Hunters have until Oct. 7 to apply for the goose and sandhill crane hunts this season at the Washita National Wildlife Refuge, located on the upper end of the Foss Reservoir in western Oklahoma .
Goose hunts have been offered on the refuge since 1982. Last year, 234 hunters bagged 117 geese during the refuge hunts.
“Washita continues to be a prime goose hunting destination and offers some of the most economical hunting in the state,” said Amber Zimmerman, refuge manager. “With a peak population near 100,000 most years, true waterfowlers are sure to get a thrill whether or not they take home their limit.”
Hunting is by permit only. Ten blinds situated on the edges of wheat fields are available each scheduled hunt day.
Non-transferable permits for six weekend hunts are selected by a random drawing. Applicants must be age 18 or older. Successful applicants may bring two other hunters.
All hunters must carry the required state and federal licenses and permits.
Non-toxic shot must be used. No more than 25 shells per hunter are allowed. A $20 blind fee must be paid by Nov. 4.
Weekend hunt dates available are Nov. 19-20, Nov. 26-27, Dec. 10-11, Dec. 17-18, Dec. 31-Jan. 1, and Jan. 7-8.
To apply for the drawing, hunters must submit their name, mailing address, telephone number and only one preferred hunt weekend. Applications can be mailed, faxed or delivered in person to the refuge.
Mailed applications must be postmarked by Oct. 7 and sent to the Washita National Wildlife Refuge, 20834 E. 940 Road, Butler OK 73625-5001. Faxed applications must be received by Oct. 7.
In addition, six Wednesday hunts are available (Nov. 16, Nov. 23, Dec. 14, Dec. 21, Dec. 28 and Jan. 4). Blinds for those hunts are filled by reservation only by calling the refuge on Tuesday before the scheduled hunt.
For more information, call the refuge at (580) 664-2205, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the refuge’s website, http://washita.fws.gov.
Delmer Shoults loved catching big stripers on the Lower Illinois River. And he loved helping others catch big fish there, too.
Shoults, a legendary fishing guide on the Lower Illinois River below Lake Tenkiller, died Saturday at his home in Sallisaw. He was 69.
Shoults started guiding customers to big stripers on the Lower Illinois River in 1986.
“He stayed busy all the time,” said Shoults’ widow, Mary Ann. “We never took a vacation.”
Spending a day on the Lower Illinois River was a vacation for Shoults. He would fish from dawn to dusk whether the fish were biting or not.
“Delmer Shoults was the happiest person in the world when he would be on the river with a fishing pole in his hand,” Mary Ann Shoults said.
Many anglers have caught the biggest striped bass of their life while fishing with Shoults, who liked to bait his rods with rainbow trout to entice those monster stripers that would flee the Arkansas River in the hot summers for the cooler waters of the Lower Illinois.
Funeral services for Shoults will be Thursday at 11 a.m. in his hometown of Broken Bow at the Assembly of God church.
The Bunch-Singleton Funeral Home in Broken Bow is handling the funeral arrangements.