In Oklahoma, we are blessed to have access to more than 82 wildlife management areas (WMA) totaling more than 1.3 million acres. These areas, owned and/or managed by the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation are provided so that every Oklahoman can carry out his or her constitutional right to hunt and fish. Not only do these WMA’s provide access to Oklahomans but also to many non-resident sportsmen who come to our state, purchase licenses, and support the economies in towns like Beaver, Woodward, Mangum, and many, many more. These areas bring life to these small towns in the fall and provide Oklahoma quail hunters with some of the finest quail hunting in the nation. However, these areas provide much more than hunting opportunities and an economic boost.
Many of our WMA’s are managed intensively for quail. Each of these areas provide an opportunity to showcase many of the most up-to-date quail management practices available. These areas become institutions of learning for landowners in the region so that they can hopefully mimic the practices used on those WMA’s to provide habitat for quail on private lands which in turn, support the stability of the overall quail population. These areas managed for quail also provide opportunities for extensive research by Oklahoma State University and department biologist to better understand the preferences and habits of quail. Much of the information gathered through this research is used to improve lands for optimal quail production.
The ‘89er Chapter takes much pride in our WMA’s and the habitat we have been able to provide through equipment purchases, seed and seedlings, and land acquisitions. We want to make certain that future generations will be able to enjoy the sport of quail hunting and our public lands are vital for the future of quail. These lands are beneficial to all Oklahomans whether you hunt on them or not. We will continue to support quail management on these lands, not only in the west, but statewide so that our children and grandchildren will not go through life without experiencing the thrill of the flush.
John Bellah, Chairman