Property Sold

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Cold Smoke Ranch - Medina County, Tarpley, TX

The Cold Smoke Ranch offers a very private, turnkey Hill Country ranch ready for the next steward to enjoy for hunting, wildlife viewing, star watching, hiking and other recreational pursuits!  This ranch is accented by a custom home as well as a very nice manager’s home and a barn/shop.  The ranch has both a high fenced pasture and a low fenced pasture.  The high fenced pasture is managed for trophy white-tailed deer.  Further enhancing the privacy of the ranch, several neighbors along the southern and eastern borders have restricted their lands and offer perpetual protection from extensive subdivision and development on those borders.

Key Attributes


The ranch entrance is at the end of a well maintained easement road 2.85 miles east of FM 462.  The turnoff on FM 462 is 7.9 driving miles from Tarpley and 18.3  driving miles from Hondo.  The South Texas Regional Airport is located in Hondo. Also, the ranch is only 62 driving miles (1:10 hour drive time!) from San Antonio.

Topography, Rangeland & Habitat

This scenic Hill Country ranch has approximately  300 feet of topographical relief with the highest point some 1,600 feet above sea level. The ranch benefits from 1.77 miles of the Twin Hollow wet weather creek and drainage plus 5 other unnamed drainages. While the ranch has plenty of topography, it is usable topography!

The current owner has been strategically opening up areas of the ranch, creating edge and diversity benefitting wildlife. Typical of this part of the Hill Country, the habitat includes oak juniper woodlands with fantastic tree diversity including live oak, Spanish Oak, blue oak,  cherry,  cedar elms, walnut and Ashe juniper.  Additionally, diverse brush species, succulents and native grasses also provide excellent habitat for wildlife.


The western 570+/- acres of the ranch are high fenced and are managed for trophy white-tailed deer. The owner took the native population down after his acquisition in 2014 and has been steadily developing the herd with periodic improved genetic releases, supplemental feeding, supplemental water and population management.  The pasture is a movement qualified Class 1 Release site and the owner estimates the deer population in the high fence to be 75-80 animals at present. 

In the high fenced pasture there are 8 areas set up with a hunting blind, timed feeder and a protein feeder (and in most cases water).

In addition to the white-tailed deer herd, the high fenced pasture is utilized or home to wild turkey, dove, feral hogs, a couple of Aoudad and other wildlife.

The 380+/- acre low fence (note, the west and north perimeters are high fenced while the eastern and southern portions are low) pasture of the ranch is home to populations of white-tailed deer, turkey, dove, feral hogs, some additional free ranging exotics and other wildlife. This pasture has a couple of blinds and feeders as well.

For the birders, this area is fantastic!


Situated overlooking Twin Hollow with protected views is the 4 bedroom, 4.5 bath custom home featuring an open floor plan kitchen/dining and living area with fireplace and custom interior rock work.  The bedrooms are accessed via covered patios with 2 bedrooms on each side.  Each bedroom has its own bath and HVAC unit for comfort.  For entertaining and stargazing, there is a large patio off the back of the home with a fire pit; also perfect for morning coffee as the sun rises over the mountains.  Views from the home are protected by virtue of the neighbors having placed conservation easements on their lands.

A short distance away is the one bedroom (although currently used as an office a second room could be a bedroom as well) custom-built manager’s home and a nice equipment barn with shop and game cleaning area.

In addition to the high fencing mentioned above (570+/- acres enclosed and two sides on 380+/- acres), there are good UTV roads throughout the ranch.

On top of a high point on the ranch, the current owner has built a rock patio with a fire pit to enjoy sunsets with forever views of the surrounding countryside.


In addition to wet weather creek flows, the ranch has 3 operating water wells with one electric submersible (along with storage) servicing the improvements and a couple of troughs, a windmill providing water to several wildlife troughs and another submersible in the low fenced pasture used with a generator to fill a large pila that flows into a wildlife water feature.

In addition, the owner maintains several other water stations throughout the high fenced pasture and there is one guzzler.


Area History

In A.J. Sowell’s book from 1900, “Early Settlers and Indian Fighters of Southwest Texas”, which is a recommended read for anyone interested in first hand history of the broader area, he recounts the story of the Cow Camp Massacre that occurred near the Cold Smoke Ranch in 1866.  Three boys were camping on a bluff over the Hondo Creek and gathering some stray livestock.  An attack by a group of eight Indians resulted in one death, one capture and one escapee, August Rothe.  The Rothe family has deep roots in Medina County, dating back to their arrival in Castroville in 1854, and portions of the ranch were originally patented to Louis Rothe, August Rothe’s brother.

Area Attractions: A quick drive from the ranch is the quaint community of Tarpley home to “Mac and Ernie’s”, known across Texas and beyond for serving up some of the finest gourmet cuisine to be found…on paper plates! 

A short distance to the south is Hondo, Texas, that has all the necessary supplies, groceries (including HEB) and restaurants, not to mention world famous dove hunting opportunities!

The ranch is appraised for ad valorem taxes under 1D1-Ag/ Wildlife Management valuation on its open space.

Seller’s owned minerals, if any, will convey.

Seller’s home furnishings, appliances, linens and kitchen items will convey.  Clothing, firearms, ammunition, artwork, photos, taxidermy and other similar personal effects do not convey and will be retained by Seller.

Although not included in the asking price, seller’s 4 UTV’s, skid steer with implements and tractor with implements along with other tools and equipment are separately negotiable.

Cold Smoke Ranch

Medina County, Tarpley, TX

950 Acres

Property Sold
Feb 25th, 2022
$5,250,000 (Asking Price)