Refuge Preparing for Controlled Hunts

Photographer: Bill Shreve
Photographer: Bill Shreve

Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge will temporarily close portions of the public use area on select days in November, 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 deer and elk management on the Refuge.

Biologists utilize hunting as a management tool to prevent overpopulation, which can lead to damage to habitat, vehicle collisions, and potential human health concerns a Rocky Mountain elk hunt will be conducted December 15-17, 2020.

The Refuge’s public use areas south of Highway 49 between the west entrance gate and Indiahoma Road, and all areas west of Indiahoma Road will be closed to other public uses during this hunt. The closed areas include the Charon’s Garden Wilderness Area, Sunset Picnic area, Caddo Lake, Post Oak/Treasure Lake, Heart Rock, and pull outs bordering the roadways in that area. All of the public use areas east of Indiahoma Road will remain open to the public during this hunt. These areas include Quanah Parker Lake and Dam, Boulder Picnic area, Lost Lake, Burford Lake, Osage Lake, French Lake, Burma Road, the Narrows, the Kite Trail, the Dog Run Hollow Trail System, Mt. Scott, Jed Johnson Lake, and Rush Lake.

Additional controlled elk hunts will be conducted on: January 5-7, 2021, and Walk-In hunt January 11-15, 2021. Closed areas will change for each hunt. Further hunt closure information will be available on the Refuge website at:, on Facebook @WichitaMountainsWildlifeRefuge, or by emailing the Refuge Visitor Services staff at

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