S T A F F   &   R A N C H    H I S T O R Y ,


Ranch Manager and Hunting Guide,

Jared Bannon... Native to North eastern New Mexico, life long hunter and guide... Jared has worked the Mesa Country since the day he could stand on his own two feet, with his family, and for the past 8 years with Cotton Mesa. He and his wife have a true passion for the outdoors and the ranching lifestyle.



"Wildlife Manager",

Travis Carter....Business and Wildlife Management
Graduate of Texas State...12 years hunting and 
guiding on Carter's Country Ranches in Texas and
Colorado....Hobbies are fishing and the latest technology.




Hunting Guide,

Jeff Jones...Animal Science Major Sam Houston State...Guiding elk, mule deer, and white-tail hunters since 1995...Guided elk hunts in Angel Fire for over 12 years...Favorite hobbies are hunting, fishing, and spending time outdoors with wife, Debbie, and son, Hunter.




Hunting Guide,

Conner Doherty, 10 years guiding and outfitting on his family's ranch, The Doherty Ranches...One of the founders of Folsom, N.M....Main hobby, Team Roping.



  Hunting Guide,

Cody Anderton...Ranch raised in Tex-Line, TX...Managed and guided ranches in southeast Colorado for 10 years...Hunted and trapped in Texas and Colorado whole life...Favorite hobbies are fishing, team roping, and horse care.





Hunting Guide,

Rickey Root....Finance Major graduate, Lamar University. 10 years guiding and hunting at Apache Springs and Sombrerito Ranches. Waterfowl and fishing guide for more than 10 years. Hobbies are fishing and enjoying the great outdoors.



Ranch and Hunting Technician,

Armando "Kiro" Garza....Texas Tech University attendee, with a major in Agriculture. Affiliated with the Carter ranches for the best part of 30 years. Hobbies are western history and wildlife. 



Former Ranch Manager and Consultant,

Wally Mitchell...25 years experience at Cotton Mesa management and elk hunting logistics



Justin Carter...Entrepreneurship & Supply Chain Management graduate from Texas Christian University. Hobbies include outdoor recreation and reading.



Camp Chef,

Tad Krueger... Northeast culinary school graduate...Worked catering services and country clubs...Served dignitaries including President Bill Clinton...Specializes in Southwest style cooking... Favorite hobbies are hiking the mountains and going to the beach.

Bill Carter, Over 60 years hunting    and guiding in the Mountain States, Alaska, Texas and Africa....Founder and CEO of Carter's Country Outdoor Stores....35 years managing whitetail and elk ranches.






The Carter Family, well known for their Carter’s Country Outdoor Stores located in and around Houston, Texas, purchased the Cotton Mesa Ranch from the Gegenheimer Family in January 2006.

In 1986 Mr. Lester Gegenheimer and his son, Robert, built the present historic 28 mile-high fence and founded the largest wildlife commercial hunting park, licensed by the State of Colorado.  The 10,000 acre ranch soon became well known for harvesting large, high-scoring bull elk and for the beautiful scenery of the Mesa de Mayo County of Colorado.

Before the Gegenheimer stewardship, Cotton Mesa was owned by three doctors out of Texas who ran a few cattle and hunted mule deer, elk and bear.

“We are very excited about the upside potential of Cotton Mesa”, said Bill Carter.  “With our 32 years of experience managing our Texas Whitetail Hunting Ranches, the vast, lush, pristine elk and mule deer habitat, our ongoing winter and early spring supplemental feeding program, and God’s blessings of good moisture during the spring and summer seasons, we hope to see many more “ranch record” class bulls harvested by our hunting clients.”

The settlers’ life

The last time a surveyor set foot on the western portion of Cotton Mesa was in 1885 when that area of Colorado was laid out in town sites and homesites or homesteads.  The 1870s town site of Gotera is located near the western portion of the ranch.  The storied "Cimmaron Cut Off" branch of the historic "Sante Fe Trail" goes through that part of the country.  You can still see wagon ruts, the ruins of the old wagon yard and General Store at the old "Way Station" that was called "Post Office Springs".  The springs still flow today providing water for elk, mule deer, bear and an occasional mountain lion.

In one of the valleys on this ranch, overlooking a gentle turn in the river that sates the unending thirst of tall grasses, stand the remains of a late 19th-century homestead built by thick, calloused hands from blocks of red rock and planks of cedar gathered onsite.

The “Cotton family” that lived here did so in two small rooms that backed into the hillside on the north, blocking winter’s coldest wind.  The modest dwelling opened to the south, facing the river.

They had a corral and stone barn for their horses, perhaps a few cattle.

And on autumn mornings they awoke, and at night fell asleep, to the sounds of elk bugling throughout the canyon.

Historical Honeymoon Cabin





Carter's Country Ranches - 6231 Treaschwig Rd. - Spring, Texas  77373
PHONE: (281) 209-1048  -  FAX: (281) 209-1078
Copyright 2007 - All Rights Reserved