FEBRUARY 2005 NEWS RELEASES 

WEEK OF FEBRUARY 24, 2005

WEEK OF FEBRUARY 17, 2005

WEEK OF FEBRUARY 10, 2005

WEEK OF FEBRUARY 3, 2005

 

Crawford receives national conservationist of the year honor

            Bill Crawford of Frederick, Oklahoma, was recently named the 2005 Budweiser Conservationist of the Year. The honor also provides an award of $50,000, which Crawford will spend on two conservation education projects in the state.

            Crawford, an innovative and committed wildlife conservationist, spearheaded one of the most ambitious wetland restoration projects ever undertaken – the $10-million Hackberry Flat Wetland Restoration Project – that acquired and restored a 7,200-acre natural wetland basin.  The project, managed by the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation, has received national attention for its importance to migratory waterfowl and shorebirds, as well as hunters and other outdoor enthusiasts.

            “I am honored to receive the Budweiser Conservationist of the Year award.  It means so much to be recognized for efforts to protect the environment including wildlife habitat,” Crawford said.  “I am grateful to companies like Anheuser-Busch that are committed to supporting the work that conservation groups do on a daily basis to help protect the outdoors for future generations to enjoy.”

            As the 2005 Budweiser Conservationist of the Year, Crawford receives a $50,000 grant from Budweiser and the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation. He intends to donate $40,000 to the Hackberry Flat Foundation to further ongoing efforts at the Hackberry Flat Wildlife Management Area. Construction will begin this year on a state-of-the-art education and visitor’s center at Hackberry, and the center is anticipated to teach thousands of school children about conservation and outdoor recreation.

            The Hackberry Flat Foundation, a 501-C-3 non-profit organization, is now accepting donations to assist with construction of the educational facility. Donations can be mailed to the Hackberry Flat Foundation at 110 West Floral, Suite B, Frederick, OK 73452.

         Crawford also will donate $10,000 to Oklahoma’s first Wildlife Expo. With more than 100 different booths and activities already confirmed, there will be lots of fun and education during the free, two-day event, which will be held August 27 and 28 at the Lazy E Arena in Guthrie.

         Crawford is an active member in the Oklahoma Station of the Safari Club International and has been a strong supporter of the organization’s efforts to increase youth hunting opportunities.

         Currently, he and his wife are also finalizing one the most comprehensive displays of taxidermy mounts from across the world. The Crawford Collection is designed to educate the public about the important role sportsmen play in wildlife conservation.

         To learn more about the Hackberry Flat Wildlife Management Area log on to the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation’s Web site at wildlifedepartment.com. 

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Cutline: Bill Crawford of Frederick, Oklahoma, was recently named the 2005 Budweiser Conservationist of the Year. The honor also provides an award of $50,000, which Crawford will spend on two conservation education projects in the state.

 

 

Friends of the NRA support youth programs

         Young hunters and shooters don’t just happen by coincidence, they are taught and introduced to the shooting sports carefully. The Friends of the National Rifle Association (NRA) are doing their part to ensure the future of the sport.

         The Friends of the NRA have been a long standing financial supporter of the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation's Shotgun Training and Education (STEP). The program, designed for all skill levels, offers seminars for shooters to learn more about shotgun shooting, from the basics to shooting tough doubles on a clay target course. Approximately 6,000 people attend around 80 STEP events held each year and approximately 60 percent of those attendees are youth.

         “We certainly appreciate the support that the Friends of the NRA have given us over the years,” said Ed Cunnius, STEP program coordinator.  “They have been an important partner in the STEP program, wildlife youth camp and other youth programs.”

         The STEP seminars are offered free of charge for groups of 25 or more people. Guns, ammunition and targets are provided through the program. There is a different seminar for every skill level whether you have never picked up a gun before or you are a skilled shooter. Since all the classes use non-toxic shot, waterfowl hunters can improve their wing shooting by attending one of the seminars.

         Nationwide the Friends of the NRA award more that $47 million to programs around the nation since the group was founded in 1992. In Oklahoma alone, the Friends of the NRA awarded 283 grants totaling $700,535 and over 82 percent of those dollars went to fund youth programs.

         In the past 12 years more than 32,000 Oklahomans have attended one of the 150 Friends of the NRA event held in the state raising more than $1.7 million.

         Friends of NRA is a grassroots fundraising program developed to raise funds for The NRA Foundation, a 501 (c) (3) tax-exempted organization.  The program's fundraising events are fun, family-oriented gatherings organized by thousands of volunteers nationwide with the help of the NRA's professional staff.  More than 7,107 Friends of NRA events have been held since the program's inception in the fall of 1992, reaching over 1,302,709 shooters, hunters and other firearm enthusiasts in their own communities. 

          To learn more about the Friends of the NRA log on to www.nrafoundation.org/friends/ or call Darren DeLong at (405) 692-8672.

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Wildlife Heritage Center Museum in Antlers nears completion

            The ground has been broken, the walls have gone up and the finishing touches are being completed on the new Wildlife Heritage Center Museum in Antlers, Oklahoma. The Oklahoma Station of the Safari Club International recently provided the construction effort with the boost of a $2,500 donation.

            The unique log cabin facility will house a wide variety of wildlife displays each designed to inform and educate citizens of the important wildlife resources located in southeast Oklahoma.

            The Wildlife Heritage Center Museum is a collaborative effort from a wide variety of partnering organizations and the Museum recently received a boost from the Oklahoma Station of the Safari Club International’s donation will help with the completion of the 3,000 square foot museum.

            “We feel like the Wildlife Heritage Center Museum will help all Oklahomans understand the values of wildlife conservation. We are proud to be a partner in this effort,” said Sam Munhollon, with the Oklahoma Chapter of the Safari Club International.

            Construction of the wildlife educational displays is targeted for completion by March 2005. For more information on the Wildlife Heritage Center Museum, call Scott Pace, (580) 298-3530

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Cutline: The unique Wildlife Heritage Center Museum in Antlers, Oklahoma, will house a wide variety of wildlife displays each designed to inform and educate citizens of the important wildlife resources located in southeast Oklahoma. Construction of the wildlife educational displays is targeted for completion by March 2005.

 

Caption: The Oklahoma Station of the Safari Club International recently provided $2,500 for the construction effort of the new Wildlife Heritage Center Museum in Antlers, Oklahoma. Presenting the check (far left) is Sam Munhollon to Scott Pace, Director of the Wildlife Heritage Center Museum. Also shown is Beth Ann Amico and Scott Holmes.

  

Winter Bird Survey forms due Feb. 9

            Biologists at the Wildlife Department eagerly anticipate receiving the results of January’s Winter Bird Survey. If you watched and recorded the birds at your feeder during the Jan. 13 – Jan. 16 survey period, don’t forget to mail the survey form to:   Winter Bird Survey, Wildlife Diversity Program, and P.O. Box 53465, Oklahoma City, OK 73152 by Wednesday, Feb. 9.  If you are in need of a survey form, download one at www. wildlifedepartment.com/2005winterbirdsurvey.htm.

 

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Wildlife Commissioner Jack Zink remembered for his contributions to wildlife, sportsmen 

            John Smith "Jack" Zink, who has served on the Wildlife Conservation Commission since 1989, died Saturday, Feb. 5 at the age of 76.   

            Zink, a man of many talents and skills, was a Tulsa businessman, a philanthropist and racing enthusiast whose cars twice won the Indianapolis 500. He was also known for his contributions to wildlife conservation and education in the state. 

            A memorial service is set for 4 p.m. Friday, Feb. 11, in the Donald W. Reynolds Center at the University of Tulsa under the direction of Ninde Garden Funeral Home.  

“Jack was a true friend of the conservation community. He was generous with his time, talents and resources and he certainly will be missed by the sportsmen of northeast Oklahoma and across the state,” said Greg Duffy, director of the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation.

One of many of Zink’s passions was the Zink Ranch, founded in the 1940s by his father, John Steele Zink. Under Jack Zink’s guidance, the ranch grew to more than 32,000 acres between the shores of Skiatook and Keystone lakes and houses facilities and programs of four Boy and Girl Scouts camps.  The ranch also hosts many other conservation-oriented events such as kid’s fishing clinics and game warden training. The Red Castle Gun Club, located on the Zink Ranch, has hosted not only countless shooting events over the years, but has also been used for numerous hunter education classes.

         Zink presided over the John Zink Co., a manufacturer of engines used in the oil and gas industry, from 1962 to 1980.    Zink, who was inducted into the Indianapolis 500 Hall of Fame last year, was an avid race enthusiast and broke the world speed record for a Pontiac Fire Chief at Daytona Beach and won the Baja 500.

 In addition to his service on the Oklahoma Wildlife Conservation Commission, Zink also gave of his time on several different boards over the last 35 years including the Oklahoma Foundation for Excellence, the Tulsa County Fairgrounds Trust Authority, the Young Presidents' Organization, the Tulsa Foundation, the Tulsa River Parks Authority, the Oklahoma Junior Livestock Auction and the Tulsa Area United Way.  

Zink is survived by his wife, Jan Zink; three sons, Neel, Whitney and Darton Zink and his wife, Jamie; three stepchildren, Amy Nelson-Parodi, David Nelson and Rob Tolliver; and a sister, Jill Zink Tarbel. His son Colin Zink died in 1993.     

Memorial donations in Zink's honor are being made either to the Boy Scouts or Girl Scouts of America.  

 

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Cutline: John Smith "Jack" Zink, who has served on the Wildlife Conservation Commission since 1989, died Saturday, Feb. 5 at the age of 76.  Zink, a man of many talents and skills, was a Tulsa businessman, a philanthropist and racing enthusiast whose cars twice won the Indianapolis 500. He was also known for his contributions to wildlife conservation and education in the state.

 

 

Commission hears Expo to offer bats, birds even butterflies

         A walk-through butterfly exhibit, a close encounter with live bats, a taste of one of seven different wild game animals – those are just a few of the exciting activities the Oklahoma Wildlife Conservation Commission heard about at the February meeting.

         The inaugural Oklahoma Wildlife Expo, with more than 100 different booths and activities already confirmed, will offer something for everyone. The free, two-day event, will be held August 27 and 28 at the Lazy E Arena near Guthrie.

         “We are really getting excited about the Wildlife Expo. We are going to have so many events that will not only be a lot of fun, but they will be educational at the same time. This is a great chance for Wildlife Department employees and other volunteers to show their real passion for wildlife,” said Melynda Hickman, Wildlife Expo steering committee member.

         According to Hickman, participants will have the opportunity to try their hand at dozens of hunting and fishing activities. The activities she is coordinating, though, focus more on non-game wildlife but still involve outdoor recreation.

         For example those attending Expo will be able to see live, trained falcons, view several species of frogs, snakes and lizards, or even climb a 24-foot rock wall. A special camping exhibit will be on display featuring both a historic, frontier-style campsite and a modern campsite with many of the amenities of home. While there will be many different displays at the Expo, most of the events will be hands-on such as the wildlife art area. Kids and adults alike can try their hand at painting, sculpting and carving and each piece of art will be a reflection of the state’s rich wildlife heritage.

         The Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation is partnering with a wide range of other state agencies, private individuals and outdoor-related companies to host the monumental event, which is designed to promote and perpetuate Oklahomans appreciation of the state’s wildlife and natural resources.

         For more information about the Oklahoma Wildlife Expo or to learn more about sponsorship opportunities, call (405) 522-6279.

         In other business the Commission approved a slate of hunting, fishing and other permanent rule change proposals. These rules are designed to increase hunter and angler opportunity, clarify language and to simplify and standardize hunting and fishing regulations.

         Notable changes include:

    Dropping the 14-inch minimum length limit on bass at American Horse Lake in Blaine County. The lake has been known for its trophy sunfish and the regulation change is designed to allow for more harvest of bass, thereby allowing the sunfish population to grow to its full potential.

    Opening of several wildlife management areas to controlled turkey hunts and opening other WMAs, previously open only to controlled hunts, to general turkey hunting, with season dates the same as statewide seasons. A separate change to the turkey hunting regulations legalizes a shorter broadhead, specifically the Guillotine broadhead for hunting turkeys.

    Changing the general deer regulations to allow hunters to carry both a rifle and a bow and arrow when a deer firearms and deer archery seasons overlap, or a bow and muzzleloader when the deer archery and deer muzzleloader seasons overlap.

    Restricting the legal cartridge case length for deer hunting rifles to 1.25 inches or longer.

    Changing deer hunting regulations to allow the use of any semi-automatic pistol chambered for any centerfire ammunition with a 100-grain or heavier soft-nosed bullet and having a cartridge case size of .40 caliber or larger, or any pistol chambered for any centerfire rifle ammunition with a soft-nosed bullet firing at least a 55-grain bullet and having an overall cartridge case length of 1.25 inches or longer.

    Restricting camping activities to hunters and anglers on several wildlife management areas.

    Allowing vendors to sell hunting and fishing licenses through the Internet. The change is hoped to decrease paperwork and streamline the license buying process for vendors who wish to participate.

    Restricting licensed turtle buyers and harvesters from possessing, selling or buying terrestrial turtles.

         In other business, the Commission accepted a donation of $6,000 from the Oklahoma Station of the Safari Club International. The funds will be split between two projects – the highly successful Hunters Against Hunger program and the acquisition of an airboat that will be used in wetland management efforts.

         The Oklahoma Station of the Safari Club International has long been an important partner in a wide variety of conservation efforts, according to Alan Peoples, chief of wildlife for the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation.

         “You can rest assured that we will continue to support conservation efforts in Oklahoma,” said Blake Bostwick, board member of the Oklahoma Station of the Safari Club International.

         Also at their February meeting, Commissioners recognized Don Cole, state game warden stationed in Wagoner County, for his 30 years of service to the Department and to the sportsmen of the state.

         “Being a game warden isn’t a job, it’s who you are, and I couldn’t imagine doing anything else,” Cole told the Commission.

         The Wildlife Conservation Commission is the eight-member governing board of the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation. The Wildlife Commission establishes state hunting and fishing regulations, sets policy for the Wildlife Department, and indirectly oversees all state fish and wildlife conservation activities. Commission members are appointed by the Governor and confirmed by the Senate.

         The next scheduled Commission meeting is March 7 at the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation headquarters (auditorium), at the southwest corner of 18th and North Lincoln, Oklahoma City at 9:00 a.m.

 

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Golden Redhorse record broken

         The Illinois River in northeast Oklahoma recently yielded a new state record golden redhorse.

         Everett Noblin Jr. took the 7 pound, 8 ounce, fish while gigging Jan. 21 in the Illinois River in Adair County.  The fish measured 27.5 inches long and is the new standard in the unrestricted (non rod and line) tackle division.

         Golden redhorses are found in the eastern third of the state and inhabit areas with clear, flowing water such as rivers and streams. The fish is a solid gold color and feeds on insects and plant matter along the stream bottoms.

         The record was weighed on certified scales at the Jimmy Houston Store. The weighing was witnessed by Gary Peterson, northeast region fisheries biologist  for the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation.

For a complete list of record fish and the procedures regarding state record fish consult the "2005 Oklahoma Fishing Guide." If you think you may have hooked a record fish it is important that you weigh the fish on an Oklahoma State Department of Agriculture certified scale and the weight is verified by a Wildlife Department employee.

 

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Oklahoma Station of the Safari Club International's annual banquet offers a chance to get involved

         The Oklahoma Station of the Safari Club International was recently recognized by the Oklahoma Wildlife Conservation Commission for its long-standing support of a wide diversity of conservation efforts. The Club’s annual banquet, to be held March 5, offers a great chance to take part in these important projects and programs.

         Most recently the Oklahoma Station of the Safari Club International donated $3,000 to the Hunter's Against Hunger program, which facilitates the distribution of hunter-harvested venison to needy families. The Club also donated $3,000 to be used towards the purchase of an airboat that will be used on waterfowl surveys and other wetland management tasks.

         Last year, the Club provided a 24-foot gooseneck trailer to the Department. The trailer is now used in the Department's Shotgun Training Education Program, which introduces both youth and adults to shotgun shooting techniques and the proper handling of firearms.

         The Oklahoma Station of the Safari Club International also sponsors the Department's annual youth essay contest. The contest gives youngsters the opportunity to share their feelings about the Oklahoma outdoors and gives them the opportunity to win great prizes including a guided pronghorn antelope hunt in New Mexico.

         Additionally, the organization purchased eight elk for introduction into an existing herd in southeast Oklahoma.

         The Oklahoma Station of the Safari Club International’s annual banquet will start at 6:30 p.m., March 5, at the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum.

         "We have a great time at the banquet - it's something I look forward to every year," said Mike Munhollon, with the Oklahoma Station of the Safari Club International. "We hope everyone will come out and join us. It is a nice opportunity to meet like-minded individuals in the community and find out what the Safari Club is all about."

         According to Munhollon, the auction will be one of the highlights of the evening.

         "We will have a wide range of items available for auction from African safaris, to shotguns, to art. There is really something for everyone whether you want to spend a little or a lot. It is even fun just to watch live auction," he said.

         Munhollon added that the banquet and auction are an essential part of the Chapter's fundraising efforts.

         "This is our primary mode of fundraising. This one event allows us to sponsor and be a part of many other important projects throughout the year," Munhollon said.

         For more information or to purchase tickets call (405) 721-7229 or e-mail faust4v@pldi.net.

 

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YHEC offers test of skills for young hunters

The Youth Hunter Education Challenge offer young hunters the chance to test their knowledge and skills at one of eight events to be held across the state this spring.

“These events are a great way to stay involved in hunting and outdoor recreation all year long, and they are also a great way to hone your skills in the off-season and maybe even learn a few new ones,” said Lance Meek, hunter education coordinator for the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation.

YHEC is sponsored by Friends of the NRA through their highly successful grant program. The Friends of the NRA have been a long-standing financial supporter of YHEC and many other shooting-related programs for youth.

Nationwide the Friends of the NRA award more that $47 million to programs around the nation since the group was founded in 1992. In Oklahoma alone, the Friends of the NRA awarded 283 grants totaling $700,535 and over 82 percent of those dollars went to fund youth programs. In the past 12 years more than 32,000 Oklahomans have attended one of the 150 Friends of the NRA events held in the state raising more than $1.7 million.

To learn more about the Friends of the NRA log on to www.nrafoundation.org/friends/ or call Darren DeLong at (405) 692-8672

YHEC is a program developed exclusively for hunter education course graduates from North America up to 19 years of age. YHEC provides graduates with a unique opportunity to test their abilities at a variety of hunting techniques, including shotgun, archery, and rifle events. The event is divided into youth and senior competitions with both groups competing at the same level of difficulty. Participants also are tested on their knowledge of wildlife species, knowledge of regulations and hunting ethics. Knowledge is tested on the hunter safety trail where participants are led through simulated hunting scenarios and must not only determine when it is legal to harvest game, but also must make correct decisions about whether to shoot at all.

This training ensures the future of the American hunting tradition as a safe, viable, recreational activity the entire family can enjoy. Though participants are scored and ranked in all YHEC events, the program’s competitive edge is diminished, as the real challenge focuses on personal improvement.

"YHEC has grown to include hundreds of young people each year because of the hard work and passion of hunter education instructors," said Meek. "It's a good chance for young people to continue their wildlife education beyond completing a hunter education course."

For more information about YHEC rules, regulations and schedules can be found at www.yhec.org.

2005 Oklahoma Youth Hunter Education Challenge events:

Enid - March 12

Garfield Rifle Assoc., Cherokee Strip Archery Club, Grand National Quail Club Gun Range

For more information contact Dale Adkins at (580) 242-1906 or e-mail aprinc@sbcglobal.net

Canton - March 19

Chain Ranch Sportsman Club and Canton 4H Shooting Sports Club

For more information contact Rick Syzemore at (580) 886-2449

Tulsa - Date to be announced

Tulsa Gun Club

For more information contact Bryan Young at (918) 371-9872.

Broken Bow – Date to be announced

For more information contact Dennis Wilson at (580) 286-5175

 

Norman – April 2

Tri-City Gun Club

For more information contact Robby Wallace at (405) 954-8030

Ponca City - May 7

Ponca City Rifle & Pistol Club

For more information contact Don Roy at (580) 362-3860

Woodward – Date to be announced

Woodward Rifle & Pistol Club

For more information contact Rick Menefee at (580) 256-6438

State Championship

Oklahoma City - June 18

OKC Gun Club

For more information, contact Paul Conrady at: (405) 341-6374

 

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Goose hunters encouraged to sign up for special season

The Conservation Order Light Goose Season (COLGS), which runs through March 31, is designed to reduce the light geese population, which include snow, blue and Ross’ geese. Hunters can register for the season by going to the Department's Web site: www.wildlifedepartment.com. Or they can mail a letter or postcard to: Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation; Attn: COLGS; P.O. Box 53465; Oklahoma City, OK 73152.

Due to land-use practices in the south-central U.S. which are beneficial to light geese, adult survival rates have increased significantly. The overpopulation of light geese continues to degrade Arctic habitat, thereby placing populations of other arctic dwelling animals at risk. Because snow geese feed by grubbing and pulling out plants by the roots, large numbers can literally destroy extensive areas of the tundra.

Federal law requires that the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation estimate the harvest of light geese during the Conservation Order Light Goose Season. Hunters who plan to pursue snow, blue and Ross' geese during the Conservation Order are asked to register with the Department and provide their name, address and telephone number so a harvest survey can be administered when the COLGS ends.

The COLGS provides for certain special methods of take, including one-half hour after sunset shooting hours, no bag limits, electronic calls and unplugged shotguns. Even with the special regulations, the birds can be very challenging to harvest in Oklahoma.

For more information and regulations on the COLGS, hunters should consult the “2004-05 Oklahoma Waterfowl Hunting Guide,” available at license dealers across the state, or by logging on to the Department’s Web site at www.wildlifedepartment.com

 

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“Outdoor Oklahoma” magazine seeking reader’s photos

“Outdoor Oklahoma” magazine is accepting photos for their annual Readers' Photography Showcase. The special issue offers a great chance for photographers, either professional or amateur, to display their color slides, prints or digital photos in a magazine that consistently receives national recognition for its photographic excellence. Hopeful photographers have until March 18 to submit their best shots.

"Whether you like taking pictures of scenics, wildlife or people, our state offers plenty of opportunities for the outdoor photographer," said Nels Rodefeld, “Outdoor Oklahoma” editor. "We’re looking for a wide variety of shots, but we especially enjoy those images of hunters and anglers in the field."

According to Rodefeld, 35mm slides, color prints and digital images will be accepted. Rodefeld added that original 35mm slides still offer the best color reproduction quality, but that “Outdoor Oklahoma” will accept high-quality images captured on digital cameras or in print photos.

“The annual Readers' Photography Showcase is one of the most popular features in the magazine and it is one of my personal favorites as well. It seems like every year the pictures just get better,” he said.

The photographer's name, address and phone number need to be printed on each slide using a fine point pen or rubber stamp. Slides should not be encased in glass.

Each participant may submit up to five images and all entries will be returned undamaged. Each submission should include a brief description of the photo including location taken, camera used, names of subjects and what it took to get just the right shot.

Photographers can mail their submission to Paul Moore, Photo Editor, “Outdoor Oklahoma,” Oklahoma Dept. of Wildlife Conservation, P.O. Box 53465, Oklahoma City, OK 73152.

Individuals who wish to obtain their own copy of the July/August Readers Photo issue can subscribe to “Outdoor Oklahoma,” on the Universal License form wherever hunting and fishing licenses are sold; or via credit card by calling 1-800-777-0019. Subscriptions are just $10 for one year, $18 for two years, or $25 for three years. You can also subscribe over the Internet by logging on to the Department's Web site at www.wildlifedepartment.com.

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NatureWorks to hold annual art show

Oklahomans will soon have an opportunity to view the works of some of the country's most talented wildlife artists at the NatureWorks Wildlife Art Show and Sale, March 5-6. The annual show, held in Tulsa, attracts some of the best wildlife sculptors and painters in the nation.

This year Jim Gilmore, of Alamosa, CO will be featured at NatureWorks. Through a lifelong interest in art, he has been successful in portraying wildlife in many ways, including oil and watercolor painting, photography, and his specialty, sculpture.

The annual Wildlife Art Show and Sale sponsored by NatureWorks, a non-profit organization, has generated matching grants to assist a variety of organizations for use in state wildlife conservation projects.

Programs such as the Hunters Against Hunger program, the Harold Stuart Waterfowl Refuge Unit within the Deep Fork Wildlife Management Area (WMA) and the Grassy Slough WMA have benefited from NatureWorks generous support.

The organization is also well known for their placement of 13 different wildlife sculptures along the Arkansas River in Tulsa. Annually, NatureWorks has donated a large, realistic bronze wildlife monument to the City of Tulsa. NatureWorks also supervises the creation of a permanent base for the monument and works with the city to place each one in a city park.

“Sooner Sandhills” is the latest NatureWorks monument to grace the city of Tulsa. NatureWorks recently honored Carl Pierceall as the recipient of the 2005 NatureWorks Wildlife Stewardship Award. He will be recognized with a larger-than-life-size monument of sandhill cranes which is on display at the Tulsa International Airport.

“Carl really embodies all the things this award stands for,” said Sam Daniel, president of NatureWorks. “He has been involved personally as an outdoorsperson, he has given time, money and personal interest. He has a remarkable record of achievement.”

For 52 years Pierceall has been an active and energetic member of the conservation community, including eight years of service on the Oklahoma Wildlife Conservation Commission.

The NatureWorks Wildlife Art Show and Sale will be held at the Tulsa Marriott-Southern Hills, Saturday, March 5 through Sunday, March 6. The show will be open Saturday (10:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.) and Sunday (11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.).

For more information about NatureWorks or the art show, call (918) 296-4ART or log on to www.natureworks.org.

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Fishing popular activity for many Oklahomans

Nearly 42 percent of Oklahomans have been fishing in the past two years, according to a recent survey by Oklahoma State University.

The survey bolsters the fact that fishing and wildlife conservation are important to most Oklahomans. In fact, last year when “Sports Illustrated” magazine asked their readers their favorite sport to play, fishing came in number one ahead of all others, including golf, baseball and swimming.

The surveys are supported by an unrelated report on fishing statistics published by the American Sportfishing Association. The report, “Sportfishing in America: Values of Our Traditional Pastime,” shows how fishing remains a popular activity that not only provides a relaxing pastime but also creates a significant economic impact.

Here in Oklahoma, fishing statistics support the national trend.

According to the report, more than 44 million Americans fish - 774,254 of which fished in Oklahoma.

The report shows that an impressive $484 million in retail sales were generated by Oklahoma’s anglers, which rippled through the economy to generate $992 million in economic output for the state.

The Oklahoma fishing industry supports over 11,000 jobs and those workers earned $245 million in salaries and wages.

Fishing-related purchases in Oklahoma generated $27.5 million in state tax revenues and $25 million in federal income tax.

Fishing also greatly supports our nation’s conservation efforts through the Sport Fish Restoration Program. Special federal taxes on fishing gear and motorboat fuels channel hundreds of millions of anglers’ dollars toward state fish and wildlife conservation and recreation programs each year.

The American Sportfishing Association’s analysis is based on data from the National Survey of Fishing, Hunting and Wildlife-Associated Recreation, conducted every five years on behalf of the International Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies. The survey data is collected by the Census Bureau and complied by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The full report is available online from the American Sportfishing Association at www.asafishing.org/content/statistics/economic.

The 2004 Oklahoma Social Indicator Survey of adults, age 18 and over, was conducted by the Bureau for Social Research (BSR) at Oklahoma State University. A total of 1,221 telephone interviews of randomly selected Oklahoma residents was completed in November 2004.

For more information about fishing in Oklahoma, log on wildlifedepartment.com

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Wildlife employment exam scheduled in Stillwater and Midwest City

The Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation will be hosting an employment exam Friday, March 25 at Rose State College in Midwest City and Saturday, March 26 at Oklahoma State University in Stillwater. The exam is the first step of the hiring process for anyone seeking positions such as game wardens, fisheries biologists or wildlife technicians.

The standardized employment exam will begin at 10:00 a.m. at the Tom Steed Development Center Auditorium located on the Rose State College campus. The Center is located immediately north off of I-40 on Hudiburg Road in Midwest City. The Department of Wildlife has added another testing date and location this year. The employment exam will also be given on Saturday, March 26 at 10 a.m. in room 103 of the Life Sciences West building on the OSU-Stillwater campus. The exam is free and participants must have photo identification upon check-in. Late arrivals will not be permitted to enter the examination room past 10:00 a.m.

"Two different exams will be given at each location," said Kyle Eastham, human resource administrator for the Department. "One exam is for biologist, game warden, assistant hatchery manager and information specialist level positions. These positions require a Bachelor's degree. The other exam is for technician level positions, which typically require either two years of college coursework in wildlife or a related field, or six years of similar job experience." Applicants must meet the educational requirements or be within six months of meeting the requirements to be able to take the exam.

Specific job and education requirements for ODWC positions as well as suggested study material for the exams are listed on the Department's official Web site www.wildlifedepartment.com. In addition, the Department’s Requirements and Selection Procedures brochure can be picked up at either ODWC Headquarters in Oklahoma City, or the Tulsa-area office located at the Oklahoma Aquarium in Jenks.

Individuals may take the exam once in a 12-month period. Test scores are valid for 12 months from the test date. Top scorers will be invited to submit an employment application. When a job opening becomes available, selected applicants from the test register will be scheduled for an interview. For more information, contact the Department of Wildlife’s Human Resources office at (405) 521-4640.

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