Looking for something to do this weekend. April in Oklahoma offers a bevy of outdoor opportunities.
For one, it’s casting and blasting time. Turkey season continues through May 6 and after three weeks of cold and windy weather, it finally feels like spring which should work to the turkey hunters’ advantage.
Expect more gobblers to be harvested the second half of the season.
Crappie are biting and sand bass are running. It’s later than usual this spring, but crappie have been moving into the shore the past week at places like Thunderbird and Eufaula. Grab a crappie pole and go.
How about snake hunting? In southwest Oklahoma, the largest rattlesnake festival in the state begins Friday in Mangum.
The Mangum Rattlesnake Derby lasts through Sunday and includes a carnival, snake pit, butcher shop, huge flea market and guided snake hunts if you are brave enough.
If you are looking for a festival a little less extreme, the Cherokee Birding and Heritage Festival is this weekend at the Salt Plains National Wildlife Refuge.
Some events are also being held at the nearby Byron Fish Hatchery and Great Salt Plains State Park.
Bird watching tours are planned along with booths on bow making, geo-caching, wildlife photography, blacksmithing and more. Youth archery, casting and trapshooting contests also are being held.
In addition, the refuge has announced its selenite crystal digging area will re-open Saturday after being closed two years.
The crystal dig area had been closed to the public since April 2007 when a Boy Scout unearthed a World War II chemical vial.
The area was then cleaned up and the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers found 171 vials, which were training tools used to help troops identify chemical agents.
To see a complete schedule of activities at the Salt Plains this weekend, visit http://www.fws.gov/southwest/refuges/oklahoma/saltplains/