SEPTEMBER 2001 NEWS RELEASES

September 27, 2001

September 20, 2001

September 9, 2001

September 13, 2001

 

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Farm ponds, fishing and football

Northeast Oklahoma's landscape is dotted with numerous farm ponds and many of those ponds offer some of the state's best fishing. Allan Trimble, head coach for the Jenks High School football program, knows this as well as anyone.

Trimble, who has led the Trojans to five straight 6-A state football championships, tries to escape the football world through fishing as often as possible. Outdoor Oklahoma cameras joined the coach on the field, in the locker room and at a pond recently for fishing adventure, which will air Sept. 30, on OETA.

"Coach Trimbell loves fishing and we were honored to go along with him for some fantastic bass fishing action," said Blake Podhajsky, show producer and information specialist for the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation. "Football is a full-time job for him and fishing is a great way for him to get away from the game."

Outdoor Oklahoma features such topics as fishing, hunting; and wildlife management. The 30-minute program is produced by the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation, and can be seen on OETA on channels 13 (Oklahoma City), 11 (Tulsa), 3 (Eufaula) and 12 (Cheyenne).

Outdoor Oklahoma can also be seen on the KSBI Network, Mondays at 5:30 p.m., Thursdays at 10:30 p.m. and each Saturday at 1:30 p.m. UHF coverage includes channel 52 in Oklahoma City, channel 21 in Stillwater and channel 35 in Ada and KSBI cable channels in more than 30 communities in central Oklahoma.

In addition, Outdoor Oklahoma can be seen each week on KTEN, Sundays at 5 a.m. KTEN (channel 10) reaches southcentral and southeastern Oklahoma. The program is also available in the Stillwater area on the KWEM-UHF Channel 31, Wednesdays at 8:00 p.m., Fridays at 7:00 p.m. and Sundays at 8:00 p.m. KWEM is carried on the local cable network (check your cable provider listing for the channel number which may be different than 31).

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Safety comes first for bowhunters

Oklahoma's deer archery season is just around the corner and many bowhunters across the state are busy with preparations and practice.

The majority of Oklahoma's archery hunters will use a stand while hunting to gain better visibility of the surrounding area as they conceal themselves.

Those serious about their sport will often practice from a stand placed at the normal hunting height. Practicing from the stand will help ensure better shot placement and accuracy while hunting, but hunters should remember stand safety while practicing and in the field.

"Tree-stand related accidents are probably the most common type of hunting accident in the state," said J.D. Peer, hunter education coordinator with the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation. "Most stand-related accidents occur because the hunter experiences some sort of fall. That is why safety straps are so critical and should be considered standard equipment for tree stand hunters.

"Whether practicing or hunting, double-check a stand every day to make sure it is stable. Peer said. Unfortunately, accidents can happen even after making every attempt to be safe. A safety belt or harness is just cheap life insurance. I strongly recommend them for anyone who hunts from any kind of elevated stand."

Hunters should also avoid climbing into their stand with their gear, Peer added. A haul rope is the absolute safest way to get gear up to the stand. But, hunters should not attempt to pull the gear up until they have double-checked the stand and have attached their safety belt.

Once hunters feel safe in their stand and have pulled up their bow, they should remember other safety tips. A hunter should never knock an arrow or pull back the string on their bow until they are ready to shoot, and they should never point their bow at a target until they have positively identified it.

Other safety tips during bow season include:

• Wear blaze orange while entering and leaving the woods, and simply place the garment in a pack or pocket while hunting.

• Drape a blaze orange garment over a harvested deer before removing it from the woods.

• Hunt with a partner. If hunting alone is necessary, tell someone the exact location and expected time to return and stick to the schedule.

For more information about hunting in Oklahoma or about hunter education safety courses, log on to the Department's Web site at www.wildlifedepartment.com. Hunting is one of the safest sports in the nation. By taking a little extra time and exercising caution, Oklahoma archery hunters can enjoy a safe, fun and hopefully productive time in the outdoors.

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Youth waterfowl hunts available

Oklahoma's youth can experience the thrill of waterfowling during several upcoming controlled waterfowl hunts sponsored by the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation.

The hunts are designed to provide youths 12 to 15 who normally don't have the opportunity to waterfowl hunt a chance to learn and enjoy the traditions of the sport.

Applicants must have proof of successfully completing a hunter education course, and they must have an adult guardian who can accompany them on the hunt. A Wildlife Department employee will accompany each youth and their adult guardian on a controlled waterfowl hunt at one of several Department-managed areas. The youth will be the only person allowed to hunt.

Those interested in participating may only apply for one hunt and should provide the names, addresses and telephone numbers for the youth and the adult guardian on a 3X5 postcard. The youth's hunter education number and their choice of hunting location, along with two alternative sites should also appear on the card. Cards should be mailed to the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation, Youth Waterfowl Hunts, P.O. Box 53465, Oklahoma City, OK, 73152.

Applications must be received by Oct. 20, and successfully drawn applicants will be notified by Oct. 27.

The scheduled date of the hunt will be coordinated with successful applicants after the drawing. The Wildlife Department will provide successful applicants the necessary nontoxic shotgun shells. A 20 gauge single shot shotgun will also be available for use if the youth does not have his or her own shotgun.

The following is a list of the scheduled 2001-2002 hunt locations:

• Canton WMA;

• Ft. Cobb Lake Refuge;

• Ft. Gibson Waterfowl Refuge;

• Love County;

• ODWC N.E. Regional Office, Wagoner County;

• Webber Falls Waterfowl Refuge;

• Wister WMA.

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Eufaula offers lunker crappie

Those choosing to crappie fish on Lake Eufaula know the challenge of fishing a large lake. They also know the rewards.

The lake has a tremendous crappie fishery, and anglers often find large fish lingering beneath the surface throughout the year. Anglers across the state will enjoy the experience of hooking into a Eufaula crappie during an Oct. 7 episode of Outdoor Oklahoma on OETA.

"The crappie were biting well and most weighed a half-pound to a pound-and-a-half," said Paul Moore, show producer and information specialist for the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation. "The show has some exciting crappie action."

Outdoor Oklahoma features such topics as fishing, hunting; and wildlife management. The 30-minute program is produced by the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation, and can be seen at 6 p.m. Saturday and 8 a.m. Sunday on OETA and 5:30 p.m., Thursdays at 10:30 p.m. and each Saturday at 1:30 p.m. on the KSBI Network.

For a complete listing of show times and channels in your viewing area, consult the Department's Web site at www.wildlifedepartment.com or your local TV guide.

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Hunters reminded to use check stations

Oklahoma's deer archery season opens Oct. 1, and hunters who harvest a deer are reminded to have it checked at the nearest check station.

"Check stations provide critical information to develop future harvest regulations," said Mike Shaw, wildlife research supervisor for the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation. "Data collected at the check stations allows biologists to determine the exact number of deer harvested, and during which season they were taken. Biologists may also gather information to evaluate the age and physical condition of harvested animals."

The Department tries to provide several check stations in each county to help hunters meet the check station requirements, Shaw added. A list of stations is provided in the 2001-2002 Oklahoma Hunting Guide and Regulations. However, there have been several check station changes since the Guide's were published. The most up-to-date list of check stations, along with other valuable hunting information is available on the Department's Web site at www.wildlifedepartment.com.

 

September Canada goose season offered

            Waterfowl hunters across the state will have an early chance to hunt Canada geese. A resident Canada goose season is being held Sept. 15 - 23 to provide additional hunting opportunity and better manage the

state's population of locally breeding geese.

            "Populations of resident Canada geese are continuing to increase across the state," said Mike O'Meilia, migratory bird biologist for the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation. "More and more areas of the state are experiencing conflicts with the birds. Hunting is our best tool for managing populations of game animals that exceed either the social or environmental carrying capacity of an area." 

            It is largely an issue of what people are willing to tolerate, added O'Meilia. Most resident Canada geese are not migratory, but are year-round residents of very specific locations. Among the complaints associated with the birds are damage to personal and public property, as well as concerns for public health and safety.

            An adult Canada goose can leave up to a quarter-pound of droppings per day on beaches, parks, golf courses and other areas where people gather. There's also a very significant and dangerous risk of aircraft strikes with these birds near airports.

            "Unfortunately, many of the problems associated with resident Canada goose populations are a direct result of human influences on goose behavior," O'Meilia said. "Feeding Canada geese is the number one reason why the birds congregate in areas used by people. Feeding alters the birds' natural behavior and conditions the birds to seek out areas that often result in conflicts with humans."

            The Wildlife Department and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will evaluate the season to determine its effectiveness in managing numbers and distribution of resident Canada geese and  will monitor any potential effects on migrant populations of Canada geese.

            Hunters who participate in the special resident Canada goose season must have a resident or non-resident hunting license, a  2001 federal duck stamp, and unless exempt, a 2001 Oklahoma Waterfowl License and a Harvest Information Program Permit. The federal duck stamp costs $15 and is available at U.S. Post offices. All other permits are available at Wildlife Department installations or license vendors across the state.

            For more details about the resident Canada goose season, check out the 2001-2002 Oklahoma Hunting Guide or log onto the Department's Web site at www.wildlifedepartment.com.

 

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Department schedules pre-employment exam

            The Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation will hold a standardized pre-employment examination Friday, Sept. 28, at the Tom Steed Development Center Auditorium at Rose State College.

            The exam is for individuals seeking employment as fisheries or wildlife biologists, game wardens, assistant hatchery managers, technicians and information and education specialists. It will cover state and federal wildlife laws and regulations, Oklahoma geography, biological and environmental sciences relating to fish, wildlife and environmental education, journalism, photojournalism, technical writing and editing.

            Individuals may take the exam once in a 12-month period, and test scores are valid for 12 months from the test date. Applications for employment will be sent to the individuals with the top 25 scores. Taking the exam does not guarantee employment, nor does the exam necessarily indicate the Department currently has openings. Interviews will be scheduled only when an opening is available.

            The Tom Steed Development Center Auditorium is north of I-40 at the intersection of I-40 and Hudiburg Rd. in Midwest City. The doors will close promptly at 10 a.m. Those arriving after 10 a.m. will not be permitted to take the exam.

 

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Duck stamp contest deadline nears

            Entries for the 2002 Oklahoma Waterfowl Stamp design competition will be accepted through October 31, 2001. The competition will take place in December and the winning art will be printed on the 2002-03 Oklahoma Waterfowl Stamp.

            The winning artist will receive a purchase award of $1,200 and 50 prints (special artist's proof editions) of the design once the Department makes such a reproduction. The winning entry will become the sole and exclusive property of the Wildlife Department, and the winning artist will be required to sign and number all prints of the winning design, and require a minimum of 25 prints, if the Department makes such a reproduction.

            The green-wing teal is the waterfowl species selected for the 2002-03 stamp. All artists must depict this species, and any habitat appearing in the design must be typical for the green-wing teal in Oklahoma.

            Entries will be judged on anatomical accuracy, artistic composition and suitability for printing. The winner and three honorable mentions will appear in a future issue of Outdoor Oklahoma. 

            Artwork may be of acrylic, oil, watercolor, scratchboard, pencil, pen and ink, tempera or any other two-dimensional media. The illustration must be horizontal, and must measure 6 1/2 inches high and 9 inches wide. It must be matted with white mat board 9 inches high by 12 inches wide with the opening cut precisely 6 1/2-by-9. Artwork may not be framed or under glass, but an acetate covering should be used to protect the art.

            A non-refundable entry fee of $20 (cash, money order or cashier’s check) must accompany each entry. No entries will be accepted after 4:30 p.m. on Oct. 31. Judging will take place at 1:30 p.m., Dec. 7, at the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation headquarters in Oklahoma City.

            The Oklahoma Waterfowl License is required of all waterfowl hunters 16 years of age and older, with the exception of landowners hunting on their own land, lifetime hunting or combination license holders and senior citizen hunting or combination license holders.

            Duck stamp/waterfowl license sales help finance many projects that benefit ducks and geese. Since the duck stamp program began in 1980, thousands of acres of waterfowl habitat have been created through duck stamp revenues.

            Anyone wanting more information about the contest should call 405/521-3856. Entries should be sent to the Duck Stamp Competition Coordinator, Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation, 1801 N. Lincoln, Oklahoma City, OK 73105.

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Late-season quail hunt fuels interest

            Oklahoma is known for having some of the country's best quail hunting, with hunters harvesting more than a million birds every year. Bird hunters across the state can fuel their appetite for the Nov. 1 quail opener by viewing a northwest quail hunt on an upcoming episode of Outdoor Oklahoma. 

            The show, which was shot last year, premiers Sept. 16 on OETA.

            "This show was shot late in the season but there was still a good population of birds," said Rich Fuller, information supervisor for the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation. "Northwest Oklahoma still has some of the best quail habitat in the state and provides hunters with ample opportunities for quail. This hunt was action packed despite the harsh winter weather the state experienced last year."

            Outdoor Oklahoma features such topics as fishing, hunting, and fisheries, game and non-game wildlife management. The 30-minute programs are produced by the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation, and can be seen on OETA on channels 13 (Oklahoma City), 11 (Tulsa), 3 (Eufaula) and 12 (Cheyenne).

            Outdoor Oklahoma can also be seen on the KSBI Network, Mondays at 5:00 p.m., Thursdays at 10:30 p.m. and each Saturday at 1:30 p.m. UHF coverage includes channel 52 in Oklahoma City, channel 21 in Stillwater and channel 35 in Ada and KSBI cable channels in more than 30 communities in central Oklahoma.

            In addition, Outdoor Oklahoma can be seen each week on KTEN, Sundays at 5 a.m. KTEN (channel 10) reaches southcentral and southeastern Oklahoma.

            The program is also available in the Stillwater area on the KWEM-UHF Channel 31, Wednesdays at 8:00 p.m., Fridays at 7:00 p.m. and Sundays at 8:00 p.m. KWEM is carried on the local cable network (check your cable provider listing for the channel number which may be different than 31).

 

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 Commission accepts donation

            The Oklahoma Wildlife Conservation Commission, at its regular monthly meeting, held Sept. 10, in Oklahoma City, voted to accept an $8,000 donation from the Weyerhaeuser Company, a major corporate landowner in southeastern Oklahoma. The donation will be used to purchase night vision equipment to aid in wildlife law enforcement efforts. The timber company leases 450,000-acres of land (Three Rivers Wildlife Management Area) to the Department.

            "This donation is just a continuation of the great partnership we have with the Department," said Richard Chapman, a representative of Weyerhaeuser. "This donation furthers our long-term commitment to that partnership and we believe it will benefit both the Department and the sportsmen of Oklahoma."

            The Commission also accepted an $8,906.04 donation from the James K. Benne estate. The money will go to the Department's Land Acquisition Fund. In a related matter, recognition was also given to  Conoco Inc. for its assistance in printing numerous information items for the Wildlife Department.

            Conoco has donated about $50,000 in printing, materials and distribution over the last several years, including about $25,000 this past year. Conoco also sponsored the Department's annual Wildlife Youth Camp. The Commission presented Diane Anderson, of Conoco, with a plaque to recognize the partnership and donations to the Department.

            In other action, the Commission voted to approve dates for the 2001-2002 Oklahoma Waterfowl Seasons. It also gave approval to advertise for mineral lease bids on 11 acres of Department owned property in Atoka County. The Commission voted to approve an emergency rule to add Zoo Lake in Oklahoma City to the list of lakes which are designated as "Close to Home" fishing areas. In addition, approval was given to create a permanent rule that will establish a list of declared noxious aquatic plants, and a list of plant species classified as "Species to Watch".

            In other business, the Commission took no action on a proposal to discontinue stocking trout below Altus-Lugert Dam within Quartz Mountain State Park. The Department will continue to look into the proposal and will hold a public meeting in Altus to discuss the issue at the end of September.

            In a personnel related item, Executive Director Greg Duffy recognized Senior Wildlife Biologist Dick Hoar, for 25 years of service. Hoar started working for the Department at the Spavinaw Hills Wildlife Management Area before becoming a northeast region biologist.

The Commission's next regular meeting will be Monday, Oct. 1, at 9 a.m. at the Wildlife Department's headquarters in Oklahoma City.

 

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Texoma stripers offer excitement

            Lake Texoma offers Oklahoma's anglers the chance to experience first rate striper fishing action, and the State's First Lady, Cathy Keating, recently got in on the excitement.

            Outdoor Oklahoma was on-hand to film the First Lady and offers viewers the chance to join her on the striper fishing adventure when the episode premiers Sept. 23 on OETA.

            "This was a unique opportunity to go on a fishing trip with the First Lady," said Rich Fuller, information supervisor for the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation. "She really enjoys experiencing all realms of the outdoors and we are honored that we were able to join her on this particular adventure."

            Outdoor Oklahoma features such topics as fishing, hunting; and fisheries, game and non-game wildlife management. The 30-minute programs are produced by the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation, and can be seen on OETA on channels 13 (Oklahoma City), 11 (Tulsa), 3 (Eufaula) and 12 (Cheyenne).

            Outdoor Oklahoma can also be seen on the KSBI Network, Mondays at 5:30 p.m., Thursdays at 10:30 p.m. and each Saturday at 1:30 p.m. UHF coverage includes channel 52 in Oklahoma City, channel 21 in Stillwater and channel 35 in Ada and KSBI cable channels in more than 30 communities in central Oklahoma.

            In addition, Outdoor Oklahoma can be seen each week on KTEN, Sundays at 5 a.m. KTEN (channel 10) reaches southcentral and southeastern Oklahoma.

            The program is also available in the Stillwater area on the KWEM-UHF Channel 31, Wednesdays at 8:00 p.m., Fridays at 7:00 p.m. and Sundays at 8:00 p.m. KWEM is carried on the local cable network (check your cable provider listing for the channel number which may be different than 31).

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Waterfowl seasons set

            Dates have been set for Oklahoma's upcoming waterfowl season and waterfowl hunters across the state can look forward to another lengthy season.

            "The main issue is a decline in canvasback populations," said Mike O'Meilia, migratory bird biologist for the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation. "Because of the decline, we are only allowed to hunt canvasbacks for the first 25 days of the regular duck season. Youth hunters will be allowed to harvest one canvas back per day during the youth waterfowl hunting weekend.”

            The state's waterfowl hunters may also take part in the Conservation Order Light Goose Season this year.

            The other change to be aware of is a slight alteration in the duck zone boundaries in Garfield, Grant, Noble and Kay counties, O'Meilia added. Otherwise, Oklahoma's waterfowl season will remain the same as last year, except for changes in dates to provide for Saturday openers. Many duck species experienced slight declines this year but are still above their long-term average, allowing for a liberal season and bag limits.

            Duck Zone 1, which takes in most of northwest Oklahoma, will have a split season. The first half runs Oct. 27 - Dec. 2, and the second split runs Dec. 8 - Jan 13. Canvasback season will run from Oct. 27 to Nov. 20.

            The rest of the state, except for the panhandle, is in Duck Zone II, which will also have a split season. The first half runs Nov. 3 - Dec. 2, and the second half will run Dec. 8 - Jan. 20. The canvasback season will run from Nov. 3 to Nov. 27.

            In the panhandle, the season will run continuously from Oct. 6 - Jan. 9. The canvasback season will run from Oct. 6 to Oct. 30.

            Hunters will be allowed a daily bag limit of six ducks combined, no more than five of which can be mallards. Of those, only two mallards may be hens. Only three scaup, two wood ducks, two redheads, one pintail and one canvasback may be included in the bag limit.

            The Canada goose season will be split again this year with the first half running from Nov. 3 - Dec. 2, and the second split running from Dec. 8 - Feb. 10. The daily bag limit will be three birds. The split season on white-fronted geese will run Nov. 3 - Dec. 2, and Dec. 8 - Feb. 1. The daily bag limit will be two birds.

            The season on light geese (snow, blue and Ross') will be split as well. The first split will run Nov. 3 - Dec. 2, and the second split will run Dec. 8 - Feb. 10. The daily bag limit will be 20 birds.

            Sandhill crane season will be from Nov. 3 - Feb. 3. The daily bag limit will be three birds.

            The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation are offering Oklahoma sportsmen some additional opportunity to waterfowl hunt this year.

            Youth waterfowl hunting weekends will be offered in all zones this year. The youth waterfowl hunting weekend will be Oct. 20-21 in Duck Zone I, Oct. 27-28 in Duck Zone II and Sept. 29-30 in the panhandle.

            Oklahoma hunters can also participate in the Conservation Order Light Goose Season (COLGS) this year. This special hunting opportunity to help reduce overabundant light geese will occur Feb. 11 - March 31. There will be no daily bag or possession limits on snow, blue and Ross' geese and hunters can use electronic calls, unplugged shotguns and take advantage of extended shooting hours during the Conservation Order. Hunters planning on participating in the COLGS should register with the Department through it's Web site.

            Hunters who wish to participate in the waterfowl season must have a resident or non-resident hunting license, a 2001 federal duck stamp, and unless exempt, a 2001 Oklahoma Waterfowl License and a Harvest Information Program Permit. The federal duck stamp costs $15 and is available at U.S. Post Offices. All other permits are available at Wildlife Department installations or license vendors across the state.

            For more specific information on rules and regulations regarding waterfowl hunting in Oklahoma, pick up a copy of the 2001-2002 Oklahoma Waterfowl Hunting Guide. The Guides are available at Department installations or license vendors statewide or on the Department's Web site at www.wildlifedepartment.com.     

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