The Elbow Lake Ranch is composed of prime wildlife habitat in Sutton County Texas near the town of Sonora. Sonora was a popular frontier town that played a part in the taming of the Old West. The Shurley family has owned and managed the 4,000 acre ranch, located eight miles south of Sonora on the west side of Hwy. 277, for over 100 years. It is our pleasure to host a limited number of hunting guests each year and to share with them the fantastic whitetail deer and Rio Grande turkey hunting opportunities that we offer.
The Elbow Lake Ranch is typical of the region with terrain that is undulating to hilly. The dominant brush species are mesquite and cedar with large live oak motts paralleling the Old Devils River bottom which runs the entire length of the property. Isolated stands of live oak and pin oak are scattered throughout the ranch. Mesquite dominates the grass laden flats that occur in isolated sites separated rugged rocky outcrops. Additional brush species that can be found on the ranch include tasajillo, Texas persimmon, agarita, cat claw, ephedra, hog plum and prickly pear cactus. Water is well distributed throughout the ranch in the form of numerous stock tanks and windmills. The mix of high protein brush species and ample water combine to provide a beneficial habitat for all wildlife that inhibit the ranch.
Rio Grande turkey are extremely abundant within the Sonora, Texas region. The high turkey populations in Sutton County has resulted in the heralded claim of the "number one county for wild turkeys in the State of Texas." Hunters will be extremely surprised by the sheer number of birds each flock encompasses. It's not uncommon to encounter individual flocks that number well over three or four dozen birds. Roosts are prevalent throughout the Old Devils River bottom and morning fly downs routinely take more than an hour. A supplemental year round feeding program is instituted with seven separate elevated feeding stations uniquely designed so that only turkeys and wild birds can feed from them. We are the only ranch in the Sutton County region that implements a wild turkey feeding program and the results have been outstanding.
The Elbow Lake Ranch is proactively managed with the expert help of noted biologist Mr. Bob Zaiglin. Bob is a certified wildlife biologist holding a B.S. in Wildlife Science from West Virginia University and a M.S. in Range and Wildlife Management from Texas A&M University-Kingsville. Bob's wildlife experience ranges over 30 years and his management programs are some of the most recognized in the country. There's a good chance you have read some of the many articles he has had published in the country's leading hunting publications on hunting techniques and wildlife management practices.