Ox Hunting Ranch/Drivetanks.com Uvalde, TX

A Russian T34, one of the many tanks waiting for you at the Ox Ranch

Leave it to our friends in Texas to do things big. In this case, we’re talking about a vast, remote, 18,000 acre cattle ranch that was converted to an every-growing guest ranch dedicated to the majesty of the outdoors be it hunting, fishing, shooting bows and arrows, birdwatching, giraffe watching, kayaking, jet skiing  – or, in this case, driving a real tank.

In 2016, the Ox Hunting Ranch launched Drive Tanks with a barn full of  30- and 60-ton tracked vehicles for you to drive. There is a beautifully restored WWII Sherman tank, , a Russian T-34, a British Scorpion, a British Chieftain, and  a German Leopard tank. Essentially, you pick a tank, request a date, arrive by car, helicopter or jet, and take your tank out for a spin. Your instructor will brief you on the history of the tank, train you in its operations, and go over important safety protocols. When you’re done, out you go to rumble and roar over obstacles, streams, and other challenges ideally suited to show off the tank’s muscle (there are over 100 miles of dirt roads on the property). And get this. Unique in all of America, they let you fire the big gun on the Sherman, the Russian T-34, or the British Scorpion FV1. Repeat – you can load the main gun, pull the trigger and hear and feel the shock as the shell shoots out of the barrel. (And these are the main guns. The M4 Sherman has a 76mm gun, the T-34 has an 85mm gun, and the Scorpion fires a 76mm gun.)

If tanks and tracked vehicles  are more than what you want, they have a range where you can fire almost any weapon the U.S. Army owns, and some they don’t. The have an M134 minigun (a Gatling gun that fires 6,000 rounds a minute), flame throwers, machine guns of all types,  AK-47s, and rifles all the way down to your grandfather’s WWII M1 carbine.

The ranch offers lodging for their overnight guests in their WWII-themed “barracks” and they serve chef prepared meals. Or just  come in for a day trip. Most important of all – this  is a professional operation. Tanks and guns are serious business and military enthusiasts and armored buffs alike consider this to be the best in class.  Located about an hour and a half from San Antonia, they recently added a 5,800-ft runway that will take a decent sized corporate jet.

Hours: See website for reservations

Website: https://www.drivetanks.com/ and http://www.oxhuntingranch.com/

For hotels, we recommend Hotels.com