LOCATION: This outstanding working/hunting ranch is located on paved RM 1024, having over 10 miles of frontage, 19 miles north of Comstock (cafes, good schools, gas, motel) in an area dominated by large working/recreational ranches. There is an additional 5 miles of frontage on Blue Hills Road, a county road that accesses the Pecos River ranches to the west.
This is big country, with distant views of the Sierra Madre Oriental Mountains of northern Mexico, and very little traffic on the narrow highway. Large ranches with Conservation Easements restricting use/development are located to the east, across the highway, and this site is located precisely where the Edwards Plateau gives way to the Chihuahuan Desert, where the juniper gives way to the sage.
Del Rio (box stores, hospital, services, supplies, airport, border crossings) is about 50 miles SE, while Ozona (supplies, services, I-10) is about 50 miles north. Lake Amistad, a world class fishing and recreational lake, is a 30 minute drive, and border crossings into Mexico are found in Del Rio. For more info on Del Rio and Val Verde County, go to http://cityofdelrio.com and www.valverdecounty.texas.gov.
San Antonio, the nation’s seventh largest city, lies 170 miles east, while Austin, the State Capitol, is 250 miles east. Dallas and Houston are each about six hours drive from the ranch.
PROPERTY ADDRESS: 19289 FM 1024, 23129 FM 1024
ECOREGION: The Edwards Plateau region comprises an area of central Texas commonly known as the Texas Hill Country. It is a land of many springs, stony hills, and steep canyons. The region is home to a whole host of rare plants and animals found nowhere else on earth. Average annual rainfall ranges from 15 to 34 inches. Rainfall is highest in May or June and September. Soils of the Edwards Plateau are usually shallow with a variety of surface textures. They are underlain by limestone. Elevations range from slightly less than 100 feet to over 3,000 feet above sea level. Several river systems dissect the surface, creating a rough and well-drained landscape. The limestone of the Edward's Plateau is honeycombed with thousands of caves. Beneath the eastern edge of the Plateau lies a hidden world of underground lakes known as the Edwards Aquifer. This precious water resource also is home to a number of curious creatures, such as the blind salamander. Today, the Edwards Plateau is characterized by grasslands, juniper/oak woodlands, and plateau live oak or mesquite savannah. Open grasslands and savannahs were more common in pre-settlement times than they are today. Ranching is the primary agricultural industry in the region. For more information, visit the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department (TPWD) at www.tpwd.texas.gov.
WATER: One of the most impressive attributes of this fine ranch is its water system, featuring 15 wells tied together with backup everywhere feeding 55 – 60 troughs. Thoughtfully designed and professionally installed, this water takes care of thousands of sheep, goats, cattle and wildlife, and is a magnet for the area. Having superior water distribution cannot be overstated in this part of the world, and this one grades out A+.
There are numerous stone header dams that hold after rains, and one large pond of several acres is presently full, and will hold water for several months. A higher volume well at the main house pumps at 50 gpm and waters a large St. Augustine lawn, and can fill the old swimming pool in 8 hours.
The water wells are generally 400 – 600 feet deep, and Val Verde does not have a Groundwater Conservation District.
LAND: This ranch has been in the same family for 117 years, and has had the same manager (owner) for the past 50 years. The hallmark of this ranch is its supremely healthy overall condition as a result of this careful style of operation. It has never been overgrazed or overhunted, which are well known attributes often seen in this area, and area wildlife has been consistently drawn to it over the decades. The result is a beautiful herd of whitetail deer, with consistent large bodies and heavy horns, with the ranch record being 167 B&C, and body weights consistently in the 135 – 170 lb. range!
The owners do not allow turkey hunting, and large populations of the big birds have established themselves in several of the deep canyons, including a flock of up to 50 that has been observed near the main house. While on a recent drive through, numerous whitetail deer, multiple covies of blue quail, several turkey and large numbers of dove were observed. This ranch has far superior wildlife compared to others in the area, and the quality is readily evident upon inspection. Hunting income is presently $125,000/year.
As stated, this is where the juniper gives way to the sage, and that happens right in the dead center of this ranch! The land rolls from NE to SW generally, with the northern portion being more gentle and undulating, with the dramatic canyon breaks being more predominant to the south. The northern brush is mostly cedar/mesquite with some hackberry, ranging in height from 4’ to 10’, and the shrubs and grasses are lush with the better soils, providing excellent cover and food for wildlife and birds.
The canyons start getting deeper about 1/3 of the way down from N to S, and liveoak trees begin to appear. By the time the canyons exit to the S, there are undoubtedly thousands of liveoaks contained within the perimeter of this beautiful ranch, including some up to several hundred years old. The southern canyons are dazzling in their scope and beauty, and feature scenic, colorful limestone cliff walls straight out of a Star Wars movie set.
Scenery is excellent all over the ranch, with multiple spectacular homesites having distant views of faraway lands and up close views of the famed Blue Hills just to the north. Hardwoods on this ranch are liveoak, shinoak, mesquite, cedar, hackberry and walnut, while primary shrubs are agarita, persimmon, ceniza, mountain laurel, catclaw, prickly pear, ocotillo, whitebrush and sotol.
The ranch has historically operated as a combo sheep/goat/cattle operation, running one sheep/goat per 6 acres, and one cow unit per 60 acres. The condition of the range is presently excellent, and good spring rains this year will carry it into the summer nicely.
IMPROVEMENTS: Mayfield Ranch is well improved, with two separate HQ’s, and lots of ranch infrastructure in good shape. The classic stucco main house was built in the 1930’s and has been remodeled, and contains about 2,500 sf with 4BR/2BA, and rests in an exquisite valley setting amongst monster pecans and oaks. It has a beautiful front porch overlooking the irrigated lawn and swimming pool, backed by limestone cliffs, a truly magnificent site.
Also at this location are 5 small but livable cabins, several sheds, extensive pipe pen system and a 50’ x 60’ 5 bay implement barn that will hold large livestock trailers or RV’s. Condition of most of these items ranges from poor to good, but on the overall, above average.
Another HQ’s features a very interesting old half round stone house of about 2,000 sf, with 3BR/2BA, that would be an excellent candidate for restoration. . . highly unusual and intriguing, but in poor condition. Behind it is a stone guest house of 2BR/1BA and a rock carport. Working pens at this location are extensive, in good condition, and include working scales and elevated loading chutes, and several sheds.
Ranch improvements are solid and mostly in good shape, and include 21 pastures, each with at least two water troughs, and an extensive interior ranch road system that provides excellent access all over this vast, rough country. Fences and cross fences range from poor to new condition.
There is electricity well-distributed across the ranch, and a 3 phase line crosses the entire ranch from south to north, and is accessible to this ranch.
SUMMARY: This is, without a doubt, a ranch that can be considered in superior condition, both improvement and range-wise, and does not need any sort of major makeover. The habitat is excellent, and wildlife populations are thriving, while the SW desert scenery is unmatched, especially with large liveoak trees in the draws. The long highway frontage allows fast access to many areas along with subdivision possibilities, and the price is the lowest for liveoak land within 3 hours of San Antonio. Plan on a full day for a thorough tour, and we welcome qualified broker previews.
FINANCIAL/TITLE: Listing price is $455/acre = $12,128,480, and Sellers will provide basic title insurance and boundary survey. Some State Classified minerals are included with the sale, believed to be one section (640 acres). An electric transmission line crosses a small portion of the front of the ranch, and several service and distribution lines are also evident. There is an underground storage tank and dipping vat at the HQ’s that Sellers will not remediate. There are no ingress/egress easements to neighbors, hunting leases are in place thru 2017 and 90 days post-closing will be required to vacate the premises. The ranch is located in the Comstock ISD, is served by Rio Grande Electric, and 2016 ag exempt taxes were about $7,000.
The information contained herein has been diligently assembled and is deemed reliable, but is not warranted by Broker or Seller, express or implied, and is subject to change, prior sale, errors and/or omissions and withdrawal from market. Buyers must verify accuracy of representations on their own, as well as investigate potentially pertinent natural attributes, laws and regulations, and draw their own conclusions regarding the usefulness and value of the property for a given purpose. Viewing appointments scheduled with LANDTX staff only. SHOWN BY APPOINTMENT ONLY – DO NOT TRESPASS.
Buyer’s brokers must be identified on first contact, and must accompany buying prospect on first showing to be allowed full fee participation. If this condition is not met, fee participation will be at sole discretion of LANDTX, David E. Culver, Broker.