Sandy Sanders WMA covers 29,766 acres of Greer and Beckham counties in southwest Oklahoma. The area is located 26 miles northwest of Mangum and 26 miles southwest of Sayre. Sandy Sanders WMA is a unique area consisting of rolling to rugged terrain extending north from the Elm Fork of the Red River.
Mesquite, redberry juniper and mixed grasses dominate the area. The central third of the area contains dense stands of red berry juniper. Extending outward from the center, vegetation makes a transition to mesquite savanna and mixed grass prairie. The Elm Fork River flows year round; however, vegetation is limited to dense salt cedar. Three live creeks flow across the area. Creek bottoms are vegetated with taller, denser grass and scattered trees, including cottonwood, hackberry and American elm. The average annual precipitation for the area is about 21 inches.
WMA Driving Directions:
East portion – From Sayre: From U.S. Interstate 40, 6 miles south on U.S. Hwy 283, 4 miles west on E1270, 7 miles south on N1830, 3 miles west on E1340, 3 miles south on N1800.
West portion - From Erick, 1.5 miles west on U.S. Interstate 40/ U.S. Route 66, 9 miles south on State Hwy 30 to east side entrance or 11 miles south to west side entrance.
Headquarters – From Mangum: 8 miles north on State Hwy 283, 11 miles west on EW1390, 1 miles north on NS1840, 4 miles west on EW1380, 2 miles north on NS1800.
Game Species of Interest:
Quail: Bobwhite quail are usually present in good numbers but are highly sought after. Very few blue quail present.
Deer: White-tailed deer are present in fair numbers, mule deer in low numbers.
Turkey: Rio Grande wild turkeys are present in low numbers.
Rabbit: Both cottontails and jackrabbits are present with cottontails being more common. \
Furbearers: Coyote, bobcat and raccoon are available.
Dove: Dove are usually present in good numbers during the annual migration.
Waterfowl: Ducks are usually present in very low numbers on ponds and river.
Nongame Species of Interest:
Black-tailed prairie dog: Present in small numbers, but hunting is not allowed.
Nongame birds: The area offers a diverse mix of prairie birds and other species found more commonly in wooded areas. Winter bird surveys yield a wide variety of different species.
Reptiles and Amphibians: Three species of rattlesnake are found on the area as well as many non-venomous species.
Description of Fish and Wildlife Management Practices:
Management efforts focus on producing native cover plants and wildlife food plants such as ragweed and sunflower. Summer and winter food plots are planted on the area. Near the headquarters and the Elm Fork River, food plots are planted within trees rows and protected from grazing. Throughout the remainder of the area, plots are either disked to stimulate native plants or are planted to winter wheat. Three windmills and 13 guzzlers have been installed to provide watering facilities for wildlife. The area also has many ponds that are regularly stocked with channel catfish. Some stay full year round while others are seasonal. Cattle grazing is used to increase wildlife food plants and improve habitat conditions.
Camping and Facilities:
12 designated primitive camping areas are offered on the area. Both lodging and restaurants are available in Mangum, Sayre and Erick.
Fishing opportunities exist at Doc Hollis Lake, area ponds and creeks. Ponds are stocked with channel catfish and some provide good bass fishing.
Doc Hollis Lake was recently opened to the public as a Department fishing area, but no boats are allowed on the lake. The Wildlife Department hopes to prevent a fish kill at Doc Hollis like the one that occurred two years ago at Lake Altus-Lugert.
Doc Hollis lake is particularly vulnerable to golden algae due to its salty water and proximity to lake Altus-Lugert. Golden algae can be spread by water trapped in boat livewells, boat hulls, boat motors and trailers. The Wildlife Department hopes that by prohibiting boats on Doc Hollis Lake they can prevent the lake from being impacted by golden algae.
Sandy Sanders WMA Map - best general purpose map, pdf format (8.5x11)
For additional information and area attractions:
Elk City Chamber of Commerce
Erick Chamber of Commerce
PO Box 1232 Erick OK 73645
Oklahoma Tourism and Recreation Department
Post Office Box 52002
Oklahoma City, OK 73152-2002
(800) 652-6552 or (405) 521-2409