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Spring turkey season opens Friday

Oklahoma's spring turkey hunting season opens Friday in most of the state. [PHOTO BY GEORGE MOORE]

Oklahoma's spring turkey hunting season opens Friday in most of the state. [PHOTO BY GEORGE MOORE]

Oklahoma's spring turkey season opens Friday in most of the state and everything seems par for the course.

“The breeding season seems to be progressing normally,” said Rod Smith of the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation. “Populations are in good shape. We are down slightly from a year ago, but we are talking 1 to 2 percent, is all. That is pretty much across the board of the Rio Grande range.”

Most of the state's population is Rio Grande wild turkeys, but there are Merriam's along the far western edge of the Panhandle in Cimarron County and Eastern birds in eastern Oklahoma.

The biggest population of Eastern birds is in southeast Oklahoma, where the hunting season doesn't open until April 23 in eight southeast counties. Turkey season closes statewide on May 6.

Most western Oklahoma counties have a two-tom limit, but some have just one. Most central and eastern Oklahoma counties have a one-tom limit, but in the southeast region the limit is just one tom from those eight counties combined.

For public hunting destinations, the Black Kettle Wildlife Management Area near Cheyenne in western Oklahoma is the premier location for turkey hunting based on its size and population of birds.

Other traditionally good public hunting destinations are the Packsaddle WMA in Ellis County, Ellis County WMA, and the Cooper WMA in Woodward and Harper counties near Fort Supply.

Oklahoma normally sees an influx of turkey hunters from other states to hunt the Rio Grande subspecies of wild turkeys.

“Oklahoma probably has some of the best public land Rio Grande hunting,” Smith said.

Walleyes are biting at Lake Hefner

The walleye fishing has been good lately on Lake Hefner as the toothy and tasty fish are moving closer to shore, getting ready to spawn.

Last week, two walleye weighing more than 10 pounds and another more than 8 pounds were weighed in at Lucky Lure Tackle by Lake Hefner anglers.

“The walleye fishing has been very good out there,” said David Hughes, owner of Lucky Lure Tackle. “I figure it will be going for another week or two. They are now just starting to really move up good.”

The lake record for walleye is 11 pounds, 3 ounces, and Hughes won't be surprised if it is broken. On Friday morning, he weighed a walleye at the store that was 10 pounds, 12 ounces.

“The big ones are really moving right now,” Hughes said.

Martin Park gets a new look

The Martin Park Nature Center in Oklahoma City will unveil its new visitors center and boardwalk overlook on Saturday as part of EarthFest.

Earthfest will be from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. and include kids activities such as arts and crafts, a scavenger hunt and more.

The remodeled visitors center will have live animal exhibits. The new Wilderness Matters Overlook is a boardwalk that will provide an elevated view of the 20-acre pond and surrounding forest in the heart of the park.

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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