The Crown X Ranch is a 37,000-acre property in the Chinati Mountain Range 34 miles south of Marfa, Texas. It is owned by a wealthy German named Howard Schwerdtfeger, who, enamored with the American West, began putting the Crown X Ranch together some 28 years ago. In 1997 Schwerdtfeger started collecting exotic animals. He game-fenced about 7,000 acres, including one 6,000-acre pasture and numerous smaller enclosures for breeding pens. He currently has 30 species of mostly African game on hand, including kudu, gemsbok, sable, eland, waterbuck, nyala, addax and even Cape buffalo.
The Crown X currently has three Cape buffalo bulls, and Schwerdtfeger is shopping for cows and more bulls. He plans to offer fair-chase hunts for all this game, including the Cape buffalo. In fact, he is currently enclosing three sides of his 37,000 acres with game-proof fence. The fourth side is the mountain range, which creates a natural barrier that will keep most of the animals from leaving the Crown X. Mountain species like aoudad and ibex will come and go at will. The elevations on the Crown X range from 4,200 feet to 7,700 feet.
What I'm trying to create is an environment similar to a vary large South African hunting ranch, Schwerdtfeger told me. `The animals will be free-ranging, self-sustaining herds that interact with one another. We have at least 1,000 animals now, and they are reproducing well.'
That is basically what sets the Crown X apart from other Texas exotic operations I have visited. The animals to be hunted on the Crown X are going to be animals that were born and raised on the property, and most of the hunts will be for free-ranging animals on 30,000 acres unbroken by additional game fences. Many Texas........(continued)