Locust Grove Middle School Archery Team, seated from left, Julia Blair, Easton Wall, Riley Brown, Bella Moore, Kylie Bird, Carly Morrison, Sydnie Bird, Sarah Sitsler; standing from left, ODWC Education Supervisor Colin Berg, team coach Brad Cowan, Dax Dry, Conner Hansen, Wyatt Avery, Noah Lewis, Maddox Parks, Cayson King, Jaeger Ingram, Natalie Van Horn, Jeralyn Ingram, Raeghan Rivers, Keylee Lord, Kylee Tugmon, ODWC Archery in the Schools Coordinator Kelly Boyer; back row from left, Oklahoma Wildlife Conservation Commissioners Jess Kane, Chad Dillingham, John Zelbst, Rick Holder, Leigh Gaddis, ODWC Director J.D. Strong, Jim Barwick, and Bill Brewster. Team members not present are Emma Culie, Eli Swarer, Jasie Morrow, Lizzie Hubbard, Molly Hubbard, Clancy Cunningham. (Don P. Brown/ODWC)
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Commission Honors Locust Grove Archery National Champs
WOODS COUNTY RANCHER NAMED 2021 LANDOWNER CONSERVATIONIST OF THE YEAR
During their regular September meeting, Oklahoma Wildlife Conservation Commissioners congratulated the students and coach Brad Cowan of Locust Grove Middle School’s archery team, which won the middle school national championship in the 2021 National Archery in the Schools (NASP) competition.
Kelly Boyer, NASP coordinator for the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation, said the Locust Grove team finished on top of about 7,000 competitors from 287 other middle school teams. Locust Grove students who earned first place individual titles in the national championship shoots are Maddox Parks (high school male) and Kylee Tugmon (elementary female).
Several other Oklahoma archery teams and individual archers also took high honors in the national virtual competition, Boyer said. Full results can be found on the NASP tournament website.
Oklahoma’s NASP program is among a suite of outdoor educational programs fostered by the Wildlife Department in hundreds of schools across the state. Colin Berg, Education Supervisor for ODWC, presented an overview of these activities that include Fishing in the Schools, Archery in the Schools, Explore Bowfishing, Explore Bowhunting, Oklahoma Scholastic Shooting Sports Program, FFA Sporting Clays Program, and Varsity Archery.
Also, Commissioners recognized RC Brown of Woods County as ODWC’s 2021 Landowner Conservationist of the Year. Biologist Brett Cooper with ODWC’s Private Lands Section, presented highlights of Brown’s habitat improvement and land management activities on his 6,700 acres, including ambitious efforts to eliminate invasive eastern redcedars and regular prescribed burning.
Brown and his wife, Phyllis, accepted the award from Cooper and Wildlife Division Chief Bill Dinkines.
In other business, the Commission:
- Accepted a $10,000 donation from Oklahoma Pheasants/Quail Forever’s Indian Territory Chapter. PF/QF Oklahoma Representative Laura McIver and the chapter’s Vice President Doug Austin said the donation would be matched with federal grant funds for projects on Spavinaw and Oologah wildlife management areas, and ODWC’s Shotgun Training Education Program.
- Received regular updates from ODWC Director J.D. Strong on activities in various divisions since the previous meeting. He said Wildlife Division deer spotlight surveys wrapped up, showing good white-tailed fawn production across the state; the first Outdoor Oklahoma Raffles campaign closed after raising about $224,000 to fund ODWC conservation activities; ODWC’s Communication and Education Division won a record nine national awards at the annual Association of Conservation Information conference; and many of the Law Division's Game Wardens are gearing up to teach in-person hunter education classes statewide in the next several months.
- Recognized Chief of Wildlife Bill Dinkines for 30 years of service.
Go online to https://youtu.be/A2d8wPTCiks to view a video recording of the meeting.
The next regular Commission meeting is set for 9 a.m. Oct. 11, 2021, at Oklahoma Panhandle State University in Goodwell.
Gathered for the 2021 ODWC Landowner Conservationist of the Year Award presentation are, from left, ODWC Director J.D. Strong, Private Lands Biologist Brett Cooper, landowners Phyllis and RC Brown, ODWC Wildlife Chief Bill Dinkines, and Wildlife Assistant Chief Russ Horton. (Don P. Brown/ODWC)
Gathered for a $10,000 donation from Pheasants Forever/Quail Forever Indian Territory Chapter are, from left, ODWC Director J.D. Strong, Wildlife Chief Bill Dinkines, chapter Vice President Doug Austin, PF/QF Oklahoma Rep. Laura McIver, ODWC Upland Game Biologist Tell Judkins, and Wildlife Assistant Chief Russ Horton. (Don P. Brown/ODWC)