Oklahoma hunters and anglers have often said they wish the paper hunting or fishing licenses they carry in the field were more durable. Well, now that choice is here! The Wildlife Department’s durable collector’s license cards are the answer. These stylish collectible cards allow you to carry up to nine licenses that you hold, encoded on one long-lasting card that fits in your pocket. And each one features an image related to Oklahoma’s fish or wildlife. The cards have featured new artwork each year since their inception in 2019, making them not only a badge of support that hunters can use to display their support for their outdoor heritage, but also collectors' items.
The durable license cards for 2021 are now on sale. One features a bull elk, originally created by Nora Hall as part of her Oklahoma Animal Series. The other card features a painting of a black crappie titled “Morning in the Cedars,” by Dave Whitlock.
The stylish collectibles allow you to carry up to nine licenses on one long-lasting card that fits in your pocket. To get one, sign in to the Wildlife Department’s new Go Outdoors Oklahoma online license system or just click below. If you are getting a new license, you will be given the option to choose a collectible card as part of your purchase. Even lifetime license holders can order one of these classy cards. Proceeds from card sales help fund the Wildlife Department’s mission to conserve and protect the state’s fish and wildlife resources and habitat.
Learn more about each artist below
"Elk" from Nora Hall's "Animals of Oklahoma" Series
Nora Hall is a Norman native, where she now resides and co-owns Oil & Clay Studio. Wildlife is her favorite subject to paint.
“I would say early exposure to nature fueled my love of animals and the outdoors,” Hall said. “There was a creek behind my house growing up, and my sister and I would spend hours out there exploring. We would find fish, turtles, squirrels, raccoons, the occasional fox, and a never-ending variety of birds. Even now, nothing thrills me more than spotting an animal in its natural habitat.”
Hall’s “Animals of Oklahoma” series captures that love of wildlife in way that outdoor enthusiasts will truly appreciate, especially her “Elk” piece featured on the newest hard card license. The series includes 100 native Oklahoma wildlife species.
It is something that Oklahomans probably don’t think about on a daily basis, but we really do have some very incredible wildlife,” Hall noted. The Elk is the eleventh painting in the series, and it’s one of her favorites.
Hall didn’t foresee working with the Wildlife Department when she initially set out to create the series, but she’s excited to see the work play such a unique hand in conserving the state’s wildlife. "Since conservation in Oklahoma is funded by the sale of licenses, and my art is to be featured on the new upgraded hard license, I feel like I get to play a role.”
And it’s a big role. Proceeds from the sale of hard card licenses help the Wildlife Department fund and carry out it’s mission to conserve and protect the state’s fish and wildlife resources and habitat. More specically, a portion of proceeds are invested back in to recruiting, retaining and reactivating more hunters and anglers – helping to keep the successful conservation model strong.
Hall co-owns Oil & Clay Studio with her friend Louisa Brewer. They opened the studio in 2015 to pursue their art dreams while also providing a safe place for kids and adults to explore different mediums and have fun.
“We offer a variety of classes for all ages including painting, crafts, and pottery,” Hall said. “While our studio is small, we feel immensely lucky to have taught hundreds of students in after-school, homeschool, and private sessions. The community we have built and what our studio has to offer is 100-percent fueled by our students and their excitement to learn.”
More information about Oil & Clay studio can be found at www.oilandclaystudio.com.
Follow the progress of Hall’s “Animals of Oklahoma” series, and even order prints, at http://www.oilandclaystudio.com/oklahomaanimals
"Morning in the Cedars," by Dave Whitlock
Born in Muskogee in 1934, Whitlock grew up in Green Country, moved to Arkansas when he was 35, and now resides again in northeast Oklahoma. Whitlock is well-known for his flyfishing expertise. He’s always been interested in the outdoors.
"The outdoors and everything living in it fascinates me,” Whitlock said. “However, life on and in water has always interested me the most. Starting when I was 9, fishing and especially fly fishing has inspired me to illustrate, paint, photograph and write about water life.”
Whitlock calls underwater life “another world within our world” and is especially pleased to see his crappie painting featured on the 2021 hard card licenses.
“One way to protect our beautiful Oklahoma land and water it to get folks to fall in love with it as I have,” Hall said. “So, if upgrading the licenses encourages more people to buy them and then actually get outdoors, I'm all for it. I don't think you can spend much time out fishing or hunting without learning the importance of conservation.”
Whitlock’s “Morning in the Cedars scene was inspired by the Oklahoma and Arkansas reservoirs he's fished, where flooded cedars along bluffs provide the perfect habitat for crappie to live and feed on shad, minnows and aquatic insects.
Whitlock and his wife, Emily, have a website where they host information about themselves and their fly fishing school along with an online shop where prints of “Morning in the Cedars” can be purchased along with additional fish art, mugs, flies and more. Go to www.davewhitlock.com.