Gordy & Sons Outfitters in Houston stocks almost anything an outdoors enthusiast could want, from a $1,550 knife inlaid with 45,000-year-old woolly mammoth tusk fossil to a $250,000 rifle with a stock made of fine-grained walnut.

Store founder Russell Gordy knows his customers’ desires well. They are, after all, just like him.

Gordy, 68, got very rich in the oil and gas business and plowed a chunk of his wealth into ranchland in Texas, Wyoming and Montana that’s paradise for anyone who likes to hunt and fish. Gordy has passions for both, and 239,000 private acres to indulge them.

He spent about $100 million, starting in the early 1980s, to accumulate four recreational retreats, including one roughly the size of Philadelphia in central Wyoming, where streams run rich with trout, and a ranch with a quail plantation 290 miles southwest of Houston, where he built a $5 million hacienda-style hunting lodge replete with a cavernous trophy room.

That makes him tied with the Koch family as America’s 58th-largest landholder, according to the Land Report and data compiled by Bloomberg.

“I love land,” he said. “I love what it is and so try to keep it the way it’s always been.”

Gordy began his ranch-buying spree with a 114-acre parcel in the deep woods of east Texas. In Montana, his holdings span 49,000 acres on the Yellowstone River. All of his properties are now worth about $200 million, according to Bloomberg calculations.

Acquiring land for recreation is a common motivator for today’s ultra-rich buyer. A unique property with stunning vistas and vast acreage has become its own class of luxury asset and, unlike, say, fine wine, it can be enjoyed while it appreciates.

The quirky pastimes of billionaires often require huge amounts of open land. The world’s richest person, Jeff Bezos, spent time as a youth castrating cattle on his grandparents’ Texas ranch. Today he has his own rural idyll: 420,000 acres of desert scrub in Texas, where he indulges his passion for space exploration. Over in Kentucky, investor Brad Kelley—America’s seventh-biggest landowner—owns 3,300 Kentucky acres, some of it prime bluegrass, where his Calumet Farm has bred some of the best racehorses in history. Third-generation cattle rancher Mike Smith owns a Texas luxury ranch with a 3,200-acre wildlife preserve.

Massive purchases of open space by moneyed buyers are shifting the traditional ownership model of ranches and small farms, most of which have historically been family-owned. They’re also creating new pockets of wealth as asset-rich, cash-poor farmers sell out.

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