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Youths Take Home the Venison from Washita - Again!
Southwest Region, January 6, 2007
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Lynzi Stevens of Paoli, Oklahoma checks in her two antlerless deer during Washita NWR's Youth Deer Hunt.  01/05/2007.  Photo by David Maple.
Lynzi Stevens of Paoli, Oklahoma checks in her two antlerless deer during Washita NWR's Youth Deer Hunt. 01/05/2007. Photo by David Maple. - Photo Credit: n/a
Cale Mays of Stilwell, Oklahoma weighs in his doe during Saturday morning of Washita NWR's Youth Deer Hunt.  01/06/2007.  Photo by David Maple.
Cale Mays of Stilwell, Oklahoma weighs in his doe during Saturday morning of Washita NWR's Youth Deer Hunt. 01/06/2007. Photo by David Maple. - Photo Credit: n/a

Twenty-one young hunters collected thirty-two antlerless white-tailed deer during a hunt on Washita National Wildlife Refuge on January 5th and 6th. The 12- to 14-year old hunters and their parents endured a cool north wind on Friday, but were rewarded with light winds and sunshine for the Saturday hunt during the 1 ½ day event.

Following a short orientation at the refuge headquarters and a trip to the range to insure the hunter’s rifles were sighted in properly, the youths and parents headed to the field to begin the afternoon hunt.

Kate Blair, of Chandler, Oklahoma was the first to return to the check station with her doe. She was followed by a steady parade of successful hunters who checked in 16 antlerless deer over the next 2 ½ hours. Four of the lucky hunters checked in 2 deer on Friday evening. Biologists from the refuge and the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation weighed, aged and examined the deer as they came into the check station.

Hunters who hadn’t "limited out" returned on Saturday morning. Eight more deer were checked by lunch time, and the evening hunters added another 8.

"This hunt is a management tool for us – reducing the number of female deer and the total number of deer on the refuge," said Refuge Manager David Maple. "To the kids, it is purely a recreational activity – so the hunt is truly a ‘win-win’ for everyone concerned."

The refuge has offered an antlerless deer hunt for 12 - 14 year olds since 2001 in an effort to reduce the overall population of deer on the refuge. Since that time, 173 participants have taken 291 deer from the refuge.

The hunt is a joint effort of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the ODWC. Anyone interested in participating in the hunt can apply through the Oklahoma Controlled Hunts program. The Controlled Hunts brochure and web site are available in the spring of the year and application may be made through the mail or on line - with an application deadline in early May.


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



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