Jon McGrath, 17, of Tulsa is a phenom in the shooting sports.
And he got a start in Boy Scouts. He was featured in this recent blog post on Field & Stream’s Web site.
McGee Creek, an Oklahoma big bass factory in southeastern Oklahoma near Atoka, coughed a 10-pounder Saturday for an Arkansas angler.
Tim Pryor of Greenwood, Ark., caught his lunker on a drop shot rig while fishing with McGee Creek guide Chuck Justice. The fish measured 25 inches in length and an 18-inch girth.
It is the second 10-pound plus fish to come from McGee Creek this month. Justice caught a 10 pound, 7 ounce largemouth on a 5-inch Gene Larew Salt Head Shaky Worm two weeks ago.
“Winter time fishing is always really good down here,” Justice said. “That’s when I catch my most fish.”
During the winter, Justice said the fish go deeper but group in tighter schools. The trick is not so much catching them, but finding them.
Pryor’s big bass was caught at a depth of 50 feet, Justice said. The other 10-pounder was hooked at a depth of 45 feet.
Justice, who owns the McGee Creek lake record largemouth (12 pounds, 7 ounces) said he catches more, but “skinnier” fish during the winter.
“But that will totally change in February,” he said.
Justice said 90 percent of the bass he catches in January are males, but that flip-flops in February.
“In February, the females start making up for lost time,” he said.
“They are getting ready for the spawn and they start feeding up and I starting catching a lot more healthier, fatter fish.”
For more information on McGee Creek bass fishing, call Justice at (580) 889-6742 or visit www.chuckjustice.com.
Thursday night’s trout fishing clinic at the Putnam City High School gymnasium has been postponed in anticipation of the severe winter storm forecasted for Oklahoma.
The Oklahoma City Parks and Recreation Department plans to reschedule the workshop sometime next month, but no date has been selected.
For more information, call the Byron Fish Hatchery at 755-4014. Those who had registered to attend Thursday night, will have to register again once a new date is selected.
One of Oklahoma’s top fishing pros is going to take a stab at fishing both the BASS and the FLW tournament trails this season.
Edwin Evers of Talala, a fixture on the BASS Elite Series, also will fish on the FLW trail for the first time beginning with next month’s tournament on the Red River.
Fewer tournaments on the BASS Elite Series is part of the reason Evers is going to jump over and also try his luck on the FLW Tour.
A few years ago, BASS, which is owned by ESPN, held as many as 15 Elite Series events, Evers said. This year, like last, there will be only eight.
For a guy who makes his living at fishing, that means going elsewhere to look for more work.
“I can’t make any money sitting at home,” Evers said. “And I really like the FLW schedule. They are going to some lakes that I have a lot success on. I think I can compete pretty well.”
He is not the only pro angler from Oklahoma that is planning to fish both trails. Dave Smith of Del City also will be entering both FLW and BASS events.
Evers said there could be scheduling conflicts between the two trails.
On some FLW practice days, he will be fishing in a BASS tournament if he makes the cut for the final day.
For example, that might require him to jump on an airplane after a BASS event in California and fly across country for the start of an FLW tournament in North Carolina.
Asked if fishing on the rival FLW Tour will cause any friction with BASS, Evers said, “I don’t know. I haven’t done it yet. I don’t think so. I hope not.”
Planting trees is for the birds, literally.
Landowners who are interested in attracting more wildlife to their property might want to check out the seedling sales currently underway by the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food and Forestry.
The agency is selling wildlife habitat improvement packages of tree seedlings in partnership with the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation.
The seedlings will enhance the habitat of deer, songbirds, turkey, quail and a variety of other animals, according to the agencies.
The wildlife packets are made up of four different species of trees and shrubs.
Oklahoma grown seedlings are available to landowners for a broad range of conservation projects.
Landowners use the trees for windbreaks to protect crops and livestock, timber production, water quality protection, erosion control or other natural resource projects such as firewood plantings and Christmas tree production.
Oklahoma’s seedling planting season runs from December through early April.
There is an on-line store where landowners can buy the wildlife habitat improvement packages. Buyers can choose from more than 35 species of trees and shrubs.
Seedlings are one year old, bare-root, and each species are packaged in multiples of 50 with a minimum order of 100 trees.
For more information, visit www.forestry.ok.gov or call 800-517-FOREST.
The trout fishing should be better than usual on the Lower Mountain Fork River over the next three months.
At least there will be more trout than usual in the Lower Mountain Fork, Oklahoma’s most popular trout stream.
Over the next three months, an additional 14,400 trout will be stocked in the McCurtain County river. These fish are in addition to the normal number of trout that are added in the river every two weeks by state wildlife officials.
The extra trout are being provided to the state Wildlife Department by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in mitigation for building Broken Bow Dam.
When the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers builds a dam on a river to make a lake, the federal government must provide compensation to offset the loss such things as fish habitat and fishing opportunities.
In this case, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will provide more trout for the Lower Mountain Fork, one of two year-round trout streams in Oklahoma.
Those fish – in addition to what the state already buys and puts in the stream – means 40,000 trout will be released into the river over the next three months.
Additional stocking dates are scheduled for Jan. 27, Feb. 10 and 24 and March 10 and 24.
Now the trick is to get them to bite.
Beginning Friday (Jan.22), the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City will open a new temporary exhibit titled “When Animals Attack: Humorous Hunting Tableaux.”
The exhibit will feature stereographs depicting staged animal attacks from 1880-1910.
The exhibit will be located inside the Osborn Photography Studio Gallery in the 1900s cattle town Prosperity Junction.
The images showcase some of the quirkier stereographs collected by the Museum’s Donald C. & Elizabeth M. Dickinson Research Center.
According to the museum’s news release, because of the humorous and exaggerated subjects of the images, the Archives Center at the Smithsonian Institution places the hunting images under the comical genre.
However, the photographers’ intentions for creating fake hunting scenes still remain unknown. There are no records to prove whether those who produced the scenes intended to convince the audience of an attack, or if it was universally understood the scenes were fake, museum officials said.
One example is “A Fight for Life in the Wilds of Oregon,” depicting a hunter on the ground with his arm being “bitten” by a bear.
Two fellow hunters are poised to fend off the animal, one with a rifle and the other with what looks like a hatchet.
People enjoyed viewing stereographs during the late 19th and early 20th centuries because of their three-dimensional quality, museum officials said.
Stereographs are two slightly different images from the same scene printed side-by-side and mounted on card stock.
When viewed through a stereoscope, the eyes naturally combine the two images to create a three-dimensional re-creation of the scene
An estimated six million stereographs were produced in the United States, thanks to Oliver Wendell Holmes, who helped popularize the medium by inventing a stereoscopic hand viewer.
The exhibit will be on display until July 11.
For the second straight year, there will be no tackle show at the state fairgrounds in Oklahoma City.
Todd Jameson of Renfro Productions in Indianapolis, Ind., which bought the rights to the Oklahoma City tackle show from the late Hue Wiersig, blamed the poor economy for last year’s cancellation and has done the same this year.
The tackle show had been scheduled for Feb. 5 to 7, but many people wondered if it would be back. Last year marked the first time in 30 years that there was no fishing tackle show at the fairgounds.
The decision to cancel the show again was made just today (Tuesday), said Dan Forst, who handles media relations for Renfro Productions.
“Not much to say about it other than it’s still a very slow economy,” Forst stated in an email to me. “Todd felt that, while there was considerable vendor interest, there just wasn’t enough there, in total, to put on the kind of show that is expected and has been the history of this show.”
The Oklahoma Tackle Show was one of the biggest outdoor shows in the Southwest during its hey day.
I always looked forward to it. Twenty-two years ago, one of the first dates I had with my future bride-to-be was to the tackle show.
Not only did she agree to go, she actually seemed eager to go look at fishing stuff.
That’s when I knew I had a keeper, although she’s been tempted to throw me back a time or two since.
Now with no show for a second straight year, I guess my days of cheap dates may be over for good.
I am uneasy about posting Internet photos unless I know the source.
A friend a mine several months ago forwarded me a photo that was supposedly taken in Watonga of a mountain lion peering in someone’s patio door.
But the photo is on snopes.com, a Web site that debunks tall tales. The photo was real but it was taken in Wyoming.
Another photo that was widely circulated on the Internet was a huge alligator gar that supposedly came from Broken Bow Lake.
It didn’t. It was arrowed by bow fishermen in south Texas.
With that disclaimer, I am sharing these photos below sent to me by Jeremy Hogan, a principal at Cache Intermediate School, who said they were captured by his trail camera on his hunting property south of Grandfield on the Red River.
It appears to be legitimate. It is a sequence of three photos that were taken in October showing a mountain lion attacking a feral pig. Hogan said the date stamp on the trail camera was wrong.
“This was the first time I used this new camera and did not set it up properly,” Hogan stated in his e-mail. “I also found the wild pig dead about 40 yards from my feeder location.
“I actually hunted this location two days later and was unaware what my camera had captured until after the hunt. It definitely made my hair on my neck stand up.”
Hogan said the October photos are the only time a mountain lion has appeared on his trail cam, but he has found a few wild pig carcasses since.
The pigs were killed by something other than a hunter, so Hogan believes the cat or cats are still around.
If you are interested in fly tying you might want to attend the Fly Fishing Extravaganza Thursday night in Tulsa.
Sponsored by the Tulsa Fly Fishers, members of fly tying clubs from across the state will be in attendance and tying flies from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the Fulton Learning Center, 8906 E. 34th St., off South Memorial Drive. It’s not far off I-44 near downtown Tulsa. The Extravaganza will give people the chance to share fly-tying techniques and introduce new anglers to fly tying.
For many fly fishermen, there is no bigger thrill than catching a trout for the first time on a home-made fly.
Clubs from Bartlesville, Tulsa, Tahlequah, Fort Smith and Oklahoma City are scheduled to attend.
For more information, call Tom Adams at Backwoods in Oklahoma City at 751-7376 or Dick Turnbull in Tulsa at (918) 698-0726.