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Bugling Elk are now performing in the Wichita Mountains

A bull elk sniffs the wind on the Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge. Elk are entering the rutting, or mating, season on the refuge and the bulls have started bugling. [OKLAHOMAN ARCHIVES] 

A bull elk sniffs the wind on the Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge. Elk are entering the rutting, or mating, season on the refuge and the bulls have started bugling. [OKLAHOMAN ARCHIVES] 

One of the best wildlife watching experiences in Oklahoma is a trip to the Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge in September and October to hear bugling elk.

October is the rutting, or mating, season for elk. Beginning in September, the bulls start bugling to establish dominance, attract cows, warn other bulls and announce their readiness to fight.

Take a trip to the refuge at dawn or dusk and there is a great chance you will hear the high-pitched, flutelike call of the bull elks, and a fair chance you might see them as well.

Elk often can be seen just around the refuge headquarters at daybreak. A hike through the public use areas just after sunrise or before sunset also could produce sightings of bull elk. During cool days, the elk remain active until midday.

Check with the visitor's center to learn areas of the refuge where most sightings occur.

If you are planning a hike, be sure to wear hiking boots and camouflage clothing. Also, be sure to take binoculars, a map and compass, snacks and water.

The Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge hosts guided “bugling elk tours” for the public in September and October, but all the spots have been reserved. They are always full within hours of becoming available.

However, if you are at the refuge on the day of a guided bus tour, you can check with the visitors' center to see if any spots might open up. Sometimes people don't show up, especially for the 6 a.m. tours.

There are between 1,000 and 1,500 elk roaming on the Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge.

Duck blind drawings scheduled Saturday

The annual drawing for use of waterfowl blinds at Lake Stanley Draper and the Stinchcomb Wildlife Refuge will be at 1 p.m. Saturday at the Lake Draper Marina, 8301 SE 104.

Participants must be age 18 or older and possess either a daily or annual city hunting permit.

Annual city hunting permits cost $12.50. A copy of the blind site locations and hunting regulations will be posted at Lake Draper Marina.

More fish for Dolese, Edwards lakes

Last week, the Oklahoma City fisheries staff from the H.B. Parsons Fish Hatchery stocked 400 hybrid sunfish in Dolese Lake and Edwards Lake.

Most of the hybrid sunfish (300), averaging 6 inches in size, were stocked into Dolese Lake with the rest in Edwards Lake, said Bob Martin, fisheries biologist for the Oklahoma City Parks and Recreation Department.

Fly fisherman to speak

The 89er Chapter of Trout Unlimited will meet at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday at the Village Library, 10307 N Pennsylvania Ave.

Fly angler Danny Orr of Oklahoma City, who guides on the Lower Mountain Fork River in southeastern Oklahoma, will be speaking on selecting proper gear for fly fishing. The meeting is open to the public.

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Ed Godfrey

Ed Godfrey was born in Muskogee and raised in Stigler. He has worked at The Oklahoman for 25 years. During that time, he has worked a myriad of beats for The Oklahoman including both the federal and county courthouse in Oklahoma City for more... Read more ›

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