AUGUST 2003 
NEWS RELEASES
 

 

WEEK OF AUGUST 28, 2003

WEEK OF AUGUST 21, 2003

 

WEEK OF AUGUST 14, 2003

WEEK OF AUGUST 7, 2003

Small lakes shine in spring surveys

Bigger is not always better - at least when it comes to lakes. Little lakes can offer some great bass fishing, according to the 2003 spring electrofishing data recently released by the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation.

“When many anglers think of going fishing, they think of some of the state’s large reservoirs, but there are some really nice bass fishing opportunities available in many of the small lakes around Oklahoma,” said Kim Erickson, fisheries chief for the Wildlife Department. “One of the nice things about these smaller bodies of water is the fact that you can access them with a small boat, fishing tube or even from the bank.”

Ever heard of Bixhoma, Garrison Creek, Longmire, or Taylor lakes? If not you may want to grab a map and your favorite fishing pole and head out for a fishing trip this weekend. According to the electrofishing survey, these lakes, as well as several others, offer healthy bass populations that are just waiting for the enterprising angler.

In lakes under 1,000 acres, Bixhoma Lake, near Bixby, scored tops in the total of number of bass per hour with 143 bass per hour. The only ten-pound bass in the survey also was recorded in the northeast Oklahoma lake.

Coming in second was Taylor Lake in Grady County near Rush Springs, which produced 131 bass per hour during this year's electrofishing bass surveys. Greenleaf Lake near Muskogee ranked third with 112 bass per hour. Ranking fourth was Holdenville Lake in Hughes County (104 per hour). Garrison Creek Lake located near Roland (93 bass per hour), rounded out the top five. This 65-acre Sequoyah County reservoir was impounded just three years ago.

If you're interested in big bass, there are plenty of small lakes with big bass in the Sooner state. As part of the electrofishing survey, biologists keep track of the number of bass over 14 inches recorded for each hour of electrofishing. Along with the top five lakes in overall bass numbers, Elmer Lake near Kingfisher, Longmire Lake near Pauls Valley and Durant Lake in south-central Oklahoma all recorded high marks in the number of bass over 14 inches.

Data from the springtime bass survey is divided between that collected from lakes larger than 1,000 acres, and lakes smaller than 1,000 acres. The data is used to determine the health and trends of individual bass fisheries. Regional fisheries management personnel capture bass using electrofishing equipment, then they weigh and measure each fish before releasing them back into the water unharmed. The information helps biologists determine which lakes benefit from specialized management techniques such as length and slot limits.

The Department rates a lake as high quality when it produces more than 15 bass over 14 inches per hour of electrofishing. Quality lakes yield more than 10 bass over 14 inches per hour of electrofishing, and those which produce fewer than 10 per hour are considered below average.

In terms of total numbers of bass per hour, lakes that yield more than 60 bass of any size per hour are rated as high quality. Those producing 40 bass or more per hour are considered "quality" lakes, and less than 40 per hour are considered below average.

Variations in electrofishing catch rates can result from lake conditions at the time of sampling or from changes in reproduction, recruitment, growth and mortality caused by habitat alteration, environmental impacts, food fish production, disease or angling pressure. All fish collected by biologists through electrofishing are weighed, measured and released unharmed.

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Konawa Lake takes number one spot in spring surveys

You can head just about any direction in Oklahoma and find a good bass fishing lake. But before you head out on your next fishing trip, you may want to check out 2003 spring electrofishing data recently released by the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation. In reservoirs over 1,000 acres, Konawa Lake earned the top spot in number of bass surveyed per hour.

Covering 1,300 acres in Seminole County, Konawa produced 201 bass per hour of electrofishing during this year's surveys. That is up to par with its reputation as a first-rate bass lake.

"Konawa is traditionally one of best lakes in the state - year in, year out - in terms of number of bass. It's also one of the best in terms of big bass " said Kim Erickson, fisheries chief for the Department.

Coming in second was Grand Lake, which produced 168 bass per hour during this year's electrofishing bass surveys. Dripping Springs Lake, near Okmulgee, ranked third with 130 bass per hour. Ranking fourth was Hudson Lake (101 bass per hour), with Tenkiller Lake (77 bass per hour) rounding out the top five.

If you're interested in big bass, the survey is also a great place to determine which lake may hold the highest number of big bass. Biologists keep track of the number of bass over 14 inches recorded for each hour of electrofishing. Along with the top five lakes in overall bass numbers, Keystone and Bell Cow lakes in northeastern Oklahoma recorded high marks in the number of bass over 14 inches.

Data from the springtime bass survey is divided between that collected from lakes larger than 1,000 acres, and lakes smaller than 1,000 acres. The data is used to determine the health of individual bass fisheries and how bass populations change over time. Regional fisheries management personnel capture bass using electrofishing equipment, then they weigh and measure each fish before releasing them back into the water unharmed. The information helps biologists determine which lakes benefit from specialized management techniques such as length and slot limits.

The Department rates a lake as high quality when it produces more than 15 bass over 14 inches per hour of electrofishing. Quality lakes yield more than 10 bass over 14 inches per hour of electrofishing, and those which produce fewer than 10 per hour are considered below average.

In terms of total numbers of bass per hour, lakes that yield more than 60 bass of any size per hour are rated as “high quality.” Those producing 40 bass or more per hour are considered "quality" lakes, and less than 40 per hour are considered below average.

Variations in electrofishing catch rates can result from lake conditions at the time of sampling or from changes in reproduction, recruitment, growth and mortality caused by habitat alteration, environmental impacts, food fish production, disease or angling pressure. All fish collected by biologists through electrofishing are weighed, measured and released unharmed. Not all lakes are surveyed each year.

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Bonus youth deer hunts offered

Beginning deer hunters have a unique opportunity to participate in nine youth antlerless deer controlled hunts that will take place on private lands in several Oklahoma counties.

The hunts are scheduled for either mid October or late December. This year 103 bonus antlerless deer gun licenses will be drawn for youths 12 to 16 years of age who have completed their hunter education requirements.

"These hunts are on private property and should provide young hunters a great opportunity to see some deer as well as a chance to harvest a doe," said Bill Dinkines, assistant chief of wildlife for the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation.

The Oklahoma Wildlife Conservation Commission has endorsed the youth hunt program and is thankful for the landowners' willingness to participate in this program and for allowing these youngsters the opportunity to hunt on their property.

A non-hunting adult that is at least 21 years old must accompany any youth chosen for the hunts. To apply for a hunt, applicants must send the Department a four inch by six inch index card titled "Private Lands Youth Deer Hunts." The card should provide the hunter's name, date of birth, mailing address, telephone number, hunter education certification number, social security or drivers license number, the county in which they prefer to hunt and lifetime license number if applicable. The name of the non-hunting partner must also be included.

The October hunts offered include sites in Alfalfa, Canadian, Craig, Dewey, Ellis, Harmon, and Osage counties. There will also be a December hunt offered in Canadian county. Each hunter may apply for up to three hunts. If applying for more than one hunt, hunters must designate the order of hunt preference. Applications must be received at the Department no later than 4:00 p.m. on Friday, September 5, 2003.

Successful applicants will receive a notification letter in the mail about their hunt. The letter will inform them of their selection, details about the hunt and license requirements. Any youth selected for the hunt will need to purchase a $10.00 resident youth deer gun license unless they possess an Oklahoma resident lifetime hunting or resident lifetime combination license. The youth's non-hunting adult partner will not be required to possess a license of any type. Any antlerless deer harvested during the controlled hunt will be considered "bonus" deer and will not count against the youths’ annual statewide bag limit.

Applications for the Private lands Youth Deer Hunt should be sent to: Department of Wildlife, Attn: Wildlife Division-Youth Deer Hunts, P.O. Box 53465, Oklahoma City, OK 73152. For additional information concerning the hunts, contact the Department at (405) 521-2730.

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Hunter education home study program available over the internet

“It’s not a short cut, but it’s the next best thing.”

The recent debut of the hunter education home study course on the internet will make the lives of busy sportsmen just a little easier, at least according to Lance Meek, hunter education coordinator for the Wildlife Department.

“Even people with busy schedules can find a little time here and there to complete the internet course,” Meek said. “Not only is the course convenient, it is a great way to learn more about hunting. There are several animations and plenty of pictures to supplement the text.”

The first step to completing the internet home study course is to find a hunter education course in your area. Students can log on to wildlifedepartment.com or call the hunter education hotline at (405) 521-4650. Once you have found a course, log on to www.wildlifedepartment.com. Students can fill out the booklet on their time, print out the answer sheets and take them to the hunter education course.

“It’s important to remember that you can not complete the hunter education course over the internet. You will still need to attend a home study class,” Meek said.

During the classroom portion of the course, instructors will cover topics including firearm safety, hunter ethics, wildlife laws. Students will then take a written exam and upon passing will receive their hunter education certification card. The card is good for life and is honored by all 50 states, Mexico and Canada.

For questions or for more information about the hunter education program, call Lance Meek at (405) 522-4572 or send an e-mail to lmeek@odwc.state.ok.us

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Wetlands key to healthy ecosystem

Bouncing bobbers, decoying ducks and sensational sunsets - these are just a few of the benefits healthy wetlands.

Whether it’s a pond, marsh or a riparian zone along a creek, wetlands bring a multitude of benefits to the Oklahoma landscape. And many of those benefits go beyond what you can see on the surface according to Alan Stacey, Wetland Habitat Coordinator for the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation.

“In addition to providing many different recreational opportunities, wetlands perform a wide variety of roles in the ecosystem including; providing fish and wildlife habitat, improving water quality by filtering sediment and chemicals, and recharging groundwater,” Stacey said.

Unfortunately, wetlands sometimes get a bad rap as being mosquito havens. However, healthy, functioning wetlands can actually reduce mosquito populations according to Alan Stacey.

“In a healthy wetland, everything is kept in balance,” Stacey said. “Wetlands provide critical habitat to a wide variety of wildlife species, including dragonflies, fish, amphibians, resident and migratory birds. Many of these are natural predators to mosquitoes.”

One opportunity for landowners to restore wetlands and thus promote a healthy environment is through a very popular program administered by the USDA Natural Resource Conservation Service. The Wetland Reserve Program (WRP) provides substantial economic incentives to Oklahoma landowners who are interested in restoring former wetlands on their property.

Applications are now being accepted for the program whose primary objective is to restore former wetlands, re-establish native wildlife habitat and retire marginal land from agricultural production. Currently, over 39,000 acres have been entered into WRP in Oklahoma.

Applicants may elect to participate in either permanent easements, 30-year easements, or 10 year cost-share agreements. Permanent easement contracts include the total cost of the restoration practices. For non-permanent, 30-year easements, NRCS will pay 75 percent of the value determined for a permanent easement and 75 percent of costs associated with establishing the restoration. Ten-year cost-share agreements also provide up to 75 percent cost-share for installation of the wetland restoration practices.

Applications for enrollment in WRP will be accepted throughout the year. An interagency review team consisting of NRCS, the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will evaluate and rank each application. Applications will be evaluated periodically to consider and fund high priority applications. Successful applicants with high priority resource concerns will be contacted to develop contracts. Unfunded applications will be kept on file for future consideration.

Individuals interested in applying for the program can contact their local NRCS, or Farm Service Agency office. Additional information is also available at www.nrcs.usda.gov/programs www.nrcs.usda.gov/programs/farmbill/2002.

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Special youth deer hunts brings smiles to kid’s faces

If you can measure success by the smiles on kids’ faces, then the 2002 private lands youth deer hunts were an outstanding success.

Last year private landowners, as well as state game wardens and biologists from the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation teamed up to provide youths with the opportunity to harvest an antlerless deer. One of those hunts in Roger Mills County will be featured in an upcoming episode of "Outdoor Oklahoma" on OETA - The Oklahoma Network Sunday, August 24 at 8:00 a.m.

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.

It is not too late to sign up for one of the nine youth antlerless deer hunts that will take place on private lands in several Oklahoma counties this fall.

The hunts are scheduled for either mid October or late December. This year 103 bonus antlerless deer gun licenses will be drawn for youths 12 to 16 years of age who have completed their hunter education requirements.

The Oklahoma Wildlife Conservation Commission has endorsed the youth hunt program and is thankful for the landowners' willingness to participate in this program and for allowing these youngsters the opportunity to hunt on their property.

A non-hunting adult that is at least 21 years old must accompany any youth chosen for the hunts. To apply for a hunt, applicants must send the Department a four inch by six inch index card titled "Private Lands Youth Deer Hunts." The card should provide the hunter's name, date of birth, mailing address, telephone number, hunter education certification number, social security or drivers license number, the county in which they prefer to hunt and lifetime license number if applicable. The name of the non-hunting partner must also be included.

The October hunts offered include sites in Alfalfa, Canadian, Craig, Dewey, Ellis, Harmon, and Osage counties. There will also be a December hunt offered in Canadian County. Each hunter may apply for up to three hunts. If applying for more than one hunt, hunters must designate the order of hunt preference. Applications must be received at the Department no later than 4:00 p.m. on Friday, September 5, 2003.

Applications for the Private lands Youth Deer Hunt should be sent to: Department of Wildlife, Attn: Wildlife Division-Youth Deer Hunts, P.O. Box 53465, Oklahoma City, OK 73152. For additional information concerning the hunts, contact the Department at (405) 521-2730.

Successful applicants will receive a notification letter in the mail about their hunt. The letter will inform them of their selection, details about the hunt and license requirements. Any youth selected for the hunt will need to purchase a $10.00 resident youth deer gun license unless they possess an Oklahoma resident lifetime hunting or resident lifetime combination license. The youth's non-hunting adult partner will not be required to possess a license of any type. Any antlerless deer harvested during the controlled hunt will be considered "bonus" deer and will not count against the youths’ annual statewide bag limit.

 

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"Outdoor Oklahoma" features such topics as fishing, hunting; and fisheries, game and non-game wildlife management. The 30-minute program can be seen on OETA - The Oklahoma Network Sundays at 8:00 a.m. and Saturdays at 6:00 p.m. Outdoor Oklahoma can also be seen on the following television stations: KSBI Network (greater OKC metro area), Thursdays-11:00 p.m., Saturdays-1:30 p.m., KTEN (south-central and southeastern Oklahoma) Sundays-5 a.m., KWEM (Stillwater), Wednesdays-8:00 p.m., Fridays-7:00 p.m. and Sundays-8:00 p.m.

Dove hunters urged to look for leg bands

Waterfowl hunters are accustomed to turning over their ducks and geese to see if they were lucky enough to harvest a banded bird. That may not be the case with dove hunters, but that’s likely to soon change.

Oklahoma along with 25 other states, is participating in a three-year nationwide mourning dove banding study that began this summer. 

“It is certainly an ambitious project - more than 85,000 doves will be trapped and banded during the next three years,” said Mike O’Meilia, migratory game bird biologist for the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation. “Hunters are the critical link in this study. We need them to look carefully for bands on the birds they have harvested and report those bands.”

            Doves will be marked with standard U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service metal leg bands inscribed with a toll free telephone number (1-800-327-BAND (2263)) that hunters can use to report the band. By reporting bands, hunters can help biologists determine mourning dove harvest rates, estimate annual survival, provide information on the geographical distribution of the harvest, and develop and refine techniques for a future larger scale dove banding program. Hunters can keep the band and will be provided a certificate of appreciation that identifies who banded the bird, the age and sex of the bird, and the date and location where the bird was banded. 

When preparing for dove season hunters will also want to pick up a new hunting license, as well as a new Migratory Bird Harvest Information Program (HIP) Permit. HIP permits are required of all licensed migratory bird hunters in the United States. HIP permits are federally required and hunters must obtain one from each state in which they hunt migratory birds.

The permits provide a method by which the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation, other state wildlife agencies, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service obtain the names and addresses of all migratory game bird hunters. From these lists, a sample of Oklahoma hunters are sent a harvest survey, from which reliable estimates can be generated on the number of all migratory birds harvested in the state and throughout the country. These estimates give biologists the information they need to make sound decisions concerning hunting seasons, bag limits, and population management.

All migratory bird hunters, including lifetime license holders who hunt migratory birds, must obtain, complete and carry a HIP permit while hunting migratory birds. Hunters under 16 years of age, senior citizens (age 64 or older or those who turn 64 during the calendar year in which they intend to hunt migratory birds) and landowners hunting only on their own property are exempt from the HIP permit requirements.

The permits are valid from July 1 through the following June 30. Similar to a federal or state duck stamp, HIP permits are good for the whole migratory bird season.

            HIP permits can be purchased for $3 dollars from any license vendor as part of the Universal License form. HIP permits are available online at the ODWC Web site at www.wildlifedepartment.com, or from Bass Pro at 1-800-223-3333 (for an additional $3 fee).

Beginning this year, hunters will have the opportunity to harvest mourning dove, white-winged dove and Eurasian collared dove as part of a combined daily limit. Both the white-winged and Eurasian collared dove are expanding their range. Both species are found primarily in urban areas however, hunters may encounter these birds in the field. For more information about dove hunting and for identification tips, log on to www.wildlifedepartment.com

 

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 Free dove hunting Sept. 6-7

If you’re like most people, the only thing better than getting something for a cheap price is getting something for free. 

Oklahoma’s free hunting days - Sept. 6 and 7 - offers Oklahoma residents the chance to introduce friends and family to the sport of hunting.

"If you have been thinking about sharing your love of hunting with someone, the free hunting days are perfect opportunity," said Lance Meek, hunter education coordinator for the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation. "Both squirrel and dove are plentiful around the state and offer sportsmen lots of action during early September."

Before you head out on any hunting trip, be sure to pick up a copy of the "2003 Oklahoma Hunting Guide," available at sporting goods retailers and license vendors statewide. The guide offers complete regulations pertaining to dove and squirrel hunting as well as information about public hunting areas in the state.

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Shortnose gar record broken

Robert Byrd of Savanna, OK, is the newest state record holder.

Byrd caught a 5.6 pound shortnose gar while fishing Saturday, August 16, in Brown Lake on the McAlester Army Ammunition Plant in Pittsburg County. Byrd was using shad as bait when he caught the fish, which measured 32 inches long.

The record was weighed on certified scales at Lovera’s Grocery Store in Krebs. The weigh-in was witnessed by Todd Tobey, state game warden stationed in Pittsburgh County for the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation.

For a complete list of record fish and the procedures regarding state record fish consult the "2003 Oklahoma Fishing Guide." If you think you may have hooked a record fish it is important that you weigh the fish on a Oklahoma State Department of Agriculture certified scale and the weight is verified by a Wildlife Department employee.

 

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Department schedules pre-employment exam

The Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation will hold a standardized pre-employment examination Friday, Sept. 26, 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, 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 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 Interstate 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.

For more information about the exam or hiring process, contact the Human Resources office at (405) 521-4640 or check the Department's Web site at www.wildlifedepartment.com

 

 

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Make it a weekend to remember

The whole Cornett family has it marked on their calendar - the third weekend in October is shaping up to be one they will always remember.

Eleven-year-old Allie Turner will be participating in the first annual youth antlerless deer hunt October 17-19 and she will be accompanied by her step-dad, Paul Cornett.

“We’re really looking forward to it as a family, I think it will be a great experience for us to share,” said Cornett, who serves as the state game warden stationed in Woodward County. “It will be Allie’s first deer hunt and she is getting excited about it. We have already attended a hunter education class and practiced shooting a rifle.”

Cornett will have a busy weekend, he is also taking his eleven-year-old son Justin to the deer woods.

“Justin is a little more experienced hunter and he is excited about it as well,” Cornett said. “I think these youth hunts are a great opportunity to introduce youngsters to hunting. It should allow us as adults a weekend to really focus on the kids.”

Open to kids under 18 years of age, the season was created to encourage youth to head afield and to provide additional opportunities to harvest antlerless deer.

For complete season dates and other regulations, pick up a copy of the “2003 Oklahoma Hunting Guide” or log onto wildlifedepartment.com.

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Editor’s note: Below the following piece of art was created by the ODWC to promote the youth antlerless deer season. Feel free to use it if you so desire. The ending link is .jpg for the image. It will open in your browser. If you have a pc you should be able to right click, save picture as, choose the file type you want to save as and click save. The other way to save the image is to go to file in the toolbar, save picture as, choosing the file type you want to save as and click save.

 

Fast times with BioBlitz - a rapid 24-hour species inventory

More than 100 biologists, naturalists and volunteers from across the state will gather in the Woodward area to race against the clock during Oklahoma’s third annual BioBlitz Sept. 12 and 13. The goal is to collect and identify as many species as possible in 24 hours.

Be a part of the action. See, touch and learn about the results as they’re happening. Visit Group Camp #2 at Boiling Springs State Park Saturday, Sept. 13, between 9 a.m. - 3 p.m.

Once a year the Oklahoma Biological Survey hosts a BioBlitz, along with sponsors Oklahoma Department of Wildlife, Oklahoma City Zoo, Sam Noble Museum of Natural History, Oklahoma Department of Tourism and Recreation and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Each year it’s held in a different part of the state.

Uncovering biological diversity, which is the number of different living things present in an area, is the power behind the race. Ian Butler, information technology analyst for the Oklahoma Biological Survey, coordinates the event.

“BioBlitz is designed to highlight the variety of plant and animal life that we have in Oklahoma,” Butler said. “You don’t have to go to Florida or South America to find biodiversity. We’ve got it right here.”

Although a great number of species exist in every corner of the state, it’s not always easy to see them. The BioBlitz provides that opportunity.

“Everyone is invited to join us Saturday at Group Camp #2 at Boiling Springs State Park,” Butler said. “That will be our ‘base camp’.”

Base Camp is the center of BioBlitz activity. That is where species are recorded, discoveries made and inventory tally results grow hourly. Meet with people doing the inventory. Learn what is being collected and how it’s being done.

Base Camp is equipped with microscopes, plant press and other tools of the trade. Activities and interpretive displays will showcase some of the collected species, like turtles, snakes, beetles and plants.

This year’s BioBlitz teams will discover plant, animal, bird, insect and aquatic species in the Woodward area at Boiling Springs State Park and the Wildlife Department’s Cooper and Fort Supply wildlife management areas.

For more information about BioBlitz or BioBlitz volunteer registration, go to www.biosurvey.ou.edu/bioblitz.html or contact Ian Butler at (405) 325-1985

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Duck blind drawings coming soon

Drawings for permanent duck blinds on Fort Gibson, Eufaula and Webbers Falls lakes will take place Sept. 27. Anyone wanting a permanent blind permit must be 16 years of age and present at the drawings, which will be held at the Wildlife Department’s northeast regional office in Porter located north of Muskogee Turnpike on Hwy 69.

Applicants must have an Oklahoma hunting or combination license and a valid state waterfowl license and a federal duck stamp, unless they are exempt. Additionally, they need a valid Harvest Information Program (HIP) Permit.

Following is the schedule for the drawings for Fort Gibson, Eufaula, and Webbers Falls. For more information call (918) 683-1031.

2:00 p.m. Registration for Fort Gibson Lake

3:00 p.m. Drawing for Fort Gibson Lake

4:30 p.m. Registration for Eufaula Lake

5:30 p.m. Drawing for Eufaula Lake

7:00 p.m. Registration for Webbers Falls

8:00 p.m. Drawing for Webbers Falls

The blind drawing for W.D. Mayo Lake will be held at 10:00 a.m. September 27 at Spiro City Hall, located at the south end of main street in Spiro, OK.

Additionally, hunters have the opportunity to participate in weekend goose hunts on the Washita National Wildlife Refuge, near Butler. The hunts are scheduled for the following dates: Nov. 8-9, Nov. 15-16, Nov. 22-23, Nov. 29-30, Dec. 6-7, Dec. 13-14 and Dec. 20-21.

Ten blinds are available for each scheduled hunt day. Hunting permits will be selected by a random computer drawing. To apply for the drawing, hunters must provide their name, mailing address, telephone number, birth date and one preferred hunting weekend to the refuge. A $20 blind fee is required for the weekend hunts. Successful applicants may bring two hunting companions.

Applications can be mailed or emailed to the refuge, but must be received by Oct. 3. The refuge's mailing address is Route 1, Box 68, Butler, OK, 73265.

In addition, five Wednesday hunts will be offered (Nov. 12, 19, 26, and Dec. 3 and 17.). Blinds will be filled by reservation only, on a first-come, first-served basis. Reservations will be accepted on Tuesdays before the hunt dates. For more information, call the refuge at (580) 664-2205.

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