The Land Report

Spring 2016

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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66 The LandReport | S P R I N G 2 0 1 6 LANDREPORT.COM lines, but Keith keeps an eye out for talent wherever it might be found. He also keeps a few English setters and, recently, a big-running German short- hair that Boone likes. Most of the Labs are homegrown. On the final morning, we head for the center pivot irrigators, around which 250 pheasants had been released into a cover mix of sorghum, redtop, foxtail millet, and haygrazer. It was show time for the Labs and spaniels that work ahead of the line of hunters and guides. Notorious runners, pheasants rarely hold for pointing dogs. Although there is a small breeding popula- tion on the ranch, most of the pheasants are released. However, unlike pen-reared bobwhites, flight-conditioned pheasants quickly acclimate to excellent habitat and can be nearly as challenging as wild birds. Over the next hour, I witness a display of shotgunning skill and dog work that I'm likely never to see again. The birds flush and fly hard in a stiff wind, often well ahead of the hunters. The dogs stay busy fetching birds and sorting out runners and cripples. At the end of the shoot, John Thames, looking a tad dazed, shakes his head and mutters, "I've never seen anything like it." Mesa Vista Ranch reflects Boone Pickens' lifelong commitment to conservation. His devotion to bobwhite quail and the Texas quail hunting tradition continues to shape this unique place, and to contribute to our body of wildlife management knowledge. Bubba Wood describes his longtime friend succinctly: "Boone isn't a rich guy who hunts quail. He's a quail hunter who became a rich guy. Believe me, there's a big difference." "Boone isn't a rich guy who hunts quail. He's a quail hunter who became a rich guy. Believe me, there's a big difference. " — Bubba Wood, National Skeet Shooters Hall of Famer Both Katie and her master, Bubba Wood, take great pride in her very first retrieve.

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