Have you ever been to an old ghost town and wondered what it looked like before humanity departed and only ghosts remained?
Well, I was just in Vaughn, NM and saw just that. We were on a pronghorn hunt with Kiowa Hunting Service and I was amazed by the worn glimpse of the ghost of Americana past. The town is filled with old and faded gas stations, cars, trucks, cafes and motels that stood defiant on the arid flat. Neither box store parking lot nor subdivision threatened their slow decay. It is an impromptu museum of our motor inn past. I could have spent a weekend just wandering the cracking streets with a still camera.
Don’t get me wrong, if you do go on this hunt with Kiowa in the future, the motel you’ll stay in is just fine and you’ll eat at the camp, so don’t
sweat that. You’ll be completely comfortable and cared for. But the fun of getting to poke around a real live, last-gasp ghost town is an added benefit. It’s like being a museum where you can touch things. If you’re older than 35, it will bring back memories. Bring your camera and you’ll take home some great images of our past.
On most trips, I end up taking many character shots of the area that don’t get used. I had a blast doing this in Vaughn and on the ranch we hunted with Mike Barraclough. I know all of these won’t get used in the pronghorn episode we’ll air next year, so I thought I’d lay them into a little montage so you can see what the town and ranch look like. I made two versions, one is pretty direct and stylish the second is custom for those who may have inhaled during their experimental period.
And yes, despite a tough drought and a very tough winter, the three day pronghorn hunt saw 100% success. I’ll post a photo of Chris Bazzina and his antelope below. This was a great weekend and I’d recommend it to anyone.