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Friday is the deadline to register for Selman Bat Watches

Deadline is Friday to apply and try to attend one of the summer bat watches at the Selman Bat Cave this summer. [PHOTO PROVIDED BY OKLAHOMA DEPARTMENT OF WILDLIFE CONSERVATION]

Deadline is Friday to apply and try to attend one of the summer bat watches at the Selman Bat Cave this summer. [PHOTO PROVIDED BY OKLAHOMA DEPARTMENT OF WILDLIFE CONSERVATION]

Friday is the final day to register for the Selman Bat Watches at the Selman Bat Cave Wildlife Management Area near Freedom.

Sponsored by the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation, there will be eight weekend bat watches during the summer beginning July 6.

Mexican free-tailed bats congregate each summer at the cave to give birth. Each night, the bats leave the cave to hunt for flying insects. Spectators can watch the mass exodus, which typically lasts just over an hour.

Attendance is limited for the bat watches, so people must apply and hope to have their names drawn.

Applicants must download a registration form from and mail it to the Wildlife Department by Friday.

Only mailed registration forms postmarked on or before Friday will be accepted. Families or groups should send one form. Those selected will be informed by email on June 13.

The Wildlife Department bought the Selman Bat Cave in 1995 to conserve one of the four known caves in Oklahoma that the bats use for maternity.

Huge alligator gar caught at Lake Texoma

Two men caught a massive alligator gar at Lake Texoma over the Memorial Day weekend.

State game wardens reported that Tim Butler and Canton Stafford were catfishing on the lake, near the town of McBride, when Butler noticed he had hooked a fish.

Butler told game wardens the gar stripped all the line from the reel twice before he was able to pull in the fish with Stafford's help.

The alligator gar measured 6 feet and 2 inches and had more than 30 inches in girth. In 2015, a Red River angler set the record for largest fish caught in the state by snagging a 254-pound alligator gar that measured slightly more than 8 feet with 44 inches of girth.

Free youth instructional shoot set at OKC Gun Club

The Central Oklahoma 89er Chapter of Quail Forever will hold its 13th annual Youth Instructional Shoot and Luncheon on Saturday at the Oklahoma City Gun Club near Arcadia.

The free event is open to boys and girls ages 10 to 16 who will receive instruction in gun safety, shotgun shooting and ATV safety.

In addition, participants will be able to try their skills at the BB gun range and learn about conservation and pollinators.

The event is part of the “No Child Left Indoors” initiative to introduce youth to shooting sports in a safe and fun environment and hopefully recruit them to be part of the conservation mission, said James Dietsch, founding chairman of the Central Oklahoma 89er Quail Forever Chapter.

Lunch will be provided to participants and their families. The event begins at 9 a.m. and runs through 1 p.m. Preregistration is required.

To register, call Julia Ellefson at 405-412-4623 or Dietsch at 405-415-5724 or email

GRDA to hold controlled hunts

The Grand River Dam Authority in northeastern Oklahoma is now taking applications for controlled hunts for the upcoming deer and waterfowl seasons.

Applications will be accepted online through July 31. The hunts will be held on GRDA properties in Ottawa County along the Neosho River.

Prospective hunters can apply as individuals or with a group of up to four. A youth-only controlled hunt also is available during the youth deer gun season.

To apply, go to

Tahlequah collegiate anglers win California bass tournament

Northeastern Oklahoma State University anglers Caleb Gibson and Tyler Winn won the Carhartt Bassmaster College Series Western Tour last week at Clear Lake, California.

Fishing for the first time on Clear Lake, the Tahlequah anglers racked up 57 pounds, 6 ounces to win the title over a field dominated by western schools. The bass fishing team received $1,000 for winning. The California event was the fourth and final collegiate regional tournament of the season.

Northeastern Oklahoma State University bass club members Blayke Haggard and Cody Metzger, along with Carson Smith and Taylor Hamburger, have also qualified for the national championship.

Haggard and Metzger won a Southern Conference regional on Lake Texoma on April 8.

Ed Godfrey

Ed Godfrey was born in Muskogee and raised in Stigler. He has worked at The Oklahoman for 25 years. During that time, he has worked a myriad of beats for The Oklahoman including both the federal and county courthouse in Oklahoma City for more... Read more ›