The Caddo Nation of Oklahoma is needing turkey feathers for its ceremonial Turkey Dance.
“We have about 20 dances carried over from ancient times,” said Phil Cross, member of the Caddo Culture Club in Binger.
“We have a special dance called the Turkey Dance that is one of our most cherished. We use the feathers of the wild turkey in our dances and regalia.”
The Caddo Culture Club has found itself short of turkey feathers for upcoming events.
“My usual sources around here just haven’t come through,” Cross said.
Cross is seeking the help of turkey hunters who may have feathers and fans they would donate to the tribe for its ceremonial dance.
“We need four or five turkey sets, wings and tails,” Cross said.
The Caddo Culture Club was established many years ago to preserve and teach the Caddo Indian culture and traditions.
Members of the club have appeared at powwows, universities, public schools, civic clubs, historical societies and museums throughout the United States to perform their dances.
If you have turkey feathers you can donate, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
More information about the club can be found at www.caddocultureclub.com.
Last week Paul Nuzum of Del City sent me photos of an Okiebug coin.
Okiebug was the famed tackle store in Tulsa founded by Don Butler, who won the second Bassmaster Classic in 1972 and was the first member of B.A.S.S., the Bass Anglers Sportsman’s Society.
Butler died in 2004.
I had never seen such a coin and both Nuzum’s research efforts and mine to learn more about the coin have been futile. The back of the coin has an inscription in a language we haven’t been able to identify. I forwarded the photos to an antique tackle collector in Edmond, but he had not seen the coin before, either.
“I have searched every possible avenue trying to find someone who can tell me what these symbols say or mean,” Nuzum said.
Gene Gilliland, fisheries biologist for the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation, said state wildlife officials even took a crack at it.
“We looked every language we could find to see if it matched but came up empty,” he said.
One person thought the inscription was a good luck message to bass fishermen, but we are not sure.
So we are asking for help. If anyone can tell us about the history of the Okiebug coin and what the inscription means, please let us know.
If you follow the outdoors coverage in the The Oklahoman, you know I often publish hunting and fishing photos from readers in the newspaper and on my blog.
How do I choose what photos to publish? Frankly, the most important factor is the quality of the photograph. I get many photos of nice bucks worthy of bragging about, but often the photos are unsuitable for publication.
If you want to take a good photo with your trophy, there are few simple rules you can follow to take a better photo and increase the chances of it being published in the newspaper or on NewsOk.com.
First and most important, take the photo in a natural setting. Don’t wait and shoot the photo of your big buck in your garage, backyard or pick-up bed.
Take along a digital camera and shoot the photo in the woods or the field while you are still in your camo and hunter orange. It makes a much better photo with a natural background and proper hunting attire.
Make sure the deer’s tongue is not hanging out. Don’t take a photo with the animal covered in blood. I know the deer is dead, but some readers find such photos distasteful.
Fill the frame of your photo. I can’t count the number of big fish photos I’ve received where the photographer must have been standing 10 yards away.
When possible, shoot from many different angles. Send me more than one photo to choose from.
And smile. That makes a much more pleasant photo.
Take a tripod and set the timer on the camera if no one is there to take the photo for you.
Follow these simple tips and perhaps your trophy hunting or fishing photo might be published on The Oklahoman’s Outdoors page one Sunday.
Wade Free, northwest region wildlife supervisor, said bucks are starting to show increased breeding activity, with fresh rubs and scrapes.
“Rifle season has the potential to coincide perfectly with rutting activity,” he said.
“The deer are going to breed regardless of weather, but colder temperatures allow the deer to move during the day when otherwise, temperatures make it too stressful if not impossible to go all day.”
In southeast Oklahoma, the rut is increasing in intensity and has not yet seen its peak, said Jack Waymire, southeast region senior wildlife biologist for the Wildlife Department.
“Archers are harvesting mature bucks, and bucks are cruising and beginning to chase does,” Waymire said. “The highest peak of the rut is still ahead.”
Waymire said acorn production in the region was poor this year but that some may still be found along river systems. Deer movement, though, is picking up, increasing the chances for hunters to see and harvest deer.
“If the weather cooperates, it is shaping up to be a good deer gun season,” Waymire said.
In southwest Oklahoma, the rut has been slow developing this year.
“This is probably good news for those planning to hunt the deer gun season opener,” said Rod Smith, southwest region wildlife supervisor for the Wildlife Department. “The cool wet weather last weekend should be the stimulus to increase deer movements and typical deer rutting behavior.”
Smith said deer activity through muzzleloader season and controlled hunts that took place in early November was very slow. Last week, hunters were reporting new scrapes, but adult bucks were also still being observed in groups.
Smith said people in the field were not observing significant rutting activity last week. Though some bucks appeared to be rutting heavily, the majority had not begun rutting actively.
An increase in vehicle-killed deer was noted last week, “a sure sign that the rut is beginning,” Smith said.
In the central region, rutting activity was observed by hunters toward the end of muzzleloader season.
“A cool front dropped temperatures to the lows 30s at daylight and high 50s at sunset,” said Rex Umber, central region senior biologist for the Wildlife Department. “Above normal temperatures have followed with limited activity, but bucks appear to be on the move again.”
Deer harvest is currently down about 25 percent or more in the central region compared to last year’s data, but as usual, some mature bucks were harvested during both archery and muzzleloader seasons.
“The acorn crop appeared good in early summer, but weather conditions were not favorable for development in July and August,” Umber said.
But while acorns are spotty, other food sources are available.
“The persimmon crop is good on most sites and deer are hitting these sites very hard,” Umber said. “Wheat crops are also spotty — some sites good to excellent.”
While Umber refrains from predicting the dates of the rut in the central region, he sites Nov. 15 as the “usual” time to observe the rut taking place in Oklahoma.
According to reports from the northeast part of the state, rutting activity is beginning to pick up and, though it may be winding down in the early part of deer gun season, deer will still be active and hunters should have opportunities to see and harvest rutting deer.
The Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation administers the “Hunters Against Hunger” program where deer hunters donate venison to food banks in the state.
It’s a worthy program that is becoming more needed each year. Last year hunters donated 39,725 pounds of venison that was distributed to needy families across Oklahoma.
It’s easy to participate. Hunters just need to deliver their deer to a meat processor that participates in the program. Those processors are listed in the Oklahoma Hunting Guide or they can be found on the Wildlife Department’s website at www.wildlifedepartment.com
Hunters are asked to contribute a $10 tax deductible donation to help with the processing costs, but it is not required.
Angie Gaines, marketing manager for the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma in Oklahoma City, said the need for donations is more critical than ever.
The food bank has 415 partner agencies that distribute food in 53 counties in western and central Oklahoma, and those agencies are reporting a 30 to 50 percent increase in need from the previous year.
And even though the agencies are receiving more donations of food, “We are still not meeting the increase in need,” Gaines said
The venison donations are very important because it helps ensure Oklahomans receive balanced meals of meat, vegetables and fruit, she said.
And they are also important because, in the winter, many needy Oklahomans have to choose between buying food or paying their heating bills, she said.
“That’s why donations are more important than ever during the holiday season,” Gaines said.
The Grand National Quail Hunt was born by an idea from Gov. Henry Bellmon.
Gov. Henry Bellmon and others attending a 1966 antelope hunt in Wyoming talked about holding a celebrity quail hunt in Oklahoma to expose industrial leaders to the state.
The story goes that Gov. Bellmon was chatting by a campfire on a cold, fall night in Wind River Range, Wyo., with Dr. E.E. Chambers of Enid and Chuck Palmer of Oklahoma City about the famed One Shot Antelope Hunt in which they had just participated.
Gov. Bellmon observed that Wyoming’s antelope were almost as plentiful as Oklahoma’s quail, and he wondered, “Why couldn’t Oklahoma have a celebrity-type quail hunt?”
That initial 1967 Grand National Quail Hunt included about 20 members of the Grand National Club.
Today, the club is limited to 150 dues paying members, all business and community leaders in Oklahoma.
This year will mark the 44th anniversary of the Grand National Quail Hunt. Celebrities and dignitaries register on Tuesday and get to hunt several ranches around Enid for three days.
On Friday night there will be an awards reception at the Cherokee Strip Conference Center.
In its 44-year history, the Grand National Quail Hunt has brought some famous celebrities to northwest Oklahoma: Lee Majors, Hank Thompson, Roy Clark, Tennessee Ernie Ford, Roy Rogers, Dub Taylor, Gen. H. Norman Schwarzkopf, Dale Robertson, Johnny Bench, Slim Pickens, Robert Stack, Robert Fuller, Ray Price.
The hunt doesn’t attract a big-name group of entertainers like it once did.
J.Brandon Harvey, an attorney in Enid and one of the organizers of the Grand National Quail Hunt, thinks it’s partly because of today’s political climate in Hollywood.
“It’s not as cool to be a hunter as it once was,” he said.
But the hunt still attracts an impressive group of guests.
This year’s guest list includes former NBA player Jon Koncak, retired NFL player Nick Bebout; entertainers Jim Garling, Edgar Cruz and Byron Berline; President/CEO of AgriConnect Bill Boone; Director of Partnerships and Programs for Remington Outdoor Foundation Carl J. Brown, Sr.;
CEO of Triad Biometrics Scott Coby; President of Hunters Mexico, David Collis; novelist Stephen Coonts and retired NFL player Dave Butz, just to name a few.
Also, former Army Ranger and host of ESPN’s Grateful Nation, Tim Abel, is returning this year and bringing along two decorated veterans to participate in the hunt.
It’s amazing this celebrity hunt has lasted for 44 years. The primary purpose of the Grand National Quail Hunt is to showcase northwest Oklahoma’s wildlife and hunting, Harvey said.
“It began as a celebration of quail,” Harvey said. “We have a good line of guys making sure it keeps going.”
Every year it seems a deer hunter takes a white buck from Logan County and this year is no exception.
Carl Moore of Oklahoma City bagged the unique trophy on the fourth day of muzzleloader season on his hunting lease north of Guthrie.
Moore had seen the white buck each of the last three years during the bow season, but the animal never came within range for a shot.
This year, the buck emerged from the cedars with three other regular whitetail bucks during the muzzleloader season, Moore said.
“The others (bucks) had nicer horns, but I probably would never get another shot at him,” Moore said of the white buck.
There are a few pockets of white deer around the state, but the largest is probably in Logan County. In fact, Moore said there is another buck in the area that is half-brown and half-white.
White deer are the same as other whitetails except for the color. The white color of the deer is the result of a recessive gene that occurs once in about 10,000 whitetails.
Many times, such animals are stunted or deformed and don’t reach adulthood because they are more susceptible to predators.
However, Moore said this white buck was the fattest deer he has ever killed. It weighed between 150 and 160 pounds field dressed.
It had three white hooves, a black one with a white tip and brown eyes, Moore said.
Hunters must obtain written permission from the director of the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation to hunt white deer.
That law was passed in 1998 after a hunter took a white buck in Logan County in 1997, upsetting some who attempted to pass a law to protect them. White deer, much like a white buffalo, are viewed as sacred animals by some Native Americans.
A bill was introduced in the state Legislature in 1998 to make it unlawful for Oklahoma hunters to kill a white deer, but what passed was a compromise where hunters first had to obtain written permission.
About a dozen requests are made each year to the Wildlife Department to hunt white deer. At least one and or two are killed by hunters in Oklahoma each year, state wildlife officials said.
This is a short, true tale about dry fly angling brown trout of the Chittenango River, in Madison County, New York by my friend Bob Gerling, who works at the National Cowboy Hall of Fame and Western Heritage Museum.
The story begins the end of 2009.
Chapter I. The gift of a book: Sex, Death and Fly Fishing by John Gierach. This guy knows how to write and most certainly how to fish. Ever read a book, or more likely an article, about fishing? They catch everything no matter the weather, the time, the place or the season. I say to myself, why couldn’t that be me just once?
Chapter II. The gift of the pole and reel. That’s right, early in 2010 I visited my cousin Jim in Houston and he invited me to return home with an extra fly fishing outfit from his father-in-law’s estate. Already 2010 is shaping up. How can I combine my newly acquired expertise, a great pole and a scenic location?
Chapter III. I talk with my St. Louis Cardinal friend, Ed Godfrey, of The Oklahoman, over lunch at the National Cowboy Museum. We seek out the several summer Prix de West art pieces depicting fly fishermen in gorgeous locations. He invites me to share a future trip with him on his blog.
Chapter IV. I get a call in mid August from the office of the American Association of Museums, requesting me to be part of a team to review the Erie Canal Museum in Syracuse, New York for Museum Accreditation. This had to be completed in October (before it snows) for review and presentation in the spring.
Chapter V. I choose another team member, Phil Kwiatkowski, State Director of Historic Properties from Lansing, Michigan, who just happens to be a fly fisherman.
Chapter VI. Finally, it is October. We meet up in New York, take care of the Erie business (no October pun intended) and head for the recommended “Troutfitter” in Syracuse, New York. Proper license, assortment of flies and a few important suggestions including directions are secured. Boy you should see the trophy pictures on his walls, all caught by rookies.
Chapter VII. The Big Day. We are up early to eat breakfast at Mother Cupboard’s of Man vs. Food cable TV fame. This place is for real, and we would have never found it if it weren’t for the companionship of the Historian and Director of the Stickley Furniture Museum. A huge appetite required here for 14 inch blueberry pancakes? How many do you want?
Chapter VIII. The Play. October 20, 2010. A day that will live in fishing infamy. We arrive in the awesome scenic valley of the Chittenango, where the fall colors demand our attention as we assemble the gear and get started. The sky is over cast, the bead heads do not work, the water is fast and we have no waders. Finally the sun breaks through, the water glistens, we select hot pink colors and work the slower water nearer the banks.
Chapter IX. The Catch. The dream comes true, trout know a good thing when they see it. Nothing record setting, just 12-14 inch browns admired long enough for a cell photo and then released back into the wild stream for another angler, next year.
Chapter X. You should try this someday, it’s all in the book.