‘Gators’ and Cougars in West Texas!

I had the opportunity to visit the “T” Ranch on Monday with my brother and youngest daughter, Rebecca, who is out here on a brief visit from Charlotte, NC.  We were guided by Tom Stewart, who spent some of his formative years on the ranch when his father ran it, and he introduced us to the present managers, George and Louetta Shackleford who have been there for around twenty years.


The purpose of the visit, aside from wanting to actually visit a 240,000 acre ranch, was to get an idea for the ending of the sequel to “COUGAR!”, and to see the water “tanks” that used to hold some big alligators.


This is the “tank” where the ‘gators were originally stocked, but they got too big and were eventually moved to other tanks around the ranch, the closest being about a mile away.IMG_1875

We followed George and Louetta out to the nearest tank where two of the alligators had been moved. The old windmill was still pumping good water from under the barren landscape with every breeze that happened by. George said that the male had gotten to over eleven feet and the female over ten when they “disappeared” from the area a few years ago. He also said that there were still much bigger ones in various tanks up in the area south of Midland. Those ranchers certainly have a sense of humor!

It also seems that a big cougar has been making the rounds, and has even killed two of Louetta’s geese out of the enclosure behind the house.


The visit certainly opened up a few possibilities for a couple of stories!

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