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5th Annual Washita Youth Deer Hunt Held
Southwest Region, October 15, 2005
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Derrick Yarnall of Wayne, Oklahoma with a doe taken during Washita Refuge's Youth Hunt. (USFWS photo by David Maple)10/15/05.
Derrick Yarnall of Wayne, Oklahoma with a doe taken during Washita Refuge's Youth Hunt. (USFWS photo by David Maple)10/15/05. - Photo Credit: n/a

Twenty-two young hunters from across Oklahoma gathered on October 14th and 15th at the Washita National Wildlife Refuge at Butler to participate in the 5th Annual Youth Deer Hunt. Before the weekend was over, the 20 young hunters took home 36 antlerless deer.

The hunt began at 1:30 on Friday with an orientation session at the refuge headquarters, where the refuge and Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation employees were introduced to the participants. The purpose for the hunt and safety rules were discussed. The hunters then were assigned to blinds, and were taken to the field to begin the afternoon hunt.

Kyle Croft, of Choctaw, Oklahoma was the first successful hunter to check in. He brought in 2 does just before 6:00 - and a steady stream of youngsters followed with deer to check, and stories to tell. Before the evening was over, 18 deer were weighed, aged and examined by wildlife biologists at the check station.

Saturday morning began bright and early and the hunters who hadn’t "limited out" returned to their assigned blinds. Eight more deer were checked by noon, and the evening hunters added another 10.

Some of the participants seemed plagued with bad luck or no luck at all. One young hunter’s chances were foiled when a bobcat "spooked the buck that spooked the does" and then hung around for the rest of the morning, keeping the deer away. Kenzy Nagle of Clinton saw plenty of deer, but none within range until the last hour of the last day when she took her first deer - a 5 ½ year old doe.

"We were pleased with the results," said Refuge Manager David Maple. "We hoped everyone would take a deer or two, but even those who left without deer meat had a chance - and everyone took home a memory."

The refuge has offered an antlerless deer hunt for 12 to 14 year olds since 2001. Since that time, 109 participants have taken 191 deer from the refuge. The hunt is a joint effort of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the ODWC.


Contact Info: Martin Valdez, 505-248-6599, martin_valdez@fws.gov



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