RAFTER R RANCH - ONAPA
This combination native timber and introduced grass ranch provides grazing in addition to outstanding hunting and recreation opportunities. Multiple trophy whitetail deer have been taken on the property including the Micalah Millard 16 point buck measuring 179 7/8” B&C. This deer ranks as the #4 Cy Curtis typical whitetail and the #1 buck ever taken by a female hunter in Oklahoma. A simple internet search will provide pages of magazine articles and news station interviews from across the country documenting her hunt. Historically, the property has been managed for both grazing and trophy whitetail habitat with very selective harvest rates. The topography provides approximately 120’ of elevation changes and mature timber found in the riparian areas provides further wildlife habitat and edge. The diversity of this ranch is ideal for someone interested in both livestock production and excellent hunting opportunities.
This is currently a working ranch with minimal costly improvements. The 2 frame homes are suitable for conversion into hunting cabins or continue to be utilized as rentals generating additional income. The introduced forage located on quality loam and fine sandy loam soils will support approximately 140 pairs year-round.
The ranch is approximately 10 minutes from Checotah or Eufaula and 40 min from Muskogee.
McAlester: 50 miles
Ft. Smith: 70 miles
Oklahoma City: 120 miles
Due to the location near Muskogee and several ports along the McClellan – Kerr Arkansas River Navigation system, fertilizer, lime and other products are competitively priced. The location near poultry production areas offers chicken manure as another cost-effective soil amendment option.
If the fishing on the ranch doesn’t satisfy, get off the ranch and enjoy the numerous fishing and water sports opportunities on the very nearby Lake Eufaula.
The headquarters area includes multiple barns and steel pens with scales. There are multiple traps connecting to the main set of pens suitable for straightening out cattle and ease of handling. For convenience, a second set of steel corrals, along with hay storage, are located toward the center of the property. Additionally, the two frame homes are currently utilized as rentals and provide additional income.
SOILS AND FORAGE CAPABILITY
The predominate Bates and Linker fine sandy loam soils, which are generally capability type II and III, provide the base for many high yielding introduced forages such as bermuda, fescue, crabgrass, numerous clovers, and annual ryegrass. Many of the pastures were formerly cultivated and will support no-till wheat, rye or other forage annuals. Many of the soils are also quite suitable for wildlife food plot establishment.
The timber along the riparian systems and scattered timber in some of the upland pastures provide cover, shade and wildlife habitat. This cover will include but is not limited to red oak, post oak, blackjack, walnut, sycamore, redbud and pecan. These areas provide a variety of preferred white-tailed deer food including both hard and soft mast and numerous understory browse species.
The diversity of soils between the grassland, forage producing soils, and the “cross timbers” soils producing top notch deer habitat is truly a win/win on this ranch.
GRAZING/ FORAGE MANAGEMENT
The ranch is currently utilized as a cow-calf/ stocker operation. An experienced forage manager will quickly see the upside with a moderately aggressive forage management program including soil amendments. The favorable climate of the area is ideal for implementing additional cover crop/overseeding mixtures to both enhance soil health and diversify the forage base of the ranch. Stockpiling forage and winter grazing should be easily accomplished on the grassland soils thanks to the multiple pastures and suitability for cool season forages.
There are approximately 13 pastures and traps which create an ideal situation for rotational grazing throughout the ranch. Typically, the most limiting factor developing rotational grazing plans is the distribution of stock water. The ranch was thoughtfully designed to provide adequate permanent water in all of the pastures. Additionally, many of the pastures could be further divided into grazing cells utilizing temporary electric fencing and further water development utilizing the rural water system.
Yet another potential for this diverse ranch is the opportunity for implementing a multispecies grazing system with meat goats or hair sheep. The multiple paddocks and the availability of woody browse species could unlock yet another potential revenue stream for the forward thinking, innovative producer.
The ranch contains 13 ponds, several more than an acre in size. The headquarters area is served by rural water and is available in several other areas of the ranch. Nellie and Carr Creek merge on the property providing additional water resources and wildlife habitat.
RECREATION / WILDLIFE
The numerous ponds provide endless opportunities for fishing and water fowl hunting. The riparian areas serve as excellent travel corridors for deer and other wildlife species. The upland hardwoods provide areas of food as previously mentioned as well as opportunities for bedding and cover. The ranch also provides numerous locations for the development of food plots and/or feeding areas and with prescribed burning, the habitat could be even further enhanced. This property has a history of producing large white tail bucks as described in the first paragraph. The habitat is in place, the previous management has been excellent, and obviously the genetics are there. All that is missing is a new owner with a passion for hunting and wildlife management. Whether you’re interested in trophy hunting with your family or would like to establish a hunting lodge utilizing the current structures, this ranch offers excellent opportunities with the potential for grazing income as well.
$1,820 per annum