Born in 1952, Gary Schwarz grew up on his family’s South Texas farm, where he developed a deep love of wildlife and land. After completing his residency in Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery in 1983, Gary and seven friends purchased his first 1,000 acres of land, the beginning of what ultimately became the famous Tecomate Ranch. Gary and his partners placed the first Conservation Easement ever done in Texas on the initial property in 1986. Gary has also placed Conservation Easements on all his other acquisitions, protecting them in perpetuity from becoming anything other than what they are today – wildlife habitat.
Besides land conservation, Gary’s other consuming passion is wildlife management. Convinced he could use the farming knowledge he learned from his father and the research knowledge he learned in school to grow bigger deer on his property, Gary began to seek out the right forages and develop predictable dry land farming techniques in 1983. By 1989, he had perfected farming methods, discovered lablab and other new subtropical legumes and invented the reversible game-proof fence for food plots, opening the way for revolutionary food plot management for deer even in arid South Texas.
The results were spectacular! The unbelievable explosion in deer numbers, size (both antler size and body weights) and reproductive rates had never reported before. Word spread rapidly, aided by the scientific research done on his ranch by the Caesar Kleberg Wildlife Research Institute. The Institute validated his results with three separate Master’s Degree thesis earned in two-year studies done by graduate students under the direction of Dr. Tim Fulbright. The results of each study were published in prominent scientific peer-reviewed journals, setting Tecomate’s work apart and establishing the credibility of the techniques Gary had pioneered.
The clamor among hunters and managers for information and seed literally forced Gary into the seed business in 1991, when Gary, Fred Schuster, and Dr. Fulbright started the original Tecomate Seed Company. Awards and acknowledgements began to follow, as Gary received the Wildlife Stewardship Award from the Wildlife Society, the first Lone Star Land Stewardship Award from the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department, and the first Friend of Wildlife Award from the Texas Wildlife Association.
Among the many people Gary met as a result of his successes was his dear friend and business partner, David Morris. David shared Gary’s love of hunting and management, had had similar success in using food plots as the centerpiece of intensive whitetail management, and, most importantly, shared Gary’s love of family and Lord Jesus. Not long after the two met, David purchased neighboring El Cazador Ranch in 1998, and they joined together to form Tecomate Wildlife Systems in 2000, with the express purpose of helping others realize their dream of owning and managing their own property… for big deer!
Today, Gary is exploring new interests on two recently purchased ranches. On one, Gary is pushing the envelope on bass management. With five newly constructed lakes from 7 to 80 acres, Gary is developing forage production strategies that will take forage production (food sources) to an all new level, promising of more and bigger bass than ever thought possible. On the other property, Gary is taking upland game bird management to a new frontier and has turned unproductive county into a bird paradise supporting incredible dove populations and perhaps the highest density of wild bobwhite quail ever produced! Gary credits all of his successes to God and his Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.