FAQ

How many guns can we combine in one party?

Three maximum, including any observers. Our first concern is always safety! With the different types of terrain and cover and the different pace of people in the field, it is potentially dangerous and possibly confusing to have more than three people shooting and/or observing in a walk-up hunting situation. However, driven pheasant shoots require a line of least 5 shooters, and we can accommodate as many as 10 on one line of guns. The Continental shoot, requires 10 guns and can accommodate up to 20 shooters, because they are rotating through ten different double-positions as the shoot progresses.
Minimum age requirement for hunters is 12 years old, unless they have completed the Joshua Creek Ranch Youth Program.

How do you charge for birds?

We charge for birds on what is known as the "presentation method" or the "fair shot rule." It is the job of JCR guides and dogs to find the birds and it's the hunters' job to bag them. When you pay for hunting, whether it's a Boone and Crockett whitetail in South Texas, a moose in Alaska, or a quail at Joshua Creek Ranch, what you are really paying for is an opportunity to shoot; it's up to the hunter to harvest the game. Some examples: You have a dog on point, the bird is flushed properly, and a shot is taken -- whether the bird is killed, wounded, or missed, that is a presented bird. If a bird flushes out of range, that is not a presented bird. If a large covey of birds is flushed and each of two shooters fires two shots, the total presented birds is four. Our research indicates that our guests find this to be a fair and equitable way to be charged for birds. Experienced shooters end up paying primarily for birds bagged (and maybe a few wounded birds that got away), while inexperienced hunters pay for the opportunity to shoot.

All hunting packages with the exception of the “unlimited quail packages” include a finite number of birds depending on the package you choose. Hunter's may continue hunting after their guide advises them that all the birds in their package have been “presented as fair shots.” Charges for birds presented in excess of their package will be added to the original package price.

Feel free to discuss the “presented bird” theory with your guide during your hunt.

Do you offer shooting instruction?

Yes, we do offer shotgun shooting instructions. We maintain full-time shooting instructors for beginning and novice shooters. For more advanced shooters who want to polish their skill, a professional shooting instructor can be arranged with advance notice. All shooting instruction requires an appointment.

How many acres do you have?

We have 1200 acres, yet the diversity of the terrain makes it seem much larger. Most of the ranch is lightly wooded upland pastures planted with improved grasses that are managed for bird hunting habitat. The bottom land along the Joshua Creek and Guadalupe River are largely open fields planted in food and cover crops, perfect for flushing up pheasant with a line of shooters. The rest of the ranch is heavy timber and the typical Hill Country flora that provides cover and food for excellent whitetail and Axis deer hunting, and Rio Grande turkey.

Can I hunt without a guide?

Simply, the answer is "no." We adhere to this policy for one very important reason. Your safety! As many as nine upland bird hunting parties could be in the fields at the same time. And because all interior fencing has been removed from the ranch for the convenience of hunting guests, you could accidentally wander into an area where other guests are hunting, or they could mistakenly wander into your hunting area. The results could be disastarous. The hunting guides know the boundaries of each hunting area and make your safety their paramount objective.

How often do you release birds?

Our goal is for you to have an outstanding hunt every time you visit Joshua Creek Ranch, and that includes an abundance of wild-performing birds. We release birds continuously, using a method developed by wildlife biologists. Our birds are released into the natural habitat prior to and throughout the hunting season. As birds are harvested new birds are introduced into the habitat and adopted by existing coveys in established territories. We also release excess birds prior to special events, like driven pheasant shoots, resulting in an abundance of birds in the fields. We track releases and hunter success ratios to determine our huntable inventory per pasture and frequently replenish each hunting area.

Do you have meals available?

Yes, we have an excellent chef and an experienced kitchen staff. Since we are not a restaurant, advance reservations are required for any of the three sumptuous meals we serve. If you would like meals to accompany your visit to the ranch, we need to know that in advance so we can staff and stock sufficiently. There is no minimum number of guests required for breakfast or lunch reservations. But at dinner, we require six dining guests (all parties combined) to have the chef come in.

What is your cancellation policy?

Your booking is important to us, and great care goes into being prepared for your visit. Cancellations and "no-shows" result in over-staffing and unnecessary expenses, which we would rather not pass on to our through higher prices. Please remember that this is a seasonal business with only so many days (and particularly weekends) to schedule hunts. We do not over-book, so if you cancel your reservation, it is often difficult to fill the time reserved for you with another member's activities. It is an opportunity lost to us and to other guests. (If we are able to fill your booking, we will adjust your cancellation charge).

Our cancellation policy is simple:

  • Cancellations must be in writing via mail, fax or e-mail andyou must receive written confirmation from Joshua Creek Ranch of receipt of your cancellation notice.
  • Cancellations received more than 60 days prior to the booking incur a $150 cancellation fee.
  • Cancellations received less than 60 days but more than 30 days prior to the booking have a 35% per person cancellation fee. The balance of your deposit will be applied to a future booking; 5% rescheduling fee for a change of date after confirmation of booking.
  • Cancellations received less than 30 but more than 10 days prior to booking have a 50% per person cancellation fee; 15% rescheduling fee.
  • Cancellations received less than 10 days prior to the booking; 25% rescheduling fee. "No-Shows" are charged the full value of the booking.
  • If you must cancel, you can avoid a cancellation fee by finding a replacement to fill your booking.
  • We encourage you to consider trip cancellation insurance. Contact your insurance agent or travel agent for information regarding such policies.
  • Joshua Creek Ranch reserves the right to cancel, postpone, or substitute an alternate activity if weather conditions prevent the delivery of the specific services reserved. Appropriate adjustments will be made to clients’ charges.

Because we’re dedicated to delivering an excellent experience every time you visit, this cancellation policy is necessary to keep our rates reasonable. We would never want to disappoint you by being unprepared when you arrive for your visit, so please consider the unnecessary expense load placed on us when cancellations or “no shows” occur.

Given your own business experience, we're confident you will understand the need to make the most of the Ranch’s limited availability of time and facilities for guest enjoyment. Let's be sure that we communicate and avoid unnecessary situations that result in extra expense for all of us.

Do you have rental guns?

Yes, we have rental guns available on a half-day basis. These guns are 12, 20 and 28 gauge over-and-under Beretta or Rizzini shotguns, suited to both clay target shooting and wingshooting. If you're traveling and it's not convenient for you to bring your gun, you'll enjoy shooting one of these fine shotguns. Advance notice of your desire to rent a shotgun will ensure its availability when you arrive. From time-to-time certain rental guns are sold at discounted prices. If you have an interest in purchasing one of these guns, you may contact the ranch manager.

Can I hunt with my own dog?

Yes, we encourage our guests to bring their dogs to Joshua Creek Ranch. But before you come, you need to ask yourself, “Is this a hunting experience or a training experience?" We want to be sure you enjoy your hunt, and a big part of that is dog performance. If you want to get your dog into a lot of birds, then this is the place to do it. However, if, in the excitement of the hunt, your dog is lacking response to basic commands, or flushing birds out-of-range, then you can continue the balance of your hunt using your guide's dogs. When staying overnight at one of the ranch accommodations, a limited number of structured on-site kennels are available to shelter your dog. Under no circumstances are dogs permitted inside the lodges. When not on a guided hunt, your dog must be in a kennel or on a leash. Hunting dogs are not permitted to wander the property because we have traps and snares set for predator control and do not want to risk injury to any dogs.

How long is your season?

There's something to hunt throughout the year at Joshua Creek Ranch, so we're open year-round for your enjoyment. Starting in early September, hunting for migratory mourning doves and whitewings is available. Then in mid-September, the ranch offers early morning quail hunts and driven pheasant shoots. Come October 1st, all styles of upland bird hunting for quail, pheasant, and chukar are available through March 31st. Hungarian partridge are added to the mix of upland birds beginning in December. If conditions permit, the hunting season for upland birds may be extended for a few days into early April. Texas turkey hunting is open in both the autumn and spring seasons established by Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. Texas whitetail can be hunted from October through February using the ranch's Managed Land Deer Permits. Axis deer can be hunted year-round, although the best trophies are taken in the late spring and summer months.