“I grew up ‘Huckleberry Finn’, I was always outdoors-oriented with my family. That’s never left me.”
There is this fascinating thing that occurs in life, where you suddenly wake up and realize you are learning something very new to you, or seeing something familiar to you that has been cast in a whole new light. For Warren Bluntzer, that’s been every single day since childhood. “I promised myself when I was a young student that I would never step outside and not learn something new about my world.” And he has followed through on that promise to himself for the past fifty years.
We needed Warren this year. We needed a wildlife consultant to tell us exactly what a property could and couldn’t be, what he would do to make it better, and if the dreams we had been dreaming were even feasible for the client in question. It’s a bit like calling in the cavalry to storm out all those little secrets that tend to hide in the shade on most ranch land. It’s like hiring a native tracker to listen to the ground and tell you what’s coming. He did, and we are grateful.
Experience. (not the buzzword)
When you talk with Warren, you realize in about ten minutes that there are only a handful of people in the world who can do what he does. There are no shortcuts, and he’s the first to say that it would be impossible to be a young man sitting in his seat. It’s not prideful, he’s just humble about all the lessons that decades of walking and millions of miles traveled to thousands of ranches around the globe have taught him. He’s sat as an expert witness in court on many occasions, lectured at universities, and held long term (25+ year) engagements, all so that he can keep learning and sharpening his eye.
It means that when he walks up to a gate and opens it, he’s seen a hundred things you’d never know to even look at. He’s seen the past, he can guess the future, and he’s the guy you want to start talking to, but he won’t tell it all straight away. Not until he’s let you talk for a while first.
“It’s all about being a good listener. Before I talk, I need to size up the person I’m talking with. I want to know what he knows, what he thinks he knows, what experiences they have been through. I don’t want anything I say to mislead them or an assumption to be made.”
It takes a good listener to be a good learner, and a good learner will surround themselves with credible teachers. Add years to the mix, and by the end of a few decades, you’ll have yourself the deep knowledge required to speak up with deep confidence when it is finally time to open your mouth.
Issues have Specialized
“Wildlife Consulting Services” is a pretty small title for a pretty vast range of work. Warren is engaged in every front of understanding land. Not just the habitat, water, livestock and nature viability, but also the highest and best use, potential investment opportunities, and valuation over time. There are some questions that only a scientist and observer can understand, let alone begin to answer.
This commitment to being a specialized generalist began when he wrote an article entitled, “The winds of change.” At its publication in 1995, it spoke of a future (now the present) in which landowners operated with a completely different set of values and practices than their predecessors. Fragmentation is occurring on a massive scale in Texas, and so the style and approach to preservation has been forced to adapt. But, we’ve also seen a shift in priorities. Land has become an investment vehicle. People want to buy it for its future value, and so professional advice from experts has grown into a newly-felt need. There is a demand for land that is beautiful, full of wildlife, and capable of being enhanced and preserved for the future. You don’t let your investment rust out under your nose. What once was a market of farmers and ranchers trying to find land for grazing has disappeared to folks looking to build fine retreats inside of long-term, sustainable habitats.
Confidence breeds movement
For high-character land brokers and real estate agents, Warren Bluntzer is like finding the tell-all book on a piece of land. Nothing’s going to hide from his work. But our role is to bring high-character people together around high-character land, so sometimes we need to know for certain what caliber of character is hidden in that soil and in those granite boulder hills. We’re perfectly aligned with Warren here, we want to create an extremely factual story that either corroborates or condemns the dreaming that goes on around a land purchase. Don’t buy something if it isn’t right for what you want to accomplish. High character people don’t let their friends do that.
So it’s a risk, for the deal’s sake, but never for the people involved. What we’ve seen happen is that when Warren presents his case, it clears the air. We can all begin to see what’s what, together, and make informed and confident decisions at a high rate of speed. He creates that confidence and creates the perfect example of how effort equals care.
A trail of healthy, high character lands.
A word from Warren to everyone out there, “Pick up your phone, you never know where it may lead.” If you’re a good listener, it’s an opportunity to find out about someone else, to obey Warren’s golden rule: Learn Something New Every Day. You never know what someone might be willing to share with you. Most times, picking up the phone means that you begin a relationship that can span into other relationships, and still more. You help someone, then you help their neighbor, and their neighbor, and the list goes on. All from a simple act of acknowledgment and listening.
Whenever Warren decides to retire, it’ll be on his current “laboratory” ranch, a disheveled piece of dirt that he has brought back to life over thirteen years. Behind him, he’ll stand satisfied to see all these parcels of connected people and properties that have grown healthy over the decades (Warren picks up the phone!). One at a time, he’s watching people’s eyes light up with knowing as they begin to see and understand the natural world enough to realize that when everything is kept in balance, it becomes even more beautiful. What started as the financial goal of maintaining an asset expands into a deeper view of preservation. “Good people want to do the right things, you can always tell that from someone right away.”
Add in some curiosity, plus a few credible people like Warren who are willing to find the right answers and you’ve got a Harman Ranches dream scenario, a high character transaction. We believe that life’s too short not to surround ourselves with good people, and when humble, highly intelligent folks cross our path, we know they’re the ones we want to stick to. And together, we’ll leave this land better than we found it, one step at a time.
Warren Bluntzer is the founder and lead consultant for Bluntzer Wildlife Consulting Services Inc., located in Lometa, Texas. His email is firstname.lastname@example.org .