Volume 2 • Issue 8 • August 2008

Oklahoma Wildlife Expo 2008

The Best Choice for Outdoor Fun this September

This September, the Lazy E Arena will be transformed into the state’s largest indoor and outdoor recreation event – the Oklahoma Wildlife Expo.

This three-day event celebrates our great state’s natural diversity and opportunities for the sporting enthusiast.

The Wildlife Expo is a great opportunity for family and friends to celebrate the outdoors together. Through all the activities available, Oklahomans will become educated on the importance of wildlife and how to support wildlife management and outdoor recreation. Over 40,000 people showed up for the fun last year and this year is going to be even better.

Both children and adults will find something interesting and educating at the Oklahoma Wildlife Expo.
The Lazy E Arena will be filled with booth after booth full of outdoor-related information and over 100 hands-on exhibits, skill activities and seminars will be available for everybody to enjoy. From shooting shotguns and bows and arrows to seminars on mule packing, fly-fishing and bird dogs, you can be sure that there will be something for everybody at the Expo. In fact, there is so much to do that many people visit for two days to experience everything.

And the best part of it is that everything is completely free, even admission and parking.

Those looking to shop for hunting items can stroll through the Outdoor Marketplace, a large tent with 8,000 square feet of vendor exhibits. Everyone is sure to find something they want and many great door prizes will be given away.

For directions on how to get to the Lazy E Arena and to keep up on new events, log on to wildlifedepartment.com.

So mark you calendars for Sept. 26-28, and plan on staying for the whole day. We promise you won’t regret it.

Written by Ryan Carini. Ryan is an intern for the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation.

The Great Plains Trail

The Salt Plains Loop

Though one of the smallest areas on the Great Plains Trail of Oklahoma, the Salt Plains Loop packs a powerful wildlife viewing punch. 

 The traveler on this loop is on track to visit one of the most highly specialized habitat types in the Great Plains – the Salt Plains, the heart of this Loop.  The Salt Plains, a geologic wonder, consists of thin deposits of evaporated salt over mud interrupted by channels and pools of shallow water.  Historically, these salt deposits were used by Indian tribes and early pioneers but it wasn’t just the salt that brought people to the salt plains – hundreds of thousands of shorebirds and tens of thousands of geese and waterfowl are dependent on these salty wetlands as a critical stop-over during seasonal migrations.
American White Pelicans are often seen along the waters of the Great Salt Plains Lake. This lake is located along the Salt Plains Loop of the Great Plains Trail.

In addition to salt flats, this Loop is comprised of marshes, wooded areas, creeks, mixed-grass prairies and cropland.  For the bird watcher, this Loop offers a rich diversity of bird species and it is likely that by following the recommended bird route on this Loop that you could observe almost 100 species over a weekend!

The Salt Plains Loop includes public lands such as the Salt Plains National Wildlife Refuge, the Great Salt Plains State Park and Byron Hatchery Watchable Wildlife Area, which is managed by the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation. In addition, the town of Cherokee manages the Cherokee Nature Park which was created simply to attract birds and butterflies for residents and visitors to enjoy.

Whether you wish to bird watch from your car or walk the trails, this Loop has what you need.  Other outdoor recreational opportunities exist on the Salt Plains Loop including fishing, camping and horseback riding on equestrian trails. 

For more information about this Loop and other Loops on the Great Plains Trail of Oklahoma check out the website. 

Written by Melynda Hickman. Melynda is a wildlife diversity biologist for the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation.


Butterflies of Oklahoma, Kansas and North Texas

A Field Guide for Everyone

Distinguishing butterflies from one another is pretty difficult.  A book to assist in identifying them wouldn’t hurt, would it?  The Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation sells such a book.

Butterflies of Oklahoma, Kansas and North Texas is a 282-page field guide that introduces readers to 100 butterfly species that can be found in the southern Great PlainsButterflies of Oklahoma, Kansas and North Texas is written by John M. Dole, Walter B. Gerard and John M. Nelson and published by the University of Oklahoma Press. With photographs, species descriptions, major food plants and even a distribution map, this field guide is easy to use and very informative.  Other useful tools that are in this field guide are sections on butterfly hotspots, tips for butterfly photography and identification, raising butterflies and how to garden for multiple species.

Costing only $18, Butterflies of Oklahoma, Kansas and North Texas is a book that should not be passed by.  A perfect tool for getting youngsters interested in the outdoors, this field guide will grab anyone’s attention and keep them yearning to learn about the outdoors.

You can order Butterflies of Oklahoma, Kansas and North Texas by visiting the Outdoor Store.

Written by Lesley B. Carson. Lesley is the wildlife diversity information specialist for the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation.

Our Mission:

The WILDLIFE DIVERSITY PROGRAM monitors and manages the state's wildlife and fish species that are not hunted or fished.