Wildlife Department Offers Monarch Watch

September 14, 2018


The Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation’s annual monarch watch activities are set for the last day of September and several days in early October at the Hackberry Flat Center near Frederick.  

“There will be multiple chances to join us throughout the week; we’ll be tagging monarchs in the morning, and watching a new round of butterflies come in to a stand of soapberry trees to roost in the evenings,” said Melynda Hickman, biologist for the Wildlife Department. 

Morning Tagging:  Sept. 30, Oct. 1-2 and Oct. 6

After a discussion of butterfly basics, monarchs collected from the area will be tagged as a group. Meet at the Hackberry Flat Center by 9 a.m. for this hands-on activity.

Evening Roost Watch:  Sept. 30, Oct. 1-2 and Oct. 5

An open air trailer will take visitors to a longtime monarch roost site within the management area. Meet at the Hackberry Flat Center by 6:30 p.m. Bring a collapsible chair and light jacket for your comfort. This activity ends at 8 p.m.

Both morning and evening activities will be held regardless of weather conditions, but morning tagging activities will be limited to the number of butterflies available at the roost site. Updates of the monarch migration status will be posted daily on the Friends of Hackberry Flat Facebook page. 

To get to Hackberry Flat Center, from the south side of Frederick, take U.S. 183 south for one mile, then go east on Airport Road for three miles. Follow the blacktop road south and continue six miles. Watch for signs to the Center. 

Registration is not required for this free event. For more information about this event, or other educational programs held at Hackberry Flat Center, contact Hickman at melynda.hickman@odwc.ok.gov or by calling (450) 990-4977.

Hackberry Flat Wildlife Management Area offers 7,120 acres of wildlife recreational opportunities. The Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation, along with many conservation-minded partners, restored this legendary wetland, creating a vast mosaic of wetland habitats for prairie waterfowl, shorebirds and other wetland-dependent birds. Upland areas of native sunflowers and cultivated fields interspersed with mesquite have become one of the state’s premier dove-hunting destinations. Opened for scheduled events like this monarch viewing program, Hackberry Flat Center offers interpretive guidance for wildlife enthusiasts, students and educators. Participants of these educational programs are exempt from needing a Wildlife Conservation Passport or valid hunting or fishing license while on Hackberry Flat WMA.