Welcome to the home page for and Tarbone Ranch and Ken Cook Outdoors. Take a virtual tour of our Ranch and enjoy some of our spectacular views of the Wichita Mountains and its wildlife that inhabits our little piece of heaven.
In January of this year Ken Cook passed away of a heart attack. Going through this has been one of the most difficult things imaginable for us. We feel that continuing to manage and run the ranch will be an important part of our healing process. We plan to run hunts and share the outdoors with people just as he did. That is the legacy that he would have wanted.
After retirement from a 30 year career as a professional bass angler, Ken devoted his life efforts to making Tarbone Ranch a destination for others who share our passion for all things wild. Since his death, we have continued to pursue that passion. We offer a limited number of hunting and photographic safari opportunities for the trophy game animals that live here. We strive to produce top end trophies from our herds of deer, elk and bison by allowing them to reach their potential mature size.
To enhance these possibilities, we maintain food plots of several varieties as well as the native grasses. We supplement the native food availability with high protein deer and elk feed to assure the animals have a continuous supply of nutrition to maximize their opportunity to reach maximum size and health.
We have built a hunting cabin on the property to house our guests in a place that is surrounded by the beauty of the Wichita Mountains and animals. It is not a five star lodge, but rather a rustic cabin in the woods with all the necessary amenities to assure our visitors an excellent opportunity to enjoy their stay.
As an update for the past few years, we endured a terrible two yearlong drought during 2011 and 2012. During this time we also suffered a horrific fire that destroyed much of our beautiful forest and we lost many animals. Since that time, we continue to re-build our habitat and animal population. It has been a slow process, but we will persevere in our efforts to re-create a paradise for our visitors, both human and wild.
If you have interest visiting Tarbone Ranch as a hunter or photographer, please contact us for a visit.
The year will go down as a great growing year for the ranch. We had excellent rains in the spring and early summer and the ponds stayed full. The native grasses grew extremely well, and the bison heard grazed it over. The oaks continued to grow and fill in some areas where the fires cut them back a few years ago. Toward the end of the summer, some of the areas started to look like they did before the fire. We were able to grow some amazing food plots in the summer, and the deer and elk grew like weeds.
Because of this, we had great growth. We had many successful hunts and made some fond memories with new friends. Here are some of the highlights from the last hunting season.
To start off the year, in January, Chuck Vessels came to hunt this magnificent bull bison.
Click any image to enlarge
Then, in the fall, Chuck came back with his son, Hugh, and they each got a trophy elk. It is so nice to be able to take a father and son out on a hunt. Sharing the outdoors with the next generation will always be our passion.