Joshua Creek Ranch has a way of racking up endorsements and awards the way Tom Brady racks up NFL passing records. Every time you look, the Texas Hill Country resort is being acknowledged as an elite wingshooting lodge. The latest recognition comes in the form of an endorsement from Federal Ammunition’s nascent Select Outfitter Program, which includes some of the best wingshooting lodges in the nation. Joshua Creek Ranch adds this endorsement to three others it currently holds (Orvis, Beretta and Shooting Sportsman), making it one of only two lodges in the world that can boast a total of four endorsements.
While the endorsements serve as seals of approval for JCR’s overall product (hunting, accommodations, dining, hospitality and so on), the lodge has received awards for specific aspects of its operation as well. For example, two of its guides have won Orvis’s Wingshooting Guide of the Year award: Eric Harrison in 2017 and Mike Goldsmith in 2021.
JCR Managing Director Kevin Welborn attributes the lodge’s lofty acknowledgements to a 100-percent commitment to being the best of the best. This commitment starts with the lodge’s ownership and management and runs throughout the entire staff. “Joshua Creek owners Joe and Ann Kercheville are seasoned international travelers who have often been on the customer side of the five-star experience,” Welborn said, “so they know exactly what it takes to deliver a world-class product and have dedicated themselves to setting and maintaining that standard for their own operation. Coupled with that is a management team and staff that are fully committed to being the best in the industry at their specific tasks.” That’s certainly a winning combination and probably the main reason Joshua Creek has been a finalist for Orvis’s Wingshooting Lodge of the Year five of the last six years—including being the winner in 2018. But it isn’t the only reason, according to Welborn. “The Kerchevilles are constantly investing in making the lodge even better. Whether it’s the accommodations, the dining, the hunting or the clay target shooting, we tackle something new every year that takes the ranch to a higher level and gives our guests something new to look forward to.”
And those projects often come as a result of the feedback JCR actively solicits from customers. “If we get 100 great reviews and one of them includes a suggestion on how to elevate our offering,” Welborn said, “our management team will discuss and take action. We take the feedback we receive from our customers very seriously. We also seek input from the organizations that operate the endorsement programs, because they are the ones setting the benchmarks for the upscale wingshooting-travel industry. The groups who run those programs are great resources for helping us stay abreast of the current best practices that we use to update Joshua Creek’s protocols.”
Welborn says that the endorsements and awards the lodge receives are particularly meaningful because they are bestowed on JCR by leaders in the wingshooting industry. “Beretta, Shooting Sportsman, Orvis and Federal have visited practically all of the nation’s finest hunting lodges, so it’s an honor to have authorities like that acknowledge us as the best of the best. And every time that happens, it sends a ripple of pride that spreads throughout our entire staff. Everyone here works hard and strives to be the best, and it’s a great feeling to have those efforts recognized.” It is a feeling that Joshua Creek has experienced numerous times since its inception in 1990, and it’s one that the lodge probably will experience many more times in the future.
Joshua Creek Ranch is a full-service Shooting Sportsman Endorsed Lodge. For more information on Joshua Creek Ranch, call 830-537-5090 or email [email protected].