Frequently Asked Questions

Where is the Deep Fork National Wildlife Refuge? Deep Fork National Wildlife Refuge is located in Okmulgee, Oklahoma, thirty five miles south of Tulsa if traveling I-75 South, and one hundred miles from Oklahoma City.  From I-75, turn left onto Lavender Road and follow for 2.5 miles until the road dead ends. Turn left onto S 250 Road and drive for 2 miles. The refuge headquarters building and Cussetah Bottoms Boardwalk Trail will be on the right.

When was Deep Fork National Wildlife Refuge established? Deep Fork National Wildlife Refuge was established in 1993.

How big is the refuge? Deep Fork National Wildlife Refuge is currently 10,000 acres, however the proposed boundary size is 18,300 acres after the acquisition of all proposed lands.  The land managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is a patch work of publicly held tracts that are interlaced with privately held acreage. Boundary signs are numerous upon the refuge, which make the distinction between these public areas and private lands.

Why is the Deep Fork National Wildlife Refuge here?
The Deep Fork National Wildlife Refuge offers a crucial resource for waterfowl migrating along the Central Flyway in the spring and fall.  Floods replenish the lush bottomland hardwood forest each year, which consist of trees such as the bur oak, pin oak, black walnut, pecan, cottonwood, hackberry, and river birch. These trees take root in rich alluvial soils which are then deposited throughout the bottomlands adjacent to the Deep Fork River when it swells over its banks. Wildlife is diverse and abundant in the Deep Fork bottomland hardwood forest.  Four of the state’s species of special concern dwell here:  the river otter, Bell’s vireo, alligator snapping turtle, and the northern scarlet snake.   Some 254 bird species rely on the refuge for at least part of the year, and biologists have confirmed 51 mammal species in the Deep Fork River basin.  In addition, Okmulgee County is home to over 50 species of reptiles and 22 species of amphibians.

What can I do at Deep Fork National Wildlife Refuge?
Around 45,000 visitors participate in a variety of activities at the refuge each year.  Hunting, fishing, hiking, wildlife observation, wildlife photography, interpretation, and environmental education are the primary recreational activities supported by the refuge.  2,000 students visit the refuge annually for environmental education programs, including the annual Okmulgee County Archery Day.  The refuge maintains a fishing area at Montezuma Creek, the Railroad Trail and River Overlook, the Cussetah Bottoms Boardwalk area, as well as twenty five miles of unimproved trails and roads that connect our twenty two parking lots with our hunting and wildlife observation areas. Canoeing and kayaking are popular around the Deep Fork River.

Are pets allowed? Domesticated pets such as dogs and cats are allowed on the refuge, however they must be kept on a leash or securely inside the cab of a vehicle during the duration of their stay. Farm and ranch animals such as cattle, horses, sheep, pigs, goats, and domesticated fowl are not allowed.

Can I bring and release domesticated  animals and/or wildlife on the refuge? Releasing any animal 
  (wildlife or unwanted pets) on the Deep Fork National Wildlife Refuge without the refuge manager’s permission is illegal and subject to a fine. If you have found injured wildlife please call your local wildlife rehabilitation center, and if you can no longer care for your pet please contact your community animal shelter.