Field Notes
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
Field Notes Entry   
Southwest Region, December 7, 2006
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November 2006 was another busy month for the Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge Environmental Education Program. In the month of November there were five hundred seven (507) participants who took part in EE programs. One hundred fifteen (115) participated in off-site programs while three hundred ninety-two (392) participated in on-site programs. Some of the highlights of the month of November 2006 were: two EE programs for the Conference for the Advancement of Science Teachers which was held in Wichita Falls, Texas and sponsored by the Science Teachers Association of Texas. This is the largest state science teachers’ convention in the United States. The Lawton Public Schools Artistic & Creative Teaching Skills (ACTS) teachers (9) joined the Texas science teachers on November tenth. In all, sixty-four (64) teachers, from all across Texas, visited these Wichita Mountains.  We were honored to do a presentation for thirteen (13) distinguished Native American visitors from the George Hawkins Memorial Treatment Center. There were many stories shared about these Wichita Mountains and about plants that have medicinal & edible qualities and some that are still used in different ceremonies.  Presentations were given to forty-five (45) members of the Mt. Scott Kiwanis Club, thirty (30) members of the Frederick Rotary Club, eleven (11) science majors from Cameron University, and a presentation for forty (40) students who were taking part in the Reading Renaissance Program which was being sponsored by the Altus Public Library and the Altus Public Schools held at Washington Elementary School. The EE Section also continued their participation with Water Watch of the Oklahoma Water Resources Board by performing test on water samples from Elmer Thomas Lake. We also continued our participation with Oklahoma’s Blue Thumb Program in partnership with the Oklahoma Conservation Commission, by performing water test at three sites located within the refuge. Blue Thumb is the primary education vehicle of the Oklahoma Conservation Commissions Water Quality Division.     


The annual deer hunt on the Wichita Mountains NWR ended with 57 of the 79 hunters taking home a deer, for a 72 percent success rate.  Twenty-two of 28 buck hunters (78%) were successful, while 37 of 53 doe hunters (70%) harvested an animal.  The annual hunt, a cooperative effort between the Refuge and the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation (ODWC), is used as a tool for managing deer populations in the Wichita Mountains NWR.


The first of three elk hunts were completed on the Refuge during the month of November.   To date, 69 hunters participated in the hunt removing a total of 42 elk during the hunt for a 61 percent success rate.  The elk hunts are also a cooperative effort between the Refuge and the ODWC as a tool for managing elk populations.  Two remaining elk hunts are scheduled to occur on the Refuge during the month of December.


Refuge visitation for November, 2006:  100,064        


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