A rich heritage in the Kansas tallgrass prairie
The Flying W Ranch is a 7,000 acre working cattle ranch in the tallgrass prairie that offers guest ranch services to people wanting to experience the Flint Hills and Cowboy Culture. It was started in 1996 by Josh Hoy and his cousin, Warren Kruse.
Josh Hoy is a 5th generation Flint Hills Rancher. The Hoy family arrived in the Flint Hills in the 1870s and is still there today. Josh has worked on ranches from Colorado to California until 1996 when he partnered with his cousin Warren Kruse on the Flying W Ranch. Josh grew up on the family ranch at Cassoday, Kansas with his Grandfather Kenneth and Great Uncle Marshall as mentors and heroes. Josh’s Great Uncle Marshall was a renowned rodeo and pasture cowboy and ranch cook. His Grandfather Kenneth was a free range cowboy who drove cattle from Texas to Kansas in his youth. Josh’s father, Jim Hoy is a Historian and folklorist who specializes in the history of the Flint Hills and Cowboys. Jim doesn’t just study cowboys, he is a top hand and he and Josh’s mother Cathy help cowboy on the Flying W frequently. The Hoys are related to Charlie Goodnight, the inventor of the chuck wagon and renowned plainsman, through their Great Uncle Frank Goodnight who was a Great Nephew to Charlie. Josh has continued his family tradition of ranching and chuck wagon cooking.
Gwen Hoy, Josh’s wife, grew up a Farmer’s daughter on the edge of the Flint Hills. In 1992 Gwen moved to Chase County and began teaching 9th grade English part time at the Chase County High School and cowboying part time. She worked for the Crofoot Ranch, the Pinkston Brothers Cattle Company, and the Cottonwood Ranch until 1998 at which point after several years of courtship she fell in love with Josh. She has been married to Josh and working full time at the Flying W Ranch ever since. Just recently Gwen discovered that her family, the Pattons, homesteaded the house that Gwen and Josh currently live in.
Josie June Hoy is the only daughter of Josh and Gwen. She has numerous dogs, 2 horses, and any number of miscellaneous critters at any given time. She is an expert in the care of puppies, kitties, and baby calves. Josie rides her horse and helps them cowboy.
The Flying W Ranch
The Flying W Ranch currently runs 250 cows year round and 1,500 yearlings from April to August. To manage the livestock, we have 50 horses, 6 of these being draft horses which we use to feed with. Our horses are real working ranch horses. They are well trained and capable of taking you on a relaxing ride or a cowboy adventure. In addition to riding, we have many miles of Cottonwood River, creek, hills, prairie, and woodland to hike, ride, fish, and explore.
We have an authentic 1880’s chuck wagon and a professional kitchen. We offer catering from rustic chuck wagon fare to gourmet dining. As a guest, you can experience ranching life with us as it is, or as it was. We offer anything you want from solitude and relaxation to a real cowboy experience and adventure.
Enjoy your stay at the Flying W Ranch and we look forward to your visit.