For more than 47 years, the Patio Ranch has been involved in the conservation of endangered species. The programs started in the early 1970’s when a small herd of barasingha was brought to the ranch. Originally from India, and also known as "Swamp Deer", an intensive selective breeding program was initiated. Currently, a large herd of spectacular barasingha is managed on the ranch. Individual animals have been sent to zoos and private ranches all around the United States to help start new barasingha herds or augment existing herds with new, healthy animals.
Another special program was started in 1997 when a small group of Arabian Oryx was introduced on the Patio Ranch. Originally from the Arabian Peninsula and parts of the Middle East, the small start of four young animals has grown greatly. The dream of sending some of these endangered animals back to their native ecosystem to start new herds and augment the small numbers of surviving native Arabian oryx may soon be realized. These two endangered species are maintained on the Patio Ranch under the strict regulation of the Captive-Bred Wildlife Program and the Endangered Species Program of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The structure and guidance of these federal programs will help insure that future generations in Texas, the United States and the rest of the world will always be able enjoy the beauty of these animals.
In addition, a herd of Addax Antelope was introduced to the Patio Ranch in the 1970’s. Since that time, the herd has reproduced well and enabled The Patio Ranch to start many new herds of these spectacular desert animals through sales to other private ranches. Thanks to these breeding programs, the chance of this species surviving for many years to come is great even though the wild populations have been extirpated or are on the verge of disappearing from their native ranges due to poaching.
Around Thanksgiving in 1979, an 11 year-old young man came to the Patio Ranch at the invitation of the Stumberg family with his small group of friends and some dedicated volunteer guides and sponsors. "O.J." learned the names of the animals, how to track them and a little about hunting. Since that time, many boys and girls like "O.J." have learned about life, outdoor skills, animal behavior and hunting on the Patio Ranch. Today, "Operation Orphans", Texas Youth Hunting program, Houston Safari Club sponsored youth hunts and other groups provide fun, memorable and educational hunts for youth on the Patio Ranch with animals donated by the ranch. The hope of passing on our hunting heritage to the youth of today and to future generations becomes a reality when the Texas Parks and Wildlife, The Texas Wildlife Association, the Houston Safari Club and The Exotic Wildlife Association join hands with individuals to provide these good times for our youth.
The Patio Ranch, through the Stumberg Family, has special ties to all members/branches of the armed forces due to the over 65 years of involvement with the San Antonio military bases and personnel. Some of the men and women that serve the U.S.A. have been visiting the Patio Ranch for a number of years to share hunts and their stories. These special weekends are one of the highlights of the year for the ranch staff!
Many responsible sportsmen that have hunted on the Patio Ranch have elected to help lessen the effect of hunger on fellow Texans. Hunters take the first step to help by simply taking their legally harvested deer to any one of many locally participating meat processors. The hunter pays a tax-deductible minimal processing fee and the processed meat is distributed to needy individuals through a series of food banks and food pantries. Please join us in helping to provide a nutritious source of protein to hungry Texans.