Revisiting the beginnings of a career

 

 

Old Hunting Camp in 1974

Old Hunting Camp in 1974 and a months take on the trapline

Thirty four years ago tonight I sat in a half dugout line camp on the 167,000 acre Pitchfork ranch, gazing into the blazing embers of a mesquite wood fire and wondering what in the hell did the future have in store! Having just finished my education at Texas Tech University with a degree in Wildlife Management, I was now a professional coyote hunter living in a small one room cabin with no electricity or running water and making one trip a week into town for food and fuel. It was a life unimaginable for many but for me, at the time, it was a life to die for.

 

Large male coyote photographed December 18, 2008

Large male coyote photographed December 18, 2008

It was in this cabin, by the light of a kerosine lamp, that I entered into a new phase of my then hobby of photography. Learning the mechanics of a camera after nightfall and putting that information to a test while hunting coyotes during the day, I can truly say that those colorful years were  instrumental in creating the style that defines my work today.

Recently a friend and I decided to revisit the old line camp where it all began, building a fire in the dusty fireplace and remembering a time long past. Down the road we saw my old photo blinds made of mesquite wood where I had sat for hours on end through the winter months of the early 90’s in an attempt to grab some photos for my second published book, “Coyote”, Texas Tech University Press, 1995. All had felt the ravages of time but the wear did not diminish the power of the memories that I harbored from those magical days of yesteryear.

 

Thirty four years later at the old line camp

Thirty four years later at the old line camp

Travel with me into the recesses of time, to the line camp in the Croton badlands and view some memories from three decades past… and some from even yesterday!!

Enjoy!!

 

Photographing coyotes in big ranch country. Photo by Dr. Darrell Franks

Photographing coyotes in big ranch country. Photo by Dr. Darrell Franks

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Published in: on December 19, 2008 at 3:24 am  Comments (7)  

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7 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Although I had already seen that picture of you, I still find it amazing. If you had said it was a picture taken a century ago I would have believed it too!
    I bet the coyotes were happy when your hobby became your profession!

    😉 Inge

  2. I visited the camp with Wyman circa 1980. A couple of nights was enough for me! Please take me … QUICKLY … to the closest Holiday Inn!

    Serously, though, I was able to get some fabulous images during that trip. In fact, a gallery gold one … Pitchfork Moon … yesterday.

  3. I meant “sold” one …

  4. AHH that is one of my most favorite pictures i’ve ever seen of the young Wymie!! and i love the pic of you in the field with the bazooka!!! 🙂

  5. Beautiful shots and love the nostalgia!!

    “and i love the pic of you in the field with the bazooka!!!

    Bitter sweet here, great picture but, (gotta love the “but’s”) I showed my wife the site for the first time and found her surfing dpreview last night checking camera and lens prices.
    Silly me, and I thought I had finished my Christmas shopping
    Gregg

  6. Thanks Wyman. Brings back lot of memories… most good! ha ha Enjoyed coyote hunting with you and Dave Renwald back in the early 1970s. Didn’t enjoy coon hunting with you guys and Professor Dee Quentin. Too many things to reach out and slap you, poke you, and trip you in the dark! Besides, you can’t eat a coon… unless you are very hungry. I’ve never been THAT hungry!

  7. Merry Christmas old friend…


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