This unique part of South Texas history was purchased in 2001 by the Wisenbaker family from Humble, Texas. Today, the Dipper Ranch is a 5,600 acre whitetail deer hunting ranch and breeding operation --abundant with native south Texas game, including dove, quail, javalina, wild hogs, whitetail, buffalo and a variety of small game.


The Dipper Ranch was originally part of the historic Chapman Ranch that encompassed more than 100,000 acres. In August of 1948, R.J. Nunley and Leonard Traylor purchased roughly 30,000 acres of the Chapman Ranch and formed the Traylor & Nunley Cattle Co.

In January 1951, the Cattle Co. was dissolved. R.J. Nunley and Leonard Traylor divided the land and each retained approximately 15,000 acres. The Dipper Ranch was ultimately located on the area of land that belonged to Leonard Traylor.


The Dipper Ranch name and brand were created in 1948 when Mr. Traylor decided he wanted a brand that resembled a dipper - an instrument commonly used to draw water from a bucket of water. There are dipper up and dipper down brands. Mr. Traylor chose the dipper up brand to signify a dipper full of water. This brand was also viewed as very functional when it came to branding cattle. Back in those days, cattle ranchers were constantly faced with screw worms in cattle. These ranchers wanted what they called “clean brands” – ones with simple, straight lines in order to cut down on the chance of infection that could come about from applying a large complicated brand. The Dipper brand then became widely accepted and known as a safe and trusted brand.

Upon the death of Mr. Traylor, the ranch was split between his daughters. One half became known as The Monte Cortado and the other half remained known as The Dipper. Today, the acreage owned and operated by the Wisenbaker Family still bears the name Dipper.


Since purchasing it in 2001, the Wisenbaker Family has invested considerable resources and personal time into the Dipper Ranch with the goal of building a world-class whitetail hunting experience. As a result, the ranch continues to set new standards in modern scientific wildlife management. This includes improvements in genetic diversity, selective harvesting, advanced food plots and supplemental feeding, to name a few.

While the ranch is blessed with superior native brush, the Wisenbakers launched an intensive supplemental feeding and range improvement program. Over the years they have installed 32 protein feeder stations that provide in excess of 120 tons of protein annually. The native brush has also been improved over the years. A roller chopper was purchased to improve the native brush/browse for wildlife.

Even though The Dipper Ranch possesses incredible native whitetail genetics, an intensive pasture management program has been designed and implemented. As part of this comprehensive management program, all deer are video-taped and Boone and Crockett scored on the hoof to determine if they are to remain in the herd. If the deer do not meet the prescribed program standards, then they are harvested. As a result, the exceptional and prized whitetail deer are allowed to thrive and pass along their superior genetics.

To support their management program, the Wisenbakers constructed a deer breeding facility in 2007 to further enhance the development and quality of their whitetail population. As part of their commitment to producing a quality herd, the Wisenbakers have purchased (7) 200+ Boone & Crockett-class whitetail bucks and over (70) does.

Throughout the past decade, the Wisenbakers have shown good business discipline on their part by not harvesting any of the trophy bucks during this period of ranch development and improvement– and the results have been worth the wait!


In addition to focusing on wildlife management, the Wisenbakers have embarked on a ranch improvement program that includes the construction of multiple tanks and lakes, road improvements along with pasture browse and selective brush management techniques.

The main entrance to the Dipper Ranch underwent needed change with a one mile road being paved for easy access to the headquarters. Other improvements include the installation of over 12.5 miles of game proof fencing. With roughly 70 total miles of roads contained within the ranch, maintenance has become a regular part of the daily operations.

With water being a premium in the desert climate of South Texas, the Wisenbakers implemented a plan to make water more readily available to the wildlife. Through the construction of many new tanks, ponds and lakes, they have added more than 70 acres of water to the pasture. This includes a 15-acre, deep water fishing lake. These improvements in water accessibility have not only added to the quality of the whitetail herd but have also attracted a wide variety of ducks and geese.

To date, the Wisenbakers have added over 20,000 square feet of new facilities. This includes a main house, guest quarters, a ranch foreman’s house, and a ranch facilities manager’s house. In addition, they have built a 10,000 square foot operations hub that includes a mechanics shop, welding and fabrication facility plus a wood working shop. They have also constructed an 11,250 square foot equipment storage facility. This facility includes a ranch office along with a game processing and storage room.

All of the new facilities and improvements in infrastructure have helped make the Dipper Ranch a world-class operation both in terms of wildlife management and as a fully functional business and entertainment operation.