Wichita Mountains Now Booking Wildlife Viewing Tours
How many times have you driven through the Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge and only spotted one or two of the majestic beasts that roam our hills? With high expectations, the wildlife is pretty hit or miss on a driving tour.
It's not uncommon to see the wild longhorn on and along the roadway. All the same, it isn't very common to see bison too close to the roadway, and in all my years living here, I've only spotted the elk twice. Once inside the refuge, the other along US-62 when a wildfire pushed them out into a field along the highway.
Enter the Friends of the Wichitas. This volunteer group teams up quite often with resources from the Wichita Mountains officials, gaining support to offer a deeper wild experience within the refuge.
Right now, they're booking wildlife viewing tours that start this weekend.
If you've ever wanted to experience the wilds of Southwest Oklahoma in ways a vast majority of others never will, these tours are the best way to do it. They'll know where the herds are and how to get there.
This tour is especially neat because you'll be traveling into the restricted special-use area of the refuge, normally off-limits to the public, where you'll get the chance to see tons of baby bison and views of the range most people will never see.
Friends of the Wichitas offers these and other types of viewing tours throughout the year. Even if you're not up for this one, you might as about other opportunities later on. The elk bugling tour in the fall is a popular one.
If you're really lucky, you might even get a look at the ever-elusive family of otters that explorers and anglers spot from time to time.
The next time you're in the mountains, stop by the visitors' center and ask about what tours are available.