Wednesday, March 13, 2013
I don't want to brag or anything, but yeah, Boone and I are pretty tight. OK, so maybe not, but I did have the chance recently to interview T. Boone Pickens at his unbelievably awesome Mesa Vista ranch, which is a mere hundred miles or so due west of where I live and hunt, but light-years away in terms of quail habitat.
It was a really interesting assignment, and if so inclined (as always, I urge you to be so inclined) you can read the whole story in the current issue of Covey Rise magazine, which thankfully went to press just in time for the Covey Rise guys to send some issues to Dallas for the Quail Coalition's Park Cities chapter banquet and auction last week, where the man himself was holding court and signing copies. I half-jokingly asked them to save me a signed copy, and I'll be damned if one didn't show up in the mail today. Thanks, guys.
As for the ranch itself, well, what can you say? Pickens is and always has been an obsessive quail hunter, and as physical manifestations of obsessions go, this one is a doozy: 68,000 acres of lovingly restored southern plains prairie where virtually every management decision is made with the goal of increasing native habitat for wild quail. It's basically a 100-square-mile time machine, a snapshot of what the southern plains may have looked like before agriculture inevitably and irrevocably changed the region into what it is today.
It is a starkly, staggeringly beautiful place, if you're into prairie. Which of course I am. I feel fortunate to have gotten a chance to see it, if for nothing else than the opportunity to scout out how I can sneak back onto the place this fall. I mean, come on, it's a hundred square miles. They can't keep an eye on all of it at once, right?
Posted by Chad Love at 2:16 PM