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Washita, Foss to host wildlife tour

Bald eagles can be viewed on the Washita National Wildlife Refuge and in Foss State Park. [PHOTO BY USFWS]

Bald eagles can be viewed on the Washita National Wildlife Refuge and in Foss State Park. [PHOTO BY USFWS]

Washita National Wildlife Refuge and Foss State Park are partnering to host a wildlife tour on Saturday.

The free tour begins at 9 a.m. at Foss State Park headquarters located at the south end of Foss Dam.

An accessible tour bus will shuttle visitors around the refuge and state park in search of eagles and other wildlife, wrapping up with bison viewing and a free hot dog lunch.

Participants are encouraged to ride the bus, but can follow in their own vehicles. The tour will wrap up between 11 a.m. and noon.

Bald eagles, ducks and geese, bobcats, coyotes, armadillos and white-tailed deer are some of the wildlife that might be seen during the tour. Spotting scopes will be available for wildlife watching, but participants are encouraged to bring their own binoculars and spotting scopes as well.

For more information, call 580-664-2205.

Public hearing scheduled on new hunting, fishing rules

A public hearing on proposed hunting and fishing regulations for 2018 will be held at 7 p.m. Thursday in Oklahoma City at the interim headquarters for the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation, 2145 NE 36 St.

Among the changes being proposed by the agency is opening nine new counties to fall turkey hunting: Cleveland, Johnston, Garvin, Lincoln, Marshall, McClain, Oklahoma, Pontotoc and Pottawatomie.

The Wildlife Department also wants to clarify its regulations so state game wardens can enforce the law on the national wildlife refuges in Oklahoma. The agency also is recommending eliminating the bag limit on raccoons.

To view all of the proposed rule changes, visit www.wildlifedepartment.com/public-meeting.

The online public comment period on the rule changes ends at 4:30 p.m. Friday. Any letters to the agency on the rule changes also must be postmarked by Friday to be considered.

New Year's Day hiking

For the sixth straight year, Oklahoma State Parks will host "First Day Hikes" on Monday. The free, guided hikes on New Year's Day are scheduled at state parks across the state.

However, due to the expected frigid temperatures, hikes at Lake Thunderbird State Park and Greenleaf State Park have been canceled.

If planning to participate, check with the local state park or the Oklahoma State Parks page on Facebook to see if the hikes still are being held on Monday.

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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