Sam and Patti Ares purchased the 800 acre Cottonwood Creek Ranch in 2007. Cottonwood Creek Ranch is about 2 miles southwest of Gatesville, Texas, with 1.75 miles of its eastern border along the beautiful Leon River. The terrain at Cottonwood Creek Ranch is diverse, on the northeastern edge of the Texas Hill Country, with deep canyons, creek bottoms, rolling hills, and open range pastureland.
The Ares put 700 acres of Cottonwood Creek under high fence to better manage the native populations of whitetail deer, wild hogs, and Rio Grande turkeys. In addition, they’ve established herds of exotic animals, including fallow deer, axis deer, blackbuck antelope, Père David’s deer, scimitar-horned oryx, red deer, and aoudad sheep. Hunting was open in 2010 for the first time since Cottonwood Creek Ranch was established. Buster Patterson, of Gatesville, is ranch manager at Cottonwood Creek.
Various hunting methods are employed, typical of Texas or African-style hunting, including stand hunting, spot and stalk, and spotting game from a high rack vehicle. All hunters are guided one-on-one, and harvest opportunities are guaranteed for each hunt.
Lodging is available in a 3,000 square foot, three-bedroom, four-bath, luxurious ranch home, which is complete with cable television and full-size kitchen. Laundry facilities are on-site, as well as a pool and fire pit. Many hunts can be completed in a single day. Gatesville is centrally located and is a convenient drive from most of Texas’ major cities. Hunters traveling from Dallas or Fort Worth are about 2.5 hours away. Travel from Austin takes about 2 hours, and San Antonio is a 3-hour drive. Houston is less than 4 hours away driving. In addition, Waco has a regional airport served by one major airline – American Airlines – and Waco is less than an hour away from the ranch.