Engle, NM 87901, USA
The L.D. Cain family established The Buckhorn Ranch in 1929 and it has remained in the family to date. This +/- 1,120 deeded acre, +/-39,687 leased acre and +/-2,300 uncontrolled acre cattle ranch has a 504 head allotment. This 67 section, jewel in the New Mexico high desert is located 40 miles East of Elephant Butte State Park. The east boundary is WSMR and the west boundary is The Armendaris Ranch. This ranch is well watered with 6 strong wells, piped drinkers, earth tanks and +/- 30 miles of buried pipelines which are all integrated.
The headquarters of the ranch features a 3,500 sq. ft. ½ adobe and ½ framed house that has been updated through the years. 3 bedrooms, 3 baths and a large open living/dining area. The eat-in kitchen has modern stainless appliances as well as a working wood cook stove. This air conditioned/wood stove heated home includes a large office, mudroom, laundry room and screened in porch. It includes a shop, hay barn, saddle house, corrals, stalls, loading chute, roping arena and large round pen, which makes for a very operational HQ. It sits on the south end of the ranch, in the foothills of the San Andres at 5,400 ‘ elevation, allowing for great views of the expansive ranch property and scenic mountain ranges.
Intensive Grazing since 1990. This practice has preserved plenty of feed for 504 head of cattle, (even in years with below normal rainfall)
The ranch features 12 cells consisting of 44 paddocks totaling 52 sections. The Crater pasture located in the Malpais totals 18 sections.
The Buckhorn Ranch is located in GMU 20, which is a coveted area for hunters, positioned in between WSMR and The Armendaris. Because of the good game management and limited hunting on these to bordering areas, this allows for constant migration of wildlife on the ranch. The abundance of feed and water sources throughout the ranch attracts herds of oryx, mule deer and antelope.
The extensive ground cover makes it a haven for scale and gamble quail Dove are plentiful in the fall.
Land and Climate
A North Facing Slope makes this a prime location for the ranch. It gives the land the advantage of the rainfall and snowfall, while reducing evaporation.
Over the past 20 years, the ranch has been treated with spike for brush control. This eradicated the creosote on 90% of the 12 cells, thus creating more vegetative cover and better utilizing the amount of moisture. The south end of the ranch, at its highest point is 6,200 ft. in the San Andres foothills. The topography slopes downward to 4,000 ft. and rises back up to 4,500 ft. into the 18-section malpais pasture on the North boundary. The ranch is approximately 16 miles N-S and 3-6 miles E-W.
The annual precipitation is approximately between 7”-10” but most years it has been higher. Winters are moderate with some snowfall mostly under 4”. Some winters we receive over 1 ft. at a time. Being on the North Slope the land better utilizes any and all perception. There are very few days we have to break ice and since we graze intensively, there are only 1-2 drinkers to manage. Summers days range between 90* – 100* Nights cool down to between 60* – 70*.
Grasses include Blue Grama, Black Grama, Sideoats-Grama, Vine Mesquite, Spike Dropseed, Mesa Dropseed, Sand Dropseed, Sacaton, Arizona Cottontop, Wheatgrass, Bush Muhly, Tobosa and many varieties of 3 Awn grasses, along with other cool season grasses.
Browse plants include Winter Fat, Chamise, Apache Plume, Blue Sage and Mormon Teal.
Springtime, with some winter moister, brings a good crop of Spanish Dagger blooms and annual weeds such as Yellow Top, Winter Wheat and scores of tumble weeds.
Early summer there is a large crop of Yucca blooms and a moderate crop of Mesquite beans.
The intensive grazing has produced new varieties of grasses and browse plants appearing in new locations and establishing themselves. This has not only increased the value of the ranch but has also insured cooperation and beneficial programs implemented by the BLM. The BLM has used the ranch as a showcase of how advantageous their programs are when used correctly.
The Buckhorn Ranch has received numerous Land Steward awards.