Over two decades of well-documented trophy elk hunting places the 8,585± deeded acre O’Neill Ranches among a small group of premier elk destinations in the Western United States. As a result of proactive habitat and wildlife management, the ranches have produced more than 250 wild bull elk scoring over 300” – with 40 to 50 of those bulls breaking the 350” mark. Bulls measuring over 350” and even over 370” are hunted on the O’Neill Ranches every year. In the most recent past, three bulls exceeding 350” were harvested during 2017 (see photos in the gallery). This is especially remarkable given that the ranches are located in an over-the-counter game unit where owners, family, friends, and clients can easily acquire elk licenses and hunt every year. The quality and consistency of the elk hunting has led to the ranches being selected as the filming location for a number of popular outdoor pursuit television shows including RMEF Team Elk, Realtree Outdoors, Beyond the Hunt, and The Crush.
Encompassing a single rectangular block of contiguous deeded land, the O’Neill Ranches are located between Ted Turner’s 585,000 acre Vermejo Park Ranch, the 45,000 acre Hill Ranches, and Saruche Canyon Ranch in south-central Colorado. Along with the elk, trophy mule deer, black bear, and Merriam’s turkey inhabit the diverse landscape which is characterized by mountainous ridges, bowls, and basins that flank long canyons with meandering creeks and grassy bottoms. Habitat is comprised of cottonwood stands, open meadows and food plots in the lower elevations with the higher country and hills containing a blend of open parks, intermittent food plots, as well as ponderosa, pinon, juniper, and oak forests. Two reservoirs are loaded with trout and numerous springs, intermittent creeks and catch-ponds provide multiple water sources for wildlife. An excellent interior road system provides private vehicle access throughout the entire property. Improvements are of good quality and well-suited for hunting operations. They include a main residence, contemporary hunting lodge, shop with guide quarters and meat processing room, horse barn, and toy barn/shop. Historically the ranch has been outfitted very successfully by the owners operating as Call of the Wild Outfitting (www.callofthewildoutfitting.us).
Just the Facts
- Excellent archery and rifle hunting for +350” bull elk, trophy mule deer, black bear, as well as great spring Merriam’s turkey hunting
- Located in an over-the-counter game management unit with guaranteed elk licenses
- 330” average for bull elk with animals over 350” taken annually
- 20 years of trophy game management with limited number of hunts conducted annually
- Scenic 8,585± deeded acre property sitting in a single, contiguous block
- Borders Ted Turner’s Vermejo Park Ranch and the Hill Ranches
- 15 miles south and west of Trinidad, CO
- 35 minute drive from local airfield or 1 hour drive from large jet accessible Raton Municipal Airport with FBO services
- 3.5 hour drive from Denver, and 2.5 hour drive from Colorado Springs
- Private “end of the road” ranch with no public access yet easily accessible throughout the year
- Well appointed and fully furnished 4 bed/3 bath hunting lodge and 5 bed/6 bath main residence
- Over 50 miles of high quality internal roads provide excellent access to entire ranch
- Diverse topography including 2 large and separate drainages, Longs and Colorow Canyons
- Food plots planted in sweet clover, sainfoin, and alfalfa
- Two large professionally built and maintained trout ponds are stocked with fish up to 6 pounds
- Springs, creek and additional ponds provide water sources for wildlife
- 8,415± acres thoughtfully protected by a Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation conservation easement
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