Volume 2 • Issue 9 • September 2008

2008 Oklahoma Wildlife Expo

Register Now for Wonderful Door Prizes

The fourth annual Oklahoma Wildlife Expo is slated for Sept. 26-28, but those planning to attend can pre-register now for the event at wildlifedepartment.com and secure their chance at one of several great prizes.

“Tens of thousands of people show up to the Expo each year, but those who take a few extra minutes to pre-register may be real glad they did,” said Rhonda Hurst, Expo coordinator for the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation. “We’re giving away a lifetime combination hunting and fishing license and a John Deere Gator from P&K Equipment. These are valuable prizes, but you can’t win them unless you log on to wildlifedepartment.com and pre-register.”

P & K Equipment has donated a John Deere Gator to be given away at the Oklahoma Wildlife Expo. To qualify for the drawing visit wildlifedepartment.com. Photo by Lesley B. Carson.
The Expo is a free three-day event hosted by the Wildlife Department and designed to perpetuate an interest in the outdoors and conservation through hands-on education and learning opportunities. Visitors to the Expo have the opportunity to shoot shotguns and archery equipment, catch a fish, ride an ATV or mountain bike, float in a kayak, build a birdhouse and more. Additionally, more than a hundred booths and activities are available that are designed to expose visitors to different outdoor pursuits and educational opportunities, and seminars are held on a number of wildlife and outdoor topics ranging from land management to training hunting dogs.

Expo visitors can also see what the Outdoor Marketplace has to offer. The huge shopping area gives the Expo’s outdoor-minded guests a place to shop for the latest in outdoor products and services that cater to their lifestyles, while providing vendors a place to showcase their goods to the people that will want to buy them.

According to Blake Shelton, country music star and special guest at the Expo last year, there is no excuse not to check out the Expo.

“If you and your family don’t come out to the Expo, you’re going to really miss out on a fun time,” Shelton said. “The Expo is the perfect family event its fun, its free and I’ll guarantee your kids will be tired at the end of the day.”

This year, Oklahoma native country music singer Devin Derrick will be sharing his passion for the outdoors and singing on Saturday and Sunday at the Expo. Ada musician Clancy Davis also will perform on Sunday.

The Wildlife Department works with a range of organizations, individuals and outdoor-related companies to host the Expo — an event intended to promote and develop appreciation for Oklahoma’s wildlife and natural resources.

Written by Michael Bergin. Michael is an information specialist for the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation.

Chickasaw National Recreation Area

Plants, Water and Wildlife

When you think of Sulphur, Oklahoma, visions of bubbling springs and beautiful rock outcroppings probably come to mind. With a rich history, this area of the state abounds with plants, water and wildlife.

The Chickasaw National Recreation Area is a very diverse landscape located just south of Sulphur in Murray County. The 4,500 acre park lies in a transition zone where the eastern hardwood forests and the western prairies meet.
A sunset view of Veterans Lake located at Chickasaw National Recreation Area.

Chickasaw NRA’s long history started when it was established in 1902. After being sold to the U.S. government by the Chickasaw Nation, it became a Civilian Conservation Corps project in the 1930’s. Chickasaw NRA was merged with the Arbuckle NRA in the 1970’s to form the current area.

The park has a wide range of animals including bison, red bat, southern flying squirrel, and badger. Numerous species of reptiles are present including cottonmouths, timber rattlesnakes, both common and alligator snapping turtles and copperheads. The bird species include a wintering population of bald eagles and well over 160 other species due to the diverse habitat.

Arbuckle Lake contains several species of fish including crappie, white bass, and largemouth bass. The streams throughout the area contain several native species including orangethroat darter, spotted bass, and channel catfish.

There are also many hunting opportunities available. From deer to dove and cottontails to coyotes, many game species can be found in abundant numbers.

This park has many recreational opportunities including campsites and hiking trails. For more information, please click here.

Written by Brett Cooper. Brett is a graduate student studying zoology at Oklahoma State University.

Landscaping for Wildlife

Making a Backyard Wildlife Friendly

When they hear the term “wildlife management” many people might think about thousands of acres of rolling plains or densely-forested areas of the Ouachita Mountains.  The fact is that there are many things you can do right in your own backyard to enhance wildlife habitat.  The Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation has a book that covers everything you need to make your outdoor space more enjoyable and more suitable for wildlife.  This book is called Landscaping for Wildlife.

There are many advantages associated with improving the area around your home.  Landscaping for Wildlife focuses on the four fundamental items that make up wildlife habitat: food, water, cover and space.  The step by step process spells out exactly how to go about attracting more wildlife.  Along with how to create a wildscape plan of action, the book also has detailed instructions and diagrams on creating an assortment of pleasing landscape features.  Everything from how to attract specific backyard animals to patio ponds to nest boxes is covered in detail.  You can purchase Landscaping for Wildlife by visiting the Outdoor Store.

Written by David Rempe. David is an information and education technician 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.