Fox Canyon Ranch | 7,700± acres | Davis Mountains, Texas | $23,900,000
Located in the Davis Mountains, an easy half-day drive from DFW, Fox Canyon Ranch boasts over 7,700 acres of beautiful mountainous country. With 7,000-foot peaks, spruce trees, flowing mountain springs and dramatic views, this ranch is as breathtaking as any mountain range in the country. While this property can sleep over 30 sportsman and conservation minded outdoorsman, more time will be spent watching Golden Eagles, hunting for aoudad, mule deer, lions or elk and enjoying the beautiful sights. Neighboring ranches in these Texas Alps all consist of over 20,000 acres and include the 37,500-acre KC7 Ranch (sold by Icon Global February 2019) as well as the Reynolds Cattle Company West TX Holdings and Cherry Canyon Ranch. Fox Canyon is a premier, historic, legacy ranch holding in true West Texas Big Ranch Country.
Own your own mountain range and own it in Texas.
The main entrance is off CR 3078 15 minutes from Balmorhea TX. This ranch is 2 hours from Midland, an hour from Fort Davis and 1.5 hours from Alpine.
“Going back hundreds of years, the Apache and Comanche Indians were fighting with the Mexicans and with each other over the rights to live in the Davis Mountains, including the property we call Fox Canyon Ranch. In the mid-1800s, thousands of pioneers, freight wagons and mail carriers began traveling through the Trans-Pecos region and the U.S. Army began to build forts to protect their routes of travel, primarily from Indian raids. The “first” Fort Davis, established in 1854, was one of these posts. It remained active until early in the Civil War, being abandoned in 1862.
After the Civil War, travel continued the San Antonio-El Paso Road and so did raiding by Apaches and Comanches, which resulted in the Army re-establishing Fort Davis. In 1867, four companies of African American “Buffalo Soldiers” were assigned to the fort. They became a formidable force that ultimately stopped the raiding by the Indians. But in the process, three soldiers were killed on top of a knob hill on the property now known as Fox Canyon Ranch. The soldiers were surrounded but they held off an Apache raiding party until running out of ammunition. The surrounding territory finally became peaceful during the last ten years (1881-1891) that the fort was in existence.
The railroad came to the Trans-Pecos area in the late 1800s. In the early 1900s, a young couple, William Walter McElroy and his wife, Georgia Ann, stepped off of one of its passenger cars in search of land to put down new roots. They bought a buckboard and supplies and pitched their tent directly across the creek from where the Apaches had been pounding their grain in their molcajetes years earlier. It was the beginning of the 7,700-acre McElroy Ranch.
McElroy had just enough money to buy a cow, some food, a couple of mules and some barbed wire. He was going into the Mohair business and needed something better, but easier to build, than the rock walls that were there at the time. He would start early in the morning loading his mule team with wire and posts to head up the mountain, with him following the mules on foot with a bull whip. Sinking posts in the rocky terrain was depleting and time consuming. It was years before he could hire permanent help. Once, while working on top of the mountain alone, he broke his femur and, with one good leg, had to throw himself over a pack mule and endure the pain while trying to stay on the mule as it jostled its way off the mountain and back to his wife, Georgia, who loaded him into the buckboard for the long drive into town.
Later they had a daughter, Mary, and two sons, Sonny and Earl, who were a big help with the ranch. They also hired migrant labor and, with the government mohair subsidies that resulted from World War II soldiers’ need for wool, they prospered. But, after Mr. McElroy died, and Sonny and Earl struggled with dwindling mohair subsidies, and they faced mounting debt, they decided to sell 2,800 acres of the ranch in 1974 in order to get a debt free clean start. They kept the grazing rights on the entire ranch and we, the new owners who bought the 2800 acres for hunting, had hunting rights on the entire ranch. We were from various parts of Texas and were friends who had hunted mule deer and elk together for several years in Chama, New Mexico. Chama was a two-day drive and required an out of state license. Fox Canyon Ranch is a half day drive and requires only a Texas license and it looked a lot like the terrain in Chama, New Mexico. We built a hunting lodge in the mouth of Fox Canyon, and ultimately, we bought the remainder of the ranch and renamed it Fox Canyon Ranch.
Except for running a few head of cattle to help with expenses, Fox Canyon Ranch became, and still is, nothing but fun and recreation. Unlike the flat land covered with white brush and cat claw that leads from the highway to our front gate, Fox Canyon Ranch is nothing but beautiful mountains and canyons full of wildlife. It is a “Jewel of the Davis Mountains” and “worthy of being a national park”. At least that is the way we have viewed it, and felt about it, since 1974.”
Habitat & Topography:
Forage resources are in good condition on the ranch. The ranch consists of mid-elevation grassland that includes desirable species such as sideoats grama, blue grama, plains bristlegrass and black grama. The growing season is June through September with most grass and forb production during the rainy season at the end of summer. The main body of the ranch has a unique topography which includes approximately 2,500 +/- ft in elevation changes. The ranch is all mountains and your opportunity to own your entire mountain range in west Texas. For the new owner there are ample spaces and opportunities to expand grazing, viewing spots, camping or additional improvements.
This ranch is loaded with game, trophy mule deer, big aoudad rams, large elk herds, javelinas, wild hogs, 3 species of quail and a variety of predators including mountain lions. This is a true sportsman’s paradise.
This property has superior surface and subsurface water for the area. Multiple natural springs flow from the mountains creating an oasis for wildlife and water for the cattle. In addition to the spring fed water there are 2 deep electric wells to service both the old homestead and the main lodge.
The main lodge is an open, spacious lodge with 2 main bunk rooms and 2 large bathrooms. The main room which has a stately bar with ample room for entertaining features floor to ceiling windows centered on the majestic views of the Davis Mountains, whether you are enjoying a cup of coffee in the morning by the picture window or a cocktail on the massive deck in the afternoon, being surrounded by these mountains is something special and the views make you second guess that you are in West Texas.
The old McElroy homestead, situated directly across the creek from where the Apaches had been pounding their grain in their molcajetes, is a 3-bedroom 2-bath camp house with kitchen and storage.
In addition, there is a 2-bedroom, 1-bath caretaker house situated near to the old homestead, a small shop, two truck barns and pole barns for the mountain cruisers. These pole barns hold a dozen full-sized outfitted and rigged trucks and UTV’s.
Ag exempt $7,700 in 2019
• Owner has 100% of wind and water rights which will convey
• 50% of the owned minerals will convey, believed to be 5,925 net mineral acres.