Sunday January 21, 2018

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Whatzup Outdoors

Whatzup Outdoors (226)

By Sean Hubbard, Communications Specialist, Agricultural Communications Services, Oklahoma State University

 

STILLWATER, Okla. – His name is Copper and he is a hound dog. An unforgettable scene from the early 80’s animated movie, The Fox and the Hound, shows Copper actively sniffing his surroundings in search of Todd, the movie’s co-star.

 

“Whatcha smellin’?” Todd asked. “I’m on the trail of something,” replied Copper.

 

“Trail of what?” Todd asked. “I don’t know, yet,” Copper said, pressing his nose right up against the fox, Todd. “Why, it’s you!”

 

The cartoon movie understood there was a connection between scent and predation and Oklahoma State University researchers have dug deeper into that poorly studied link. As a graduate student in OSU’s Department of Natural Resource Ecology and Management, Dillon Fogarty, advised by Scott Loss, NREM assistant professor, studied olfactory concealment, the way environmental features impact how a prey animal’s scent disperses and is detected by predators.

 

“Our research provides new information that changes the way people think about wildlife habitat. It is well known that scent plays a big role in predator and prey interactions, but how habitat influences scent dispersal and detection is not clear,” said Fogarty, who is now a doctoral student at the University of Nebraska. “Traditionally, people studied the visual concealment that wildlife habitat provides because people are visually oriented. We took the novel approach of putting ourselves in the animals’ shoes and investigating how vegetation and wind conditions provide olfactory concealment, which could be just as important as visual cover because many animals are heavily dependent on smell.”

 

Fogarty and Loss led the research in collaboration with NREM professors Dwayne Elmore Sam Fuhlendorf.

 

On Win and Kay Ingersoll’s ranch in Inola, Oklahoma, the research team took airflow readings at over 200 points in three vegetation communities – forests, shrublands and grasslands. They measured wind turbulence, velocity and updraft, along with visual habitat elements like vegetation height and density.

 

“Our objective was to predict where areas with olfactory concealment would be located,” Fogarty said. “We found that wind turbulence is an important aspect of olfactory concealment for predators and prey in grasslands. And interestingly, the best predictor of turbulence in grasslands was vegetation density, indicating that as vegetation density increases so does wind turbulence and that areas with high turbulence tend to also have high levels of visual concealment.”

 

Another novel finding from the study, which is published in the Ecological Society of America journal, Ecology, included an artificial nest experiment where the researchers covered farm-raised quail eggs with scent and placed them in grasslands on the Ingersoll’s ranch. The researchers returned the following day to see if a predator had removed the eggs.

 

“Surprisingly, we found turbulence intensity, not visual concealment, was the best predictor of egg persistence in grasslands. Nests in areas with high turbulence were less likely to be found by predators. This result provides the strongest evidence yet that habitat characteristics that enhance olfactory concealment actually impact survival rates of prey.

 

Fogarty says to understand how turbulence intensity provides olfactory concealment, think of a stream of red dye dropped into a river. If there is smooth streamflow the dye stays on a consistent and predictable path, but in turbulent rapids the dye disperses unpredictably, making it difficult to track upstream.

 

Based on the team’s research, Fogarty explains that “areas with high wind turbulence in grasslands function just like rapids, making it difficult for predators to track airborne prey scents back to their source.”

 

“The idea that areas with high visual concealment also provide good scent concealment is a major finding from our study,” Loss said “Researchers previously studying habitat may have wrongly assumed that the only benefit of tall and dense vegetation is visual cover. Our study shows that the same dense vegetation also provides olfactory cover by increasing wind turbulence. Additionally, our nest experiment shows that air turbulence is actually likely to be impacting predator detection and prey survival.”

 

Fogarty and Loss say that considering these separate aspects of concealment provides a better understanding of how prey hide their scent and how predators detect prey. Their findings reshape our understanding of wildlife habitat and even have implications for how we manage habitat for prey and predator wildlife species of conservation interest.

 

TurbFog 002

 

Fograty’s full paper, “Variation and Drivers of Airflow Patterns Associated with Olfactory Concealment and Habitat Selection,” is available online.

 

Oklahoma State University, in compliance with Title VI and VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Executive Order 11246 as amended, and Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (Higher Education Act), the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, and other federal and state laws and regulations, does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, genetic information, sex, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, disability, or status as a veteran, in any of its policies, practices or procedures. This provision includes, but is not limited to admissions, employment, financial aid, and educational services. The Director of Equal Opportunity, 408 Whitehurst, OSU, Stillwater, OK 74078-1035; phone 405-744-5371; email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. has been designated to handle inquiries regarding non-discrimination policies: Director of Equal Opportunity. Any person (student, faculty, or staff) who believes that discriminatory practices have been engaged in based on gender may discuss his or her concerns and file informal or formal complaints of possible violations of Title IX with OSU’s Title IX Coordinator 405-744-9154.

Press release

 

WILBURTON, OK (Jan. 5, 2018) – The 74th Annual Southeastern Oklahoma Junior Livestock Show is set for January 18-20 at Eastern Oklahoma State College in Wilburton. The show is jointly sponsored by the Wilburton Lions Club and the Eastern Agriculture Division.


The swine show will take place Thursday, Jan. 18, followed by the sheep and goat show on Friday, Jan. 19. The event will conclude on Saturday, Jan. 20 with the heifer and steer show.


In addition to the usual payout for class winners and breed champions, the grand champions for each show will be guaranteed a minimum of $240 plus $2 per head entered. The reserve grand champions will be guaranteed a minimum of $160 plus $1 per head entered. Organizers have also introduced a bronze champion this year that will be guaranteed a minimum of $80.


Also, exhibitors of the grand champions will be awarded a $1,000 scholarship and exhibitors of the reserve grand champions will be awarded a $500 scholarship to attend Eastern as agriculture majors.


All exhibitors must be primary or secondary students (K-12) of a school in the following counties: Atoka, Bryan, Choctaw, Coal, Haskell, Hughes, Johnston, Latimer, LeFlore, Marshall, McCurtain, Seminole, Pittsburg, Pontotoc or Pushmataha.


There is a $25 per head entry fee for all animals. All entries must be postmarked by Jan. 11. Late entries will be charged an additional $5. Visit eosc.edu/sedistrictshow for more information and to download a registration form.

A service of the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife

Arbuckle: Jan. 1. Lake elevation is below average with water temperature at 48 degrees and water clear to stained. Largemouth, smallmouth, and spotted bass fair on Alabama rig, jerk bait, jigs and spoons in creek channels, the main lake, off points, and underwater drop-offs in 40 plus ft. of water. White crappie and black crappie fair on jigs, minnows, and spoons in creek channels, the main lake, and 39-56 ft. drop offs. Report submitted by Jack Melton.

Blue River: Jan. 2. Elevation normal with water temperature at 33 degrees and clear. Rainbow trout good on caddisflies, inline spinnerbait, midges, Powerbait, and spoons off points and below waterfalls. About 2,560 rainbow trout were stocked on Dec. 27. Much of the river is iced over; open water is mostly downstream of falls and in faster moving chutes. Report submitted by Matt Gamble, South Central Region fisheries biologist.

Broken Bow: Dec. 31. Lake elevation is below average with water temperature at 48 degrees. Largemouth, smallmouth, and spotted bass fair on buzzbaits, crankbaits, jigs, and Rogues on brush structure, points, and standing timber. Blue, channel, and flathead catfish fair on cut bait, live bait, stinkbait and sunfish in channels, off points, in river channels, and river mouth. Report submitted by Dru Polk, game warden stationed in McCurtain County.

Eufaula: Dec. 31. Lake elevation dropping and water murky. Striped bass good on cut bait, shad, and topwater at and below the dam. Channel and blue catfish good on cut bait, dough bait, hot dogs, live bait, live shad, and shad at the inlet, main lake, river channel, and the river mouth. Black crappie fair on jigs and minnows on brush structure, at docks, and on standing timber. Report submitted by Cannon Harrison, game warden stationed in McIntosh County.

Hugo: Dec. 31. Lake elevation is below average with water temperature at 53 degrees and murky. Largemouth and spotted bass slow on crankbaits and plastics in creek channels and off points. Blue and channel catfish good on cut bait and shad in the main lake. Black crappie and white crappie good on jigs and minnows on brush structure and standing timber. Report submitted by Jim Gillham, game warden stationed in Choctaw County.

Konawa: Jan. 1. Lake elevation normal with water temperature at 48 degrees and clear. Largemouth bass fair on Alabama rig, crankbaits, jerk bait, and plastics in the main lake, off points, and the river channel. Striped bass hybrids and white bass fair on Alabama rig, crankbaits, live shad, and spoons in coves, the main lake, and in the river channel. Channel catfish slow on chicken liver, cut bait, dough bait, and shad in coves, creek channels, the main lake, and along riprap. Report submitted by Garret Harley, game warden stationed in Seminole County.

Lower Mountain Fork: Dec. 31. Elevation below average with clear water. Rainbow trout fair on Powerbait and salmon eggs in channels and off rocks. April Drake of the Southeast Region Office reports that about 1,440 rainbow trout were stocked on Dec. 28. Report submitted by Mark Hannah, game warden stationed in McCurtain County.

McGee Creek: Dec. 31. Lake elevation below average with water temperature at 58 degrees. Largemouth bass and spotted bass slow on plastics in creek channels and standing timber. White crappie slow on minnows in the main lake and river channel. Report submitted by Jay Harvey, game warden stationed in Bryan and Choctaw counties.

Pine Creek: Dec. 31. Lake elevation below average with water temperature at 45 degrees and clear. Largemouth bass good on crankbaits and plastics in channels and off points. Black crappie slow on jigs in creek channels. Channel catfish good on chicken liver in the main lake. Report submitted by Mark Hannah, game warden stationed in McCurtain County.

Robber’s Cave: Dec. 28. Lake elevation is normal. Rainbow trout fair on Powerbait in the river channel. Stocked about 360 rainbow trout on Dec. 28. Report submitted by April Drake, secretary at the Southeast Region Office.

Robert S. Kerr: Dec. 31. Lake elevation is normal with clear water. White crappie good on jigs and minnows on brush structure, in creek channels, at 4-14 ft. of water. Blue catfish and channel catfish excellent on shad in the river channel and off sand bars. Largemouth bass slow on spinnerbaits in creek channels and on standing timber. Report submitted by J.D. Stauffer, game warden stationed in Haskell County.

Sardis: Dec. 28. Lake elevation normal with water temperature at 50 degrees. Largemouth and spotted bass slow on bill baits, crankbaits, jigs, plastics, and spinnerbaits on brush structure, off points, along riprap, shorelines, and on standing timber. Blue, channel, and flathead catfish slow on cut bait, shad, and sunfish in the main lake. White crappie slow on hair jigs, minnows, and tube jigs on brush structure and standing timber. Report submitted by Dane Polk, game warden stationed in Latimer and Pushmataha counties.

Texoma: Jan. 1. Lake elevation is normal with cloudy water. Striped bass good on flukes, shad, and slabs below the dam, in the main lake, off points, along riprap, and off rocks. Blue catfish good on cut bait, live shad, and shad below the dam, in the main lake, off points, along riprap, and in the river mouth. White crappie good on jigs and minnows on brush structure, at docks, in the main lake, and on standing timber. Report submitted by Cody Jones, game warden stationed in McIntosh County.

Wister: Dec. 31. Lake elevation normal with clear water. Largemouth bass slow on bill baits, jigs, and plastics on brush structure, in channels, and on standing timber. Blue catfish fair on cut bait and stinkbait in the main lake and on standing timber. White crappie fair on jigs, minnows, and tube jigs on brush structure, in channels, and on standing timber. Report submitted by Thomas Gillham, game warden stationed in Le Flore County.

Press release

 

Broken Bow: December 23. Lake elevation below average with water temperature at 54 degrees. Largemouth, smallmouth, and spotted bass fair on bill baits, crankbaits, and jigs on brush structure, off points, and at the river mouth. Blue, channel, and flathead catfish fair on cut bait, live bait, and sunfish in channels, creek channels, off points, and at the river mouth. Report submitted by Dru Polk, game warden stationed in McCurtain County.

 

Eufaula: December 24. Lake elevation below average with murky water. Blue catfish excellent on cut bait, live bait, and live shad in the main lake, off points, and along shorelines. Striped bass excellent on jigs, plastics, small lures, and top water at and below the dam. White crappie and black crappie fair on jigs and minnows on brush structure, in coves, and at docks. Report submitted by Cannon Harrison, game warden stationed in McIntosh County.

 

Hugo: December 24. Lake elevation below average with water temperature at 56 degrees and murky. Largemouth and spotted bass fair on crankbaits and plastics off points and standing timber. Blue and channel catfish good on cut bait, live shad, and shad in the main lake and the river channel. Black crappie and white crappie good on jigs and minnows on brush structure and standing timber. Report submitted by Jim Gillham, game warden stationed in Choctaw County.

 

Konawa: December 26. Lake elevation is normal with water temperature at 50 degrees and clear. Largemouth bass fair on Alabama rig, crankbaits, jerk bait, and plastics in the main lake, off points, and in the river channel. Channel catfish slow on chicken liver, cut bait, dough bait, and shrimp in coves, creek channels, and along riprap. Striped (hybrid) bass and white bass fair on Alabama rig, crankbaits, live shad, and spoons in coves, in the main lake, and the river channel. Report submitted by Garret Harley, game warden.

 

Lower Mountain Fork: December 24. Lake elevation is below average with clear to slightly murky water. Rainbow trout good on Powerbait, salmon eggs, and Berkeley trout worms in creek channels. Report submitted by Mark Hannah, game warden stationed in McCurtain County.

 

McGee Creek: December 24. Lake elevation is below average (two feet low) with water temperature at 61 degrees. White crappie and white bass fair on minnows in the main lake, river channel, and standing timber. Largemouth bass and spotted bass slow on flukes, jigs, and plastics in creek channels and off points. Report submitted by Jay Harvey, game warden stationed in Bryan and Choctaw Counties.

 

Pine Creek: December 24. Lake elevation is below average with clear water. Largemouth bass good on crankbaits, and plastics in creek channels and off points. Black crappie slow on jigs in channels. Channel catfish good on chicken liver, cut bait, and shad in the main lake. Report submitted by Mark Hannah, game warden stationed in McCurtain County.

 

Robert S. Kerr: December 24. Lake elevation is normal with clear water. Largemouth bass slow on rogues and spinnerbaits in the main lake, off points, and along riprap. White crappie good on minnows on brush structure, standing timber, and 12-14 ft of water. Blue, channel, and flathead catfish good on shad and juglines in the river channel and off sand bars. Report submitted by J.D. Stauffer, game warden stationed in Haskell County.

 

Sardis: December 23. Lake elevation is below average with water temperature at 54 degrees. Largemouth bass and spotted bass slow on crankbaits, plastics, and spinnerbaits off points, rocks and along shorelines. Blue catfish slow on cut bait and shad off flats and in the main lake. Report submitted by Dane Polk, game warden stationed in Latimer and Pushmataha Counties.

 

Texoma: December 24. Lake elevation is above average with murky water. Striped bass good on live shad and slabs off points and along riprap. Blue catfish good on cut bait and shad below the dam, in the main lake, off points, along riprap, and in the river channel. White crappie and black crappie good on jigs and minnows on brush structure, at docks, and standing timber. Report submitted by Cody Jones, game warden stationed in McIntosh County.

 

Wister: December 24. Lake elevation is above average with cloudy water. Largemouth bass fair on bill baits, jigs, and plastics on brush structure, in channels, and standing timber. Blue catfish fair on cut bait and hot dogs on brush structure, in channels, in the main lake, and on standing timber. White crappie fair on jigs and minnows on brush structure, in channels, and on standing timber. Report submitted by Thomas Gillham, game warden stationed in LeFlore County.

Press release


What would make a wonderful Christmas gift for most any deer hunter?

 

How about the chance to harvest another deer before the end of the year. That’s exactly what the Holiday Antlerless Deer Gun season offers!


This year’s holiday season will be open for 10 days starting Dec. 22 and running through Dec. 31, 2017, in open areas. And even if a hunter has harvested the maximum aggregate limit of six deer for this year’s seasons, the hunter may still take a doe during Holiday Antlerless Deer Gun season because it is considered a bonus deer.


Most of the state will be open to antlerless deer hunting those days, except for the majority of the Panhandle and a large part of southeastern Oklahoma. Season dates and other regulations may vary on public lands in the open zones. For a map of Oklahoma’s antlerless deer hunting zones along with special area rules for public lands, see the current Oklahoma Hunting & Fishing Regulations Guide.


Last year, more than 33,000 hunters participated in the Holiday Antlerless Deer Gun season, and 2,710 harvested deer were reported to the Wildlife Department’s online E-Check system.


Harvest of does yields several important deer management benefits, said Dallas Barber, big game biologist for the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation.

 

These benefits include:
• Preventing localized overpopulation.
• Improving buck-to-doe ratios for a more healthy herd.
• Reducing competition for forage to promote greater antler growth in bucks.
• Reducing the potential for deer/vehicle collisions.
• Lessening the extent of potential crop depredation.
Residents and nonresidents may participate in the holiday season with the appropriate licenses. Unfilled Deer Gun Season resident licenses are not valid. All hunters are reminded that the requirements to wear hunter orange clothing are in effect during the Holiday Antlerless Deer Gun season in all open zones.


For complete regulations, refer to the Oklahoma Hunting & Fishing Regulations Guide available at www.wildlifedepartment.com, in the "OK Fishing and Hunting Guide" mobile app for Apple and Android, or in print free from license dealers statewide.

A Service of the Oklahoma Wildlife Department

Arbuckle: December 2. Elevation below normal, water 58 and clear. Largemouth and spotted bass fair on Alabama rigs, square bill crankbaits, jerk baits, jigs, plastic baits and chrome spoons at the back end of all three arms of the lake. Crappie good on minnows, jigs and spoons at 39-56 ft. along drop-offs, brush structure, creek channels and docks. Report submitted by Jack Melton.

Blue River: December 5. Elevation normal, water 46 and clear. Trout excellent on caddis flies, in-line spinnerbaits, midges, nymphs, PowerBait and spoons around points, rocks, sandbars and below riffles and obstructions in current in deeper water. Stocked approximately 2,400 rainbow trout on December 5. Report submitted by Matt Gamble, biologist at the Blue River Public Fishing and Hunting Area.

Broken Bow: December 2. Elevation below normal, water 54. Largemouth, smallmouth and spotted bass good on crankbaits and jigs around points. Channel, blue and flathead catfish fair on cut bait, punch bait and worms along channels, creek channels and river mouth. Report submitted by Dru Polk, game warden stationed in McCurtain County.

Eufaula: December 3. Elevation dropping, water murky. White bass excellent below the dam and along the dam. Flathead and blue catfish fair on chicken liver, cut bait and live bait around docks and in the main lake. Crappie fair on minnows and jigs around docks. Report submitted by Cannon Harrison, game warden stationed in McIntosh County.

Hugo: December 3. Elevation below normal, water 64 and murky. Largemouth, spotted and white bass fair on buzz baits, plastic baits, sassy shad and spoons around points and shorelines. Blue, channel and flathead catfish fair on cut bait, live bait and live shad below the dam, along flats and river channel. Crappie good on minnows and jigs around brush structure and standing timber. Report submitted by Jim Gillham, game warden stationed in Choctaw County.

Konawa: December 4. Elevation normal, water 58 and clear. Largemouth bass fair on Alabama rigs, crankbaits, jerk baits, jigs and plastic baits in the main lake, around points and river channel. Striped bass hybrids and white bass fair on crankbaits, live shad and spoons along channels, in coves, inlet and main lake. Channel catfish good on chicken liver, cut bait, dough bait and shad along channels, in coves, inlet, main lake and riprap. Report submitted by Garret Harley, game warden stationed in Seminole County.

Lower Mountain Fork: December 3. Elevation below normal, water clear. Trout good on PowerBait, tube jigs and worms along flats and river channel. Report submitted by Mark Hannah, game warden stationed in McCurtain County.

Lower Mountain Fork: December 5. Stocked approximately 2,100 rainbow trout on November 30. Report submitted by April Drake, secretary at the southeast region office.

McGee Creek: December 3. Elevation below normal, water 65 and clear. Largemouth and spotted bass fair on bill baits, flukes and jerk baits around brush structure, creek channels and standing timber. Crappie slow on minnows and jigs along creek channels, river channel and standing timber. Flathead catfish fair on goldfish and sunfish along the river channel. Report submitted by Jay Harvey, game warden stationed in Atoka County.

Pine Creek: December 3. Elevation below normal, water 54 and clear. Largemouth bass good on crankbaits and plastic baits around points and rocks. Crappie fair on jigs around brush structure and creek channels. Channel catfish good on cut bait in the main lake. Report submitted by Mark Hannah, game warden stationed in McCurtain County.

Robber’s Cave: December 5. Stocked approximately 500 rainbow trout on November 30. Report submitted by April Drake, secretary at the southeast region office.

Robert S. Kerr: December 3. Elevation normal, water clear. Crappie good on hair jigs, minnows and tube jigs around brush structure and creek channels. Blue catfish fair on chicken liver, cut bait and shad along channels, flats, the main lake, river channel and spillway. White bass good on jigs, spinnerbaits and tube jigs below the dam. Report submitted by Jake Bersche, game warden stationed in McIntosh County.

Sardis: December 1. Elevation below normal, water 61. Largemouth and spotted bass slow on spinnerbaits along shorelines. Blue, channel and flathead catfish fair on cut bait, shad and sunfish along flats and in the main lake. Crappie fair on grubs, minnows and tube jigs around brush structure, points, riprap, rocks, shorelines and standing timber. Report submitted by Dane Polk, game warden stationed in Pushmataha County.

Texoma: December 5. Elevation normal, water murky. Striped and white bass good on flukes, hair jigs, live shad, plastic baits and topwater lures along flats, in the main lake and riprap. Blue catfish good on cut bait and shad in the main lake, around points and riprap. Crappie good on minnows and jigs around brush structure, docks, the main lake and standing timber. Report submitted by Cody Jones, game warden stationed in Bryan County.

Wister: December 3. Elevation normal, water clear. Largemouth bass good on bill baits and plastic baits around brush structure and channels. Blue catfish good on cut bait in the main lake, river channel and standing timber. Crappie good on jigs, live bait and minnows around brush structure, channels and standing timber. Report submitted by Thomas Gillham, game warden stationed in LeFlore County.

 

Press release



Enrollment is under way for the Illinois River Fly Fishing School, which has become one of the most popular fishing education workshops held each year in Oklahoma. The 2018 session will be Feb. 23-24 at Tenkiller State Park and on the banks of the Illinois River.


This will be the 30th year that Patton Fly Fishing has offered this course. Early registration is suggested to ensure a spot.


This basic course includes sessions on tackle and gear, knots, flies, fly selection and casting techniques. On Saturday afternoon, participants receive on-stream instruction. Fly rods will be available for loan Saturday. A state fishing license is not required for students during course instruction.


Instructors will be Mark Patton, Tom Adams, Blake Patton and Tre Dupuy.


Participants should bring a hat, sunglasses, rain gear, flashlight, alarm clock and appropriate clothing for Saturday's outdoor session. If available, participants are urged to also bring their own equipment including rod and reel, flies, 3X leader and waders.


A welcome session and orientation will begin at 8 p.m. Friday, with indoor training from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, followed by actual fishing instruction on the Illinois River. A fly selection and discussion session will begin at 7 p.m. after dinner break.


Course fee is $175, with a $50 deposit due at the time of enrollment. For more information, click here for an information packet or call (405) 613-6520.


Lodging is available separately through Tenkiller State Park. Students may book lodging by calling (918) 489-5643.

 

WHO WE ARE: The Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation (ODWC) with its 350 employees is responsible for managing Oklahoma's fish and wildlife resources and habitat.

 

WHAT WE BELIEVE: The state's fish and wildlife belong to all Oklahomans and should be managed so their populations will be sustained forever. HOW WE ARE FUNDED: ODWC does not receive general state tax appropriations. License sales and federal Wildlife and Sportfish Restoration Program grant revenues are the main funding sources. Every license dollar spent by sportsmen and women in Oklahoma is used to fund ODWC's user pay/public benefit conservation efforts.


 

 

WILBURTON, OK (Nov. 30, 2017) – Eastern Oklahoma State College recently hosted the 2017 Breakout Cattle Show in Wilburton. Participants from across the state came to compete for the top prizes: two $2,000 scholarships to attend Eastern and major in agriculture. The scholarships were awarded to the exhibitors of the Grand Champion Heifer and overall Grand Champion Steer. The complete results of the show are listed below.

 

 

 

HEIFER SHOW:

Grand Champion Heifer Berkley McCay, Orlando

Reserve Grand Champion Heifer Jackson Ray, Wetumka

Angus:                         Champion – Jackson Ray, Wetumka

                                    Reserve – Briana Gawf, Eufaula

Charolais:                    Champion – Trent Kitchell, Hartshorne

                                    Reserve – G. T. Fenton, Stigler

Charolais Composite   Champion – Abbigayle Varges, Pryor

                                    Reserve – Kayden Bellows, Atoka

Chianina:                     Champion – Jake Paul Perryman, Warner

                                    Reserve – Makinzie Odell, Asher

Hereford:                    Champion – Maci Curry, Okemah

                                    Reserve – Maci Curry, Okemah

Limousin:                    Champion – Carter Hubbard, Miami

                                    Reserve – Shelby Hubbard, Miami

Maine Anjou:              Champion – Stetson Hall, Apache

                                    Reserve – Wyatt Prentice, Tishomingo

Maintainer:                  Champion – Berkley McKay, Orlando

                                    Reserve – Trent Kitchell, Hartshorne

Red Angus:                 Champion – Emma Jo Holland, Ft. Gibson

                                    Reserve – Rylee Skiles, Midway

Shorthorn:                   Champion – Mitchell Barros, Owasso

                                    Reserve – Chesnee Fitzgerald, Talihina

Shorthorn Plus:           Champion – Nicole Mullica, Southmoore

                                    Reserve – Kaylee VanMeten, Checotah

Simmental:                  Champion – Ryley Vessels, Atoka

                                    Reserve – Katelyn Skiles, Midway

% Simmental:              Champion – Makinzie Odell, Asher

                                    Reserve – Trey Oxtoby, Checotah

Commercial:                Champion – Emma Jo Holland, Ft. Gibson

                                    Reserve – Madi McCauley, Washington

STEER SHOW:

           

Overall Grand Champion Steer – Madi McCauley, Washington

Overall Reserve Grand Champion Steer – Trent Kitchell, Hartshorne

 

PROSPECT STEERS:

Grand Champion Prospect Steer – John Emmerson, Ft. Scott

Reserve Grand Champion Prospect Steer – Kolby Cato, Savanna

Mini Hereford:            Champion – Delanie Troyer, Adair

                                    Reserve – Lily Smoot, Tushka

AOB:                          Champion – Kolby Cato, Savanna

                                    Reserve – Dylan Sensibaugh, Hartshorne

Shorthorn Plus:           Champion – Hagen Patterson, Stilwell

                                    Reserve – Johan Patterson, Stilwell

Crossbred:                   Champion – John Emmerson, Ft Scott

                                    Reserve – Denver McKay, Orlando

PROGRESS STEERS:

Grand Champion Progress Steer – Madi McCauley, Washington

Reserve Grand Champion Progress Steer – Trent Kitchell, Hartshorne

AOB:                          Champion – Madi McCauley, Washington

                                    Reserve – Evan Gohringher, El Reno

Angus:                         Champion –Carrington Troyer, Adair

                                    Reserve – Seth Campbell, Porter

Maine Anjou:              Champion – Denver McKay, Orlando

                                    Reserve – Kolby Cato, Savanna

Shorthorn:                   Champion – Tucker Freie, Ft. Cobb

                                    Reserve – Thomas Grippando, Orlando

Simmental:                  Champion – Trent Kitchell, Hartshorne

                                    Reserve – Taylor Stufflebean, Hartshorne

Crossbred:                   Champion – Madi McCauley, Washington

                                    Reserve – Jaycee Kitchell, Hartshorne

 

 

 

Bekley McKay Grand Champion Heifer preview

Grand Champion Heifer Berkley McCay, Orlando

Jackson Ray Reserve Grand Champion Heifer preview

Reserve Grand Champion Heifer Jackson Ray, Wetumka

John Emmerson Grand Champion Prospect Steer preview

John Emmerson, Ft. Scott

Trent Kitchell Overall Reserve Grand Champion Steer preview

Trent Kitchell, Hartshorne

 

By Sean Hubbard

 

STILLWATER, Okla. – Testosterone poisoning. That is a simple way to explain the rut of white-tailed deer.

 

A big change is happening across Oklahoma. Female white-tailed deer (does) are coming into estrous for the first time of the season and males (bucks) are in overdrive trying to locate and breed with as many of the does as possible. If you know what to look for, the signs of this event are everywhere and include scrapes, increased sightings of deer and dead deer along highways.

 

During the breeding season, or rut, bucks will leave scent deposits on the ground or on overhanging braches above scrapes. The deposits serve as a form of communication between bucks and does to assist with breeding, said Dwayne Elmore, Oklahoma State University Cooperative Extension wildlife specialist.

 

“You might notice scrapes as freshly disturbed soil under overhanging branches, which are often chewed and broken, along forest edges,” he said.

 

Deer are seasonal breeders. While some hunters have success or failure stories related to hunting with a full moon or half moon, science cannot back up those claims. Hormones triggered primarily by the rapidly shortening days of autumn regulate the seasonality of breeding.

 

“The opportunity to encounter a mature buck greatly increases during the rut,” Elmore said. “Deer are primarily active at night during most of the year. But during the rut, bucks are active as much as possible. Bucks will take more risks, get in fights with rivals and do riskier things.”

 

The high level of deer activity during the rut has some negative implications to people as well. Vehicle collisions with deer typically spike during November, as deer move widely across the landscape, sometimes with reckless abandon.

 

“Drivers should exercise extra caution for the next few weeks, particularly at night,” Elmore said.

 

Despite the somewhat synchronous estrous of does, not all does will breed during their initial estrous.

 

“Those not bred in November will likely come into estrous later in December and there will be a second peak, albeit subdued, in breeding activity,” he said. “This delayed breeding accounts for the occasional young fawns encountered in late summer or early fall.”

 

With rifle season beginning, Oklahoma hunters will be heading to the woods this weekend, looking for big bucks just as hard as the bucks are looking for does.

 

Gun season runs from Nov. 18 through Dec. 3.

 

Oklahoma State University, in compliance with Title VI and VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Executive Order 11246 as amended, and Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (Higher Education Act), the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, and other federal and state laws and regulations, does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, genetic information, sex, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, disability, or status as a veteran, in any of its policies, practices or procedures. This provision includes, but is not limited to admissions, employment, financial aid, and educational services. The Director of Equal Opportunity, 408 Whitehurst, OSU, Stillwater, OK 74078-1035; phone 405-744-5371; email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. has been designated to handle inquiries regarding non-discrimination policies: Director of Equal Opportunity. Any person (student, faculty, or staff) who believes that discriminatory practices have been engaged in based on gender may discuss his or her concerns and file informal or formal complaints of possible violations of Title IX with OSU’s Title IX Coordinator 405-744-9154.

A service of the Oklahoma Wildlife Department

This year’s Quail Roadside Surveys in Oklahoma show a decline from last year in the number of observed birds. But last year was one in which rainfall, temperature and habitat all combined to create ideal conditions for quail reproduction, resulting in a tremendous quail crop.


“We are on the backside of a boom cycle that started in 2014, after a record drought in 2011 and 2012,” said Derek Wiley, upland game biologist with the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation. “Quail cannot maintain historically high levels every year. Eventually what goes up must come down — but the sky is certainly not falling.”


Quail populations are historically cyclical; bird numbers often boom for several years then decline based on factors including habitat and weather.


A more-accurate assessment of the health of quail populations is not based on year-to-year comparisons, but rather on longer-term averages that better account for the natural boom-bust cycles, biologists say.


The take-away from the 2017 surveys is that the declines simply reflect quail population numbers that have returned to around their 10-year averages in most regions of the state.


“We are sitting right at the 10-year average. That last two years was a boom, and now we are back down to average.”


Wiley said there is little cause for concern among hunters or biologists. “It is not something to panic about. Even ‘average’ in Oklahoma is much better than in most states. There are still parts of the state that hold good numbers of quail.”


Wiley cited several factors that likely have played a role in this year’s lower bird counts:


• In the southwestern region, there was hardly any rain in the crucial spring months, likely decreasing quail production.
• In the northwestern region, cool and wet conditions likely delayed nesting, which decreases quail production.
• Later nesting, a result of weather conditions, tends to be less productive overall than earlier nesting. (Wiley was getting reports of chicks on the ground in early October, which is late compared to a normal breeding season.)
• Summer rains created heavy roadside vegetation in many regions, making birds more difficult to see and count during surveys.


Plus, Wiley said his experience tells him that observations this year have been lower than they should have been, meaning more birds could be out there on the landscape than what the surveys suggest. Biologists will get a better idea of the real population numbers after hearing reports from quail hunters this winter.


The state is divided into six regions for roadside quail surveys. In the August survey, the average number of quail seen in a 20-mile route was slightly above the 10-year average number in four of the six regions. But in every region, the number of quail declined from last year. Statewide, the August quail index (3.38) was 41.2 percent below the 28-year historic average (5.56).


The Wildlife Department has conducted annual roadside surveys in August and October since 1990 to track quail populations across Oklahoma. The survey provides an index of annual population fluctuations. Surveyors report the number of quail observed to create an index of quail abundance (number of quail seen per 20-mile route) and an indication of reproductive success. Surveyors drive 83 routes in 75 of Oklahoma’s 77 counties. Some larger counties have two routes.


“There will always be ups and downs, even with prime habitat and good weather conditions,” Wiley said. The overall health of the quail population still hinges on habitat and weather year after year, he said.
Quail hunting season in Oklahoma will run from Nov. 11 to Feb. 15, 2018. For complete regulations, refer to the "Oklahoma Hunting and Fishing Regulations Guide" available at www.wildlifedepartment.com, in the "OK Fishing and Hunting Guide" mobile app for Apple and Android, or in print at license dealers statewide.


Despite what surveys indicate, hunters are urged to get out in the fields, enjoy the beauty of nature, and learn for themselves how good the quail hunting is this year.

 

 

WHO WE ARE: The Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation (ODWC) with its 350 employees is responsible for managing Oklahoma's fish and wildlife resources and habitat. WHAT WE BELIEVE: The state's fish and wildlife belong to all Oklahomans and should be managed so their populations will be sustained forever. HOW WE ARE FUNDED: ODWC does not receive general state tax appropriations. License sales and federal Wildlife and Sportfish Restoration Program grant revenues are the main funding sources. Every license dollar spent by sportsmen and women in Oklahoma issued to fund ODWC's user pay/public benefit conservation efforts.

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