Oklahoma sportsmen have until Jan. 10 to comment on proposed hunting and fishing regulation changes for 2014.
Among the proposed changes is a statewide elk hunting season on private land. State wildlife officials say there are at least 30 counties in Oklahoma that each have six or more free-ranging elk.
Most of the elk are animals that have either escaped or been released from commercial hunting operations or private elk farms in the state.
Under the proposal, the elk season dates would be the same as the deer season dates in Oklahoma. Hunters could take one elk.
Elk hunting regulations through the agency's controlled hunts program and on private land around the Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge would not change.
Other hunting regulation proposals include requiring turkeys to be checked online statewide and barring hunting dogs from Honobia, Pine Creek and Three Rivers Wildlife Management areas in southeastern Oklahoma during deer seasons.
In fishing, a proposed rule change would allow anglers to keep only two paddlefish per year. Paddlefish, also known as spoonbills, also would have to be checked online.
Another proposal would allow noodlers to harvest blue catfish and channel catfish in addition to flathead catfish. The daily limit would be three, but only one could be 30 inches or longer.
Sportsmen can log on to www.wildlifedepartment.com to comment on the proposed changes. A public hearing on the proposals is scheduled for Jan. 7 at the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation, 1801 N Lincoln. The hearing begins at 7 p.m.
FLY TYERS EXTRAVAGANZA SCHEDULED IN SAPULPA
The fourth annual Fly Tyers Extravaganza is scheduled Jan. 11 at the Creek County Fairgrounds in Sapulpa.
Anglers from four states will be demonstrating how to tie fishing flies. There also will be casting demonstrations and raffles for prizes.
World class fly fisherman Davey Wotton, who guides on the White River in Arkansas, will be speaking on his wet-fly fishing technique.
The event is from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. Admission is free.
TROUT FISHING CLINIC SCHEDULED IN OKLAHOMA CITY
The Oklahoma City Parks and Recreation Department will be holding a free trout fishing clinic Jan. 10 at the Putnam City High School gymnasium, 5300 NW 50th.
Registration is required in advance. To reserve a spot, call the H.B. Parsons Fish Hatchery at 755-4014.
Participants will learn trout fishing techniques, including knot tying, casting and cleaning fish.
The clinic is part of the city's trout season at the Dolese Youth Park Pond, which runs through Feb. 28.
CHRISTMAS BIRD COUNTS SCHEDULED ON REFUGES
The Chickasaw National Recreation Area near Sulphur will be holding a Christmas Bird Count on Saturday.
Volunteers should go to the Travertine Nature Center to get a map an assignment area.
The Washita National Wildlife Refuge near Butler also is having a Christmas Bird Count on Saturday.
Volunteers will meet at 7 a.m. at refuge headquarters. Anyone interested in participating is asked to contact the refuge by Tuesday by calling (580) 664-2205 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
EDMOND DU BANQUET UPCOMING
Tickets are now on sale for the Edmond Ducks Unlimited annual banquet and fundraiser, scheduled Jan. 18 at the National Cowboy Hall of Fame and Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City, 1700 NE 63rd.
Doors open at 6 p.m. with dinner at 7 p.m. For more information, visit http://OK.ducks.org.