"The Joy Ranch is a 5,000-acre, free-range property located in Schleicher County just a few miles from the town of Eldorado. I hunted this ranch in the 80s, when corn was the only supplemental nourishment the deer herd received. Back then, the ranch produced some big bucks, including a monster 10-pointer that grossed just over 170 B & C. While hunting the ranch during that era, I personally saw several harvested bucks that scored in the 140s.
"Since then, owner Kerry Joy has put his ranch on an intensive game management program, including the use of multiple feeders that provide the deer with just over a ton of 20 percent protein feed each week. To make sure it was deer consuming all that feed, Joy set up trail cameras at several of the feeders and captured on film numerous groups of 130- to 150-class bucks eating regularly at each station.
"In addition to the protein feed, the deer enjoy plenty of good browse here. The range on the Joy Ranch is in excellent condition this season, thanks to timely rainfall this the spring and summer. With all the food and moisture available to the deer, hunters on the Joy Ranch won't have a problem getting an opportunity at a quality buck. The only problem they will have is deciding which buck to shoot.
"Joy offers both rifle and bow hunts. Rifle hunters hunt from enclosed blinds, while bowhunters use portable ground blinds. Clients hunt on their own without a guide but are driven to and from the stands and blinds. Joy suggests bowhunters should be proficient out to 25 yards, but closer shots are usually the norm. Most rifle shots are 50 to 150 yards, and any flat-shooting rifle capable of one-inch groups at 100 yards will work nicely.
"Accommodations on this hunt are in a nice lodge on........(continued)