Russ & Lynn Hill Biographies

Russ was born in Hobbs, New Mexico and raised on the Hill Ranch southeast of Hobbs in Gaines County, Texas. He graduated from the Seminole, Texas high school and then Sul Ross State University at Alpine, Texas with a teaching degree in All Level Art. He taught art at Perryton Texas Jr. High before joining the Air Force for seven years, flying helicopters and jets. Russ spent a one year tour in Viet Nam, flying Rescue Helicopters. After leaving the service, he attended Texas Tech University in Lubbock, Texas pursuing graduate study in Art Administration and Philosophy. In 1979, Russ started Hilco Helicopters and was the fixed base operator for three years at the Gaines County Airport in Seminole, Texas.

Today he lives on the Hill Ranch with wife, Lynn Hill, running a cow/calf operation. Russ is the fourth generation on the Hill Ranch which was founded in 1906 by his great-grandparents. He has been flying helicopters for over forty years. More than thirty of those have been gathering cattle by helicopter on many of the largest ranches in West Texas, New Mexico and Arizona working with the cowboys. This is how he picked up the nickname “The Copter Cowboy”. More than three decades he has taken pictures of the different ranches and cowboys with whom he worked. Those photos are the only way he has to share with you what, where and whom he has worked. Every picture has a story behind it.

Quoted from Russ Hill, “Ranching and flying helicopters are a great way of life.
I am a lucky guy to be able to do this for a living.”

Lynn was raised in Oklahoma and New Mexico, but marrying Russ Hill and moving to the Hill Ranch of Gaines County, Texas in 2004 opened her life to a new perspective. Looking out the windows of the new home onto horses, cattle, pastures and mesquite, she found a new beauty of the Southwest.

New surroundings and an interest in home decor, along with having an artist/photographer husband, was the inspiration for the Hill Ranch Design Studios. She has begun to focus on a rustic flair for accessories using a mix of handcrafted items, interesting pieces and adorned creations.