Our History

Breeder Bucks
The Refuge - Breeder Buck - Big O The Refuge - Breeder Buck - Stemwinder
AI Sires
The Refuge - AI Sire - Maxbo 727 The Refuge - AI Sire - Tex Roller The Refuge - AI Sire - Mojo The Refuge - AI Sire - Monarch
The Refuge - AI Sire - Maxbo The Refuge - AI Sire - Sapo The Refuge - AI Sire - Maxbo Hardcore The Refuge - AI Sire - Hot Shot
Past Breeders
The Refuge - Past Breeder - Texas Sam The Refuge - Past Breeder - Antler King The Refuge - Past Breeder - Blade The Refuge - Past Breeder - 2Wide
The Refuge - Past Breeder - Slingblade The Refuge - Past Breeder - Honky Tonk The Refuge - Past Breeder - Slingshot The Refuge - Past Breeder - Zero
Sold Bucks
The Refuge - Sold Buck - Bladestar The Refuge - Sold Buck - 2Wide The Refuge - Sold Buck - Sully The Refuge - Sold Buck - Renegade
The Refuge - Sold Buck - Zero The Refuge - Sold Buck - Slingshot The Refuge - Sold Buck - Matador The Refuge - Sold Buck - Casanova
Semen Bucks
The Refuge - Semen Buck - Texas Sam The Refuge - Semen Buck - Blade The Refuge - Semen Buck - Honky Tonk The Refuge - Semen Buck - Sideways
The Refuge - Semen Buck - Big O The Refuge - Semen Buck - 2Wide The Refuge - Semen Buck - Bladestar The Refuge - Semen Buck - Stemwinder

History of The Refuge

Will McSpadden

The Refuge was founded by Glenn Sodd back in 1986 with the intent of owning a ranch where his family could enjoy hunting, fishing and everything great about the outdoors. With much of this young lawyers net worth tied up in his new piece of heaven, along came the real estate crash shortly after closing on this new and unique ranch. Being the visionary that Glenn is, he decided to erect a high fence around his ranch in hopes of helping it create more value so that he might sell the property or potentially let the land help carry itself financially with some hunting income.

Glenn managed to elude selling the ranch through the tough recession of the ‘80’s and then he focused his attention towards making the ranch profitable. He realized the high fence alone was not the magic bullet for growing big bucks, so he began to investigate in the new market of scientific breeding to aid in his efforts of having big deer on his place. Glenn searched the state of Texas and the nation for the best genetics available. It was very difficult in 1990 to find deer with any lineage or production history, so he began to buy bred doe and fawns sired by the powerhouse bucks of that era. During this time Glenn heard of the whitetail research program Mississippi State University had been conducting for years, headed up by Dr. Harry Jacobson. Glenn had found what he had been looking for, deer with a history. Detailed information on each individual deer had been kept for many years for MSU’s research program. MSU had gathered the biggest and best bucks and doe from around the nation in hopes of unraveling some of the secrets of what it takes to grow bigger, healthier deer, understand their psychological behaviors better and learn more about disease control. This program was perhaps the fore-runner of modern day deer management. Glenn acquired as many MSU deer as he could to help his new breeding operation. So that’s how we got started in the deer business, but it’s only half of the story!

By 1995 word of our program had got out and we began to receive calls inquiring about purchasing our genetics. At this time there were still only a handful of breeders throughout Texas. We sold a few deer over the next couple of years and we continued to breed-up our herd. By the late 1990’s and early 2000 the deer business was starting to develop. The Texas Deer Association was formed to help the deer business be better recognized and help educate its growing membership. Glenn played an important role in helping the TDA get up and running. For his efforts the TDA made him a Founding Director. With the development of the deer industry, The Refuge was receiving many phone calls and visitors inquiring about our deer. Our deer breeding was quickly surpassing our original goals, both in production and financially.

By 2002 the deer business was in full swing. Our 2 year old bucks that year were off the charts and we had two bucks that went over 200 inches. The first was a 4 year old we named Texas Sam and the other was a 5 year old we named Antler King. That year, Texas Sam and Antler King were our first 200” bucks we’d raised, only 11 short years after acquiring and breeding the best of the best. We also raised a special 2 year old that year named Blade. Blade was a 191” 2 year old that was wide, tall and heavy. We turned down $100,000 for Blade that year; I thought Glenn was crazy for not taking the money. But Glenn knew Blade was a reflection of his efforts and he was extremely special. The impact that Blade has made on our herd today is almost unparalleled. The bucks of 2002 helped put us on the map.

We’ve raised hundreds of different bucks that scored 200-300 inches.  When I think back to the early days and the early deer, raising bucks like the ones of today doesn’t even seem possible. I really believe in our genetics, they’ve gotten exponentially better, year after year.  Our early 170” breeders produced 180” breeders, then our 180” breeders produced 190” breeders, and then our 190” breeders produced 200” breeders. Now we’re producing 230” yearlings and 321” three year olds and I can’t wait to see the next generation grow out this year. We hope you’ve been able to gather a better understanding of The Refuge, but to fully appreciate us; you need to come see our bucks with your own eyes. Come see us!

By Chris McSpadden