In the late 1880's, one of the largest cattle operations in the Trans-Pecos region of west Texas belonged to E.L. Gage. Gage registered the O2 brand in 1888. In 1891 William Turney, an area attorney and cattleman, bought the O2 brand from Gage and began buying the land that now constitutes the O2 Ranch. By the 1930's he had put together virtually the entire ranch as we see it today.
Lykes purchased the O2 Ranch in 1941. It currently aggregates about 272,000 ac.
The ranch lies within the Chihuahuan Desert eco-region. In its native condition, it's largely grasslands and rocky outcrops.
Lykes ran its own cattle operation on the O2 until 1965 and subsequently leased the ranch for others to graze and hunt.
In 1998 we withdrew the ranch from grazing in order to begin a long term program to restore the land to its native condition and focus on wildlife management. Lykes cooperates with Sul Ross State University in this ongoing and successful effort. Restoration of vegetation is essential for the control of erosion, the maintenance of a sustainable and harvestable wildlife population as well as limited grazing. In 2011, Lykes was honored by Texas Parks and Wildlife Department as the Lone Star Land Steward for the Trans-Pecos Ecoregion for its "... dedicated stewardship of the land through excellence in wildlife habitat management."
The entire ranch is currently leased for hunting.
For more information, contact Lykes Ranch at 863-763-3041.