Under One Fence: The Waggoner Ranch Legacy


The thin morning fog, hanging over the sage and bluestem, obscures the trucks and trailers around the pens at Peek Trap. A whinny in the distance sharpens your focus on a band of shadow cast by a low bluff. The first few horses run into the new light, and the rest of the nine dozen geldings running parallel to the horizon a quarter mile out. Now you hear churning hooves and the shouts and whistles of cowboys as the lead horse turns toward the pens. Dust mixes with the dissipating fog as the sun clears the horizon. In the pen, cowboys form a semicircle to hold the remuda just inside the east gate. Breath and pipe smoke hover about their heads in the November air. The shifting column of horses, strung out a hundred yards or more, begins to pour through the gate. The blockers stand calmly, hands clasped behind their backs as horses bunch, balk, snort, and pace before them. Another day begins. A day that has endured over a century in character. Welcome to the Waggoner Ranch.

Wyman Meinzer, the State Photographer of Texas, has published a variety of books on Texas, including Texas Sky, Texas Rivers, and Inspiration Texas Style. He also previously partnered with Henry Chappell on 6666: Portrait of a Texas Ranch and Working Dogs of Texas. Meinzer's extensive photographic work can also be found often in Texas Highways and Texas Parks & Wildlife Magazines. Henry Chappell is a prolific and award winning outdoors and wildlife author, serving as a contributing writer for Texas Parks & Wildlife Magazine. Chappell also writes regularly for Texas Wildlife, where parts of the Working Dogs essays were published. He has authored two novels, The Callings and Blood Kin.

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