South Plains Sojourn


I LOVE THE TEXAS PANHANDLE. Some folks who live there despise it, and I get that. What’s to like about a flat place that smells like cow pies, where blowing dust can find your toothbrush, and where snow can drift as high as your barn…that is, if your barn survived that twister which spun your house off to Oklahoma?

Birds. That’s what I love about the Panhandle. And if you’re an avid wingshot there are few greater places.

My early Panhandle visits happened largely because I’d grown tired of mucking around in rice fields, swatting fire ants, and watching snow geese watch me from 10,000 feet up. I had heard that Panhandle geese decoy well into dry fields, and boy do they. They did 20 years ago and they still do.

Last week, my son Blake and me jumped up to Tulia to visit my friend Dane Swinburn at Tule Creek Outfitters. Dane runs a small lodge and does a bang-up job on pheasants, ducks, doves, geese and sandhill cranes. We lucked out on the weather (temps above freezing and wind less than 50 knots) and had a great time switching back and forth between blaze orange and 3-inch steel. We were covered up with geese on our morning hunts, and the pheasants are rebounding nicely from the mini-dustbowl years of 2007-20013.

Below you’ll find some images from last week’s trip, and a few favorites from years past. To see more of my Panhandle stock images, click here for pheasant hunting, and here for geese.


Lesser Canadas on the wing

Rooster delivery


The sandhill crane hero shot

Hiding in plain sight

One man band

Casey and Dane demonstrate the trophy rooster pose

Not good to eat


Prairie decor

The comeback flag

Evening confab at Tule Creek Lodge

One Response to “South Plains Sojourn”

  1. Leo Dunn says:

    Tosh……….great story and some incredible photos. Looks like a great trip. Sandi and I got to our place in COLO. last week and have picked up a couple of feet of snow which was badly needed. Hope you, Kathy and the family have a wonderful holiday.


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