- "lean and kinda gamey, but you put some salsa on that and Yowza!"
- ―McHenry on his product
|Owned By:||fully owned by Duke McHenry|
|Market:||food and provisions|
Duke McHenry was born to a family of hunters, in the backwoods of Oklahoma. From an early age, he would be working, with either his father or brothers, or one of the neighboring farms when he got older. He was forced out of his home at 16 however, as his mother had given birth to twin daughters and food would be tight. Heading south and east, he managed to find menial labor and trappable-game to sustain himself. He lived like this for several years, eventually finding himself in the Permian Basin. He traveled the area, finding horrors and places beyond his simple dreams, but was especially taken by Fort Holly.
He would stay there, living among the Rockers for years, doing whatever until 2267. On a cold January night of that year, he had a dream, and set off again. He would remember the Rockers fondly, however, and often told travelers about them as he made his way south. He followed the Rio Grande to the east, miraculously dodging raider and Comancheros bands as he took seasonal work with local farms. By 2270 he had made it to Falfurrias, and made camp in a prairie. The next morning he awoke and traveled out in search of food, and found a small valley full of Jackalopes, hopping and eating lazily.
He shot several with his Pipe rifle before the others scattered, during which time he was struck by an epiphany. He went to the nearest town, and spent all his money for chicken wire, nails, and bullets and then returned to the valley. He saw just as many rabbits as before, so he worked over the next week to completely fence in the valley. He then constructed a small lean-to nearby, and began to trim off excess animals as they were bred. The meat he didn't need was traded in town, and soon word got around about his 'ranch.'
Finding it funny, he made a small archway that proclaimed the same thing. Little did he know that it would draw attention. The next year in 2271 he found several riders approaching his small home. The foremost of the men introduced himself as Warren Goffman, local rancher. He explained that he had recently heard of McHenry's operation, and when he asked about it, heard it happened to be on his land.
Being around the block a few times, McHenry knew the game, and asked if there was a way he could stay, Goffman told him they could work out a long-term lease, which would only cost a tenth of McHenry's profit. Outnumbered 6 to 1 and no hot-head he quickly agreed and signed a rough contract they drew up. He was also under Goffman's protection under the deal, which turned out to be an actual promise; several armed hand came whenever they were asked.
With this (somewhat unpleasant) protection, McHenry was able to rid himself of most predators and poachers before they became a problem. The last decade has seen both men profit from the agreement, with McHenry renewing the lease in early February of 2281. Now sporting several new structures as well as a proper fence, the ranch is currently at it's peak, selling meat to several towns, and on occasion even south of the border.
The ranch is the largest distributor of Jackalope meat in the region, which is quickly becoming popular beyond it's traditional working-class market, due to the range wars and heavy-handed brahmin barons. McHenry harvests several bucks a week, skinning them and putting them in an underground 'cool room' before he salts them and takes them to market.
He also allows the odd child and parent(s) to come and pick one or two as a pet, sending them off with hay and grass as well.