Cimarron Bluff Wildlife Management Area

By: Larry Wiemers, Biologist, Cimarron Bluff and Cimarron Hills. Phone: (405) 990-7206.

Driving Directions:
North entrance – From Buffalo: 16 miles east on U.S. Hwy 64, 1 mile south on N2060 (which is 1 mile east of State Hwy 34).
South entrance – From Buffalo: 15 miles east on U.S. Hwy 64, 4 miles south on State Hwy 34, 1½ miles east on Harper County Rd 15 (E0150).

Area Description: Cimarron Bluff WMA covers 3,430 acres in northeastern Harper County.  Located north of the city of Woodward. It is four miles south of the junction of Highways 34 and US 64 and than one and a half mile east on County Road 15 (it may not be labeled) to the one of the parking areas. Cimarron Bluff WMA is primarily rolling hills with high bluffs overlooking the west side of the Cimarron River.  Area is dominated by mixed-grass prairie vegetation with isolated pockets of sand sagebrush, sand plum, and sumac occurring on red clay and gypsum soils.  Cottonwood, hackberry, and western soapberry trees exist along the creeks flowing through the property.  A limited amount of Cimarron River flood plain exists along the east boundary of the WMA, dominated by salt flats, interspersed with salt cedar.

Game Species of Interest:

            Quail: Bobwhite quail are present in moderate numbers.

            Deer: White-tailed deer are present in limited numbers, mule deer are rarely seen.

            Turkey: Rio Grande turkeys are present in fair numbers.

            Pheasant: Pheasants are extremely rare.

            Dove: Dove are present in fair numbers.

            Rabbit: Rabbits are present in fair numbers.

            Waterfowl: Duck and goose opportunities exist on area ponds and along the river.

            Furbearers: Coyote, bobcat and raccoon are present.

Non-Game Species of Interest: Cimarron Bluff is host to a number of non-game species.

Such as:  Lesser Prairie Chicken, Bell’s Vireo, Eastern Collard Lizard, Texas Horned Lizard, Western Diamondback and Prairie Rattlesnakes, long-billed curlew, loggerhead shrike, western big-eared bat, Yellow-rumped Warbler, Cassin Sparrow, Grasshopper Sparrow, Red Headed Woodpecker, Greater Yellowlegs, Osprey, Snowy Plover, Interior Least Tern, Arkansas River Shiner, and Arkansas Darter. 

Description of Fish and Wildlife Management Practices: Cimarron Bluff has two major ponds and several smaller ponds along with a spring fed creek that will be managed for wildlife water sources.  Management practices will include prescribed grazing by livestock, strip mowing, pasture aeration, prescribed burning, and selective removal of upland trees.  These techniques will produce native wildlife foods that will include ragweed, croton, and sunflowers. 

Fishing Opportunities: Fishing is accessible by walk-in only.  The largest pond on the area, known as Turkey Foot Pond ( named for its shape) is approximately 13 acres in size and offers largemouth and bluegill fishing.  All fishing is catch-and-release only. 

Hunting Opportunities: All hunting activities will be by walk-in only.  Consult regulations before entering the area. 

Birding Opportunities: All activities will be by walk-in only, and will be restricted during hunting seasons and by on-going management practices.  Consult regulations before entering the area.

Camping and User Facilities: The WMA has one primitive camping area located on the south side.  Other accommodations can be found in Woodward, 26 miles south on Highway 34 or in Buffalo, 15 miles to the west on US Highway 64

Maps:

Cimarron Bluff WMA Map - best general purpose map, pdf format (8.5x11)

 

Regulations: Seasons on public lands section of hunting regulations

 

Wildlife Department Adds Newest WMA thanks to Legacy Permits and State Wildlife Grants


            Oklahoma’s sportsmen will soon have access to an all new wildlife management area (WMA) in western Oklahoma thanks to funds from fishing and hunting legacy permit sales and the State Wildlife Grants Program. The new tract, to be known as Cimarron Bluff WMA, is located about 15 miles east of Buffalo and comprises 3,402 acres of prime mixed grass prairie habitat adjoining the Cimarron River in eastern Harper County.
            The property was purchased with money earned through the sale of fishing and hunting legacy permits and State Wildlife Grants funds. The fishing and hunting legacy permit is a $5 permit required of most annual license holders who hunt, fish or trap, or attempt to take fish or wildlife in any manner. Funds derived from the sale of legacy permits are used by the Department to purchase or lease property for public fishing and hunting.
            The State Wildlife Grants program is a federal cost-share program that was initiated in Congress in 2000. It provides funding to state wildlife agencies like the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation for distribution among universities, conservation groups and other state agencies in order to develop more effective conservation programs for rare and declining species.
            “Up to this point, most of the money allocated to Oklahoma through the State Wildlife Grants program has been used for wildlife surveys,” said Russ Horton, lands and wildlife diversity supervisor for the Wildlife Department. “And while these things are a necessary part of sound wildlife management, this purchase represents an on-the-ground approach to acquiring and restoring wildlife habitat. A number of wildlife species, including some identified in Oklahoma’s Wildlife Action Plan as a species of greatest conservation need will directly benefit from the habitat on Cimarron Bluff WMA.”
            Unique species for which the purchased land can provide habitat are, among others, the Texas horned lizard, lesser prairie chicken, western massasauga snake, long-nosed snake, Bell’s vireo, long-billed curlew, loggerhead shrike and western big-eared bat. In all, over 50 species of special management concern in Oklahoma will benefit from habitat management activities at Cimarron Bluff.
            The property adjoins the Cimarron river, providing potential habitat for an additional variety of species such as the Arkansas River shiner, Arkansas darter, interior least tern and whooping crane.
            “This purchase reflects the Wildlife Department’s commitment to broaden our scope of management and actively manage for all wildlife species,” Horton said.
            In addition, hunting will be offered, more than likely in the form of controlled hunts for deer this fall, and spring turkey season will be open starting in 2009 with a one-tom limit. The area will be open to small game hunting (including quail) during the fall of 2008. At it’s April meeting, the Oklahoma Wildlife Conservation Commission approved emergency rules to establish hunting seasons on the area, and complete regulations will be outlined in the “2008-09 Oklahoma Hunting Guide.”
            Cimarron Bluff consists mostly of gently rolling hills covered with native mixed grass prairie. Grasses like bluestem, Indian grass and sideoats grama along with sand plum, sand sagebrush and sumac cover the area, as well as a range of forbs. These upland sites provide habitat for a number of traditional game species such as deer, turkey, quail and furbearers. Deer and turkey hunting will be limited to controlled hunts and will have a one-tom limit during turkey season, and quail hunting will end at noon each day during quail season.
            “Harper County produces big deer,” said Alan Peoples, chief of wildlife for the Wildlife Department. “All hunters know that, and there is potential to harvest a quality deer on the area. I expect turkey and quail hunting opportunities as well. Regulations and more information will be included in the Wildlife Department’s ‘2008-09 Oklahoma Hunting Guide,’ which will be available this summer.”
            Several ponds, including one 12.5-acre pond that offers excellent fishing opportunity, dot the area for a near 30 acres of ponds. The habitat associated with the adjacent Cimarron River provides crucial habitat for numerous species.
            Regulations for using the area will be available in the future. Keep up to date by regularly logging on to the Department’s Web site at wildlifedepartment.com. The Web site also offers a full listing and description of wildlife management areas across the state.
 
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