Meinzer, Wyman 1999-10-01

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Wyman Meinzer talks about his family, going to school at Texas Tech University, working as a trapper for the Pitchfork Ranch, and his work as a photographer.

General Interview Information

Interviewee Name: Wyman Meinzer

Additional Parties Recorded: None

Date: October 01, 1999

Location: Benjamin, Texas

Interviewer: David Marshall, Steve Boegner, and Richard Kyle

Length: 1 hour 45 minutes


Tape 1, Side 1: Meinzer, Wyman, Born November 4, 1950, He was 18 months old when his father became Foreman of the League Ranch, He grew up on the ranch being trained as a cowboy, Mother, She lived in Vera, Texas, Her parents were from the Indian Territory, Father, His father’s family was from Knox County, Texas, His family background was farming and ranching, Mother (again), She grew up in tents, Her family was hunters, Her great-great grandparents were from North Carolina, She was of Anglo and Native American heritage, Father (again), Foreman of the League Ranch, a 27,000 acre ranch in Knox County, Texas, He grew up on the old McFadden Ranch, now called the Spike Box Ranch, He became Foreman of the League Ranch in 1951, Growing up on the League Ranch, He had a lot of freedom growing up, Spent a lot of time hunting and on horse back, Going to school in Benjamin, Texas, During recess the boys had dirt clod fights and marble tournaments, He played in the school band, The Benjamin High School had a six-man football team, Father (again), He was on the school board for 25 years and was a deacon in the Baptist Church, Benjamin, Texas, Social Life, Story about choosing hunting over partying, Benjamin, Texas (again), Ethnic mix, Socioeconomic make-up, Family, He has one sister and one brother, Brother, He is a rancher, Sister, She married a man from Yonkers, New York, Family (again), They were all very athletic, Wildlife, Comparison between the 1950’s-1960’s and now, White tail deer decline in the 1960’s, Decrease in coyote population from mange disease, Antelope population, House, Wade, He was a cowboy that worked for his dad on the League Ranch, Wildlife (again), The last wolves were trapped by Leon Goforth between 1908 and 1915 Leon Goforth was the windmill man on the 6666 Ranch, Richardson, Jack, He was a cowboy working on the Ross Ranch in the 1930’s, Story about Jack Richardson seeing a wolf on Bird Creek, Jobs worked during college, 1973 increase in the fur market, Wildlife (again), Coyotes with mange looking like a big cat, Mountain lion kill story, Mountain lions and black bear killed by buffalo hunters, The Narrows, Location and artifacts found there, 1841 Santa Fe Expedition crossing The Narrows, Indian trails crossing through The Narrows, Indian grave found in The Narrows, Old Indian encampment near Benjamin, Texas, Buffalo hunter’s grave, The location of the Clear Fork branch of the Brazos River, Wildlife (again), Rattle snake country, Rattle snake den located in a cave near a dugout.

Tape 1, Side 2: Wildlife (again), Rattle snake country (again), Catching rattle snakes, Parent’s education and their encouragement of their children’s education, Going to school at Texas Tech University, Making the transition from a small school, Going home on the weekends to work, Fellowship grant to study coyote behavior, Description of research on coyote, Beginning of interest in coyotes, Activities resulting from coyote research, Interest in becoming a government trapper, Going to work at the Pitchfork Ranch as a trapper, Deciding between two jobs, 1978 fur market, Texas Tech grant to research coyote bate preference, Working as a Research Associate, Going to school at Texas Tech (again), Beginning work in photography, Using photography in coyote study, Beginning interest in action photography, Working at the Pitchfork Ranch (again), Daily work routine, Description of trap line, Weekly trip to Benjamin, Texas, Solitude and becoming non-communicative, Feeling of reverence for the area around the Pitchfork Ranch, Living in a half dugout, Changes in attitude toward solitude, Description of the environment around the trap camp, The importance of self-discipline, Development of interest in photography while trapping, Angle of light and its impact on color.

Tape 2, Side 1: Interview with the Dallas Morning News newspaper, Southern Living article prints, Going to school at Texas Tech (again), No formal photography courses, Photography seminars, Photography techniques, Influence of his hunting experience on his photography, Style of photography, Hunting experience (again), Use of tripods, Story about rattlesnakes in Big Bend, Texas, His “artsy” photograph of a rattlesnake, Story about photographing the head scales of a Mojave rattlesnake, Style of his books, Importance of understanding animal behavior in wildlife photography, Use of blinds in photographing coyotes, Coyote behavior in response to his presence, Getting coyotes used to his presence, Childhood dreams about coyotes, Learning the use of different lenses, Characteristics of the Llano Estacado that lend it to photography, Unique light and color of the area, Cloud formations, Expansiveness of the land, The influence on his photography of being raised on the Llano Estacado, Pristine areas off the beaten trail, Reasons for not limiting himself to wildlife photography.

Tape 2, Side 2: Photographing non-conditioned wild animals, Choosing locations for photography, Getting permission to photograph on private land, Locations of petroglyphs, Magazines with which he works, Reasons for not limiting himself to wildlife photography (again), Reasons for shooting mostly in Texas now, Alaskan assignments for Field & Stream Magazine, 1981 magazine cover photos, Assignment work, Current books and books in the works, Types of assignments he would refuse, Control over the use of his photographs.

Range Dates: 1950-1999

Bulk Dates: 1970-1999

Access Information

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Recording Format Notes:


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