David Kitner has been involved in ranch management for over 40 years. Since his arrival at the ranch in 2001, he has made many changes. What once was an over-stocked, over-grazed, over-hunted ranch has been transformed by his management. His strong work ethic and honest, principled business practices have earned him recognition around the state as an excellent ranch manager and individual. He has an extensive background in both wildlife and cattle management, as well as range management, which he has put to good use. The ranch was awarded the Lone Star Land Steward Award in 2010, and David was named the Outstanding Conservation Rancher in 2012 for San Patricio County. He also sits as an advisor on a board promoting grazing and wildlife conservation.
While David has instituted many programs to benefit the ranch, one of the ones he is most proud of is his involvement with wounded veterans. He began hosting them on the ranch for guided hunts in 2007, and it is enthusiastically embraced by everyone involved.
Some of the many improvements David has made have been the implementation of rotational grazing, pasture rest, and water improvements. Well over 100 miles of water pipeline have been installed, with over 100 water troughs being added also. This has had a dramatic effect on both wildlife and cattle. The deer herd has been managed for both density and quality, with extensive records on all deer harvested, so herd improvement may be evaluated on an annual basis.
David has put a lot of hard work into the Duval County Ranch, but he says it wouldn’t have been possible without the cooperation and support of the owners, David Killam and the Killam Family. “It is a real pleasure working for a family that is very conservation minded and who supports and appreciates the ranching heritage of South Texas.”