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Photo courtesy Cattlemen’s restaurant


Photo courtesy Kassey Weaver Photography


Best Photographer Kassey Weaver Photography


By Gail Banzet-Ellis A few years ago, while attending X-ray school in


Muskogee, Kassey Weaver enrolled in a basic pho- tography class just for kicks. “I always liked photography, but I never intend- ed on pursuing it as a career,” Weaver says. “The opportunity just fell in my lap.”


She developed an impressive portfolio of pho- tos and attracted the business of family and friends. Weaver began fitting in photography ses- sions between her shifts as an X-ray technician and over the next four years, her list of clients contin- ued to grow. Then, in November 2012, she de- cided to take a leap of faith and set aside her medical career. Weaver built a studio and began working as a professional photographer. “I was really nervous about quitting my full-time


job and going into business for myself, but it’s been more than I ever could’ve imagined,” she says.


Over the past five years, Weaver has established herself as one of the most popular photographers in southeast Oklahoma and western Arkansas. Her specialties include senior, engagement, wedding, newborn and family photos. From “Watch Me Grow” packages to destination weddings, Weaver keeps an open mind and enjoys tailoring each ses- sion specifically to the client.


“One of the most unique shoots I’ve ever done was a 10-year anniversary session where the couple set up this pretty picnic in front of an Oklahoma sunset. It was just gorgeous,” she says. Never a dull moment, Weaver says she enjoys building relationships with all of her clients as she documents their memorable moments with her camera and lens. To learn more about Kassey Weaver Photography, visit http://www.kassey- weaver.com.


Photo courtesy Sycamore Springs


Best Steak Cattlemen’s


By Kaylan Watkins


Located in historic Stockyards City, just five min- utes from the center of Oklahoma City, is Cattlemen’s Steakhouse. The restaurant is a land- mark for the area and is Oklahoma Living’s reader- voted destination for the best steak in the state. “Cattlemen’s has been kind of ground zero for beef since it opened in 1910,” said David Egan, Cattlemen’s director of operations. “For over 100 years now, we’ve kept the flame going.” Since the doors opened for the first time, Cattlemen’s has impressed customers with excellent steak and a unique house dressing. “Our formula is really simple,” Egan said. “We source great quality beef and cut it very carefully to strict specifications so we can provide a great meal for our customers time and time again.” With the stockyards literally in its backyard, Cattlemen’s has a close working relationship with ranchers who provide the beef that keeps customers coming back for more. “The relationships we have been able to have with some of the ranchers has helped us understand a little better what constitutes good quality beef,” Egan said. “We buy only the best beef.” In addition to the quality meal, Cattlemen’s also brings a wealth of history to the table. “We have been around for 103 years now, but


frankly, the history only counts if you get better and adapt as you go to provide a better product,” Egan said. “Over the years, we’ve learned how to please the customer better than our competitors.” There seems to be no question that Cattlemen’s does steak well. “Ninety-five percent of the people who eat here eat beef, so that is our focus,” Egan said. If you’re interested in trying one of these top-


notch steaks for yourself, swing on over to Stockyards City and see what the fuss is all about. Cattlemen’s opens every morning at 6 and doesn’t close until 10 p.m. or later.


Best Hunting Lodge Sycamore Springs


By Gail Banzet-Ellis


Jerry Rush is an ambitious business entre- preneur with many demanding projects, but the inspiration for Sycamore Springs Ranch in Peggs, Okla., came from a personal hob- by, a fun pastime he will never consider “business.”


“I’m a big bow hunter, and I have a lot of


friends who wanted to get their kids inter- ested in hunting,” he says. “The future of hunting is in our kids and grandkids, and we all wanted a place where we could teach them how to hunt and have fun.” In 2002, Rush opened up a hunting pre- serve of more than 1,200 acres that has been visited by hundreds of young sportsmen, local business professionals and even celeb- rities. Some of the ranch’s first expeditions were designated specifically for the United Special Sportsman Alliance, an organiza- tion for terminally ill children whose last wish is to experience the thrill of a wild game hunt. Today, guests enjoy hunting for deer, wild boar, American bison and water buffalo.


Although hunting always has been the calling card for Sycamore Springs, its in- door arena has attracted a lot of attention in the past couple of years. The facility houses exotic animal sales on a regular basis along with jackpot bull riding competitions and other popular events. To complement the ranch’s hunting and arena attractions, it also offers corporate retreats and a rustic wedding venue. With the help of his sons, Rush juggles


several other businesses in Peggs, but the ranch is a quiet retreat for him and guests. To find out more visit http://www.syca- morespringsranch.net.


JANUARY 2014 13


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