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How the government shutdown affects the Oklahoma outdoors

by Ed Godfrey Published: October 6, 2013

Hemphill said bears have a large supply of acorns and muscadine grapes available to them this year in southeastern Oklahoma, and the persimmon trees are also loaded.

“We got a lot of (bear) groceries on the ground,” he said. “The big boys may have already left the bait and gone to the good food.”

Most of the bears that hunters have checked in have been taken in Le Flore and Pushmataha counties. The biggest bear checked in has weighed about 300 pounds, Hemphill said.

Bronchos are now bass fishing

The University of Central Oklahoma is the latest Oklahoma school to form a bass fishing club and compete in collegiate bass tournaments.

In just its first month as a club, the Bronchos' bass fishing club already has 43 members and won its first tournament earlier this month. The Broncho anglers participate in the Cabela's BoatUS Championship Series and won the first “Okie Challenge Series” on Fort Gibson Lake last month against 15 other state schools.

UCO anglers Colten Huston and Steven Isaacs brought in the winning stringer of 19.42 pounds ahead of runner-up Oklahoma State University.

The Bronchos will travel to Lake Eufaula next weekend for another Okie Challenge Series followed by tournaments on Grand Lake on Oct. 27 and Lake Tenkiller on Nov. 2.

A few of the 43 UCO anglers have experience fishing in bass tournaments, but most do not, said Alex Allen, club adviser and coordinator for recreation programs at UCO.

“A lot of the students who come out are not tournament-ready anglers,” he said. “They don't have a lot of experience with it. Mentors will take them out on boats and get them tournament ready.”

Allen said UCO's Bass Fishing Club has an advantage over most schools because it has access to the university's boathouse on Arcadia Lake, part of the school's outdoor recreation program.

“It gives us an edge on the competition,” he said.

The Bass Fishing Club set up an informational booth in the school's University Center last month and quickly had students signing up to join.

“It's really taken off,” Allen said. “I expect it to continue to grow.”

Allen said UCO anglers also will compete on the FLW and B.A.S.S. collegiate tournament trails.

Cowboys are now bowfishing

In addition to a bass fishing club, Oklahoma State University now has a bowfishing club.

“We have done some research and we haven't found any other college that has a bowfishing club or a bowfishing team,” said Hunter Kashwer, a sophomore at OSU.

The club's first organizational meeting is Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. in Room 280 of the Student Union at OSU.

Kashwer doesn't anticipate any difficulty recruiting members.

The university just approved the club less than three weeks ago, he said.

Kashwer regularly competes in bowfishing tournaments.

“This summer I did five tournaments,” he said. “There is a tournament every weekend somewhere.”

The club plans to sponsor a tournament as a fundraiser, he said.

For more information on the club, email Kashwer at

by Ed Godfrey
Copy Editor, Outdoors Editor, Rodeo, River Sports Reporter
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...
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