WEEK OF JULY 28, 2011

WEEK OF JULY 8, 2011

WEEK OF JULY 14, 2011

WEEK OF JULY 21, 2011


New wildlife management area to open for hunters this fall

            This fall Oklahomans will have about 8,000 new acres of public land to hunt thanks to the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation’s acquisition of the new Cross Timbers Wildlife Management Area in Love County.

            At its July meeting, the Oklahoma Wildlife Conservation Commission approved emergency rules for the new property, which includes 6,100 acres that have been purchased by the Department and an additional 2,000 acres under lease agreement.

            The emergency rules open hunting seasons on the new WMA this fall and establish rules on camping and area use.

            “Since it’s a brand new area and in an area of the state that might receive a lot of hunting pressure, we think the best approach is to start with conservative hunting regulations,” said Alan Peoples, chief of wildlife for the Wildlife Department.

            Most small game seasons on the area will be the same as statewide season dates, except closed from the opening day of deer archery season through the first nine days of deer gun season. Additionally, deer muzzleloader, deer gun and spring turkey hunting on the area will be conducted through the Wildlife Department’s controlled hunts system.

            Peoples said structuring the hunting seasons in this way will help provide a measure for the level of hunting pressure the area will receive.

            In other business, the Commission approved dates for the 2011 dove season, which will run Sept. 1 – Oct. 31, statewide, followed by another nine-day period open from Dec. 24 through Jan. 1, 2012, statewide. In previous years, dove season was split only in the southwest portion of the state, whereas the majority of the state was open for a continuous 70-day season in the fall.

            According to Peoples, the concept of providing a late season dove hunt during the holidays worked so well in the southwest dove zone that the idea appealed to other regions of the state as well. But until this year, federal framework options set forth by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service did not provide for it. When the option became available to Oklahoma this year, the Wildlife Department took the opportunity.

            “This is a great opportunity that can benefit hunters statewide with more hunting opportunity,” Peoples said.

            The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service considers populations and habitat status for establishing hunting seasons on migratory game bird seasons that open prior to Oct. 1 at an annual meeting during June of each year. The Service publishes the federal hunting season frameworks for these species soon after its meeting, when state wildlife agencies can then make their selections within the framework guidelines. Other season regulations remain unchanged from last year.

            Along with approving dove season dates, the Commission also set dates for September teal season (Sept. 10-25 statewide; limit four daily, eight in possession after the first day) and special September resident Canada goose season (Sept. 10-19 statewide; limit eight daily, 16 in possession after the first day). In addition, the Commission set dates and limits for rail, gallinule, woodcock and snipe. For full details, consult the “2011-12 Oklahoma Hunting Guide,” which will be available later this summer.

            The Commission also heard a presentation on the Wildlife Department’s new, fully-redesigned website, wildlifedepartment.com. The new site organizes information in a user-friendly format while providing resources for those interested in learning about Wildlife Department programs, projects and more. Along with accessing information such as hunting and fishing regulations, users can also manage their own account for online purchasing of licenses and check in their harvested deer, elk or turkey online. To view the Wildlife Department’s new website, log on to wildlifedepartment.com.

            The Wildlife Department also recognized Bluestem Ranch in Osage County as its Oklahoma Landowner of the Year Award recipient. Bluestem Ranch is comprised of about 43,000 acres of cross timbers and tall grass prairie and is owned by widely-known conservationist Ted Turner. Ranch manager John Hurd and his staff oversee management and day-to-day operations.

            The Commission also welcomed Altus sportsmen, farmer and rancher Robert Dan Robbins as the newest Wildlife Commissioner. Robbins will serve on the Commission through 2019 as the District 7 representative, after having recently been appointed by Gov. Mary Fallin and confirmed by the Oklahoma Senate.

            The Wildlife Conservation Commission is the eight-member governing board of the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation. The Wildlife Commission establishes state hunting and fishing regulations, sets policy for the Wildlife Department and indirectly oversees all state fish and wildlife conservation activities. Commission members are appointed by the governor and confirmed by the Senate.

            The next scheduled Commission meeting is set for 9 a.m., Aug. 1, at the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation headquarters (auditorium), located at the southwest corner of 18th and North Lincoln, Oklahoma City.




Osage County ranch recognized for conservation efforts

            The Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation recently awarded its Landowner of the Year Award to Bluestem Ranch in Osage County.

            Bluestem Ranch comprises about 43,000 acres of cross timbers and tall grass prairie and is owned by media mogul and widely known conservationist Ted Turner. Ranch manager John Hurd and his staff oversee management and day-to-day operations.

            According to Mike Sams, private lands senior biologist for the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation, it is always a pleasure for officials of the Wildlife Department to recognize the work private landowners do to improve their land for wildlife.

            “Ninety-seven percent of Oklahoma is privately owned,” Sams said. “Without private landowners, wildlife management is not going to happen.”

            Bluestem Ranch is a working ranch that concentrates primarily on bison production, but it has adopted certain non-traditional ranching practices that benefit wildlife such as patch burn graze efforts, eliminating fencing and increasing pasture size. The ranch uses limited amounts of herbicides and in doing so has restored brushy native prairie beneficial to quail and has maintained a high diversity of wildlife food sources.

            The ranch also has established waterfowl habitat by building a wetland area and seeding shorelines for waterfowl food production. Four ponds on the ranch have been constructed and stocked with fish and two previously existing ponds have been reclaimed and stocked with fish as well. Additionally, the ranch has established food plots, participated in the Wildlife Department’s Deer Management Assistance Program and has held youth deer hunts and supported youth trapping activity on the property.

            More than 100 youth participate in the two-and-a-half-day deer hunts held on the area, where a bison burger lunch is provided to participants. The ranch also donates bison meat to the Wildlife Department’s Taste of the Wild booth at the Oklahoma Wildlife Expo, where thousands of Oklahomans can sample wild game while enjoying a range of hands-on outdoor learning opportunities. The Expo is held the last weekend of September at the Lazy E Arena just north of Oklahoma City. Admission is free.

            Hurd said one of Turner’s missions is to “restore and bring as much natural habitat back to his properties” as possible. “He allows us to manage these properties like this, and it’s an honor to receive this,” Hurd said.

            For more information about the Wildlife Department or how landowners can get involved with Wildlife Conservation, log on to wildlifedepartment.com.


Caption: The 43,000-acre Bluestem Ranch in Osage County recently received the Wildlife Department’s Oklahoma Landowner of the Year Award for its conservation efforts. Bluestem Ranch is a working ranch that concentrates primarily on bison production, but it has adopted certain non-traditional ranching practices that benefit wildlife.




 Current weather conditions have potential to cause fish kills

            Much to the dismay of anglers and wildlife enthusiasts, environmental conditions typical of late summertime can lead to fish kills, especially in the state’s many small farm ponds. And with the second hottest June on state record now in the books, officials with the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation are advising conditions may be right for fish kills sooner than normal this year.

            “While it is not unusual for environmental conditions to cause fish kills with at least some regularity, those conditions don’t usually arrive until later in the summer,” said Gene Gilliland, assistant chief of fisheries for the Wildlife Department. “But we are already receiving reports of fish kills from farm ponds, and we want people to be prepared.”

            Fish kills, or die-offs of what are sometimes significant numbers of fish from a body of water, result from hot, dry weather and environmental changes.

            “When it gets this hot and dry, water levels in ponds and lakes naturally get low while their temperatures rise, and that can lead to low dissolved oxygen levels,” Gilliland said. “Combine these low water levels and extreme temperatures with an overabundance of nutrients from farm and lawn fertilizers, and you’ve got a recipe for a fish kill.”

            “Fish kills are nothing new, and they occur with some degree of regularity in the late summer,” Gilliland said. “They usually don’t threaten the stability of larger lake and reservoir fisheries, but they can negatively impact anglers who fish in ponds and small lakes.”

            Measures that farm pond owners can take to prevent fish kills need to be started in the late spring, such as employing aeration, preventing livestock from accessing ponds and avoiding the overuse of fertilizers on lands where run-off to ponds can occur. However, there are things that can be done in an emergency if a pond owner sees fish “gulping for air” on the surface — the first tell-tale sign that water quality is deteriorating.  These include the use of emergency aeration using pumps, blowers or even farm machinery or adding fresh water to the pond from a well.

            For more information about preventing fish kills in farm ponds, log on to http://wildlifedepartment.com/. Pond owners can also contact their local fishery biologist. The contact information can be found at http://wildlifedepartment.com.



Western Oklahoma photography contest open; winner to be displayed at Wildlife Expo
            This year’s Oklahoma Wildlife Expo will include something for every kind of outdoorsman, including photographers hoping to showcase their work.
            The Oklahoma Wildlife and Prairie Heritage Alliance (OWPHA) is currently accepting entries for the Great Plains Trail Photography Contest, and the first and second place photos from each category will be displayed at the Wildlife Expo Sept. 24-25 at the Lazy E Arena, just north of Oklahoma City. Judging for the contest will take place at the Washita Battlefield National Historic Site in Cheyenne, which will be accepting entries through Aug. 1. New this year, visitors to the Washita National Historic Battlefield in Cheyenne will have a chance to vote for their “People’s Choice” favorite.
            Submissions should depict the unique attractions, landscapes, wildlife, and wildflowers found across portions of the 30-county region of covered by the Great Plains Trail of Oklahoma.
            “The Great Plains Trail of Oklahoma is a road-based wildlife viewing trail that takes visitors into some of the most unique landscapes in Oklahoma,” said Melynda Hickman, wildlife diversity biologist for the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation, a primary partner with OWPHA in the Great Plains Trail project.
            The Great Plains Trail of Oklahoma is a series of 13 driving loops that explore a significant portion of the state located west of Highway 81. The loops are designed to offer the greatest likelihood of viewing wildlife and offer stopping points for vehicles and also opportunities to hunt, fish, camp, hike, ride horses, go caving, dig for crystals, swim, go rock climbing, boating and more. Full details on the Great Plains Trail, including different routes, maps and local amenities along the trail can be found by logging on greatplainstrail.com.
            To enter the contest, applicants must mail or deliver their submissions — consisting of a matted photograph, a digital copy and an official entry form — to Washita Battlefield Historic Site, Rt. 1 Box 55a Cheyenne, OK 73628. Contest entry forms and rules can be found online at owpha.org.
            The Oklahoma Wildlife Expo, hosted by the Wildlife Department, is Oklahoma’s largest outdoor recreation event, offering guests the chance to shoot shotguns and archery equipment, ride mountain bikes and ATVs, catch fish in a fully-stocked pond, experience kayaking, attend seminars and even sample wild game and camp cooking for free. The Wildlife Department partners with a wide range of other state agencies, private individuals and outdoor-related companies to host Expo. The event is designed to provide hands-on learning opportunities for all types of outdoor enthusiasts while promoting and instilling an appreciation for Oklahoma's wildlife and natural resources.
            Whether building a birdhouse to take home with them for free or attending a Dutch oven camp cooking seminar, visitors to the Expo get the chance to soak up a weekend of free outdoor knowledge, skills and experiences as hundreds of volunteers and Wildlife Department employees work to keep the event exciting, educational and entertaining.
            The Wildlife Expo will be held at the Lazy E Arena, just north of Oklahoma City. Expo hours will be from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily Sept. 24-25. Log on to wildlifedepartment.com regularly to stay up to date on this year’s Expo activities.
Wildlife Expo gets families outside
            Visitors to the 2011 Oklahoma Wildlife Expo Sept. 24-25 will have a chance to catch a fish, shoot a bow and arrow or shotgun, ride a mountain bike, float in a kayak, pet an alligator and even sample wild game meat and camp cooking.
            The Wildlife Expo is a free public event designed to generate interest in the outdoors while providing hands-on learning opportunities. Hosted by the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation in partnership with a range of other state agencies, businesses, organizations and volunteers, the Expo is the state’s largest outdoor recreation event.
            “The wildlife Expo is a unique, one-of-a-kind experience for the whole family,” said Rhonda Hurst, Expo coordinator for the Wildlife Department. “Where else can you go spend the day actively participating in everything from tossing an atlatl to paddling a kayak?  You can touch native reptiles and see bats up close. You can catch a fish or shoot a bow. You can learn about wildlife from birds to worms and how to conserve Oklahoma’s resources for future generations. You are sure to find your favorite outdoor activity as well as discover some new ones, and the best part is that it’s free!”
            Some opportunities at the Expo are considered common and popular among outdoorsman — such as fishing at a pond or shooting a shotgun — while others, like tanning a buffalo hide with primitive tools or even experiencing a mock bowfishing trip, will be new experiences for all involved.
            “The idea is to provide an absolutely free opportunity for people to come see all that Oklahoma’s outdoors have to offer,” Hurst said.  Hurst is confident that getting people interested in the outdoors leads to heightened awareness about the importance of wildlife conservation.
            The Wildlife Expo will be held at the Lazy E Arena, just north of Oklahoma City. Expo hours will be from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sept. 24-25. The event draws thousands of people every year for a weekend of outdoor recreation and education.
            The Expo features archery and firearms ranges, a stocked fishing pond, bird watching areas, mountain bike trails, ATV test ride courses, Dutch oven cooking seminars, and even an indoor pond used for kayaking and sporting dog demonstrations. The event also features free wild game samples, live wildlife, and booths and activities that provide information, learning opportunities and recreation. Though admission and activities at the event are all free, visitors can shop at the Expo’s Outdoor Marketplace, a large area where vendors will be showcasing their outdoor-related goods and services.
            Log on to the all-new wildlifedepartment.com regularly to stay up to date on this year’s Expo activities.
Artists wanted: Oklahoma waterfowl stamp design contest now accepting entries
            Artists’ entries are now being accepted for the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation’s Waterfowl Stamp Design Contest, featuring the white-fronted goose. Submissions will be accepted through Aug. 31, and the winning artwork will be featured on the 2012-13 Oklahoma waterfowl stamp.
            The Wildlife Department’s waterfowl stamp design contest draws artists from across the United States hoping to see their rendition of a pre-selected waterfowl species on the state’s next stamp, which also serves as a state waterfowl license. The Oklahoma waterfowl stamp is required of hunters who pursue waterfowl in Oklahoma, unless exempt, and is an important source of funding for on-the-ground habitat work that benefits waterfowl and other wetland wildlife. The Wildlife Department receives no general state tax appropriations and is supported primarily through the sale of hunting and fishing licenses, among them the Oklahoma waterfowl license. Duck stamp sales help finance many projects that benefit ducks and geese. Since the duck stamp program began in 1980, thousands of acres of waterfowl habitat have been created through duck stamp revenues.
            “This is really much more than an art contest,” said Micah Holmes, information supervisor for the Wildlife Department. “When waterfowl hunters purchase that stamp, they are doing their part in conserving wildlife and preserving the sport of hunting. Stamp collectors can support the cause as well, since the stamps always feature stunning and unique artwork that’s worth adding to a collection.”
            Artwork may be of acrylic, oil, watercolor, scratchboard, pencil, pen and ink, tempera or any other two-dimensional media. Photographs are not eligible. The illustration must be horizontal, six and a half inches high and nine inches wide. It must be matted with white mat board nine inches high by 12 inches wide with the opening cut precisely six and a half inches by nine inches. Artwork may not be framed or under glass, but acetate covering should be used to protect the art. All artists must depict the white-fronted goose, and any habitat appearing in the design must be typical of Oklahoma. Artists also can include a retriever dog in their entry, as long as the white-fronted goose is the featured element of the artwork.
            Complete entry guidelines can be found online at the all new wildlifedepartment.com.
            Entries should be sent to the Duck Stamp Competition Coordinator, Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation, P.O. Box 53465, Oklahoma City, OK 73152. Fed Ex, UPS and other ground deliveries should be sent to 1801 N. Lincoln, Oklahoma City, OK 73105.
            Entries will be judged on anatomical accuracy, artistic composition and suitability for printing. The winner and honorable mentions will appear in a future issue of Outdoor Oklahoma magazine.
            A non-refundable entry fee of $20 (cash, money order or cashier’s check) must accompany each entry. No entries will be accepted after 4:30 p.m. Aug. 31.
            The winning artist will receive a purchase award of $1,200, courtesy of Tulsa-based conservation group NatureWorks, and the winning entry will become the sole and exclusive property of the Wildlife Department.
            A selection of waterfowl stamp art from previous years is currently on display in the lobby of the Wildlife Department headquarters located at 1801 N. Lincoln, in Oklahoma City.
            Prints of the winning art are no longer made, but a small number of limited edition prints from previous years are available for $135. To order, log on to wildlifedepartment.com.
            For more information about the contest call (405) 521-3856. For a complete list of contest rules, log on to wildlifedepartment.com.

2011-2012 Oklahoma hunting regulations available online now
            Hunters can now log on to the all new wildlifedepartment.com to view the newest version of the “Oklahoma Hunting Guide,” which provides regulations for the 2011-12 hunting seasons.
            The 62-page full-color guide, produced by the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation, also features a wide range of hunting-related articles and other helpful information, such as sunrise/sunset tables, game meat processors, game warden listings and detailed information on the state’s wildlife management areas.
            “The redesigned Hunting Guide is an important publication for hunters, because it contains information on laws and regulations that hunters need to know,” said Ben Davis, information specialist and hunting guide coordinator for the Wildlife Department.
            The free guide will also be available in printed form Aug. 1 anywhere hunting licenses are sold. Hunters who pick up a printed copy will notice a new look and feel.
            “The 2011-2012 Oklahoma Hunting Guide looks different than it has in past years, because it is printed on higher-quality paper and has a magazine-style layout,” Davis said. “Publishing the guides in this way actually saved the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation money, meaning that the savings can support other conservation work around the state.”
            To find the new “Oklahoma Hunting Guide” online, log on to wildlifedepartment.com and click on the “Laws & Regs” tab on the homepage. In addition to the most recent hunting and fishing guides, wildlifedepartment.com provides a comprehensive source of outdoor information relating to hunting, fishing, wildlife viewing and other conservation topics. Sportsmen can also use the site to purchase hunting and fishing licenses and to access interactive topographical maps of the state’s public hunting and fishing lands. Additionally, sportsmen can sign up online for a free weekly news release from the Wildlife Department that is sent directly to their e-mail inbox. The news release contains late-breaking outdoor-related information important to Oklahoma hunters and covers everything from upcoming hunting and fishing seasons and events to news about state records, wildlife management, public lands and more. The free news release also contains a weekly fishing report from lakes and other fisheries as well as seasonal reports on waterfowl activity across the state.
            “We’re always striving to give sportsmen more and better information,” said Nels Rodefeld, information and education chief for the Wildlife Department. “When you combine the new ‘Oklahoma Hunting Guide’ with wildlifedepartment.com and the Department’s weekly e-mail news release, you’re going to get a lot of great information that is important for Oklahoma sportsmen to know. Plus, it’s all absolutely free.”
            More information about the Wildlife Department is available by logging on to wildlifedepartment.com.
Wildlife Expo to feature Oklahoma angling opportunities
            Some would say if you have never had a chance to catch a fish, then you really haven’t experienced Oklahoma, but you can at this year’s seventh annual Oklahoma Wildlife Expo slated for Sept. 24-25.
            The Wildlife Expo, held at the Lazy E Arena just north of Oklahoma City, provides visitors a chance to fish for free in a stocked pond. Other angling-related opportunities at the Expo include seminars, fish filleting demonstrations, bowfishing simulations, kids casting games, fly fishing and fly-tying lessons, and exhibits hosted by personnel from the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation.
             Visitors can speak with experts on a range of fishing topics such as the Wildlife Department’s paddlefish program, kayak fishing, tackle, spring and winter crappie fishing and more. Visitors can even sample delicious fried fish at the Expo’s popular Taste of the Wild booth, where volunteers serve up free samples of wild game snacks.
            New this year, Expo visitors can even visit a trotlining and juglining booth and attend seminars that teach the methods.
            With more shoreline than the Pacific, Atlantic and Gulf coasts combined and over a million surface acres of water, Oklahoma is an ideal fishing destination. And according to Rhonda Hurst, Expo coordinator for the Wildlife Department, the free event can be the springboard for a lifetime of fishing excitement.
            “Oklahoma has so many places for anglers to go fishing, many of them right in your backyard,” Hurst said. “By coming to the Expo, visitors can learn anything from the basics of how to start fishing to perfecting advanced techniques.”
            While angling activities are a highlight at the Expo, fishing only scratches the surface of the activities, events, seminars and other opportunities provided at the Expo. Visitors can shoot shotguns and archery equipment with hands-on instruction from experts, ride an ATV, attend a hunting dog seminar, learn to identify wildlife and even paddle a kayak in an indoor pond built right into the floor of the Lazy E Arena.
            The Wildlife Expo is Oklahoma’s largest outdoor recreation event, drawing thousands of people for a weekend of hands-on outdoor recreation and learning. The Expo is hosted by the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation in partnership with a wide range of other state agencies, private individuals and outdoor-related companies.
            The Wildlife Expo will be held at the Lazy E Arena, just north of Oklahoma City. Expo hours will be from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sept. 24-25. Log on to wildlifedepartment.com regularly to stay up to date on this year’s Expo activities.
New association to help simplify prescribed burning for landowners
            A new association has been formed to provide landowners and state prescribed burn associations with an organization that can assist them with liability insurance, finding funding for equipment and training, and a voice for prescribed burning throughout the state.
            The Oklahoma Prescribed Burn Association (OPBA) was formed through a three-year Conoco-Phillips challenge grant from the Playa Lakes Joint Venture through the High Plains Resource and Conservation District. Ron Voth is the executive director of this first of its kind organization to assist landowners with all aspects of prescribed burning.
            Prescribed burning is a useful and important habitat management tool employed to remove accumulated litter, encourage new vegetative growth and to control excessive invasion of brush and woody cover. Native rangelands that are burned periodically have a wider diversity of plants that are beneficial to wildlife than unburned prairies. Wildlife such as quail benefit from burns because they increase mobility by removing ground level clutter, attract greater density and diversity of insects used by quail chicks as food and increase the ability of birds to feed on those insects.
            The primary goal of the OPBA is to become the umbrella organization for landowners and local prescribed burn associations to receive reasonably priced liability insurance for conducting prescribed burns. Through the OPBA, the insurance will be available to burn association members at an affordable rate. The insurance covers escaped fires, suppression costs, injury to people assisting with the burn, and problems caused by smoke. A five-member board of directors has been formed to assist with the development of this organization. Members include Alva Gregory, Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation; Darrel Dominick, Oklahoma Conservation Commission; Paul Clark, Natural Resource Conservation Service; Karsen Davis, Roger Mills Prescribed Burn Association; and John Weir, NREM, Oklahoma State University.
            There will be a minimal annual fee, and a charge for each burn the landowner would like to have insured. There will be some requirements for each burn, which are currently being developed by the association and the insurance company.
            The OPBA is currently conducting a survey of landowners throughout the state to get information on the number of landowners that would be interested in joining a prescribed burn association and if they are interested in the liability insurance. The survey can be found at the Oklahoma Prescribed Fire Council website at www.oklahomaprescribedfirecouncil.okstate.edu. Click on “Burn Associations” and send the completed survey to Ron Voth at the address listed.

August 19: deadline for youth bonus antlerless deer hunt applications
            Beginning deer hunters have a unique opportunity to participate in three bonus antlerless deer hunts that will take place on private land in Osage County (Oct 7-9, 2011), Ellis County (Dec 9-10, 2011) and Alfalfa County (Jan 13-15, 2012).
            This year 42 youth will be drawn to receive one of the bonus private lands antlerless deer gun permits.  To be eligible, youth must have completed their hunter education requirements prior to applying and must be 12-17 years old at the time of their scheduled hunt.
            "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 we are thankful for the landowners' willingness to allow these kids the opportunity to hunt on their property.”
            To apply for a hunt, applicants must submit (mail or walk-in only) an index card with the following information:

*Each child participating in this hunt must have an adult (licensed or unlicensed) who is at least 21 years of age accompanying them on the hunt.
     List of the hunts by order of preference (Please do not list any hunt that you are not interested in or know in advance you cannot attend.)
            Envelope should be addressed to: OK DEPT OF WILDLIFE CONSERVATION, Attn: Wildlife Division: “Private Lands Youth Deer Hunts,” PO BOX 53465, Oklahoma City, OK  73152. All applications must be received no later than Friday, August 19, 2011.
            Antlerless deer taken by selected applicants during these hunts will be considered a “bonus deer” and will not count toward the hunter’s season statewide limit.
            Applicants who are successfully drawn will receive a notification letter in the mail that includes specific information about their hunt and the deadline for purchasing required license(s) as listed below:
Resident Options (Ages 12-15):
            Lifetime Hunting or Lifetime Combination License
            $10 CH Private Lands Youth Deer License**
Resident Options (Age 16-17):
            Lifetime Hunting or Lifetime Combination License
            Resident Annual Youth Hunting + $10 CH Private Lands Youth Deer License**
            Resident Fiscal Year Hunting + $10 CH Private Lands Youth Deer License**
Non-Resident Options (Ages 12-17):
            CH Nonresident Private Lands Youth Deer License**  

**NOTE: The $10 resident or the $201 non-resident CH Private Lands Youth Deer Hunt Permits will be issued in lieu of the open season license and must be purchased through our Central Office. No Apprentice Licenses will be allowed due to the Hunter Education requirement.
            For additional information, please contact the Wildlife Division (405) 521-2730.
Volunteers needed to take children fishing at 13th Annual Oklahoma Firefighters’ Burn Camp
            Volunteer boaters are needed Aug. 20 to help children who are burn victims enjoy a day of fishing on Lake Hudson.
            The 13th Annual Oklahoma Firefighters’ Burn Camp is held at Dry Gulch U.S.A. near Pryor for children ages 6 to 16 that have suffered major burns.
            “Every Saturday of camp, we host a fishing day which is filled with fun activities such as bow fishing, fly fishing, bow shooting and instruction, and an early morning fishing tournament,” said Kristi Collins, Burn Camp fishing and boating chair. “We have volunteers from all over the state who come out to take these kids out to fish.”
            Fifty or more campers are anticipated, and volunteers are needed to bring fishing boats as well as to take campers fishing.
            Each camper is paired with a volunteer for fishing from 7 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Tackle and bait are provided, and a fish fry lunch will follow. According to Collins, children are awarded a variety of prizes for their catches. Volunteer check-in time is from 5:30 a.m. to 6 a.m., and a free breakfast is provided to volunteers at 6:30 a.m.
            According to Collins, when asked to name their favorite part of Burn Camp, campers say it is fishing day.
            “It would not be possible without the hundreds of volunteers that come to lend their hand and heart for the day,” Collins said.
            Those interested in volunteering should pre-register by Aug. 15 by requesting a volunteer sign-up form from Collin, who can be reached at (918) 830-4631.
            More volunteer details and information about the Oklahoma Firefighters’ Burn Camp can be viewed on the sign-up form.
Wildlife Department’s Archery in the Schools Program now on Facebook
            The Wildlife Department’s Oklahoma National Archery in the Schools Program (OKNASP) is now on Facebook.
            “We felt that Facebook would be the ideal social media platform for this program since it is aimed towards teens,” said Justin Marschall, OKNASP coordinator for the Wildlife Department. “This page will allow archers and coaches to share success stories. It will also be a versatile meeting place to share photos and information about practices and upcoming competitions.”
             The Wildlife Department has been updating sportsmen on Twitter for almost two years and currently has around 700 followers. Additionally, it communicates with thousands of sportsmen through its free Weekly Wildlife News, which is sent to subscribers by e-mail. But with thousands of kids participating in the OKNASP program at nearly 300 schools across the state, Facebook will continue to help the Wildlife Department spread the outdoor traditions for which the state is so well known.
            The new OKNASP Facebook page has been active since mid-July, and the Wildlife Department has also set up an agency page that will be monitored. Facebook users can become fans of both of these pages by logging on to Facebook and searching for them by name (“Oklahoma National Archery in the Schools Program” or “Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation”).
            Coordinated by the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation, OKNASP is part of the National Archery in the Schools program. The program partners state wildlife agencies, schools and the nation’s archery industry to introduce students to the sport of archery. The Archery in the Schools curriculum is designed for 4th-12th graders and covers archery history, safety, techniques, equipment, mental concentration and self-improvement.
            About 290 schools across the state are involved in the program, many of which participate in a state shoot each year after a season of practice and competition in their respective schools. Schools and shooters qualified for the state shoot by first attending regional competitions, and this past year over 1,150 students from about 70 Oklahoma schools turned out at the Oklahoma State Fair Park for the state shoot. Top shooters were awarded prizes and awards and qualified for the national tournament, where they competed against students across the nation in Louisville, Ky.
            Teachers interested in learning more about the OKNASP program or in starting the program at their school should contact Marschall, at (405) 522-1857.