Scorching summers and freezing winters in Oklahoma are hard for everyone, including the state’s wildlife. Landowners can help wildlife survive Oklahoma’s extreme weather by planting food plots.
The Oklahoma State University Cooperative Extension Service Extension is holding a free seminar Aug. 14 in Oklahoma City on wildlife food plots.
The seminar will be held at the Oklahoma County OSU Cooperative Extension Service auditorium, 930 N. Portland, from 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. Space is limited. People must register for the seminar in advance by calling 713-1125 before 4 p.m. on Aug. 13.
“Food plots can help supplement the food supplies for wildlife during out extreme winters,: said Ray Ridlen, Agriculture and Horticulture Educator for the Oklahoma County OSU Cooperative Extension Service. “They can also help us increase numbers of wildlife in a particular area. We’re encouraging Oklahomans to create these plots.
“Anyone who lives on an acreage or even near an open area can provide food and forage for our natural wildlife inexpensively. It’s also a fairly easy project to undertake and establishing these kind of plots can be a great family activity or even a conservation project for someone.”
Urban sprawl is causing wildlife habitat to shrink while drought-stricken summers and harsh winters are destroying much of the food and forage still left for wildlife. Many people in rural Oklahoma are reporting that they are seeing fewer wildlife on their land, Ridlen said.
“After extreme weather conditions like the summer drought, it can sometimes take years before enough natural forage exists to sustain a healthy wildlife population,” Ridlen said. “That’s why it’s important for landowners to do what they can to make food available. No one really wants to live on land with no wildlife.”
Wildlife plots have been used by Oklahoma hunters for years to improve whitetail deer populations, but Ridlen said such food plots are beneficial to wildlife in general.
“Food plots planted to help increase populations of certain species like deer actually improved the health and numbers of all kinds of wildlife in an area,” he said.
“Even though hunters may have been some of the first in our state to make use of wildlife food plots, it doesn’t mean that these plots can’t benefit our wildlife in general or be used by our residents to simply improve the health and the abundance of wildlife on their own properties.”
A Choctaw taxidermist won a national championship in one of the whitetail divisions for his mount of a white deer at the recent National Taxidermists Association convention and competition in Rogers, Ark.
It was the first national championship after many state and regional awards for Danny Keener, a taxidermist for more than a quarter of a century.
Keener, 56, did something different with the white deer brought to him for mounting by an Oklahoma hunter. With the hunter’s permission, he incorporated a Chickasaw Indian legend called “Ghost of the White Deer” as part of the mount.
The legend is about an Indian brave named Blue Jay and an Indian maiden named Bright Moon who fall in love and want to get married, Keener said. Bright Moon was the chief’s daughter and he would not allow them to marry until the brave kills a white deer, beleived to be magical, he said.
The white deer shoulder mount sits atop Pacific redwood roots. Keener typed the story of the Chickasaw legend on a burnt piece of parchment paper and added it to the redwood roots.
On the back, Keener painted a bluejay and added a beaded-portrait of an Indian maiden gazing at the moon. He also placed arrows and an Indian-made quiver on the display.
Keener, who had finished second twice before in the whitetail division at the national competition, thinks the added element of the Indian story impressed the judges enough to put him over the top this year.
“That got me quite a few bonus points,” he said.
Keener received the white deer for taxidermy after the 2010 hunting season and asked the hunter if he could use it in competition. He spent one year working on the display and gave it to the hunter after the national contest.
“It was just a super immaculate white deer,” he said.
Keener said he received two white deer from Oklahoma hunters that year.
“I had never had one before in 26 years as a taxidermist,” he said.
USA Shooting called it the “biggest single day in U.S. shooting history.”
On Sunday, Californian Kim Rhode became the first American athlete to win a medal in five consecutive Olympic Games after winning gold in the women’s skeet shooting.
Rhode broke 99 of 100 targets in the finals, equaling the Olympic record. She was eight targets better than the silver medalist from China.
Rhode won in double trap in Atlanta as a teenager in 1996, took bronze in that even four years later at Sydney, re-claimed the gold at Athens in 2004 and won the silver in skeet at Beijing in 2008.
Rhode, 33, becomes the eighth American woman with at least five U.S. Olympic medals.
Read more at http://espn.go.com/olympics/summer/2012/shooting/story/_/id/8210910/2012-summer-olympics-us-kimberly-rhode-wins-skeet-gold-fifth-straight-medal
Oklahoma State University juniors Zack Birge and Blake Flurry posted a total of 37 pounds, 13 ounces to win the Carhartt Bassmaster College National Championship held at three different sites over three days: the Arkansas River, Lake Maumelle and Hurricane Lake, all near Little Rock, Ark.
“I think this will sink in tonight when I lay down in bed with this trophy next to me,” Flurry said.
Birge from Blanchard and Flurry from Roland led from start to finish in the three-day team tourney, weighing in 16 pounds, 5 ounces Friday on Hurricane Lake to finish almost three pounds ahead of second place Auburn.
University of Oklahoma anglers Tyler Nipper and Paul Muzljakovich finished 15th in the tournament.
The title earns Birge and Flurry $5,000, which will be divided among them and the OSU Bass Fishing Club, said club president Chase Edmiston.
“Other than a small amount given to each club by the school, college anglers have to pay their own way to these tournaments,” Edmiston said. “We do a lot of fundraising to help pay for trips to the national championship.”
Oklahoma State’s secret to success in daily 100-degree, central Arkansas temperatures, first on the Arkansas River, then on Lake Maumelle and finally on Hurricane Lake, was a topwater bite.
Essentially, Birge and Flurry clinched the tournament in the early hours on the first day when they capitalized using a River2Sea green-back, white-belly topwater frog.
“We were straight across from Willow Beach,” Flurry said. “We were on the backside of those islands. We were throwing that frog in the grass. We had a stretch of probably 50-yards long that we caught all 17 pounds on.
“Ten yards to the east, or 10 yards to the west of that grass, you weren’t going to catch anything. It was still a grind, but if we hadn’t caught that 17 pounds on the first day, we wouldn’t be here right now saying we’re the national champions.”
The victory also gives the OSU anglers the opportunity to fish for a spot in the 2013 Bassmaster Classic.
Birge and Flurry will fish on Saturday and Sunday on Conway’s Beaverfork Lake against other top collegiate anglers in an individual tournament. The winner will receive a berth in the 2013 Bassmaster Classic on Oklahoma’s Grand Lake.
If you plan to go boating or camping at the Lake of the Arbuckles, be sure to take a credit card along.
Chickasaw National Recreation Area officials announced Friday that the fee machines at the Guy Sandy and Buckhorn boat ramps have been modified to accept credit cards only.
All boat ramp and campground fee machines on Arbuckle soon will be replaced or modified to accept credit cards only.
Officials said the fee machines at the Guy Sandy and Buckhorn boat ramps were recently vandalized beyond repair.
Going to credit card only machines should deter vandalism and theft, Chickasaw officials said. The credit card machines also are more reliable and will break less often as coin and bills will not be jammed into them, they said.
I called Dan Winings at the Chickasaw National Recreation Area and asked what are people who don’t own a credit card supposed to do? Winings said they are still working out the details of the new fee arrangement but cards such as Visa prepaid cards, which are often bought as gift cards, can be used at the machines.
Oklahoma State University remains in first place after the second day of fishing Thursday in the Carhartt Bassmaster National Championship.
The Cowboys’ Zack Birge and Blake Flurry weighed in only 4 pounds, 4 ounces of bass on Thursday, but after catching 17-4 on Wednesday, they didn’t have to do much to maintain a lead.
OSU goes into the final day of the tournament on Friday with a 4-pound lead over the University of Alabama’s Dustin Connell and Logan Johnson and Murray State’s Justin Graben and Vincent Campisano, who are tied for second with 17-8.
Auburn University brothers Jordan and Matt Lee are in fourth place with 16-10.
The tournament moves Friday to Hurricane Lake, a 326-acre private reservoir in nearby Benton, Ark.
After the national collegiate team championship is decided Friday, members of the top four teams will fish from tournament-ready boats provided by Triton and Skeeter and will be seeded individually in a two-day bracket-format tournament at the 960-acre Beaverfork Lake in Conway, Ark., to determine which collegiate angler earns a berth in the 2013 Bassmaster Classic.
The 2013 Bassmaster Classic will be held in February on Oklahoma’s Grand Lake.
The Oklahoma City National High Performance Center will host a watch party Friday for the opening ceremonies of the 2012 Summer Olympic Games.
The broadcast will be shown beginning at 6:30 p.m. on the outdoor screens of the Chesapeake Finish Line Tower and the Devon Boathouse.
Admission and parking are free. Concessions will be for sale.
The public is invited to bring their chairs and blankets to watch the ceremonies, which will be displayed on the side of the Chesapeake Finish Line Tower.
Eight OKC National High Performance Center athletes and two coaches will represent the United States at the Olympic and Paralympic Games. The athletes are rowers Robin Prendes, Nick LaCava, Will Newell and Anthony Fahden (men’s lightweight four); Tom Peszek and Silas Stafford (men’s pair); and adaptive rowers Emma Preuschl and Andrew Johnson (legs, trunk and arms four with coxswin).
Olympic rowers Grant and Ross James do not currently train in Oklahoma City but did so in the past. They will row in the men’s eight race. Follow the athletes’ progress at okc-nhpc.org.
From BASS reports
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — Oklahoma State’s Zack Birge and Blake Flurry needed only two hours on the Arkansas River Wednesday to practically assure themselves a spot in Friday’s Top 5 Final of the Carhartt Bassmaster College National Championship.
On a day when temperatures hit 102 degrees and there was little current in the river, Birge and Flurry caught a five-bass limit weighing 17 pounds, 4 ounces.
“We caught all five on a frog in one foot of water,” said Flurry. “By about 8:15, 8:30, we were shut down.”
Only one other team in the 57-team field totaled double digits Wednesday. Murray State’s Justin Graben and Vincent Campisano are in second place with 12-10.
The tournament moves Thursday to Lake Maumelle. The two-day totals will determine the Top 5 for Friday on an as yet unnamed “mystery lake.” The previous weights will be zeroed before Friday’s competition to determine the National Championship team.
A Bassmaster Classic berth will be decided among the top four teams after Friday, when they will be bracketed in individual competition. The top two individuals after Saturday will go head-to-head Sunday to determine the Classic berth.
Both Birge and Flurry would feel like they had an advantage over the pros in the 2013 Classic, which will be held in Oklahoma on Grand Lake next February.
“February is when you catch the big ones at Grand,” Flurry said.
Both OSU anglers are going into their senior year in college. Birge is majoring in wind turbine technology; Flurry’s major is crop soil science.
But both hope to be bass fishing professionally after graduation.
“That’s the No. 1 goal,” Birge said. “That degree is probably third on the list.”
“Guiding,” Birge said. “If that doesn’t work out, I’ll probably fall back on that degree.”
Here is this week’s fishing report as compiled by the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation.
Note: Blue-green algae has been confirmed on Lake of the Arbuckles which can produce toxins harmful to people and animals. There only have been small blooms in remote areas of the lake but still boaters, swimmers and anglers are advised to be cautious and shower after having contact with the water.
Arcadia: July 22. Elevation below normal. Channel catfish good on stinkbait, punch bait and chicken liver at night. Crappie slow at 8-12 ft. Report submitted by Chance Whiteley, game warden stationed in Oklahoma County.
Arcadia: July 23. Elevation 1/2 ft. below normal, water 87. Striped bass hybrids fair to good on worms around the south dock in the mornings. Channel catfish fair on cut bait at 6-8 ft. around the south dock in the mornings. Blue catfish fair on cut bait at 8 ft. around the south dock in the mornings. All other fishing fair. Report submitted by Linnie Mason, gate attendant.
Hefner: July 24. Elevation below normal and dropping, water 86-92 and clear. Largemouth and smallmouth bass slow on jigs and soft plastics at 8-20 ft. along rocky shorelines. White bass and striped bass hybrids fair on gay blades, grubs and trolling crankbaits at 4-6 ft. along the west side. Channel catfish fair on punch bait at 8-20 ft. along rocky shorelines. Blue catfish fair on cut bait at 10-40 ft. along rocky shorelines. Crappie slow on jigs and road runners at 12-20 ft. along the dam. Walleye fair trolling crankbaits at 8-14 ft. and drifting night crawlers at 12-20 ft. along points and the dam. Sunfish and bluegill fair on worms. Report submitted by Lucky Lure Tackle.
Overholser: July 22. Elevation below normal, water murky. Striped bass hybrids fair on worms and minnows by the dam after dark. Report submitted by David Rempe, game warden stationed in Oklahoma and Canadian counties.
Wes Watkins: July 22. Elevation 5 ft. below normal, water 91 and clear. Channel catfish and crappie good on minnows around deep structure at night. Report submitted by Mike France, game warden stationed in Pottawatomie County.
Bell Cow: July 22. Elevation below normal, water 88 and clear. Channel catfish fair on worms. Crappie good on minnows and jigs at night. Report submitted by Gary Emmons, game warden stationed in Lincoln County.
Chandler: July 22. Elevation below normal, water 88 and clear. Channel catfish good on shad at night and fair on chicken liver and worms at night. Crappie good on minnows and jigs morning and night. Report submitted by Gary Emmons, game warden stationed in Lincoln County.
Copan: July 22. Elevation 1 ft. below normal, water upper 80s and clearing. Crappie slow on minnows and jigs at 3-6 ft. from boats around the lake as well as from the new fishing dock at Copan Point. Catfish slow on cut shad, sunfish and worms below the dam. Report submitted by Joe Alexander, game warden stationed in Washington County.
Eucha: July 24. Elevation 5 ft. below normal, water 85 and dingy. Crappie fair on minnows and jigs at 10-12 ft. around brush and structure. Largemouth bass fair on plastic worms at night. Bluegill fair on crickets and worms around grass beds. Report submitted by Dwight Moore, City of Tulsa.
Ft. Gibson: July 21. Elevation 2 1/2 ft. below normal, water 89 and clear. White bass good on white rooster tails and small crankbaits on the windy points early and late. Largemouth bass good on plastic worms and crankbaits at 10-15 ft. around deep structure. Catfish good on trotlines baited with cut bait and sunfish at 15-25 ft. Crappie fair on minnows and jigs at 10-20 ft. Report submitted by Rick Stafford in Wagoner.
Grand: July 23. Elevation normal, water low 90s. Bass fair on worms and jigs. White bass excellent trolling islands. Catfish good on fresh cut bait above Sailboat Bridge. Crappie fair at 15-20 ft. under docks. Report submitted by Kody Moore, game warden stationed in Delaware County.
Greenleaf: July 24. Elevation 1 ft. below normal, water clear. Largemouth bass good on spinnerbaits, crankbaits, bill baits and jerk baits along shorelines, creek channels and brush structure. Catfish good on fresh cut bait on bottom. Crappie fair on minnows and jigs in red, green and yellow around fishing docks and brush structure. Report submitted by Lark Wilson, game warden stationed in Muskogee County.
Hulah: July 22. Elevation 1 ft. below normal, water clearing. Crappie slow on minnows and jigs at 6-8 ft. Fishermen below the dam are catching fair numbers of catfish on cut shad and worms. Report submitted by Joe Alexander, game warden stationed in Washington County.
Kaw: July 20. Blue catfish slow in upper part of Arkansas River; fish have moved to the main part of the lake. White bass excellent. Striped bass good below Kaw dam with running water. Report submitted by Larry Green, game warden stationed in Osage County.
Keystone: July 22. Elevation 2 1/2 ft. below normal, water 87. White bass good trolling spoons and rattletraps off points. Stripers good on topwater lures and spooks early morning. Report submitted by Karlin Bailey, game warden stationed in Creek County.
Lower Illinois: July 23. Elevation normal, water 54 and clear. Largemouth bass fair on topwater lures in coves. White bass fair on spinnerbaits at 1-2 ft. all along the river. Striped bass good on live shad at 1-2 ft. in the lower river, starting to show up below Gore Landing and Deep Branch mouth. Channel catfish excellent on cut bait on bottom all along the river. Crappie fair on jigs and spinnerbaits at 1-2 ft. all along the river. Trout excellent fly fishing the surface, on rooster tails at 1-2 ft. and on Power Bait on bottom from the dam to Gore Landing. Report submitted by D. Tracy, Town of Gore.
Spavinaw: July 24. Elevation slightly below normal, water 85 and dingy. Bluegill good around docks and shaded shorelines. Catfish good on trotlines, juglines and rod-and-reel baited with live bait, cut bait and crankbaits. Walleye good on artificial lures in deep water along steep drop-offs. Largemouth bass good on plastic worms, crank baits, and buzz baits. White bass good trolling mornings and evenings. Report submitted by Dwight Moore, City of Tulsa.
Tenkiller: July 23. Elevation 4 ft. below normal, water high 80s and clear. Largemouth bass slow on soft plastics late evenings and early mornings. Catfish fair drifting cut bait at 10-20 ft. Sunfish good on worms in or near docks. Report submitted by Monte Brooks, Cookson Village Resort.
Webbers Falls: July 24. Elevation 1 ft. below normal, water murky. Largemouth bass good on spinnerbaits, buzz baits and crankbaits along riprap, brush structure, mudflats, creek channels and rocky points. Catfish good on fresh cut bait on bottom and along mudflats. Crappie fair on minnows and jigs in purple and black around bridges and brush structure. Report submitted by Lark Wilson, game warden stationed in Muskogee County.
Canton: July 21. Elevation 7 1/2 ft. below normal, water clear. White bass and striped bass hybrids good on slabs and shad near drop-offs. Walleye fair drifting night crawlers. Report submitted by Mark Walker, game warden stationed in Blaine County.
Arbuckle: July 21. Elevation 1 1/4 ft. below normal, water 86-90 and clear. Thermocline at 21 ft. Bass slow on topwater early morning and fair on drop-shot, jigging spoons, crankbaits and Texas-rigged worms during the rest of the day. White bass being caught on spoons and small crankbaits at 20-25 ft. off ledges. Crappie fair at 20 ft. around brush piles and fair off docks at dawn. Channel catfish being caught on dough bait around baited holes. Sunfish good on fly rods and poppers. Report submitted by Jack Melton.
Blue River: July 23. Elevation normal, water 84 and clear. Smallmouth and spotted bass good on soft plastic baits around current below falls and structure in larger pools. Channel catfish good on stinkbait around current in large pools. Report submitted by Matt Gamble, biologist at the Blue River Public Fishing and Hunting Area.
Eufaula: July 22. Elevation 2 1/2 ft. below normal, water clear. Largemouth bass fair on plastic lures and crankbaits along deeper flats and deeper rocky areas. White bass good on topwater lures and slab spoons along deep flat areas early and late. Blue catfish fair on fresh shad drifting flats. Crappie fair on minnows and jigs along rocky areas, riprap and standing timber. Report submitted by Ed Rodebush, game warden stationed in McIntosh County.
Konawa: July 22. Elevation normal, water 92 and clear. Largemouth bass good on topwater lures and plastic worms at 5-10 ft. along weed beds and points early and late. White bass good on jigs and spoons at 5-10 ft. in schooling fish in the south cove early and late. Channel catfish fair on chicken liver at 10-12 ft. around points. Report submitted by Daryl Howser, game warden stationed in Seminole County.
Lower Mt. Fork: July 22. Zone I continues to be really good. The Evening Hole has been good using grasshoppers and hexagenias in the late afternoon and evening. Spillway Creek is doing good too using pheasant tail nymphs and wooly buggers. Zone II has been good early and late in the day as well as all day when it’s cloudy. Try pheasant tails, soft hackles and white streamers. Hexagenias are hatching near sundown. Report submitted by Jesse King, Three Rivers Fly Shop.
McGee Creek: July 22. Elevation 3/4 ft. below normal, water 89 and clear. Largemouth bass fair on Carolina-rigged soft plastic baits, H & H spinnerbaits at 2-12 ft., also fair for schooling bass in open water, early and late on shad colored topwater lures. Crappie fair to good on minnows 10-18 ft. over cedar brush piles. Report submitted by Larry Luman, game warden stationed in Atoka County.
Murray: July 23. Elevation 4-5 ft. below normal, water 86 and clear. Largemouth bass good on soft plastic baits, worms, Slugos, topwater lures and spooks early, late evening and at night. White bass fair on topwater lures when schooling late evening. Channel catfish good on minnows, stinkbait and chicken liver. Crappie fair on minnows and jigs at 15-20 ft. around pumps and rocky piles. Report submitted by Jeremy Brothers, game warden stationed in Carter County.
Pine Creek: July 22. Elevation below normal, water clear. Bass fair on Baby Brush Hogs near brush and snags. Spotted bass being caught on white grubs and small white spinnerbaits around brush. Crappie good on minnows around brush piles. Catfish fair at best on cut shad or liver. Report submitted by Mark Hannah, game warden stationed in McCurtain County.
Texoma: July 22. Elevation 2 1/2 ft. below normal, water 85 and clear. Largemouth and smallmouth bass good on plastic worms, topwater lures and crankbaits at 5-15 ft. in the creeks. Striped and white bass good on live bait, slabs, sassy shad and topwater lures at 10-30 ft. in the river channels. Channel and blue catfish good on live bait, worms and stinkbait at 10-20 ft. in the Washita River. Crappie fair at 5-15 ft. around the fish attractors and underwater brush on minnows and jigs. Sunfish good on worms, shrimp and tube jigs at 5-10 ft. around the fishing docks. Report submitted by Danny Clubb, game warden stationed in Bryan County.
Wister: July 22. Elevation 1/2 ft. below normal, water murky. Largemouth bass slow on crankbaits, spinnerbaits and buzz baits early and late. Crappie slow on minnows and jigs and fair on white/chartreuse tail grubs. Catfish fair on juglines and trotlines baited with cut bait and liver at 25-30 ft. Report submitted by Randy Fennell, game warden stationed in LeFlore County.
Altus-Lugert: July 22. Elevation 24 1/4 ft. below normal and falling slowly. Catfish slow on minnows in the lake. Report submitted by Sue Hokanson.
Foss: July 24. Elevation 8 ft. below normal with gates closed, water 80s and clear. Striped bass hybrids good on live bait surfacing after dark. Crappie fair around rocks and structure near marina. Catfish good on trotlines baited with dough bait or stinkbait. Walleye fair near dam. Report submitted by Eric Puyear, B & K Bait House.
Waurika: July 22. Elevation 7 ft. below normal, water clear to muddy. Channel and blue catfish slow to fair on cut shad, worms and grasshoppers at night early and late. Report submitted by Vince Mesis, game warden stationed in Cotton County.
Some notes about upcoming events in Oklahoma
Girls and Guns
A shooting league just for women is forming in Oklahoma.
The “A Girl and A Gun Women’s Shooting League” is launching an Oklahoma chapter. The league is for women who enjoy the shooting sports: pistol, rifle and shotgun.
The league has 11 chapters in Texas and has expanded to Colorado and Virginia. Chapters are scheduled to launch in Louisiana, Alabama and Georgia by September.
The league was founded in Leander, Texas, 18 months ago by when a group of ladies started meeting at a local gun range to shoot guns and socialize.
The Oklahoma City chapter will be based out of the H&H Shootings Sports Complex in Oklahoma City. The chapter will have regularly scheduled shooting events each month.
An organizational meeting is scheduled Thursday (July 26) beginning at 6 p.m. at H&H, located near I-40 and Meridian.
For more information, email Lisa Looper at email@example.com
Summer Boat Show
The annual Oklahoma City Summer Boat Show and Clearance Sale will be Friday (July 27) through Sunday at State Fair Park.
Admission is $7 for adults and $10 for couples. Ages 12 and younger receive free admission.
The boat show opens at noon on Friday and 10 a.m. on Saturday. It closes at 9 p.m. each day.
On Sunday, show hours are 11 a.m. until 5 p.m. For more information visit www.okcboats.com
Deadline is Saturday (July 28) to enter the HotShot ShootOut at the H&H Shooting Sports Complex in Oklahoma City.
The contest is both for firearms and bows with divisions for men, women and juniors (age 14 and younger).
The tournament begins Monday and continues through Aug. 11. The tournament is limited 64 in each division.
Winners receive a Smith and Wesson firearm or a Hoyt Bow.
For more information, call (405) 947-3888.
Traditional bow shoot in McAlester
Backwood Bowhunters is holding a traditional 3D archery shoot at the McAlester Army Ammunition Depot on Aug. 4-5.
The Southern Plains Traditional Archery Championships normally draw between 450 and 600 entries.
The Aug. 4 shoot is for longbows and recurves and the Aug. 5 shoot is for selfbows.
Competition is divided by men, women, youth and seniors (age 60 and older). All rounds are $15.
Vendors will be selling bows and accessories.
For more information, call Chuck Witte at (405) 354-1639 or Johnny Pappan at (405) 350-1551.