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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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Quail Forever Presents

Women, Wine & Wings

Join us for a night of food and drinks as women in conservation from across Oklahoma share their knowledge and experiences!

Mary Waller, Oklahoma Monarch and Pollinator Collaborative

Monarchs as ambassadors for all pollinators

Laura McIver, Oklahoma Quail Forever

Women in hunting and conservation

Kristen Baum, Oklahoma State University

Supporting native bees in rural and urban areas

Mary Jackson, Tulsa Audubon Society

Tulsa Audubon Society and urban birding

Laura Goodman, Oklahoma State University Extension

Plants for wildlife


Wednesday, October 16, 2019 - 7:00pm




Meeting Announcement

The 2019 Fall meeting of the Oklahoma Ornithological Society (OOS) will be held October 25-27 at the University of

Oklahoma in Norman, OK.

The Saturday morning keynote address will be given by Dr. David Pavlacky of the Bird Conservancy of the Rockies and is

entitled “Putting data into action: integrated monitoring as a strong foundation for bird conservation.” A Colorado

native, David received a Bachelor’s Degree in Wildlife Biology from Colorado State University (1995) and a Master’s

Degree in Zoology and Physiology from the University of Wyoming (2000). He earned a doctorate in Zoology from the

University of Queensland, Australia (2008), where he studied landscape genetics and ecology of rainforest birds. Dr.

Pavlacky first worked for the Bird Conservancy as a field technician in 1995, and he rejoined the Bird Conservancy in April

2008 to work on the spatial ecology of playa wetlands in eastern Colorado and western Nebraska. His research interests

include quantitative methods for the distribution and abundance of wildlife and landscape ecology of forest birds.

The Saturday night banquet keynote address will be given by Dr. Kira Delmore of Texas A&M and is entitled “Studying

speciation using hybrid zones; a case study with seasonal migration.” Dr. Delmore obtained her BSCH, MA and

PhD at universities in Canada (Queen’s University, Universities of Calgary and British Columbia) before spending 3 years

as a Postdoc at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Biology in northern Germany. Her research is motivated by

understanding where diversity originated in the natural world and how it is maintained. She is inspired by the varied ways

in which hybrid zones can be used to understand this topic.

Meeting agenda with additional details:

To register, please visit:


Friday, October 25, 2019 - 6:00pm to Sunday, October 27, 2019 - 12:30pm


Norman, OK


There is no fee, but lunch will be provided. Lunch is sponsored by Quail Forever.
Registration closes five business days before the event.


Most people think cattle and wildlife are incompatible. This is not the case. When managed correctly, native rangelands can produce optimal wildlife habitat and forage production for cattle. When native rangelands are not utilized or are overutilized, both cattle and wildlife suffer.

Come find out how you can use cattle, fire and mechanical means to make productive rangelands that will benefit your cattle and wildlife.

  • The importance of the five principles of soil health to wildlife habitat
  • How to convert introduced forages to native range
  • The process of prescribed fire and its importance to maintaining/creating plant diversity structure important to wildlife
  • How to use brush control techniques
  • The process of grazing and its importance to maintaining/creating plant diversity structure important to wildlife
  • How to achieve stocker animal performance on native range for wildlife
  • In-field discussion
  • Q&A
  • Hands-on demonstration, weather-permitting
  • Landowners who are managing their properties for cattle and wildlife
  • Professionals looking to gain more examples and contribute to the discussions
  • Weather-appropriate outdoor attire


Tuesday, October 29, 2019 - 9:00am


Burneyville, OK


Free lifetime and hunting license to be drawn for kids 17 and under.

This is going to be a great night filled with raffles food and drink. Come as you are, those in camo will be entered into a free drawing. We will have several themed raffles to include deer large game hunting, women and outdoors, fishing and duck gear.

Follow as we post prizes to be raffled at northeast oklahoma ducks unlimited fb page


Tuesday, November 5, 2019 - 5:30pm



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