Landowner of the Year 2000 - Paul B Odom, III

 

Alan Peoples, Paul B Odom, III, Russ HortonFor his outstanding efforts to enhance wildlife habitat on his property, Paul B. Odom, III was named 2000 Landowner of the Year by the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation.  

Russ Horton, central region senior biologist for the Wildlife Department, said Odom deserves the award in recognition of the extensive work he has done to his 640 acres in south-west Canadian County.  

"As a conscientious steward of his land and its resources, Mr. Odom is a prime example of how a landowner can successfully manage his property  for the benefit of wildlife without compromising other interests for the land,” said. "What Mr. Odom has done with his place is a model for other landowners with the same goals. We're proud to be able to honor him in this way.” 

In the early 1990's, Odom started with a dream to find a piece of land near Oklahoma City to manage strictly for wildlife recreation.  

"I spent two or three years searching for the perfect property to one day develop into my own personal wildlife management area," said Odom. "I also hoped to turn it into a first-class hunting destination for sportsmen. And now, after years of " hard work, that dream is a reality."  

In 1992, Odom began purchasing small plots of adjoining land and started down the road to his dream Of the numerous projects on the property, the most important project was clearing many acres of invading eastern red cedars and other brush. Several ponds, including a beautiful canyon lake, were built and stocked with fish. 

"One of my immediate concerns was to slow down the rapid erosion of the canyons. So within the first couple of years we planted around  40-thousand black locust trees," said Odom.   

To attract and encourage wildlife use on the property, food plots are planted and feeders are set out at certain times of the year.  

“Throughout the winter, the deer and turkey go through about 500 pounds of corn a week," said Odom. As a result, the property is now home to an estimated 200-300 Rio Grande turkeys.  

"There wasn't a single turkey anywhere near the place when we bought it, and we didn't transplant any, either. I guess the old saying is 'If you build it, they will come'," smiles Odom.  

Odom also practices a very strict was self-imposed deer harvest plan.  

Biologists tell me that if I want  big bucks, I should reduce the sex ratio as much as possible," says Odom. "We've only taken one buck out here since I purchased it, and we're seeing fantastic results."  

Odom encourages other landowners to consider the untapped potential their land holds. Several agencies can provide technical and financial assistance. Odom received advice and financial support through the following agencies:
Oklahoma Department of Agriculture-Forestry Services and their Forest Stewardship Program.
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and their Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program.
The ODWC WHIP Program, DMAP Program and Technical Assistance Program.
Natural Resources Conservation Service and their WHIP Program.

Odom's property has been recognized as a Registered Natural Area with the Nature Conservancy. He has also been recognized as a Certified Master Woodland Owner through the OSU Forestry and Wildlife Extension.  

"I couldn't have done any of this without a lot of help from Russ and the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife and many of the other agencies I worked with. I really want to thank everyone for all their effort."  

To be considered for the prestigious ODWC Landowner of the Year Award, landowners must demonstrate a commitment to managing their property to provide benefits for wildlife.  

For more information on the Department’s Landowner of the Year contact private lands biologist at (405) 521-2739.