Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge will temporarily close portions of the public use area for a few days in December, and January to conduct controlled hunts. These hunts, which are conducted in cooperation with the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation, are an important part of the elk management on the Refuge.
The elk hunt will be conducted December 6-8, 2022. The Refuge’s public use areas west of the Headquarters will be closed to other public uses during this hunt. The closed areas include Charon’s Garden Wilderness Area, Elk Mountain trail, Sunset Picnic area, Caddo Lake, Post Oak and Treasure Lake, and Heart Rock. All of the public use areas east of Headquarters will remain open to the public during this hunt. These areas include French Lake, Dog Run Hollow, Lost Lake, Osage Lake, Quanah Parker Lake, Mt. Scott, Jed Johnson Lake and Rush Lake. Specific details on closed areas will be posted in the Visitor Center.
Additional elk hunts will be conducted on: December 12-16, 2022, and January 9-13, 2023. Closed areas will change for each hunt. Further hunt closure information will be available on the Refuge website at: www.fws.gov/refuge/wichita_mountains, Facebook, or by contacting the Refuge Visitor Center at 580-429-2197.
An enchanting landscape awaits you in southwestern Oklahoma at the Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge. Worn by time and nature, the Wichita Mountains loom large above the prairie —a lasting refuge for wildlife. Best known for its roaming herds of bison, longhorn, and Rocky Mountain elk, Wichita Mountains also offers quality opportunities for wildlife dependent recreation.
Location and Contact Information
Worn by time and nature, the Wichita Mountains loom large above the prairie in southwest Oklahoma—a lasting refuge for wildlife. Situated just outside the Lawton/Ft. Sill area, Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge preserves approximately 60,000 acres of mixed grass prairie, ancient granite mountains, and fresh water lakes and streams for the benefit of wildlife and the American people. Best known for its roaming herds of bison, longhorn, and Rocky Mountain elk, Wichita Mountains also offers quality opportunities for wildlife dependent recreation including fishing, bird watching, wildlife photography, hiking, camping, and kayaking.
What We Do
The National Wildlife Refuge System is a series of lands and waters owned and managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Wildlife conservation is at the heart of the refuge system. It drives everything we do from the purpose a refuge is established, to the recreational activities offered there, to the resource management tools we use. Selecting the right tools helps us ensure the survival of local plants and animals and helps fulfill the purpose of the refuge. The wildlife and habitats of the Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge are managed using prescribed fire, grazing management,control, reservoir management, fish stocking, public use management, Wilderness management, and controlled hunts to manage wildlife populations.
Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge is home to a whole host of animals—from large animals like the American bison to tiny prairie dogs and colorful “Mountain Boomer” lizards. The Refuge is also a great place for over 275 species birds to nest, feed, or rest during migration.