Mark this down in the strange but true wildlife tales.
Ron Goade, president of SSI Technologies in Edmond, and his wife, Susie, were playing golf this month in Scottsdale, Ariz., when they witnessed three mule deer does tree a full grown male bobcat.
The Goades were walking to the 10th tee at the Desert Mountain Golf Course when three does chasing a bobcat raced in front of them.
“The bobcat flew up the tree as the deer stood guard,” said Ron Goade, who took some photographs with the camera on his cell phone.
The deer stood hissing at the bobcat in the tree.
“I don’t know what happened before that, but he didn’t want any part of the deer,” Ron Goade said. “We speculate the bobcat was trying to grab a fawn from a herd of fawns and mothers.”
The Goades watched for about 10 minutes but neither the bobat or mule deer would budge, so they decided to play on.
“It was an incredible sight,” he said. “You just never see a deer chasing a bobcat.”
Camping fees likely will be increased at the Chickasaw National Recreation Area near Sulphur.
The National Park Service is proposing a hike in camping fees. If approved, the following new fee rates will go into effect in the spring of 2010.
The proposed camping fees would be an increase of $2.00 for individual sites and $6.00 for group sites.
• Lakeview premium campsites with electric utility hook-ups will be $24.00 per night. (Buckhorn Loop D #24, 25, 26 & Loop C #4, 5, 6, 7 and the Point #20, 21, 22, 23, 24)
• Campsites with electric utility hook-ups will be $22.00 per night. (Buckhorn and the Point Campgrounds, and one site at Rock Creek Campground)
• Campsites without electric utility hook-ups will be $16.00 per night at the Buckhorn and the Point Campgrounds.
• Campsites without electric utility hook-ups will be $14.00 per night at the Cold Springs, Guy Sandy, & Rock Creek Campgrounds.
• All group campsites will be $30.00 per night. (Rock Creek, Cold Springs & Central Campgrounds)
One hundred percent of the camping fees collected are returned to Chickasaw National Recreation Area.
The fee increase will cover increased utility costs for electricity and provide additional revenue which will be applied to the highest priority visitor needs, park officials said.
The funds are used for maintenance, repair projects, public service programs, signage, and natural and historical resource preservation.
Before the fees can be raised, the park must solicit public input on the changes.
Questions and/or comments may be submitted in writing by mail to: Superintendent, Chickasaw National Recreation Area, 1008 W. Second Street, Sulphur, OK 73086-4814
Comments also may be submitted via email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Include the phrase “Camping Fee Increase” at the top of the comments or the email subject line.
Comments will be accepted until January 15.
Jeff Bleything of Edmond caught a 31.7-pound escolar last month that is the new Texas state salt water record and a Gulf of Mexico body of water record.
Bleything caught the strange fish aboard the Scat Cat out of Fishermans’ Wharf in Port Aransas on a 56-hour tuna trip that left the docks on Oct. 23.
The fish broke the old Texas escolar record that was established just the previous weekend, a 17-pounder, also aboard the Scat Cat.
Bleything said the fishing guides aboard the Scat Cat were excited about the record escolar because it is such a rare fish to catch.
“They thought it was big-time stuff,” he said.
Escolars are an open water fish found Gulf-wide, but never shallower than 250-feet deep. They usually stay at depths of 700 feet, which is the depth at which Bleything caught his record fish on a Diamond Jig.
The escolar is uniformly dark brown in color, becoming almost black with age. The teeth are sharp and curved and the eye is large and golden-colored, with a black iris.
This unusual fish is almost never seen by recreational fishermen because of its preference for great depths at long distances from shore. It is often captured by commercial tuna fishermen. The escolar is a strong predator fish that eats other fishes, squids and crustaceans.
Bleything donated the fish to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department for research. Bleything, who owns Phoenix Restoration Services, describes himself as a fishing fanatic.
In addition to his frequent saltwater trips, he likes to fish for hybrids and walleyes at Lake Hefner. The trophy fish he has landed at Hefner include a 20-pound hybrid and 12-pound, 1 ounce walleye.
The annual Lawter and Associates “Last Bass” tournament was held Sunday on Lake Eufaula.
The winning team was Mike White of Sapulpa and Scott Moyer of Collinsville, who boated 16.91 pounds and took the top prize of $13,502.
Second place were Paul Smith of Copan and Wayne Diffee of Oakhurst with a sack of 16.5 pounds to win $7,635.
Finishing third and earning $3,682 were Terry Butcher of Talala and Fred Contaoi of Seymour, Tenn., with 16.2 pounds.
A special recognition went to Noble anglers Louis Watts and Brett Steely, who won the worst fisherman prize of $500 for not checking in a single fish.
The big bass of the tournament was a 7.7-largemouth caught by the team of Dewayne Sutterfield of Ada and Allan Brooks of Holdenville.
They were rewarded with $8,700 for big bass.
Overall, 435 boats entered the tournament and the total purse was $69,250.
Next week, the North American Falconers Association is holding its annual field meet in Oklahoma.
As many as 400 falconers from all over the world are expected to meet in Woodward Sunday then scatter across western Oklahoma for the next several days to go hunting with their raptors.
The falconers – hunting with breeds of hawks, falcons and eagles – will be hunting fur and feather: small game such as rabbits and squirrels and birds such as ducks, quail and pheasant.
To accomodate so many visitors, the Oklahoma Falconers’ Association and Woodward Tourisim and Convention Bureau are seeking landowners who would be willing to allow the falconers to hunt on their property.
If you are willing to help, call Dave Stevens at (252)725-4455.
If you are unable to reach Dave, call the tourism office at (580) 256-9990.
The meeting headquarters for the North American Falconers’ Association field meet will be the Northwest Inn in Woodward.
Directly adjoining the hotel will be the “weathering yard,” a field where the birds rest and sun themselves.
The best time for the public to see the birds in the yard will be daily from mid-morning to mid-afternoon beginning Sunday through Friday. Many of the birds will be hunting in early morning and late afternoon.
I will have more on this event on Sunday’s Outdoors Page in The Oklahoman newspaper.
The City of Edmond allows bowhunting only for white-tailed deer through December in 25 hunting zones around Arcadia Lake.
Arcadia Lake has produced some nice bucks in the past and on Saturday – Matt Allen of Oklahoma City – harvested this impressive 13-point, 180-pound buck.
“What a great hunt,” said Allen, a first-time bowhunter. “It all happened in less than probably three minutes. The whole time I was thinking, ‘Is this really happening?’
“I saw four deer (Saturday) morning before he popped up directly behind me and about 10 feet behind my stand. I was reaching for my bow and getting prepared while he was directly under me, then he walked a half-moon about 25 yards in front of me before finally stepping into about a 3-feet shooting lane.”
Hunts are still available at Arcadia Lake. Each week Arcadia Lake provides four day hunts, archery only, on the 25 units.
The hunts occur Thursday through Sunday. The fee is $50 per hunt. All hunters are required to attend a mandatory orientation session. For information, call 216-7470 or visit http://edmondok.com/parks/arcadialake/events
We are in the heart of hunting season but there are still some good fish being caught around the state.
Richard Holly of Comanche caught an 8.2-pound largemouth bass Nov. 5 on Comanche Lake that has been certified by state wildlife officials as a new lake record.
The latest photo I’ve received is this 6.2-pound smallmouth bass caught by Russ Martin of Owasso on Skiatook Lake.
Martin landed this trophy smallmouth just an hour before dark on Nov. 1.
Martin, 51, has been chasing Skiatook’s smallies for 15 years and this fish is his personal best.
Smallmouth bass are considered by many to be the best fighting fish pound for pound in fresh water.
They thrive in lakes with rocky and gravel shorelines and prefer clear water.
Smallmouth bass anglers normally target rocky points and shallow shelves that drop off to deep water.
Spinnerbaits, Rogues, jigs and pigs and crankbaits in crawdad colors are effective smallmouth lures.
Skiatook Lake is one of the best smallmouth bass lakes in the state.
Other Oklahoma lakes that are also good smallmouth waters are Texoma with its numerous rocky banks and points, Lawtonka, Eufaula and Murray. Smallmouth bass in Oklahoma seem to bite better on blustery days.
The state record came from Lake Eufaula. The 8.3 pound bronzeback was caught on a suspending Super Rouge jerkbait by a Broken Arrow angler in a Fishers of Men Legend bass tournament in March 2006.
This looks interesting. It’s Expedition Week on the National Geographic Channel.
On Monday night (Nov. 16) will be Expedition Great White showing new research on the huge but little known great white shark.
Here’s the news release on the show.
Avid billfish angler and TV outdoor fishing adventurer Chris Fischer never thought he’d actually be living a scene much like that from Jaws as he kneeled face-to-face handling a huge, live 4,600 pound great white shark.
As a sportsman Fischer has caught and safely released lots of giant black marlin each weighing about 800 lbs, but this great white and the other giant toothy predators that followed were the biggest he’s ever caught, examined and then released 15 minutes later unharmed.
It began when Fischer, a board member for The Billfish Foundation (TBF) was asked by Dr. Michael Domeier to help him tag big black marlin off Panama to follow their migratory habits by satellite. An avid billfisherman and billfish scientist, Domeier happens to be a great white shark scientist as well.
“When he saw Ocean our 126 ft., mothership he asked if I would be able to catch and safely lift a great white shark on it for scientific research he wanted to do,” said Fischer. “We have a hydraulic lift to pick-up a 75,000 lb game boat. I said ‘sure. We can build a fence around the lift and swing a great white over it.’
“I felt we were the only people in the world who can safely capture these giant beasts of the ocean, pick them out of the water and let them go in good shape because of the lift and my crew of very talented world game anglers and captains,” as Fischer described Jody Whitworth and Brett McBride two legendary captains among his team members.
“I self-funded it, because we don’t really know much about great white sharks or other huge fish. It was a kind of a moral obligation to help Dr. Domeier solve this puzzle because I thought we would be the only people in the world who could do it for him. No one has ever had the ability to deliver mature specimens to scientists in remote locations because they are so big.
“Like in the movie Jaws, the first time we saw a shark come in and eat the bait and then take off and drag the buoys under and across the water it was a life-changing moment as an angler.
The angling experience of capturing and releasing giant great white sharks is nothing similar to an angling experience of capturing a large pelagic fish. There’s a sense of history, a sense of awe, humility and humbleness. When a shark comes into the pattern under the back of the boat you look over at your bro and you’re all taking a step back. That thing is going to eat and we don’t want anyone to die today,” Fischer said with a smile describing that moment.
They even named the first great white they caught and released Bruce for the mechanical sharks used in the 1975 movie thriller classic.
Like a tenacious angler trying to get his quarry it took Fischer two years of pitching his project before National Geographic bit after seeing the footage.
“I promised Dr. Domeier I would help him get these tags out and I went back and funded it a second year to help him finish this TV project and continue his science.
“Because of the severe down turn in the nation’s economy, if I couldn’t sell it I would have to sell my ship and get rid of everything. I was getting down to my last liquid dollars.”
Emulating the late French marine researcher Jacques Cousteau and his 139 ft. Calypso, Cousteau’s filming platform, Fischer describes his new TV series and his ship Ocean as a modern day vessel worthy of worldwide research of huge sharks and pelagic fish.
“And the episodes have the adventures of writer Zane Grey with many elements of the Deadliest Catch.”
Fischer has won multiple Emmys for his recent Offshore Adventure series and other shows over this current decade. Actor Paul Walker another TBF board member and avid billfisherman helped on his crew.
“Monday night’s show is kind of a sneak peak during Expedition Week for the 10 hour series to run next summer,” said Fischer. “The show is called Expedition Great White. We caught what we estimated to be a 4,600-pound great white based on length and girth.
“The first thing I did was call my buddies at the IGFA (International Game Fish Association) the world record keeping body, and Salt Water Sportsman magazine and asked them what was the biggest fish ever caught and released alive. Figures were in the 2,000-pound range on recreational tackle.
“I sent them (a) picture and they said nothing has been caught and released alive that big. We caught three of them over 4,000 pounds, the three biggest fish ever in history, caught and released alive.
A specially designed system is used to keep each alive. The exam includes a blood draw by Dr. Domeier to check hormone levels, measurements, sperm samples taken, and tagging by attaching a tracking antenna to the dorsal fin before releasing.
“So it’s been great as the data is pouring in. Dr. Domeier is beginning to solve the puzzle of the great white shark; where they breed, where they feed, where they give birth so we can look after them and protect these areas. We’re learning so much new science.”
And work continues on the life cycle and migratory habits of billfish.
“Early next year we’re helping Dr. Domeier put out black marlin tags in the Puerto Vallarta fishery,” said Fischer. “He’s an avid big time black marlin and striped marlin angler and an active advisor to the TBF board. We support him and his science anyway we can.”
The annual Blue River Trout Derby is Saturday and Sunday.
Entry fee for adults is $25. For children 15 and younger, the entry fee is $20.
Among the cash prizes that are being given is $100 to the male, female and youth angler with the heaviest two-day stringer.
The fly fisherman with the heaviest two-day stringer also wins $100 as does the angler catching the heaviest single trout.
In addition, there will be $1,000 in tagged trout ($100, $50 and $25 tags) that will be stocked and several 3 to 6 pound rainbows.
For more information, call (580) 371-9288 or (580) 371-2175.
Trout were biting Thursday
Donny Carter of Stratford and James Webster of Pauls Valley reported a banner day Thursday on the Blue River near Tishomingo, catching and releasing more than 100 fish.
“We set up a day camp and began fishing around 9:30 a.m,” Donny said. ” I began catching fish right off in a small pool above Horseshoe Falls… It didn’t seem to matter where you fished, the trout were everywhere.
“Just like in a Rocky Mountain stream, they were scattered in shallow water, riffles, plunge pools, deep slow moving pools, fast runs and even rapids. They just tore up a hare’s ear nymph. I also found some trout rising in the “Flats”, which is just downstream of the Hughes Crossing. Caught some there on a very small Adams.”
Blue River video
The Blue River Fly Fishers club is selling a video to support the new catch and release portion of the stream.
The fly-tying video is entitled “On The River Blue – Six Great Trout Flies.” All of the proceeds will go to the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation for the Blue River.
The video costs $15 and can be bought at Scotty’s Blue River One Stop, near the entrance of Blue River.
You can also order one by emailing Barry Shrader at email@example.com.
It probably doesn’t come as a big surprise that fish biologists are often pretty good fisherman as well.
After all, Ken Cook was a biologist for the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation before he gained fame as a pro angler and Bassmaster Classic champion.
Gene Gilliland, a fishery biologist for the state and avid bass angler, is no exception.
On Wednesday, Gilliland landed a 10-pound largemouth from Thunderbird Lake. Here is his fish story:
“I had full intentions of getting up early on my Veteran’s Day holiday but it was 40-something degrees at 7 a.m. so I slept a little later. I finally got up when it was warming up and dead calm.
“I decided to mow the yard for the last time this season and spray for weeds. I finished up about 1 p.m. but the afternoon weather was just so pretty for November that I couldn’t resist.
“I hooked up the boat, if for nothing else, to burn up some old fuel in the boat tank. I headed to perhaps my least favorite lake in the area – Lake Thunderbird.
“I launched and went to several spots and flipped and cranked, but didn’t get any bites – pretty much my usual for T-bird. I ran around mostly to use up the old gas.
“After about three hours of futility I stopped at a spot where there was an ODWC brush pile in the middle of the cove, about 8 feet deep. It was so shallow that a good foot of one of the big cedar trees was showing above the surface.
“I pitched around two or three of the trees. Nothing. As I was moving off with the trolling motor, ready to head in for the day I made one last pitch to a little one 2-inch stump sticking up a couple of yards to the side of the brush pile. I stripped out an extra foot or so of line to allow the bait to fall straight. That’s when I realized I had stripped more line than there was water depth – set the hook dummy!
“She came to the top and even in the muddy red Thunderbird water I could tell this was a BIG fish. A surprisingly short battle later I lifted her into the boat. What a toad! This fish was not very long but had a belly on her like a pregnant spring female.
“My digital scales read 10.7 pounds (10 pounds, 11 ounces). She was too long for my livewell so I took out the divider to give her more room, then I headed for the ramp to find someone with a camera.
“Luckily, Matt Pangrac with the BassZone website was at T-bird that evening and was able to get a few shots of the fish with his phone camera.
“Not the best of photos (I know, I know – take off the sunglasses, watch out for distracting backgrounds, etc., etc.) but it was all we could do before the sun went down. I didn’t want to load the boat and haul the fish in my livewell 15 miles around the lake to the bait shop to have her weighed and photographed so we took a few shots at the dam where I released the fish.
“I may have to raise Thunderbird a bit higher on my “Favorites Lakes” scale after yesterday.”