The Land Report

Spring 2015

The Magazine of the American Landowner is an essential guide for investors, landowners, and those interested in buying or selling land. The award-winning quarterly is known for its annual survey of America's largest landowners, The Land Report 100.

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S P R I N G 2 0 1 5 | The LandReport 69 LANDREPORT.COM "Having shot quail with Katharine, I can attest to the fact that she is an incredible wingshot," says Laura's husband, the 43rd President of the United States. A guest at the Armstrong Ranch and at Persimmon Gap, President Bush has witnessed Katharine's talents firsthand. "She has a sharp eye, cracks great jokes, and she's a lot of fun." Katharine's sporting heritage dates back to her childhood on Armstrong. "When I was a little girl, I was just very competitive. So was my mother. She would never let being a girl stop her from doing anything. Anyway, I was about eight or nine, and I went to my mother, and I said, 'Mommy, I want to go shoot a buck.' And the way we did it back then, the first buck you ever shot, you would get your .222 — it was my mother's .222 rifle; I still re- member that gun so well — you would take the gun and you would walk by yourself into this giant live oak mott on the north side of the headquarters. You just walked out there by yourself and you went and found a deer and you shot it and you marked it," she says. "Then you would go get your father or a cowboy, and you would walk back out there and clean your deer with their help. My brother, Barclay, had done it the year before," she recalls. "'Katharine, you can't do that.' Mother said." "'Well, why not?' I asked." "'Well, you're not old enough,' Mother said." "'Well, Barclay did it. Barclay got to do it, Mommy.' I had a Mexican accent. 'Mami, it's not fair. Barclay did it. How come I can't?'" She said, "Well, Katharine, you're a girl." "I looked at her like really?" "'No, you're right. You can do it,' she said." "So I went out and shot my first deer that way. If you think about it, with kids today, you can't ride your bike one block without wearing a helmet, elbow pads, and knee pads, and your mother hanging on. I got to go walk out on my own with a loaded gun, shoot an animal, and do it responsibly at the age of eight or nine. That tells you a lot about how you go through life. My brother did it. My sister did it. Every- body did it. Too bad that's being lost." The allure of the rugged terrain proved irresistible to a young Ben Love, who spied mountain lion, bear, a smuggler or two, and "maybe a renegade Indian." "This ranch doesn't have cattle, but Ben keeps all the waters going. He is so religious about stuff that benefits wildlife. There's no economic return for doing that. He does it because he loves this place, he loves wildlife, and it's the right thing to do. " — Katharine Armstrong

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