I met the crew from the Quinlan Ranch at the SCI Show in Las Vegas. They immediately caught my attention in that here was a ranch that was interested in disabled hunters. The Quinlan is a 17,000 acre ranch just west of Chama, NM, in the beautiful Chama Valley of the San Juan Mountains. Its northern border is the Colorado state line. The ranch is on the migration route that elk take when moving from north to south. It is not uncommon for the ranch to have 7,000 to 8,000 elk on it at any one time. In addition to elk, the ranch also has mule deer, bear, mountain lion, and, in the spring turkey hunting and trout fishing.
Disabled hunters will find the hunting easy to participate in. I was very lucky to have the ranch manager Matt Berry as a guide. Matt knows the ranch like the back of his hand and knew where the elk would be moving. The ranch has John Deere Gators as their primary vehicles. On one, Matt removed the windshield and devised a gun rest that is adjustable, and has a modified seat making transfers easy. We could drive the fire lanes and glass the ridges and open saddles. Blinds have also been built on water holes that the Gator can back into. Much though has gone into getting the disabled hunter and wounded warrior back into an untamed mountain hunt. While hunting with Matt, I was very fortunate to harvest a 330 inch Bull elk.
The Garcia Lodge is the hospitality center for the Quinlan Ranch. This beautiful and comfortable lodge has 2 guest rooms that are totally accessible with handicap bathrooms on the first floor. The lodge is very easy to get around in with a wheelchair with every doorway having ramps, and a width wide enough for a wheelchair. The front deck is a great place to sit and rehash the days events. The food at the lodge is fantastic. Each meal is expertly prepared by chef Austin Meetfeld. The variety and selection of the meals would rival many 5 star restaurants.
Many ranches offer only tower blinds and have so many steps in the lodge that it makes it impossible for the handicap hunter. Many of them are hesitant to try to accommodate disabled hunters. Experience a hunt of a lifetime. Your time at Quinlan Ranch will be way above expectations.