A record of my times as the manager of the Greif Bros. Corporation Hunting Camp in Kimble County, Texas ................
After graduating from the University of Southern Mississippi I joined an industrial shipping container manufacturing company as a Sales Representative in January 1981. I was based at the LaPorte, Texas manufacturing plant and sales office. We manufactured and supplied steel, fibre and plastic drums to major chemical companies in Texas and Louisiana. After some success in my sales territory, I was promoted to District Sales Manager during 1985 and again during 1990 to General Manager of the Southwestern District, which was comprised of two manufacturing plants; located in LaPorte and Angleton, Texas. During my 20 years at Greif Bros. Corporation I was privileged to work with many outstanding co-workers. I left the company during a major re-organization during March 2001.
During November of 1982 I was invited, along with the Angleton, Texas Steel Drum Plant Manager, to a weekend hunt at a ranch near Rock Springs, Texas by one of our supplier companies, Delta Solvents & Chemicals. This was my first taste of Texas style hunting and I really enjoyed it. After becoming the Southwestern District Sales Manager during 1985 I asked my boss, Michael M. Bixby, if we could establish a hunting venue in the Texas Hill Country to entertain our US Gulf Coast area customers. It was during the summer of 1987 that Mr. Bixby received permission from John P. Berg, President of Greif Bros. Corporation, to go ahead with leasing a ranch for hunting. I departed departed from LaPorte, Texas on a Monday morning during August 1987 and traveled for an entire week through the ranching communities along Hwy 90 and Hwy 83 west of San Antonio, Texas. On the Friday morning during my trip I met a Texas rancher and WW2 veteran, Mr. W.R. "Bill" Allen of Kimble County, Texas. His 3,200 acre homestead, the WR Allen Ranch, was located 9.9 miles south of Interstate 10 on Hwy 83 near the near the famous Hill Country town and county seat, Junction, Texas. The entrance to the ranch was 3 miles west of Highway 83 on County Road 110. The WR Allen Ranch was then and remains today, the perfect representation of a classic Texas Hill Country ranch (majestic oak trees, buffalo grass, livestock, wildlife and rocks). On that Friday, during my tour of the ranch in Mr. Allen's pickup morning, I saw a beautiful Hill Country habitat, scenic views, windmill-fed water tanks, and nearly 100 deer (bucks and does). The ranch had a hunter's house - a stucco exterior, galvanized metal roof, two bedrooms, living room, kitchen, one bathroom, large concrete patio and screened-in deer cleaning shed. There were 13 box blinds and feeder pens, all in first-class condition. The 3 mile improved road (County Road #110) from Highway 83 to the ranch entrance was in excellent condition and wheel-rutted roads throughout the ranch were very adequate for our hunting vehicles. Allen Creek, a thirty-foot wide, solid rock riverbed that crossed the county road rarely filled with water so we had virtually unobstructed, smooth, dry travel all the way from Houston to the hunter house. After bringing Mr. Bixby to the ranch for a guided tour with Mr. Allen, we signed a one-page, one-year lease for the hunter house and land for the 1987/1988 hunting season. After lots of work to ready the hunter house for guests, we entertained the first group of Houston area customers during the first week November 1987. For me this was the start of many years of guiding hunts, entertaining customers and enjoying the rugged beauty of the WR Allen Ranch. During 1991 we leased an additional 1,000 acre section from Mr. Bob Allen (Bill Allen's son) who was leasing the Dickson Ranch property for his cattle and goat operations. A couple years later we added another 1,400 acres of the Dickson Ranch located on the east side of Highway 83, giving us a total of 5,600 acres to hunt. We now had a total of 25 hunting stands and feeder pens. During our years at the WR Allen and Dickson Ranches we were able to hunt free-ranging White-tailed Deer, Axis Deer and Turkey. Each year we bagged 15 to 20 White-tailed bucks, 20 to 30 White-tailed does, 2 or 3 Axis deer, and an occassional Rio Grande turkey.
This blog is dedicated to my wife. She was never happy when hunting season came around each year because it was a time when I would be gone Friday thru Sunday for as many as 10 weekends and she was at home alone with our young children. Our children were born in 1986 (Brent), 1990 (Sarah) and 1994 (Ryan). However, she knew that hunting was my favorite hobby and the GBC Hunting Camp had an important business purpose. I will never forget the many years that I drove during the evening hours to the Segovia Truck Stop on Interstate 10 to use an outdoor pay phone (before cell phones existed) to call home and check on her and the children. It was always good to hear her voice. She never forbade me to go to the ranch and I will always be thankful to her for supporting me in my passion for hunting in the Texas Hill Country. Thank you....Lisa.