quality of both livestock and wildlife operations. Additionally, at any one time there may be as many as 30 MS, PhD, or post-doctoral level research projects being conducted (in conjunction with the Caesar Kleberg Wildlife Institute, Texas Parks & Wildlife, and other entities) on a variety of game and non-game wildlife species. This research benefits King Ranch, the Lessee, and society at large due to its contributions to the preservation of wildlife, native ranges, and the overall ecology of the “Last Great Habitat.”
If you’re interested in learning more about these exclusive leases or to provide us your contact information if one becomes available, please call Leslie Cortez at (361) 221-0350.