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From the desk of Lauren Palmer

*this article was first published in The Art of Living Beautifully September 2019 magazine. 

“Paul told me the lake would need a year to a year-and-a-half to fill up…but it only took 30 days,” Judy Pogue told me. She was referring to the lake her husband dug on their family ranch located in southeastern Oklahoma, just two-and-a-half hours from the Dallas Metroplex. “Our family was going through a tremendously difficult time and Paul used his time digging the vast lake to pray and spend time alone with the Lord.” A year later, Judy had a stone plaque erected at the lake with the verse Acts 10:4 inscribed on it as a reminder of how faithful God is…

 Your prayers and gifts have come up as a memorial offering before God. Acts 10:4

The lake was named Memorial Lake.

The ranch where this miracle lake can be found is Pogue Ranch, the wildlife haven and nature retreat built by the Pogue family in 2002. Soon after completion, the family decided to open its doors to the public and invite others to enjoy the ranch as a venue for weddings, family reunions, retreats, and hunting getaways. The tranquility Paul experienced while digging the lake has become an ongoing theme at Pogue Ranch, and the family hopes all guests may experience the same peace upon visiting.

The 2,000-acre ranch is the perfect place for corporate retreats. A 10,000 square-foot main lodge boasts 10 bedrooms professionally decorated in the Victorian Western style. Game tables and comfortable open seating create a relaxed, playful atmosphere where employees can recharge, while professional a/v equipment and video presentation monitors can be used to prompt company goal setting and inspire new ideas. Professional grade kitchens across the property make it easy for guests to prepare their own meals; however, skilled kitchen staff are available upon request. Additional cabins and 3 Tiny Homes on the property make Pogue Ranch the ideal location to accommodate large corporations and offer privacy. In fact, the ranch can comfortably host 65 guests!

An open-air, covered pavilion with a round rock fireplace is a scenic space to stargaze, view exotic animals, enjoy campfires, and partake in dinner alfresco. This unique amenity, along with horse-back riding, boating, fishing, wagon rides, and hunting are all available to guests of Pogue Ranch. The only question: what to do first?

“We hope your visit allows time to unplug, slow down, and to find tranquility. Most importantly, you should take time to play!” – Judy Pogue

Caretakers Joe and Allie Fairchild welcome groups big and small to the Pogue Ranch. Their hospitality, accessibility, and vast knowledge of the entire property make their presence invaluable to all who visit. With seventy years of combined ranch management experience, the Fairchilds are expert cattle ranchers and horse trainers. Joe is even a Cowboy Preacher! They managed ranches in Louisiana and Wyoming before moving to the Ouachita Mountains to oversee Pogue Ranch.

Seasoned hunters will appreciate no seasonal restrictions at Pogue Ranch as well as the variety of game available including Red Stag, Trophy Oryx, Axis Deer, Mouflon Ram, Aoudad, and Red Hind to name a few. To book your hunting getaway, corporate retreat, wedding, family reunion, or fishing trip at Pogue Ranch, please reach out to

You can find Pogue Ranch on Facebook and Instagram

“I go on retreats annually and Pogue Ranch was probably the best. Despite it being a working retreat, our time at Pogue Ranch was very relaxing. The entire property is well appointed, allowing us to be highly productive and reconnect as a team. Everything we needed was right there in one location. Allie and Joe made us feel right at home. We didn’t have to worry about anything.” –Richard Abernathy


To learn more about Lauren and The Art of Living Beautifully, please visit our ‘about’ page.

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