Volume 1 • Issue 4 • September 2007

Try Something New at the Third Annual Oklahoma Wildlife Expo


You can forget a trip to workout at the gym the last weekend in September. You won’t need any more exercise after attending the third annual Wildlife Expo.

Whether you have been active in outdoor sports your whole life or would just like to give these activities a try, you’ll have a great time at the Expo. You can ride the latest and lightest mountain bikes down a wooded trail, you can paddle a kayak on the indoor pond, you can challenge yourself by climbing the rock wall, try on a backpack, test your skill at throwing a tomahawk or even pull back a bow and aim for the bullseye.

“Don’t come to the Expo and just plan to walk around and look at stuff. Bring some comfortable shoes and an open mind and plan on trying some outdoor sports you’ve never done before. This is perfect event to come and do something new for the first time. We’ve got some of the best outdoor experts in the state at the Expo and they all have one thing in common – they love to share their passion for the outdoors with others,” said Rhonda Hurst, Wildlife Expo coordinator.

The Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation's is hosting the Oklahoma Wildlife Expo slated for September 28-30 at the Lazy E Arena just north of Oklahoma City. The Wildlife Department is working 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.

The birding booth offers activities for the entire family and provides an educational experience as well.
Most Expo visitors will also be able to visit the birding area, fish, shoot shotguns, see and touch wildlife, make their own bluebird house, attend dog training seminars and ride an ATV. Individuals who pre-register for the Expo also have a chance to win one of several prizes thanks to the Expo’s generous sponsors, including a John Deere Gator utility vehicle from P&K Equipment.

New this year, the Expo will feature the Outdoor Marketplace, a large tent where commercial vendors will be selling their hunting and fishing-related merchandise, services and memberships to outdoor organizations.

Written by Micah Holmes. Micah is an information supervisor. He enjoys duck hunting with his Chesapeake Bay retriever, Meat.

Great Plains Trail of Oklahoma

Loop 10: The Black Kettle Loop

The Black Kettle Loop, number ten of thirteen loops that together make the Great Plains Trail of Oklahoma, lies in a very diverse ecosystem.  This area consists of an upland mixed-grass prairie with gently to steep rolling hills containing plants such as little bluestem, shinnery oak, sand sagebrush, and sand plum.  Sand plum is currently being studied by Oklahoma State University Cooperative Extension to understand the shrub's interaction with bird populations.  Black Kettle Wildlife Management Area lies within this loop and has a wide array of topography, vegetation, and animal life.  Many of the streams in this area contain Oklahoma’s largest darter species, the logperch.  The high soaring Mississippi kite is also an abundant species here in the summer.

Although the overall population is declining, the Bell's vireo is sometimes spotted in the Black Kettle Loop. Image by Stacy Dunkin.

The Washita National Wildlife Refuge lies on the northwest portion of Foss reservoir. Many different species of amphibians, reptiles, and mammals have been observed on the refuge. A total of 271 bird species have been sighted at or near the refuge since 1966 including least bitterns, lesser prairie-chickens, and whooping cranes. Other species sighted in or near the refuge that are rare or uncommon include burrowing owl, ash-throated flycatcher, ladder-backed woodpecker, loggerhead shrike, Bell’s vireo, American pipit, Cassin’s sparrow, rufous-crowned sparrow, painted bunting, and bullock’s oriole. 

With it's diverse wildlife and topography, the Black Kettle Loop is one area of the state that is definitely worth seeing.

For more information on the Great Plains Trail of Oklahoma, click here.

Written by Brett Cooper. Brett is a graduate student studying relationships of sand plum to bird abundance through Oklahoma State University Cooperative Extension. He saw his first ash-throated flycatcher near Loop 10.

Trout Tag Supports Wildlife Diversity

Newest license tag due out later this year.

Soon, rainbow trout enthusiasts will be showing their pride.  The newest wildlife conservation license tag will feature this colorful master of streams. 

Newest in a group of six tags, the rainbow trout joins the bobwhite quail, scissortail flycatcher, whitetail deer, largemouth bass and wild turkey.  The new tag is due out later this year.     

The tags can be ordered by picking up a form at your local tag office and following the instructions or visiting the Oklahoma Tax Commission.  For no additional fee, anyone can personalize their tag.

To download an order form or to view any of the tags, click here.

Most of the proceeds go to Oklahoma’s Wildlife Diversity Program, which assists more than 600 of the state’s wildlife species and the places they live.  It helps keep species from becoming endangered. The program receives no state tax appropriations and is funded mostly through voluntary contributions.

Written by Lesley B. Carson. Lesley is a wildlife diversity information specialist and has proudly displayed three different wildlife conservation license tags on vehicles.

Our Mission:

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