Oklahoma hunters will be able to use noise suppressors on their rifles this season when hunting on private land.
Gov. Mary Fallin on Friday signed into law Senate Bill 1743 that allows hunters to use noise suppressors, or silencers, when hunting on their own land or with permission of the landowner.
The law becomes effective Nov. 1.
State lawmakers earlier in the week passed an amended version of the original bill which carries harsher punishment for hunters using a suppressor while committing a game violation.
Anyone convicted of a wildlife offense while using a noise suppressor could face an additional fine of $500 to $1,000 over the normal amount for that game violation.
The Oklahoma State Game Wardens Association had opposed the legislation.
Fallin on Friday also signed legislation increasing the penalties for paddlefish poaching.
The crime remains a misdemeanor, but fines will now range from $5,000 to $25,000 for anyone caught in illegal possession of paddlefish eggs or other paddlefish products with a market value of more than $5,000.
Paddlefish eggs are used as a substitute to sturgeon caviar and often sold illegally.
Free fishing next weekend
Oklahoma’s annual free fishing days will be June 2 and 3.
Anglers will not need state fishing licenses on those days, although some city licenses might still be required.
Oklahoma City, however, is offering free fishing June 2 and 3 on its municipal waters.
A city fishing permit will not be needed those days to fish at Hefner, Overholser and Draper lakes or in the city parks.
Oklahoma City’s “Close to Home” designated fishing waters are Crystal Lake, 6625 SW 15; Zoo Lake, 2101 NE 50; the Dolese Youth Park Pond, NW 50 and Meridian;
Edwards Park Pond, 1515 N Bryant; Kids Lake, 3200 W Wilshire Blvd.; the Oklahoma River, wetland basins between NE 10th and NW 10th street bridges;
South Lakes Regional Park (east pond only), 4302 SW 119; and the Stinchcomb Wildlife Refuge, NW 50 and Stinchcomb Road.
Free youth fishing classes
The Oklahoma City Parks and Recreation Department is offering free fishing classes this summer for ages 5 to 15.
The first class will be June 9 at Edwards Park Lake, 1515 N Bryant. Other classes are scheduled at Edwards Park Lake on July 7 and Aug. 4.
Classes at Metro Tech Springlake, NE 36 at Springlake Drive, are scheduled June 16, July 7 and Aug. 4.
The Dolese Youth Park Pond, NW 50 and Meridian, will be the site for a free fishing class on June 23.
Crystal Lake, 6625 SW 15, will be the site of classes on July 21 and Aug. 18.
Fishing poles, tackle and bait are provided in the classes. The classes will cover knot tying, casting, fishing regulations, fish identification, fishing ethics and angler etiquette.
Reservations for the classes are required, and children must be accompanied by an adult.
For more information, call the OKC Police Athletic League at 316-3474 or visit www.okc.gov/parks.
Shooting for state titles
The annual Oklahoma State Sporting Clays Championship will be Thursday through Sunday at Quail Ridge Sporting Clays, 7632 SE 149.
About 200 shooters from Oklahoma and surrounding states are expected to compete.
The sporting clay range is in the Draper Lake Recreational Area.
For more information, visit www.okssca.net or www.quailridgehunting.com.
Youth instructional shoot in Guthrie
The Central Oklahoma Quail Forever chapter is sponsoring a free youth instructional fun shoot and picnic June 9 at Silverleaf Shotgun Range in Guthrie.
The event is for all youth between the ages of 9 and 18. Registrations are limited.
For more information, visit www.centralokquailforever.org.
Kids’ fishing tournaments on Saturday
Youth fishing tournaments are scheduled Saturday at Arcadia Lake in Edmond and Lake McMurtry in Stillwater.
The annual Kids Fishing Derby at Spring Creek Park on Arcadia Lake is for ages 5 to 15.
Kids must bring their own bait and equipment. Fishing begins at 8 a.m. with prizes awarded at noon.
For more information, call the Arcadia Lake office at 216-7470.
The City of Stillwater is hosting the youth fishing tournament on Lake McMurtry.
Fishing will be from 7 a.m. to 11 a.m. with the weigh-in and awards ceremony to follow.
For more information, call 747-8085 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
See a real “Bat Cave” this summer
People can register for the summer bat watches at the Selman Bat Cave near Freedom beginning Tuesday.
The bat watches are held every weekend in July. Each night is limited to 75 visitors.
Registration forms will be available online Tuesday at www.wildlifedepartment.com. The forms must be printed, completed and mailed back to the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation and postmarked by June 7.
People are selected through a random drawing. The Selman Bat Cave attracts migrating Mexican free-tailed bats every year.
Each night at least one million bats emerge from the cave to feast on literally tons of insects.
“The bats at Selman Bat Cave eat about 10 tons of insects every night,” Hickman said.
For more information, call 424-0099.
Tackle show in Duncan
The annual Duncan Tackle Show will be Friday and Saturday at the Stephens County Fairgrounds, SH 81 South.
Show hours are noon to 6 p.m. on Friday and 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday. Admission is free.
Catfish bait maker Danny King will be appearing.
For more information, call Jerry Jolly at (580) 656-6181 or email email@example.com.