Size: 1,178+/- Acres
County: Rains County , Texas
LOCATION: 4J Ranch is located in a desirable area of Rains County, approximately 1 hour and 20 minutes east of Dallas. Road access is provided by paved FM 779 to the ranch’s entry gate which is located along the northern property boundary. From the ranch’s entry, a scenic all-weather ranch road meanders to the home and headquarters. The southern boundary of the ranch is nearly 1 mile of frontage along the northern bank of the Sabine River.
From Dallas: At the intersection of I-30 and Loop 635, travel east ~12 miles to Hwy 276 in Rockwall, TX. Exit Hwy 276 east and drive ~41 miles to Emory, TX. From Emory, take Hwy 69 east for ~3 miles to FM 779. Travel south on FM 779 for ~10.6 miles to the ranch’s gated entry located on the south (right) side of FM 779. From the ranch’s entry gate, travel south ~.8 mile along the all-weather ranch road to the ranch’s headquarters.
OVERVIEW: Currently in its 4th generation of ownership, the 1,178+/- acre ranch was assembled by William Hyatt Johnson, a Lone Star Steel Executive and renowned steward of cattle and pasture land. Multipurpose in use, 4J Ranch features highly improved grasses for dense cattle stocking and prolific hay production in its northern pastures. The southern pastures lie within the game-rich Sabine Sanctuary. Sportsmen and wildlife collectively benefit from miles of developed hardwood bottomland roads, established food plots and developed waterfowl wetlands along the Sabine River. Within walking proximity of the ranch’s home and headquarters, a scenic 5.5+/- acre bass lake challenges anglers of any skill level. Lakeside oak and pecan trees provide picturesque canopy creating a memorable setting for outdoor family gatherings and entertaining.
TERRAIN and PASTURES-
SOILS: The soil in the bottomland portions of the ranch is primarily Gladewater Clay, which is typical for areas near the Sabine River. Gladewater Clay is darker in color, productive for food plot crops, moderately permeable; these soils drain into The Sabine River due to the land’s slope. The soils in the upland hay pastures are primarily Woodtell Loam varieties. These tighter Woodtell Loam soils are lighter in color, well drained and highly productive for hay pastures and crops.
TREES: Oak, elm, pecan and other hardwood varieties make up the primary tree canopy on the ranch. In the bottomland areas trees have been selectively harvested in the last 20 years. These timbered areas are reclaimed and the replacement forage has created remarkable wildlife habitat. In the open hay pastures, grand oak trees provide generous livestock shade and add strong visual appeal to the landscape.
TOPOGRAPHY: An elevation change of approximately 45 feet occurs from north to south on 4J Ranch. At ~400’, the northern pasture near the ranch entry is the highest elevation point of the property. From this highpoint, elevations gradually drop to the lowest elevation of ~355’ near the Sabine River. The improvements and upland hay pastures are located at ~385’, free of any flood hazards.
GRASSES: 4J Ranch’s prolific coastal bermuda hay pastures have historically supported 1 AU on less than 1.5 acres of grass. Meticulous range management practices, regular herbicide/fertilizer applications and the ranch’s location in a region averaging over 42 inches of annual rainfall fuse to create cattle range that will impress the most discerning stockmen.
SABINE RIVER, LAKES and CREEKS: The southern boundary of 4J Ranch is an ~.8 mile stretch of the Sabine River. The river is accessible in several areas, including a well-built concrete ramp providing boat and canoe access. The river views are impressive and the access points add a thrilling recreational dimension to the ranch. Though put to bed and since deeded to the owner, a historic Short Line Railroad trestle crosses the ranch and the river adding to the ranch’s historical character. Franks Creek and Leatherman Creek converge near the ranch’s western boundary; from their intersection, Leatherman Creek traverses the ranch to the South and into The Sabine River. A number of shallow water sloughs and natural oxbows have been created over time. The Spanish Moss in the immediate tree cover near these natural riparian features filters the sunlight, creating a setting reminiscent of antebellum low country. Near the center of the ranch’s upland pastures is a tree sheltered 5.5+/- acre fishing lake. This lake features sandy banks, clear water and managed aquatic vegetations. According to an owner, the lake is stocked with a healthy population of bass, pan fish and baitfish. An oak tree grove on the lake’s northern bank provides an ideal setting for outdoor entertaining, picnics and family gatherings. For livestock purposes each pasture has stock tanks that maintain water, even in dry years.
DEER HUNTING: Deer hunting southeast of Lake Tawakoni’s drainage has quietly become one of the premier free-ranging whitetail deer sanctuaries east of Dallas. Due to restocking efforts by The Texas Parks and Wildlife, larger tract sizes and favorable habitat, impressive trophy bucks are harvested every year on 4J Ranch and in the immediate area. Within the ranch, numerous deer blinds located in strategic areas overlooking food plots and/or feeders have been established, providing exciting deep woods deer hunting. The ranch’s dense cover, native browse and the landowner’s cautious management practices ensure the native herd’s best interests are met year-round.
DUCK HUNTING: Two developed wetlands with water control structures have been constructed in the bottomland area of the ranch near the Sabine River. These wetlands allow the landowner to close a valve and flood upstream areas prior to duck season. The oak tree’s acorns and established smartweed vegetation provide ducks with a natural food source, in a secure environment. Each wetland has a screw gate style water control structure allowing the landowner to easily drain the water in February to prevent tree loss and encourage moist soils to develop as additional natural food sources during the spring.
ROAD SYSTEM/FENCING: Upon entering 4J Ranch, a privately maintained ranch road provides all-weather access to the secluded home and headquarters. From the headquarters, a well designed, interconnected ranch system provides access to each area of the ranch. Numerous bottomland trails have been cleared, making vehicle access to the Sabine River, food plots and wetlands possible most of the year. The roads connecting the upland hay pastures drain well year-round. After heavy rains, access to the bottomland areas may be limited to ATV’s or four wheel drive vehicles. The ranch’s perimeter boundaries are fenced with five strand barbed wire fencing. Rotational pasture grazing is made possible by internal cross fencing, creating over a dozen separate pastures. A series of livestock lanes lead to a centralized trap pasture feeding the ranch’s working pens, allowing for efficient and organized roundups. The hardwood hunting refuge is fenced off completely from the hay pastures.
RANCH HOME / HEADQUARTERS / STRUCTURAL IMPROVEMENTS: Located ~.8 mile from of the ranch’s entry, the home and headquarters are accessible in any weather condition by a privately maintained ranch road. This secluded hilltop location provides a centralized location for the improvements with impressive views of the pastures and Sabine River bottomland areas of the ranch. Constructed in the 1940’s, the ranch home is ~ 2,261 SF under roof with 3 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms. This older home is adequate now and would make an excellent caretaker’s or guest house if a modern house is desired by a new landowner. There are numerous private building sites with impressive views and easy access along the 4J Ranch hilltop. 4J Ranch’s horse barn, tack barn, wooden corals and recently constructed 40’x45’ metal shop are located near the ranch home. These structures vary in age and condition but appear fully functional. Additionally, they contribute nostalgic value to the homestead headquarters and pay tribute to the ranch’s primary historical use as a cattle ranch.
UTILITIES: Electricity is provided by a rural co-op, water is supplied by a private well, propane is stored in a refillable storage tank and two septic tanks are located downhill from the ranch house.
TAXES: 4J Ranch is agriculturally exempt and the taxes are estimated to be $2,872.62 for 2014.
Hortenstine Ranch Company, LLC (Broker)
10711 Preston Road, Suite 100
Dallas, Texas 75230
Wright Monning- Agent
Chris Susilovich- Agent
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