Situated along the banks of the Llano River near Llano, Texas, the 940 acre Thunderhill Ranch is a state of the art scientific deer breeding and trophy white tail deer hunting facility. The ranch rises majestically from the Llano River with its craggy granite hills and hidden fertile meadows. Traveling throughout the ranch, one notices the changing beauty of the land around each curve.
Off Highway 71 at the end of County Road 304, a small herd of Longhorns greets visitors upon first arriving at the ranch. Wildlife abounds in the rolling Llano River Basin. Three stocked ponds provide water for the wildlife in addition to water pumped from the Llano River. A deer proof fence surrounds the ranch excluding the estate home on the river.
Quality Genetics = Quality Whitetail Deer
Beginning in 2004, it was decided to establish one primary rule concerning the deer that were to be a part of the Thunderhill Ranch scientific breeding facility: No animal would enter the property that did not have an established pedigree, showing high performance. The handpicked foundation herd purchased in 2004 was based on Sawdust Ranch ( JJJ Ranch ) does that were 2-3 years old in 2004 and Sawdust Ranch fawns that were born in May 2004. Also purchased were Gene Riser does that were 1 year old in 2004 and Gene Gonzales does that were 2 years old in 2005.
After 4 years of artificial insemination using Northern semen to improve the foundation herd genetics, the 2008 breeding season was the first to use only outstanding genetic quality ranch born breeder bucks.
Five 3 -year old and five 2 -years old breeder bucks were the core of this 2008 breeding program. All the doe fawns are DNA certified when weaned and our breeder bucks are DNA certified when added to our breeder list. Most of the deer are DNA certified to 3 or more generations on both the dam and sire sides.
For the 2009 breeding program, three 4-year old and three 3-year old bucks were the core of the breeding program. It was also decided to use one 2-year old buck in our breeding as well.
For the 2010 breeding program, 4 two year old, 3 four year old and 2 five year old bucks will be the core of the breeding program.
Trophy Whitetail Deer Hunting
In addition to our scientific whitetail breeding program, Thunderhill Ranch offers trophy whitetail deer hunting. The trophy hunting program includes lodging and all meals on site. Each hunter will be personally guided by one member of the ranch staff. There will be a maximum of two hunters at any one time. Each ranch staff guide will have the freedom to escort their assigned hunter on any part of the 840 acre high fenced ranch. A total of 7 blinds are strategically located throughout the ranch; one of these is designed to easily accommodate limited mobility hunters.
The ranch and its short history may be summed up with this quote from Dr. Kroll (aka Dr. Deer):
As a pioneer in the white-tail deer industry, I have been lucky enough to be part of some of the best deer ranches in the world. Without a doubt, Thunderhill Ranch ranks among the top 5 overall, and number one in deer breeding facilities! The ranch has a state-of-the-art breeding facility paying attention to every detail. The pen system is designed to provide maximum biosecurity and ease in handling the deer. The handling barn is without competition in design and practice. The ranch property has been landscaped for whitetails, and is one of the most scenic ranches in Texas, overlooking the Llano River. Attention to detail is the rule rather than the exception at Thunderhill Ranch. For someone planning to get to the “top of the hill”, Thunderhill Ranch will serve as an industry standard.