News of the Week

Jan. 15, 2015
Destination Outdoors: Hickory Creek and Love Valley WMAs
    
  

Hickory Creek and Love Valley Wildlife Management Areas are located in south central and eastern Love Co. With more than 15,000 acres that are managed by the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation overlooking Lake Texoma and the Red River, these areas boast multiple creeks and ponds, wooded timber and grassland available for wildlife enthusiasts to enjoy.

     Drought-resistant post oak and blackjack timber provide food and cover for wildlife throughout each season. Hardwoods found in the low-lying flood areas near water provide excellent habitat for many species including birds. Brush management and prescribed burning help native grasses thrive, including big and little bluestem and the official state grass, Indian grass. Some of the birds to watch for are the tufted titmouse, red-breasted and white-breasted nuthatch, cedar waxwing, and the pileated woodpecker, among many others. Birders also can spot bald eagles during the winter months.

     Many game species thrive at Love Valley and Hickory Creek WMAs. The highly sought after game for these areas are white-tailed deer, Rio Grande turkey, waterfowl, rabbit and squirrel. Also available are quail, coyote, bobcat, dove and raccoon.

     The Wildlife Department manages multiple food plots of wheat, turnips, Austrian winter peas and clovers that attract both deer and turkey. These food plots are planted in long strips that are divided into sections separated by shrubby cover. This shrubby cover includes sand plums, sumac, ragweed and native grasses to improve quail habitat.

     For those not looking for a day in the woods hunting at Hickory Creek WMA there are a few ponds and creeks where visitors can enjoy a fishing for largemouth bass, channel catfish and sunfish. Additionally, Lake Texoma is located on the south side of Hickory Creek WMA.

     Love Valley WMA is composed of lush river bottom-land stretching approximately 17 miles along the Red River. With scenic banks and natural flowing waters, Love Valley is a popular attraction for anglers seeking striped-bass and catfish. Without the competition common on Lake Texoma, anglers can enjoy fishing for large stripers from a kayak or canoe on the river. For the bowfishing sportsman, this is an excellent area to shoot through the clear water for gar or drum. Interior least terns nest on the sandbars in the summer months as well, providing unique birding opportunities. Interior least terns are a rare species federally listed as endangered.

     At Love Valley WMA Wildlife Department biologists use natural springs, manmade wells and native plants to create a wetland development area. The Stevens Spring area uses a natural spring to flood wetlands. This improves habitat for migrating and wintering waterfowl. With the natural vegetation and manipulation of flooding combined with the right weather, a hunter will often bring home a limit. Waterfowl hunting closes at 1 p.m. daily.

     Love Valley and Hickory Creek WMAs can definitely be described as unique. There are endless opportunities to enjoy wildlife and the outdoors. There is no need to suffer from cabin fever in the winter. Cast a line, go for a hike, enjoy a hunt, or peer through binoculars for an enjoyable experience any outdoor enthusiast will never forget. A certain mystique surrounds these areas. Whether standing atop a ridge capturing a panoramic view, or ambling through a valley among the large oaks and whispering native grasses, everyone can find something to enjoy at Love Valley and Hickory Creek WMAs.

     Complete regulations for hunting or fishing these WMAs can be found in the "Oklahoma Hunting and Fishing" guides, available free at wildlifedepartment.com or in print where hunting and fishing licenses are sold.

 

For more information visit wildlifedepartment.com or click here for maps of these areas.
 

 

Love Valley & Hickory Creek WMA
Biologist Brandon Baker discusses squirrel hunting and fishing on Hickory Creek and Love Valley WMAs.