“We look forward to our annual reunion every year because of how amazing Purple Sage and their staff is.”

 - Ashly W.

“Staff and facilities are exceptional.”

 - Nall

“Staff and facility is truly 1st rate! Food was outstanding.

 - Anne C.

“Staff is wonderful and friendly, and facilities were very clean and nice.”

 - Zachary C.

“Most wonderful place I’ve been.”

 - Harold M.

“Joe at the shooting range is great with teaching and encouraging.”  

 - Doug P.

“Food quality was exceptional.  Staff is extremely attentive.  Great place for large group events.”

 - Heidi E.

“The food is a cut above.  Way better than expected.  Beautiful grounds and wonderful for groups.”

 - Allen G.

“Chili cookoff was a blast – what a great team bonding event!

 - Stewart

“Absolutely phenomenal service/ambience/accommodations.  Thank you.”

 – Jennifer, Phillips 66 (Houston)

“Best barbecue sauce ever.”

 – Brad, Phillips 66 (Houston)

“Purple Sage Ranch rocks!

 – Peter, Graves Dougherty Hearon Moody (Austin)

“The Purple Sage Ranch has wonderful attentive staff.  It is a great place for our seminars.”

 – Amy, 1st Choice Management Group (San Antonio)

“This place is 1st class hospitality, and the food is awesome.”

 – Todd, Texas Bankers’ Association (Austin)

“You guys are awesome!!  Thank you for how much each of you care about every customer.”

 – Juli, Texas Bankers’ Association (Austin)

_DSC3606Stinky is one of our five Pere David’s deer.  Here’s pretty much everything you ever needed to know about a Pere David’s.

Père David’s deer, also known as the milu in China , is a species of deer that is currently extinct in the wild—all known specimens are found only in captivity. This semiquatic animal prefers marshland, and is native to the subtropics of China. It grazes mainly on grass and aquatic plants.  It is the only extant member of the genus Elaphurus. Based on genetic comparisons, Père David’s deer is closely related to the deer of the genus Cervus, leading many experts to suggesting merging Elaphurus into Cervus or demoting Elaphurus to a subgenus of Cervus.

This species of deer was first made known to Western science in 1866 by Armand David (Père David), a French missionary working in China. He obtained the carcasses of an adult male, an adult female and a young male, and sent them to Paris, where the species was named Père David’s Deer by Alphonse Mine-Edwards, a French biologist.

The species is sometimes nicknamed sibuxiang in Chinese, literally meaning “four not alike”, which could mean “the four unlikes” or “like none of the four”; it is variously said that the four are cow, deer, donkey, horse (or) camel, and that the expression means in detail:

  • “the hooves of a cow but not a cow, the neck of a camel but not a camel, antlers of a deer but not a deer, the tail of a donkey but not a donkey.”
  • “the nose of a cow but not a cow, the antlers of a deer but not a deer, the body of a donkey but not a donkey, tail of a horse but not a horse”
  • “the tail of a donkey, the head of a horse, the hoofs of a cow, the antlers of a deer”
  • “the neck of a camel, the hoofs of a cow, the tail of a donkey, the antlers of a deer”
  • “the antlers of a deer, the head of a horse and the body of a cow”

By this name, this undomesticated animal entered Chinese mythology as the mount of Jiang Ziya in Fengshen Bang (translated as Investiture of the Gods), a Chinese classical fiction written during the Ming Dynasty.

The adult Père David’s deer reaches a head-and-body length of up to 1.9–2.2 meters (6.2–7.2 ft) and stands about 1.2 meters (3.9 ft) tall at the shoulder. The tail is relatively long for a deer, measuring 50–66 centimeters (20–26 in) when straightened. Weight is between 135 and 200 kilograms (300 and 440 lb). The head is long and slender with large eyes, very large preorbital glands, a naked nose pad and small, pointed ears.

The branched antlers are unique in that the long tines point backward, while the main beam extends almost directly upward. There may be two pairs per year. The summer antlers are the larger set, and are dropped in November, after the summer rut. The second set—if they appear—are fully grown by January, and fall off a few weeks later.

The coat is reddish tan in the summer, changing to a dull gray in the winter. Long wavy guard hairs are present on the outer coat throughout the year, with the coat becoming woolier in winter. There is a mane on the neck and throat and a black dorsal stripe running along the cervicothoracic spine. The tail is about 50 centimeters (20 in) in length, with a dark tuft at the end. The hooves are large and spreading, and make clicking sounds (as in the reindeer) when the animal is moving.

The gestation period is about nine months, after which a single offspring is usually born; twins are born in rare cases. The juveniles (referred to as either fawns or a calves) have a spotted coat, as is commonly seen in most species of deer. They reach sexual maturity at about 14 months. Historically, their main predators are believed to have been tigers and leopards. Despite no longer encountering natural predator, when experimentally exposed to images and stimuli relating to these big cats, the deer seemed to instinctively react with a cautious predator response typical of wild deer.

A semiaquatic animal, Père David’s deer swims well, spending long periods standing in water up to its shoulders. Although predominantly a grazer, the deer supplements its grass diet with aquatic plants in the summer.

“We loved everything.  As the coordinator of our retreat, everyone has told me how great everything is, especially compared to the location of our last retreat!”

- A. McHugh

“Every staff member is so friendly and nice!  Thank you for the vegan food!”

- H.R. Bronaugh

“Excellent! So glad our retreat moved here!  Staff were so attentive and courteous!”

- G. Funk

“Fantastic service and facility.  Want to book my organization’s retreat here!!

- B. Walsh

“I had the honor of facilitating the past 3 annual CHC Leadership Retreats.  Purple Sage is by far the best venue.  If an organization’s meeting is not successful, it cannot be blamed on Purple Sage.”

-  G. Arnold

“Staff took care of us – Excellent”

- J. Kyger

“Grounds & facilities are outstanding but it is the staff that made the stay fantastic.  Thank you for an outstanding stay.”

-B. McGucken

“Joe (skeet shooting) + Cody were fantastic.  Very informative and friendly.”

-D. Anthony

“This is a fantastic facility and fantastic staff.  Highly enjoyable.”

-L. Garrick

“Great place.”

-T. Stahl

This is a terrific recipe from sous chef James.  Great on grilled chicken or fish.

2 cups diced watermelon

1 cup diced fresh pineapple

1 cup diced red onion

1/4 cup chopped cilantro

1/4 cup orange juice

1 tablespoon diced habanero pepper (or more if you can handle it)

Mix all ingredients, chill for two hours for flavors to meld, then let sit until room temperature before serving over your protein of choice.

“My stay was better than I had remembered from the last time.  Keep up the good work.”

-K. Anderson

“The food was incredible.  I’ll be back.”

F. Sobol

“Ozzie is still great.  The new employees are carrying on the proud tradition of good service.  The housekeeping has also been great (Diahann).”

C. Isaac

“Staff very friendly, rooms extremely well kept.”

J. Brieden

“Stay was great, the food was awesome, diet time!”

A. Beavers

“As usual, an excellent experience, superb food, and outstanding staff.  Thanks for making my stay so pleasant.”

T. Maxey

“As always – everything was perfect, including the weather.”

S. Franklin

“Feed us too much, I overate.  No willpower.”


“Thanks, Joe!  Food was great!



After several days of gray, gloomy weather, we were wondering if this was the way it was going to be for all of 2013.  Not to worry….today is filled with brilliant sunshine and tomorrow is supposed to be even better with sunshine and 72 degrees….in the winter….on January 11th.  That’s Texas weather for ya!

We just had a wonderful group, Uretek USA, here with us for the first time.  As is the case with just about all first-timers, they’re already talking about next year’s program.  They just checked out a couple hours ago, so they missed the pretty weather.

We’re off to a great start in 2013 and dates are just about full for the summer months.  We have some availability but, if we don’t have the dates you want, ask John about dates and special rates for the “off” months.  We’ll work with you!


Purple Sage is proud to announce that we are hosting a Murder Mystery Weekend on October 26th, 2012.  By partnering with award winning Texas Mystery Weekends, PSR is able to stage a extremely unique, enjoyable, and professional event. The weekend includes chef prepared food for your entire stay, complimentary beverages, and access to all of PSR’s facilities. The mystery events consists of professional actors who guide you throughout the weekend until the murder is solved. PSR is also hosting a costume contest where the winner receives a 50% discount on their reservation.

For more information about the event and pricing click here.

Book soon! Reservations are filling up fast.

One of the most enjoyable teambuilding activities offered by PSR is the cooking competition/class. In this scenario, the group is divided into teams and asked to prepare a portion of the meal. Each team is advised/instructed by one of our chefs. The PSR staff judges each portion of the meal and selects a winner.

The competition is a great way to interact in a different setting, develop a new skill, and enjoy some amazing food! More information about our cooking competition/class can be found here: PSR Activities

The Menu:

West Texas Stuffed Jalapeños

Grilled Romaine w/ Garlic Vinaigrette

Roasted Salmon w/ Red Pepper Coulis

Brick Oven Chicken

Roasted Fingerling Potatoes

Grilled Asparagus, Zucchini, and Yellow Squash

Freestone Peach Tart

Check out photos of our latest culinary extravaganza:


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.