Elk City Wildlife Area News

AREA NEWS

September 2020

Elk City Reservoir flooded this summer with some impacts to area agricultural fields and shoreline habitat.

PRAIRIE RESTORATION - Native grassland restoration continues with the use of a skid steer mounted saw to remove trees from existing blocks of native grass. Brush is being piled and stumps treated to prevent re-sprouting. These work areas are scattered across the area and have targeted native grasslands as well as quail habitat areas. Extensive spraying of invasive weeds has occurred on several areas above flood stage water levels.  

DOVE SEASON -  Sunflower fields WERE PLANTED this spring ON ELK CITY WILDLIFE AREA. Some flood damage was detrimental to the fields, but still provided ample opportunities. Dove season opener hunter survey cards showed 1250 dove were harvested on 3 fields.

No Lead shot is allowed on dove management hunt areas while posted.  The non-toxic requirement is in response to the concentrated hunting of doves and accumulation of lead in the fields, available to wildlife while feeding.  Non-Toxic shot is required on numerous dove management areas across the state.  Please check the department web site for additional information on managed sunflower hunting opportunities across the state.

A reminder to hunters, the Berentz-Dick Wa (Buffalo Ranch) is open to hunting on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday only.   Mandatory registration before hunting is in effect and I-Sportsman is now available for registration. It will be MANDATORY for use for all hunting.  No paper registration cards are to be used by hunters.  NO SUNFLOWERS SURVIVED EXTENSIVE RAINFALL AND COOL TEMPERATURES ON THE BUFFALO RANCH.

WETLAND MANAGEMENT - The majority of the small wetlands and ponds and shoreline near the reservoir were impacted by the summer flooding but have responded well to hand planting of Japanese Millet.  The larger Widgeon/Simmons wetlands further west up the watershed do have extensive stands of moist soil plant already partially filled. Staff was able to manipulate some areas of the marshes to improve long term vegetation. We will continue to capture water as rain allows.  

ROADS:  Several roads on the area were inundated by the flooding, and most of the debris and silt has been removed.

The Chetopa Creek / Quaker Cemetery Road: This road will be seasonally closed (September to April) The road WILL BE OPEN during duck hunting seasons. Vehicle access will be allowed during early teal, youth and all of regular duck season, and will be closed immediately following duck season. This is to decrease vehicle disturbance while increasing wildlife utilization and improve hunting opportunities in the Chetopa Creek area for deer and turkey.

DEER HUNTING: Hunters are reminded that changes were made for public land hunters regarding baiting and the use of blinds. No individual may use more than two portable blinds or tree stands on any single department owned or managed property. Portable blinds or decoys shall not be left unattended overnight. Each portable blind or tree stand shall be marked with the users name and address or the users department issued identification number in a visible, legible and weather proof manner.  Stands are to be removed two weeks after season closes.

No person may place or use bait while hunting on department lands. Bait is defined as any grain, fruit, vegetable, nut, hay, salt, sorghum, feed, other food or mineral that is capable of attracting wildlife. Liquid scents and sprays are not considered bait. Hunting is prohibited within 100 yards of any baited site for up to 10 days after removal of the bait. Hunting is allowed over standing crops or food plots found on the area.

No vehicles are allowed off maintained roadways.  All terrain vehicles are not allowed on department maintained roadways or any of the property.

Elk City WA Deer Hunters should expect decent vegetation and crops on the wildlife area.  Department staff has planted food plots across the area. Wildlife area farmers have planted a mix of corn and beans, and will have some wheat planted this fall if weather allows.