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Rack Madness 2020 will be held on February 25!


2019 Highlights

Bowhunter Tyson Hiebert (center) of Seiling holds his Cy Curtis state-record nontypical elk while standing with official scorers, from left, Wildlife Biologist Weston Storer, ODWC Assistant Director Wade Free, Game Warden Spencer Grace, and Big Game Biologist Dallas Barber. (Don P. Brown/ODWC)

Cy Curtis State-Record Elk Emerges from March Rack Madness!

Bowhunter Tyson Hiebert of Seiling came away with more than a scored rack at the third-annual March Rack Madness! event at the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation headquarters in Oklahoma City. Now he’s known as the new record holder in the nontypical elk category of the Oklahoma Cy Curtis Awards Program.

His 9-by-9 bull elk tallied 346 7/8 points after a four-man panel measured the massive rack March 5. The score bested the previous record by 21 inches, and became the second-place elk overall in the state’s Cy Curtis record book for big game harvests.

Hiebert hauled his elk mount to Oklahoma City in an enclosed trailer. Because of its size and the large crowd in the scoring area, the rack had to be placed in the building’s lobby to await the attention of a panel of judges.

The record bull elk was harvested with a compound bow Oct. 3, 2017, on private land in Dewey County. Hiebert recalled his hunt during a Facebook Live interview posted on the Wildlife Department’s Facebook page. Click here to view the video.

“I was actually in the middle of changing spots that evening, and I was out in the middle of a wheat field. … And he came out of the trees like a tank.

“Somehow, luckily, he ran right out in front of me. When he got in front of me, he stopped, and I just drew my bow and let her fly. … Dreams come true sometimes!”

The hunt area is in the Special Northwest Zone, which has a season quota of just two elk. As it turned out, Hiebert said another elk was taken the same day in that zone and, had he not found success that day, the area would have been closed to hunting the next day.

“I had no idea until I had one at 20 yards how big they truly are,” he said. “I had no idea what I had when I shot him.”

The former Cy Curtis state-record nontypical elk scored 325 7/8. It was taken in 2005 by Jerry Jaynes in Comanche County.

Asked what advice he would give to a novice elk hunter, Hiebert said to keep at it and don’t give up. He said he hunted 18 days this year without getting an elk.

This was the third year for the March Rack Madness! event, which showcases Oklahoma's remarkable big game resources and our passion for hunting. Scorers measured 287 deer, six pronghorns, two bears and seven elk. And many people brought trophies that qualify for a Cy Curtis Award; entries are accepted online only. One lucky participant won a lifetime combination license provided by The Oklahoma Wildlife Conservation Foundation. 

Besides private-land elk hunting opportunities, several public-land elk hunts are offered each year through the Department’s controlled hunts program. This year’s online application period will run from April 2 to May 15 for hunts scheduled next fall and winter.

Oklahoma’s Cy Curtis Awards Program began in 1972 and originally recognized white-tailed deer and mule deer only. Starting in 2014, the Wildlife Department’s official hunter recognition program expanded its record book to include elk, bear and pronghorn that exceed minimum qualifying scores. For details and to learn how to submit a trophy for the program, go to


Tuesday, February 25, 2020 - 8:00am to 8:00pm


Oklahoma City, OK

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The wetland at Hackberry Flat is managed to provide migrating shorebirds and waterfowl a place to re-fuel and rest. Visitors will tour the wetland in a seated, open-air trailer and learn how to identify shorebirds and other wetland-dependent bird species. Binoculars and spotting scopes are available if needed. Please be sure to dress for the weather. There is no fee but reservations are required. Due to the length of the tours and type of transportation, children must be at least 8 years old to participate. Hackberry Flat is owned and managed by the OK Dept. of Wildlife Conservation and therefore visitors are required, unless exempt, to have a current hunting or fishing license or a wildlife conservation passport. However, visitors are exempt from this regulation if they attend a scheduled tour. To make a reservation please contact or 405-990-4977.


Friday, April 26, 2019 - 6:00pm to Saturday, April 27, 2019 - 9:00am




OWMA All-water Bass Fishing Tournament Details & Rules

(Participants please read all the information in the 1st four categories)

Tournament date is Saturday, April 27, 2019.
Tournament teams can be comprised of one person or two people.
Team entry fee is $100—same price whether team is one or two people.
Deadline for receipt of team entry fee is 4 PM Friday April 26, 2019.
Tournament decal for photos and form for recording bass lengths will be emailed to each participant during 5 to 8 PM on Friday April 26.
Total length of entered bass (maximum of 5 bass per team) and longest bass will be used to determine winners.
Photographs and measurements of fish are required for entries.
Each submitted photograph should clearly show a bass’ jaw in contact with the upright portion of a measuring board, clearly show its tail flat against a measuring board, clearly show the increments of a measuring board, clearly show the numbers on a measuring board in the vicinity of the tail, and clearly show the tournament decal adjacent to a measuring board or behind the tail on the board.
Tournament check-in is 4:00 PM on Saturday April 27.
At least one member of each team must be present at afternoon check-in by 4:00 PM, which will occur at the Noble Research Institute Pavilion at 2715 Sam Noble Parkway in Ardmore, Oklahoma.
At judges’ discretion, late check-ins will be disqualified or 1 inch of total bass lengths will be deducted for each minute late.

Checks will be awarded to the winning teams for largest three stringers and to an individual for largest bass in the following manner:
•    1st            $1000
•    2nd           $250
•    Big bass    $250

A third place cash prize will be added if more than 20 teams participate in the tournament.

Eligible fish
All bass entered in the tournament must be caught by a team member between 6 AM and 4 PM Saturday April 27, 2019.
A team may enter up to a total of five individual bass.
Only black bass may be entered into the tournament and all black bass species are lumped into one category—black bass includes largemouth bass, Florida bass, spotted bass, Guadalupe bass, smallmouth bass, and their hybrids (herein referred to as bass).
Bass may be caught anywhere in Oklahoma or North Texas, including private and public ponds, lakes, and streams.
Bass entered into the tournament must be released at the location where caught after measuring its length and photographing it; however, it is allowable to take a state record bass or a public lake record bass to a location with certified scales for appropriate documentation and then either release it where caught or keep it for mounting purposes.
Bass must be caught with rod and reel, or pole and line.
Bass must be caught according to state regulations.

Bass measurement, photograph & record requirements
Length of each bass entered in the tournament must be measured on a fish measuring board (a tape measure is not acceptable).
A fish measuring board used in the tournament should be longer than a bass being measured—the measurement for a bass that is longer than a measuring board cannot be longer than the last measurement on the board (we suggest using 30- to 36-inch long fish measuring boards). 
A fish measuring board used in the tournament must be graduated by the manufacturer in at least 1-inch increments; however, measuring boards with more detailed increments by the manufacturer, e.g., ¼, or 1/8 inch, help a bass be more competitive.
Only the last graduated measurement touched or surpassed by a bass’s tail on a measuring board may be recorded as a bass’s length—lengths may not be rounded up to the next measurement line or estimated between marked measurements (e.g., a 24 15/16-inch long bass measured on a board with 1-inch increments must be recorded as 24 inches).
Each fish entered in the tournament must be photographed on a fish measuring board with its closed mouth touching the upright portion (zero end) of the board and the tip of the tail touching the board.
How bass length should be measured:
•    Place bass on its side with the jaw closed.
•    Touch the closed mouth to the upright portion of the fish measuring board and squeeze tail fin rays together with the tail touching the measuring board to obtain overall length—avoid hiding measurement increments or numbers near the tail with fingers, hand or arm in a photograph.
Pertinent measuring board delineations and numbers, especially in the vicinity of the tail, must be clearly visible in the photographs. 
Each bass photograph must show the tournament decal that will be emailed to registrants during the evening prior to the tournament (contact Mike Porter at 580-504-7090 if a team does not receive the tournament decal by 8:00 PM on April 26).
A bass probably will be declared ineligible when any of the following occur: a bass’ closed jaw is not clearly in contact with the upright portion of the measuring board, measuring board delineations or numbers in the vicinity of the tail are not clearly visible, or the tournament decal/card is not clearly visible in a photograph.
Take good quality, clear photographs. 
Photos must be taken with a digital camera, mobile phone or tablet at a minimum 300 dpi (dots per inch) resolution.
Photos should be saved in one of the following photo or figure formats so tournament computers can view them: jpg, gif, bmp, png, pdf, docx, or pptx.
Photos must be emailed to or downloaded onto a portable USB flash drive, and submitted with the paper form log of bass lengths to the judges during or prior to afternoon check-in.
It is okay to take multiple photographs of each bass, but only one photograph for each bass may be entered as the tournament record.
USB flash drives will be returned to teams by the conclusion of the tournament except where accuracy of entries is questioned or when a virus is transmitted from the flash drive to a tournament computer—if a virus is transmitted to a judge’s computer via an email or flash drive entry, the team causing the problem will be disqualified and will have to pay for any computer repairs.
Each team is responsible for maintaining a log of measured lengths for bass entered in the tournament on the tournament paper form, which will be submitted to the judges during or prior to afternoon check-in. This form will be emailed to participants after 5 PM on April 26.

Additional details & rules
The tournament is open to the public.
At least one member of a team must be at least 18 years old.
All participants should conduct themselves as honest, ethical sportsmen.
Registration fees may be paid by check, money order or credit card, payable to OWMA or Oklahoma Wildlife Management Association.
OWMA Secretary Kimberly Sanders receives registrations at OWMA, 743 County Road 1350, Chickasha, OK 73018-8018 or
For individuals who have never been members of OWMA, tournament registration fee includes a 2019 OWMA membership for one person (teams with two non-members must designate who will receive the membership). 
Name, mailing address, mobile phone number, and email address of each team member will be recorded during registration.
OWMA tournament expenses include cash awards, potential polygraph test(s), food and drink for participants during check-in, advertisement, tournament rule preparation, team fish log form preparation, tournament decal preparation, and membership service expenses.
Any income above expenses goes to the Oklahoma Wildlife Management Association.
Bass may be caught from boat, float tube, bank, pier, wading, and other legal fishing locations.
Each person should keep track of his/her largest bass.
The team with the largest stringer may be subjected to a polygraph test before being awarded the prize.
Tournament judges will determine whether winners of other categories also will have to take a polygraph tests.
When a polygraph test is conducted, participants must pass the test to receive their prizes.
All decisions of the judges are final regarding any questions, disagreements or issues.
When a tie occurs for a category, the prize will be split pro rata among the tying teams.
A meal of sandwiches (probably hamburgers or barbeque), chips, non-alcoholic drinks, and snacks will be provided for teams following or during the afternoon check-in.

Justifications for releasing bass where caught rather than bringing to check-in:
•    Individual fishermen can catch fish at multiple locations, so some fishermen probably would commingle fish from multiple locations.
•    Commingling fish from different sources in water, or releasing fish at places where they were not caught, increases the likelihood of spreading diseases, parasites and undesirable organisms to impoundments or streams where bass are released (e.g., the following diseases and organisms could be spread in this manner: largemouth bass virus, golden algae, Lyngbya, other cyanobacteria, zebra mussel trochophores or veligers, didymo, bacteria, fungi, Eurasian water milfoil fragments, hydrilla fragments, other macrophyte fragments, etc.)
•    Some fishermen might not return each bass to the location where it was caught, which would harm source fisheries where bass were caught because large bass are relatively scarce or uncommon in even the best situations.
•    The tournament is not being conducted at a single impoundment or stream, so most participants would have to haul fish many miles to the check-in location and back to the sources, which would increase stress on fish and the likelihood of bass mortality.

Justifications for using fish length rather than fish weight:
•    Fish length can be more accurately measured by fishermen than fish weight because measuring board precision and accuracy vary less than weighing scale precision and accuracy.
•    It is more difficult to falsify fish length than fish weight, e.g., it is more difficult to stretch a fish than it is to add weight inside a fish.

Sources of fish measuring boards (this is not an all-inclusive list):
38-inch Check-it Stik Salt Water Series ($31.99 with free shipping—1/8-inch increments), also available in some Academy stores near saltwater coasts, but not available online (approximately $19.99—1/8-inch increments)
36-inch Yak-Gear Floating Fish Ruler ($39.99 plus shipping--1/8-inch increments), also available at ($39.99 plus shipping--1/8-inch increments)
32-inch Frabil Benchmark Measuring Board ref=dp_olp_new?ie=UTF8&condition=new ($24.67 with free shipping—1/4-inch increments)
30-inch Hawg Trough ($16.99 plus shipping--1/4-inch increments)
32-inch Gator Grip Walleye Fish Measuring Board  ($32.00 plus shipping—1/4-inch increments)
60-inch Rapala RMFR Magnum Folding Ruler +measuring+board ($17.98 with free shipping—1/4-inch increments)


Saturday, April 27, 2019 - 6:00am




Landowners who want to learn about management practices aimed at improving upland game bird habitat are invited to attend Upland Gamebird Field Days scheduled at three locations in the coming weeks. Each free event features an instructional field tour and a provided lunch.

May 3, Spavinaw Wildlife Management Area headquarters near Spavinaw.

Discussion will include the topics of forest management, prescribed burning, pollinators, livestock grazing, habitat management for quail, turkey and dove, and other subjects pertaining to upland game birds.


Friday, May 3, 2019 - 9:00am


Eucha, OK 74342


The wetland at Hackberry Flat is managed to provide migrating shorebirds and waterfowl a place to re-fuel and rest. Visitors will tour the wetland in a seated, open-air trailer and learn how to identify shorebirds and other wetland-dependent bird species. Binoculars and spotting scopes are available if needed. Please be sure to dress for the weather. There is no fee but reservations are required. Due to the length of the tours and type of transportation, children must be at least 8 years old to participate. Hackberry Flat is owned and managed by the OK Dept. of Wildlife Conservation and therefore visitors are required, unless exempt, to have a current hunting or fishing license or a wildlife conservation passport. However, visitors are exempt from this regulation if they attend a scheduled tour. To make a reservation please contact or 405-990-4977.


Friday, May 3, 2019 - 6:00pm to Saturday, May 4, 2019 - 9:00am




The 11th annual Red Slough Birding Convention will take participants to some of Oklahoma's hottest birding destinations, including Red Slough Wildlife Management Area, Little River National Wildlife Refuge, and the McCurtain County Wilderness Area. Specialty birds that will most likely be seen include swainson's warbler, red-cockaded woodpecker, purple gallinule, black-bellied whistling ducks, white ibis, scarlet tanager, brown-headed nuthatch, neotropic cormorant, and painted bunting. Many other species of migrating warblers, resident neotropical songbirds, marsh birds, wading birds, and shorebirds will be seen. Last year, a convention record 157 species were documented. In addition to the three top birding destinations, other tours will highlight the areas dragonflies, wildflowers, and champion trees.

Dr. John Abbott is the keynote speaker and will have informative presentations with spectacular photography on insects in flight and wildlife of South Africa. Dr. Chris Butler will provide a presentation on yellow rails during the middle night of the convention.


Saturday, May 4, 2019 - 5:30pm to Tuesday, May 7, 2019 - 12:00pm




2nd Annual Pawnee County Reserve's Catfish Tournament

This will be a 24 hour winner takes all tournament. It will begin on May 17th at 6pm and weigh in will be on May 18th from 6 to 7pm. You will be able to use rod and real or noodle your fish. There is a 4 fish limit for weigh in. You will be able to keep your fish or WE will release them for you.

Counties you can fish in for this tournament will be Pawnee, Tulsa, Creek, Payne, Noble, and Osage Counties

2 Person team - $25.00 entry fee You can also enter to win the BIGGEST catch for an extra $10

$15.00 goes to your pot Enter a child 13 and under for the SMALLEST catch $5

$10.00 goes to the PCSO Reserves Both of these pots go to the winner

Also door prizes will be drawn at 7pm and you DO NOT have to be present to win.

You can start picking up your entry packet on February 19th and will have to have gotten them by May 10th. You have to come by the Pawnee County Sheriff's Office to pick up your entry packet. We are located at 500 Harrison Street in Pawnee, OK. We are open Monday - Friday from 8am to 430pm. If needed you can call/text 918-932-9806 (Reserve Sgt. Deputy Russell Sentel) to make arrangements to pick up a packet after hours. You must pay at the time you pick up your packet.

*****Weigh-in will be at the Pawnee lake at the west side docks (floating dock)*****






Friday, May 17, 2019 - 6:00pm




Five gardens in the Broken Arrow/Bixby area that have been developed as wildlife habitats will be featured on the 26th year of Tulsa Audubon Society's Wildlife Habitat Garden Tour & Plant Sale on Saturday, May 18, 2019 (9-5) and Sunday, May 19, 2019 (Noon – 5). Garden addresses with maps will be posted on or call 918 521-8894.

The price is only $6 (children under 13 are free) for this wonderful event (rain or shine).

Duck Creek Farms, Missouri Wildflowers Nursery, Pine Ridge Gardens, Utopia Gardens & Wild Things Nursery will be selling a variety of native plants, shrubs and trees. Bird Houses by Mark will feature handmade bird houses and feeders to purchase to invite more birds to your garden. Also members of Tulsa Audubon Society, Oklahoma Native Plant Society and Oxley Nature Center will have exhibits and information. WING-IT (Wildlife in Need Group in Tulsa) volunteers will have orphaned critters that they rehab. Don't miss this fun and unique event!

Begin the tour at any of the 5 Gardens:

13031 E. 67th St. Broken Arrow

2605 W. Huntsville St. Broken Arrow

13209 S. 117th E. Ave. Broken Arrow

11930 S. 91st E. Ave. Bixby

11719 S. 87th E. Ave. Bixby


Saturday, May 18, 2019 - 9:00am to Sunday, May 19, 2019 - 5:00pm


Broken Arrow


We often fear snakes because we don’t know enough about them. Being able to identify venomous snakes can help keep you from fearing the majority of snakes, which are not venomous. Join us to hear from Mike Porter, senior wildlife and fisheries consultant, who will provide you with need-to-know information about snakes in Oklahoma. You’ll have the chance to ask your questions about snakes and see multiple species of live snakes native to Oklahoma.

What You Will Learn:

• The basics of snake biology

• The largest snake species in Oklahoma

• The smallest snake species in Oklahoma

• The venomous snakes in Oklahoma

• Common nonvenomous snakes in Oklahoma

• How to avoid snake bites

• Snake bite first aid

How You Will Learn:

• Seminar Presentations

• Demonstration

• Q&A

Who Should Attend:

• Anyone wanting to learn about Oklahoma snakes


Monday, May 20, 2019 - 6:00pm to 7:15pm


Ardmore, OK 73401


Ponds can provide you with endless hours of recreation, and they can increase the value of your property. There are many goals for an impoundment, such as sport fishing, waterfowl, livestock water, swimming, fire suppression supply and irrigation supply.

This event will focus on managing sport fish in small impoundments. You will learn how to develop a quality sport fishing impoundment from the ground up, from site selection to managing existing fish and everything in between. Come learn fish management fundamentals that will aid you in developing and managing an enjoyable fishery.

What You Will Learn:

•Watershed physical properties and how they influence pond size

•How land management in the watershed influences water quality and quantity

•The importance of soil type in site selection for a pond

•The difference between overflow types and their application

•How dissolved oxygen, pH, turbidity and other water chemistry parameters play roles in sport fish management

•Common sport fish identification

•How to apply proven stocking strategies

•The tools used to monitor fish populations

•How to manage individual fish populations

•The value and benefits of aquatic vegetation

•How to use different techniques for controlling aquatic vegetation

•Plant identification and its importance

How You Will Learn:

•Classroom discussion


•Seminar presentations

Who Should Attend:

•Land owners or managers looking to improve the management of their ponds and/or sport fish

What You Should Bring:

•Plants that you would like help identifying


Thursday, May 23, 2019 - 1:00pm to 6:15pm


Ardmore, OK 73401


Discussion will include the topics of forest management, prescribed burning, pollinators, livestock grazing, habitat management for quail, turkey and dove, and other subjects pertaining to upland game birds. RSVP for meal planning to (907) 750-2600 or


Thursday, June 6, 2019 - 9:00am


Clayton, OK 74536


We are excited to announce our newest event, The Fish Bowl. Our new fishing tournament has a first place Bass division prize of $10,000. The Fish Bowl benefits OK Kids Korral and is part of the annual Sand Bass Festival in 2019. The event takes place on June 8, 2019 at Catfish Bay on Lake Texoma. There is also a mandatory Captain's Meeting on Thursday, June 7th at 6pm at Catfish Bay Marina.

1 in 8 boats gets a payout in the Bass Division!


Motorized boat - $10,000 first place prize with 15 prize levels

Non-motorized boat/kayak - $1000 first place prize with 3 prize levels

Big Bass - $2000 prize

Worst Fisherman - $500 prize


Motorized boat - $2500 first place prize with 3 prize levels

Non-motorized boat/kayak- $1000 first place prize with 3 prize levels

KIDS DIVISION FOR PRIZES (in Catfish Bay at our assigned area near the Marina)

Free 12 and under w/ paid adult

(All prizes based on 150 motorized boats. Subject to change)

All the proceeds from the fishing tournament go back into supporting the sport and providing extra fundraising for The Toby Keith Foundation's OK Kids Korral. The Korral is a cost-free home for children fighting cancer.

Visit for more information or call us at 405-271-6552.


Saturday, June 8, 2019 - 5:45am




Come learn about the effects of growing season fire on livestock, wildlife and plants. Also learn how to conduct a growing season burn on your property.


8:30-9:00am Registration

9:00am Welcome

9:15-10:30am Burning in the growing season, Forage/Browse Quality, Wildlife impacts, Equipment

10:30-12:00 How does season of burn affect plant diversity, pollinators, and sericea lepedeza

12:00-1:00pm Lunch provided (no cost)

1:00-3:30pm Conduct growing season burn (weather permitting)


Thursday, June 13, 2019 - 8:30am



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