Are you game?
Exotic Hill Country ranch with ‘Old West town’ and amphitheater hunts for new owner
An enterprising Texas couple is on the hunt for a new owner for their massive Hill Country ranch and wildlife estate, and they’re likely to rustle up a hefty sum for it.
Byron and Sandra Sadler own the roughly 11,200-acre Y.O. Ranch Headquarters, about 65 miles west of Fredericksburg. The Y.O. property recently hit the market. The Sadlers live on the nearby Two Dot Ranch.
“The land holds a special place in the hearts of all who visit. … Sunrises and sunsets are often captivating, especially when viewed from Gobbler’s Knob — a favorite spot for generations of ranchers and guests,” the property listing says.
In 2015, the couple bought nearly 5,400 acres of Y.O. Ranch, which dates back to the 1880s, and renamed it Y.O. Ranch Headquarters. Extensive renovations followed. In 2018, they added 5,784 acres to the spread.
Today, Y.O. Ranch Headquarters hosts a menagerie of activities, including exotic game tours, exotic game auctions, trophy hunts, weddings, group outings, and overnight stays.
Highlights of the property include:
- An Old West “town” with 16 one-bedroom suites.
- A saloon-style main lodge.
- A roughly 7,000-square-foot main house.
- An “adventure camp” with 10 cabins, two bathhouses, and a pavilion.
- An 800-seat amphitheater.
- The Chuckwagon banquet hall, complemented by a commercial-grade kitchen.
The ranch hosts a number of exotic and native animal species, with hunting and wildlife tourism making up the bulk of Y.O.’s business. Exotic animals at the ranch include Japanese sika deer, European fallow deer, Indian blackbuck antelope, African wildebeest, and “the famous Y.O. giraffes.” Native animals include whitetail deer, wild turkeys, and javelina (which look like wild boars).
Ron Young of Texas Ranch Sales LLC has the listing for Y.O. Ranch Headquarters. The listing does not include an asking price.
“The history and tradition of the Y.O. continues today — a story of transformation and diversification. From a mercantile to the cattle business to hunting to tourism, the ranch and its owners have consistently found ways to reinvent the land and to pay tribute to the history of this place,” the listing says.
The Sadlers’ former business, Dickinson-based Industrial Specialists LLC in the Houston area, afforded them the opportunity to buy and develop Y.O. They formed the petrochemical and refining business in 1976. Byron was president and CEO, and Sandra was secretary-treasurer. Thirty years later, Industrial Specialists had racked up more than $200 million in sales.
Employees bought out the company in 2008, allowing the Sadlers to focus on their shared passion for hunting, which has taken them to six of the planet’s seven continents. Sandra was the first female president of the Houston Safari Club, and Bryon was the first recipient of the club’s bow-hunting award that bears his name.
The Sadlers also are benefactors of Brazosport College, whose science complex bears the couple’s names. In 2013, Byron received the school’s first-ever honorary associate degree.