Last month I (B. Elfland) was fortunate to spend the weekend at Boone Pickens’ Mesa Vista Ranch in the Texas Panhandle, courtesy of Eddie Lee Rider and Eric O’Keefe of The Land Report. Mesa Vista Ranch is truly one of a kind. I don’t imagine there is another ranch anywhere in the world that’s quite like it.
It was a wonderful weekend- educational, relaxing and often dazzling- but I was most impressed with Mr. Pickens’ clear vision for the ranch and the obvious pride and joy that he feels from making that dream a reality.
Having been called “the finest quail-hunting spot in the known universe” by Dallas outdoor writer Ray Sasser, Mesa Vista expects hunting parties to average 20 coveys per day. Range management, water development and supplemental feeding were Mr. Pickens’ first priorities in quail management.
After tending to improving the birds habitat, he focused on developing the ranch structures and the ranch’s tremendous water resources. The result is an absolute oasis in the West Texas landscape. It’s impossible for me to pick a favorite building; the lakeside chapel, the prized bird dog barn, the elegant lodge or Mr. Pickens’ refurbished family home which was moved to the ranch from his hometown in Oklahoma.
Granted every landowner does not have Boone Pickens’ budget. But the message I heard from Boone Pickens was the same message that I hear from landowners everywhere: watching your vision become reality is one of the most rewarding aspects of ranch ownership. Apparently, the fruits of good stewardship are universally rewarding at every level.
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