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Outdoor Fall Edition 2021

Families celebrate country living Porter property offers access to top-tier fishing Local hunter shares outdoor passions Guide offers tips for hunters new, old

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Fall Edition 2021


FORT GIBSON Oklahoma’s Oldest To w n

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Fall Edition 2021 Issue 59

Publisher Ed Choate Editor Elizabeth Ridenour Contributing editor Angela Jackson Layout & Design Joshua Cagle WRITERS Cathy Spaulding, Ronn Rowland PHOTOGRAPHERS Mandy Corbell, Cathy Spaulding, Ronn Rowland ADVERTISING Director Brenda Adams ADVERTISING SALES Angela Jackson, Therese Lewis, Krysta Aich, Kris Hight

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Green Country Living is published by the Muskogee Phoenix. Contents of the magazine are by the Muskogee Phoenix. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without the prior consent of the Muskogee Phoenix. Green Country Living, P.O. Box 1968, Muskogee OK 74402. email eridenour@muskogeephoenix.com - Editorial: (918) 684-2929 Advertising and distribution: (918) 684-2804

On the Cover

36 Features

Inside

6 Morse

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Family finds country living after renovating 90 percent of home.

16 Albritton Family’s Porter home close to prime fishing areas.

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Daugherty Muskogee native shows love of outdoors by hunting, fishing.

OutdOOr Fall EditiOn 2021

Hunting Guide Explore topics of interest to both new, seasoned hunters.

49 Scene & Be Seen Chat, have fun and relax because you’re on camera.

Families celebrate country living Porter property offers access to top-tier fishing

Photo by Mandy Corbell

Local hunter shares outdoor passions Guide offers tips for hunters new, old

MUSKOGEE muskogeephoenix.com

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Fall Edition 2021

Rachel and Brian Morse have country living close to town on their 20-acre spread.


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INTERNAL MEDICINE 3332 West Okmulgee Avenue David Kyger, M.D. Sr. Grace Miriam Usala, R.S.M., M.D.

Green Country Living

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Fe at u r e d hom e A l brit ton

Zach and Lauren Albritton and their family have made their home on this five-acre spread west of Porter since 2018.

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Home blends

new, old Albritton property caters to family’s love of outdoors

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utdoor-lovers Zach and Lauren Albritton found just the right home on nearly five acres west of Porter. The acreage is close to prime fishing areas, Zach said, adding that he’s been obsessed with bass fishing since he was 2. “There’s a lot of pro fishermen who come out to this

area,” he said. “Even the guys that aren’t pro, there’s a lot of very serious people out here.” Fort Gibson Lake is a favorite spot. “The nice thing about living here is that you’re an hour away from five really, really good fisheries,” he said, listing Grand Lake, Lake Tenkiller, Lake Eufaula and Greenleaf among other favorites.

By Cathy Spaulding • Photos by Mandy Corbell

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Fe at u r e d hom e A l brit ton

Lauren and Zach Albritton savor the country life with their sons Hank, second from left, and Ladd, as well as their dog, Maggie.

“You’ve got the river. It’s a great area for fishing,” he said. Lauren Albritton said she grew up camping almost every weekend at Fort Gibson Lake. She said she loves seeing all the stars in Porter’s night sky. Trees surrounding the Albritton’s house add a homelike privacy, she said. T he rural location also is convenient. “I work in Tulsa, and we own the business in Muskogee, and we wanted somewhere that was halfway between,” Lauren said. “We looked at a lot of properties and we came out here and it felt like home, where we were supposed to land.” Howard Homes of Coweta custom built the house, where the Albrittons have lived since November 2018. “The builder had certain homes, and we fell in love with the floor plan, which has the master bedroom and other bedrooms on opposite sides of the house,” Lauren said. The Albrittons chose a modern farmhouse style. Exterior masonry includes Boral Bricks from Muskogee and loose stonework from Rosser Midwest Stone, Tulsa.

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Fe at u r e d hom e A l brit ton

ABOVE: Old tractor seats frame the television in the living room. BELOW: Lauren Albritton made this bench for her husband’s 30th birthday.

The U-shaped kitchen features granite countertops and large windows.

Front porch furnishings, plus items throughout the house, reflect Lauren’s interest in making furniture and art from unique old things. A porch bench, which she made for her husband’s 30th birthday, features a Chevy pickup tailgate she got at a Canton, Texas, flea market. “That took my dad’s help. I could not make it on my own,” she said. The porch table features the metal front from butler’s pantry, she said.

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Inside, the house has a spacious open plan with gray walls throughout. White French doors open into what Zach plans to use as an office. It’s now used as storage for the couple and their two sons: Hank, 4, and Ladd, 17 months. The U-shaped kitchen features white kitchen cabinets from Jo Rose Fine Cabinets. Smooth granite countertops line the walls, while the island countertop is black leathered granite; both come from JS

Interiors. Windows line one kitchen wall, giving two outdoor cats the perfect perch to look inside. Lauren said she wanted to be able to open the windows and let the breeze in. “We get a good breeze coming in from the back,” she said. “We open back and open the front.” Many light fixtures through the house come from Lifestyles Lighting and Furniture in Tulsa.


Farmhouse shelves display various collectibles, crafts and vintage items.

Green Country Living

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Maggie loves hanging out in the spacious living room. Windows offer a countryside view.

The flooring is stained concrete, just right for lots of rugs. Rusty tractor seats adorn a living room wall. “Those I collected from all over,” Lauren said. “They’re from Oklahoma, Arkansas, Texas, Indiana.” She said they plan to build a fireplace in the living room. “One thing I regret is not getting a fireplace because we use so much propane in the winter,” she said. “We’re waiting to get a new fireplace before we

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get new furniture.” The living room’s tall ceiling has a large fan. “Howard Homes is known for their tall ceilings, and he is known for putting custom white trim across the top,” Lauren said, pointing to the wide crown moulding that breaks up the gray. Hank’s bedroom reflects the love of the outdoors. One wall is lined with small posters about fishing and national parks. “Those are from Anderson Design Co.,” Albritton said. “They were part of

a calendar, and then I cut all the pictures out.” Three trapezoid-shaped bins from Hobby Lobby became shelves for Hank’s room. However, he keeps his massive collection of Hot Wheels-type cars in shadowboxes his grandpa made with old bicycle wheels. Ladd’s bedroom has a wood airplane rocking toy that a family friend got. “One of our customers brought it to us,” Lauren said. “He was cleaning his house and he knew we had two boys. He


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Fe at u r e d hom e A l brit ton

RIGHT: Zach and Lauren Albritton greet a sun-filled morning in their master bedroom.

BOTTOM: The Albritton’s five acres is surrounded by trees, making it a true modern farmhouse.

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Zach Albritton loves spending time in his new Blazer bass boat.

Lauren Albritton found an old bathtub for a unique garden display.

thought we would love it.” The master bedroom has vaulted ceilings and a stone shower. The padded headboard came from Marshalls, and two chests come from an IKEA near Dallas. A walk-in “four seasons” closet opens onto the laundry room, as well as the master bath. The closet is high enough for three racks of clothing. “We switch out winter-up and summerdown, then summer-up and winter-down,” Albritton said. The laundry room features Electrolux washer and dryer from Conn’s in Broken Arrow. Albritton decorated the room with old washboards she collected from various places. The acreage also has a pole barn and ample space for a new Blazer bass boat Zach bought with a business bonus. They also have a new camper. “We’ve only used it twice, so far,” Lauren said. The boys are picking up that outdoor love, too. Hank said he especially likes sleeping in the camper’s bunk bed.

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Fe at u r e d Hom e Morse

Remodeling

down to dirt Morse family renovates 90 percent of home

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achel and Brian Morse didn’t have to go far to find country living close to town. Brian’s brother had a 20-acre spread on North 40th Street in northwest Muskogee. “My brother-in-law put it up for sale, and we didn’t want him to sell it, so we traded houses,” Rachel

Morse said, adding that the brother-in-law lived there for about seven years. Brian’s mother, Donna Morse, said the house was originally owned by a circuit judge. “It was real small, he built onto it and he lived here,” Donna Morse said. “He raised his two kids here 25 years and sold it to my middle son when he retired.”

By Cathy Spaulding • Photos by Mandy Corbell

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A stone porch framed by wood beams offers a welcoming entrance to the Brian and Rachel Morse home in northwest Muskogee.


Green Country Living

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Fe at u r e d Hom e Morse

Rachel and Brian Morse have country living close to town on their 20-acre spread.

Rachel and Brian Morse moved into the house in 2016 and found they had a lot of remodeling to do. Rachel said they did a 90 percent remodel, taking it all the way down to the dirt. “It wasn’t bad; it was just basic,” she said. “They still had floors from the 1970s. No hardwood floors, it was carpet and tile. The entry was old time hardwood.” The exterior features the original log

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bad; it “wasIt wasn’t just basic. ” — Rachel Morse

siding, but Morse said her husband did much of the stonework on the porch and around the house. She said her husband and nephew did

most of the interior work, including wiring and plumbing. It helps that Brian Morse is an electrician and owner of Morse Electric. Donna Morse said he used to work at Davis Custom Cabinets in Norman. Brian also laid the floor with walnut flooring he got in Shawnee. A man named Cooco out of Tulsa did the painting, Rachel said. They also put new stonework on the fireplace, and surrounded the fireplace


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Fe at u r e d Hom e Morse

ABOVE: An open cabana by the pool features a bar, television and comfortable seating.

RIGHT: Evening lights shimmer in the Morse swimming pool.

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Fall Edition 2021


The Morse kitchen features granite countertops.

Visitors can play ping pong, billiards and tabletop shuffleboard in a sunken den.

with shelves. Rachel said they got a lot of the furniture from Bob Loftis Furniture in Muskogee, as well as Loftis Furniture in Tulsa. Rachel said they bought the granite countertops in the kitchen and other rooms from Carpet Warehouse in Muskogee. Stainless steel kitchen appliances came from Hahn’s Appliance Warehouse. Rachel said she and her motherin-law designed the intricate tile pattern behind the stove with tiles from Lowe’s. Down a few steps from the kitchen is the sunroom. Rachel said her husband installed a coffee bar with a small refrigerator. Two sunroom walls are windows that look onto the Morse’s pond. “We cleaned out a bunch of trees, so we could see it,” Rachel said. Floor tiles also came from Carpet Warehouse. Down a couple of steps from the living room is a den and game room with log paneling and a stone wall.

Green Country Living

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Fe at u r e d Hom e Morse

ABOVE: A formal dining area adds elegance to the home. LEFT: A sunroom is down a few steps from the kitchen. BOTTOM: A corner tub offers an outdoor view while ensuring privacy.

“We kind of divided the room. This is my husband’s area,” Rachel said, pointing to the den space, which has a stone fireplace and art work. The other side has a built-in bench. There is a shuffleboard table and a billiards table. A ping pong tabletop fits into the billiards frame. Part of Rachel Morse’s LP collection is displayed on the wall. Four autographed guitars came from Tahlequah’s Medicine

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Stone Music Festival – one guitar from each year the Morses went. The master bedroom’s elegant bed came from Mathis Brothers, and the ceiling fan came from Lowe’s. French doors open onto the master bathroom, which has a walk-in shower and a cozy corner tub. A window was installed by the tub. Faucets come from Lowe’s. The glass shower door comes from Binswanger Glass.

The Morses found the most convenient place ever for their washer and dryer — right in their walk-in master bedroom closet. Three bedrooms are upstairs. Daughter Tristin, who attends Hilldale Schools, has corner windows in her room. She said she keeps books and games in a hall shelf by the stairway. A second bedroom belonged to another daughter, MacKenna, who


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Fe at u r e d Hom e Morse

ABOVE: A stone fireplace and log paneling add a warm coziness to one side of the den.

RIGHT: New shelves surround the fireplace in the living room.

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CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: The back yard features several benches built into low stone walls. (I cannot tell what this is. I need to see it larger and in color.) The spacious back yard features a stone fireplace. The Morse vegetable garden has yielded tomatoes, but now has morning glories. A Sasquatch peeks from behind a plant.

passed away in February. A third bedroom has wood paneling along the walls and ceiling. It has a three-quarter bathroom. Another washer and dryer set is in the upstairs bathroom. Tristin says she washes her own clothes. In the front yard, MacKenna’s ashes are kept by a vine-covered arbor with a bench, Rachel said. In back, Brian Morse and others did all sorts of rock work including benches, garden borders and low

walls. An open cabana by the swimming pool features a place to sit and watch TV. The cabana also has a kitchenette, plus a bathroom with a shower. The Morses are digging a koi pond on one side of the yard. They also plan to put a hot tub near there. Farther down, there is a space where deer like to visit. “He’s got a deer feeder out there, and the deer come up and we see them nearly every evening and

morning,” Morse said, adding that she also sees coyotes and raccoons on their property. Across the yard is space for grilling and smoking. Scout, a mixed breed, has his own dog pen. Beyond a fence are a few peach trees. Rachel keeps chickens in a wire coop. Her husband has a vegetable and flower garden. “We’ve got morning glories. Every morning, we get covered in morning glory flowers,” she said. “We plan on building a greenhouse next spring.”

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Fe at u r e d R e side nt Daughert y

Passing the

torch

Muskogee native pushes passion for outdoors toward education

D

wayne Daugherty says he’s been an outdoors person all his life. “I grew up here in Muskogee and am thankful I grew up in a country where we can hunt,” he said. “My dad (Jack) grew up in western Oklahoma where quail hunting was a really big thing. So as a kid, I’d watch

my dad and older brother, who’s 12 years older than I am, they’d wake up and drive to western Oklahoma and I just couldn’t wait.” And it was Dwayne’s older brother Lonnie who took him and their brother Darrell fishing and hunting until they were old enough to carry a gun. Dwayne said it was his older brother who got him and Darrell into hunting.

Story by Ronn Rowland

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Dwayne Daugherty has been an outdoors person all his life. He hunts and fishes for more than just meal supplements, as shown by three of his trophy kills he has mounted on the wall of his office at his house. (Ronn Rowland)

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Fe at u r e d R e side nt Daughert y

Dwayne Daugherty hunts more than deer, as shown by a trophy bird on display at his home in Muskogee, (Ronn Rowland)

“Anytime (Lonnie) went somewhere, we were tagging along,” Dwayne said. “Dad made us wait until we were 12 years old before we could carry a gun, so once we turned 12, Lonnie would take us deer hunting. So, he was the one who got

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us into hunting, other than birds. “Dad was an avid quail hunter and he loved to hunt pheasants, but Lonnie was the one that got us into everything — he got us into fishing and hunting.” Daugherty said he got some of his

hunting experience and outdoors training in his backyard. “I grew up on 54th right behind Honor Heights Park,” he said. “We owned 40 acres out in the country and had a creek running through it. We did


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Fe at u r e d R e side nt Daughert y

Hunting is a family affair with the Daugherty clan. Most of the time Dwayne, top far right, is on an excursion with his dad Jack, top far left, his younger brother Darrell, next to Jack, and older brother Lonnie, next to Dwayne. (Dwayne Daugherty/Submitted)

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Dwayne is deciding which to keep and which to release… a 15-pound spoonbill or his cousin Denim Butler. (Dwayne Daugherty/Submitted)

everything from trapping to bird hunting to squirrel hunting — anything we could hunt.” There was one incident that Daugherty remembers vividly that excites him to this day. “We had moved into the home my

dad had built on the 40 acres in 1978,” he said. “I remember the first time I was walking down the road and saw a deer track in the middle of the road and couldn’t believe that a deer had been on our place. So I literally ran home and and got Mom and Dad — the whole

family had to go out and see where this deer track was. “We hadn’t seen a deer, but just a track was so exciting to see.” And being in the outdoors is something Daugherty wouldn’t trade for anything.

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Fe at u r e d R e side nt Daughert y

Dwayne takes his son Lonnie, right, along with the clan.

“We’ve grown up doing it our whole lives and loved it,” he said. “Love being in the outdoors in God’s creation, being able to hunt and fish and do a little bit of everything.” And when Sept. 1 rolls around, that’s

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when Daugherty says is his time of year. “Sept. 1 was always the kickoff for hunting season,” he said. “That’s the start of fall and we would always go dove hunting. That’s a tradition that was started when I was a kid and we carry on

to this day. This year, we were up on the Kansas line near Nowata on a dove hunt. “My dad, my two brothers and I — there were seven of us total that went.” But Daugherty doesn’t just kill for the sport of it.


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The Daugherty hunting party takes a break from a morning hunt.

“Most of my animals I shoot I take to a butcher and it costs around $100,” he said. “You get it back packaged, ground up — however you want it. Usually for a 200-pound animal, 40% of it is what you’re going to get in meat.” And he is quick to point out how it supplements his food budget. “My wife and I went to college in western Oklahoma,” he said. The first few months we were married, we bought ground meat from the store. But she read an article in college about the health benefits from eating wild game, so she said, ‘go shoot a deer.’ “In 30 years of marriage, we have not purchased ground meat.” And Daugherty passes along the knowledge he’s picked up to generations coming up behind him. “I teach for the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife the hunter safety courses,” he said. “There was a gentleman in Wagoner, Rick Stafford, that was wanting to slow down and not teach as much. When I was younger, all I wanted to do was fish, hunt and enjoy the outdoors.

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The family shows off its take of birds and other wild animals for the day.


Dwayne Daugherty shows off his prizes after a morning of duck hunting.

A much younger Dwayne Daugherty shows off one of his turkeys he bagged.

“As I got older, it became more about getting other people into it. I didn’t have that kill mentality.” And it was his son Evan that helped turn Daugherty from a hunter to what he calls “a wildlife control specialist.” “He’s a freshman at NSU this year,” he said. “He’s been going outdoors with me since he was a littlebitty kid. I’ve taken him hunting and fishing all his life, but getting kids into the outdoors is my passion — taking people that had never been before and letting them see what Oklahoma has to offer.” Daugherty said his passion went from getting a deer to getting a trophy to doing more conservation. “In the early ‘80s, there weren’t that many deer in the state, but Oklahoma has done a great job in bringing back the deer populations,” he said. He also said wildlife management has become a priority. “Doing more conservation, going out and planting food plots so the deer have something to eat year-round,” he said.

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Hunting Guide

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Hunting GUIDE

Green Country Living

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Hunting Guide

New hunting tech

H

unting and technology have a complicated relationship. While it’s only natural that new technologies are eventually applied to hunting, there comes a point at which the concept of a fair hunt is challenged. “Where do we draw the line?” asks Outsider.com. “When does technology make hunting unethical?” Weapons such as advanced powder “capsules” used in muzzleloaders and crossbows with automatic loading have blurred the lines between ethical sportsmanship and an unfair hunt. Each sportsmen must make up his own mind about where the line is drawn. “I believe there certainly is a point where technology surpasses what certain hunting seasons were meant to be,” writes Tyler Freel for OutdoorLife. com. If you’re comfortable with a bit of technology in your hunt, here are some of the latest products to come on the market. Pnuma Iconx Heated Core Vest. This lightweight vest, worn as a base layer, has electronically heated carbonfiber elements to keep you warm on a cold morning. It has three heat settings, and an additional battery and charger are available. Trophy Scan. Visit a location of Texas-based outfitter

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Los Cazadores, where they will scan your trophy kill using 3-D technology. Then use the data to make mementos such as jewelry, 3-D-printed replicas, quarter-size mounts and bronze replicas. Los Cazadores, will keep your scan file in storage, so you can recreate your prized game anytime. Spartan GoLive Camera. Billed by the manufacturer as a “next-generation cellular scouting camera,” the Spartan GoLive Camera allows you to live stream at the touch of a button. You can take HD photos remotely, schedule filming times, take motion-triggered and time-lapse videos. It also has a GPS anti-theft feature that functions even when the batteries are removed. Wildgame Innovations ZeroTrace PUREION Field Generator. Intended to safely reduce human scent to help hunters get closer to their game, this product uses a flow of ion molecules to bind to odor molecules and neutralize them. HuntStand App. “The HuntStand hunting and land management mobile device app combines advanced mapping tools with powerful map layers to allow users to create and share the best hunting maps possible,” writes DeerandDeerHunting.com. Its 3-D mode helps you get a more accurate lay of the land, and you can make your own custom maps with boundaries, landmarks and other data. An offline mode even lets you access your map data when you’re out of cell range and even GPS.

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Hunting Guide

A beginner’s guide

Y

ou don’t have to be the son of a family of hunters to be a hunter. Picking the sport up in adulthood is doable. OutsideOnline.com provides a few tips.

Carve out a lot of time Hunting requires a big time commitment, so you’ll need to decide if you’re up for such an investment. Each hunting season is set by a government entity. Hunts such as big game bow hunting on public land can be time-consuming. You’ll also need to spend considerable time preparing for hunting, including practicing and familiarizing yourself with your weapon, and getting to know the area where you’ll be hunting. Consider the fact that other hobbies will likely need to go on the back burner.

Ask yourself if you’re ready to suffer Hunting can take you into some pretty inhospitable territory. The conditions in hunting stands and blinds can be less than stellar, whether hot, cold, wet or secluded. Consider the kind of hunting you’ll be doing and what the conditions will actually be like, and be sure you know what you’re getting into.

Pick your animal Harvest rates vary widely

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by species and state, but in many states the percentage ratio of harvested animals to total hunters are in the teens, writes OutsideOnline.com. That means you’ll spend a relatively small amount of time actually making a kill and harvesting meat. Choose an animal whose habitat you can see yourself spending a lot of time in, even if you don’t make a kill.

Choose your weapon The type of weapon you hunt with will have a major impact on your hunting experience. You weapon will determine how close you need to get to the animal you’re hunting. You need to be much closer when hunting with a bow and arrow than a rifle. That kind of hunting requires years of experience.

Find a mentor As with any new endeavor, you’ll serve yourself well to find an experienced hunter to take you under his wing. “Hunting knowledge is often hard-won and kept close to the chest,” writes OutsideOnline.com. “Always ask questions, but be humble and grateful when you’re given keys to the kingdom or even little breadcrumbs of knowledge.”


General Hunting Seasons Fa ll 2021- S p ring 2 0 2 2 Hunt S e a s o n

Hunting season dates that are shown on this page are either upcoming or currently open. Seasons that have ended for the year will not be shown. Deer Archery:

Oct. 1, 2021 to Oct. 14, 2021

Zones 1 & 2

Youth Deer Gun:

Oct. 1, 2021 to Oct. 17, 2021

Nov. 13, 2021 to Nov. 28, 2021 Dec. 4, 2021 to Jan. 30, 2022

Oct. 1, 2021 to Jan. 15, 2022 Oct. 15, 2021 to Oct. 17, 2021

Deer Primitive Arms (Muzzleloading):

Oct. 23, 2021 to Oct. 31, 2021

Deer Gun:

Nov. 20, 2021 to Dec. 5, 2021

Holiday Antlerless:

Dec. 18, 2021 to Dec. 31, 2021

Elk Archery:

Oct. 1, 2021 to Jan. 15, 2022

Youth Elk Gun (statewide): Oct. 15, 2021 to Oct. 17, 2021

Elk Primitive Arms (Muzzleloading): Oct. 23, 2021 to Oct. 31, 2021

Elk Gun:

Bear Archery:

Bear Muzzleoader:

Oct. 23, 2021 to Oct. 31, 2021

Small Game Squirrel:

May 15, 2021 to Jan. 31, 2022

Rabbit:

Oct. 1, 2021 to March 15, 2022

Migratory Birds Dove:

Sept. 1, 2021 to Oct. 31, 2021 Dec. 1, 2021 to Dec. 29, 2021

Crow:

Oct. 10, 2021 to Nov. 16, 2021 Dec. 9, 2021 to March 4, 2022

Nov. 20, 2021 to Dec. 5, 2021

Woodcock:

Dec. 18, 2021 to Dec. 31, 2021

Rail (Sora and Virginia):

Elk Holiday Antlerless:

Special Southwest Zone Elk Seasons Archery:

Oct. 2, 2021 to Oct. 6, 2021 Dec. 4, 2021 to Dec. 8, 2021

Gun:

Oct. 7, 2021 to Oct. 10, 2021 Dec. 9, 2021 to Dec. 12, 2021

Antlerless:

Nov. 20, 2021 to Dec. 5, 2021 Jan. 1, 2022 to Jan. 31, 2022

Antelope Archery:

Oct. 31, 2021 to Dec. 14, 2021 Sept. 1, 2021 to Nov. 9, 2021

Wilson’s (Common) Snipe: Oct. 2, 2021 to Jan. 16, 2022

Gallinule (Purple and Common): Sept. 1, 2021 to Nov. 9, 2021

Waterfowl Panhandle Counties

Ducks, Mergansers & Coots: Oct. 9, 2021 to Jan. 5, 2022

Youth, Veterans and Active Military Waterfowl Days: Oct. 2, 2021 Feb. 5, 2022

Ducks, Mergansers & Coots: Youth, Veterans and Active Military Waterfowl Days: Nov. 6, 2021 Feb. 5, 2022

White-Fronted Geese:

Nov. 6, 2021 to Nov. 28, 2021 Dec. 4, 2021 to Feb. 6, 2022

Dark Geese (All Geese, except white-fronted and light geese): Nov. 6, 2021 to Nov. 28, 2021 Dec. 4, 2021 to Feb. 13, 2022

Light Geese (Snow, Blue and Ross’): Nov. 6, 2021 to Nov. 28, 2021 Dec. 4, 2021 to Feb. 13, 2022

Conservation Order Light Goose Season (COLGS): Feb. 14, 2022 to March 30, 2022

Sandhill Cranes:

Oct. 23, 2021 to Jan. 23, 2022

Quail:

Nov. 13, 2021 to Feb. 15, 2022

Pheasant:

Dec. 1, 2021 to Jan. 31, 2022

Furbearers:

Bobcat, Badger, Gray Fox, Red Fox, Mink, Muskrat, Opossum, River Otter and Weasel Dec. 1, 2021 to Feb. 28, 2022

Source: Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation

Green Country Living

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Hunting Guide

Invest in safety courses

E

ven for an experienced hunter, a hunter safety course is always good preparation for the season. Regulations change every year, and it’s never a bad idea to brush up on firearms and ammunition handling, safety tips, hunting techniques, field dressing, wildlife identification, basic first-aid and more. You can take a class in person or online. If you think you might have questions and want to discuss course material with the instructor, opt for an in-person class. If you’re looking for a come-as-you-are dress code and convenience to take the course on your own schedule, look into online options.

What is covered? A hunter safety course will cover everything you need to know to hunt safely. This includes not just the basics of weapon safety but things like first aid, ethics, habitat conservation, hunting laws and regulations, wilderness survival skills, shot placement, field dressing of animal and more.

Firearms safety The most important reason to take a hunter’s safety course is firearms safety. The incident rate is on a steady decline. In 1988, when the cour se became mandatory, the incident rate was reduced by almost half and the fatality rate was reduced

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Fall Edition 2021

by almost 75%, according to ApprovedCourse.com. The website offers these four rules to remember; • Always point your muzzle in a safe direction.

• Always treat every gun as if it’s loaded and check the chamber first. • Always be sure of your target and what is beyond it. Avoid rocks and metal, which

could cause a ricochet. • Always keep your finger off the trigger until ready to fire. Your finger should be outside the trigger guard unless you’re firing.


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Play by the rules Know the legal hunting requirements for the type, gender and number of animals you may take and at

what times, according to your local authorities. Also, know the paperwork you’ll need to hunt legally, such as a valid hunting license and tags.

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Hunting Guide

A surge in hunters

T

he number of people hunting in the U.S has been declining for years, leaving wildlife officials and conservationists grappling with the dropoff. COVID might have changed that, according to Pew Trusts. In many states, the pandemic brought a surge in hunting licenses, suggesting the outdoors was the only outlet for many.

Growing numbers Pew reports that many states saw a dramatic rise in residents taking hunter safety classes for the first time. Young, female and first-time hunters saw growth in numbers. These demographics have been targeted by hunting advocates for years to help expand the sport. Gun sales also saw a dramatic spike in 2020, with industry leaders citing both hunting and concerns about social unrest as the reasons, according to Pew. For example, in Michigan, there was a 67% hike in new hunting license buyers in 2020 compared with 2019, a 15% increase in female hunters and moderate growth in many younger age brackets, Pew reports. The state also sold 46% more apprentice licenses, a discounted option that allows new hunters to give the sport a try under the supervision of a mentor.

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Fall Edition 2021


“The groups that we’ve been wanting to get engaged with hunting for years and years are the groups we’re seeing now,” Dustin Isenhoff, marketing specialist with the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, told Pew. “We have over 100,000 new hunting customers this year. That’s a big opportunity for us to work with those folks to keep them involved.”

The alarming food chain interruptions As supply chain issues hit retailers during the pandemic, combined with a growing interest in local food sourcing and financial hardships, more people are interested in hunting for their own food. Many states signed off on online-only hunting safety courses to get new hunters in the field during COVIDrelated shutdowns. The convenience of online training might have drawn in some new hunters, according to Pew. “COVID-19 has shown us that there are more people aside from that traditional hunter who want to get involved,” Ashley Sanchez, a public information officer with the Nevada Department of Wildlife, told Pew. Pew also notes that new, non-traditional hunters are interested in modern issues such as conservation and obtaining ethically sourced protein, writing, “Advocates want to do more to make hunting accessible and culturally relevant to broader populations.”

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Hunting Guide

Best rifles of 2021

F

ield and Stream examined 2021’s best new lightweight rifles.

Here is a selected summary of what they found in lightweight and long-range rifles.

Browning X-Bolt Mountain Pro A new carbon-fiber stock, spiralfluted bolt, and spiral-fluted, lapped sporter-contour barrel keeps the rifle under 6 pounds, and Browning added its new Recoil Hawg muzzle brake, which reduces recoil up to 77% to take the sting out of shooting high-power rounds in such a lightweight rifle. Starts at $2,399.

camouflage-green. The hand-laid carbon-fiber stock has a thumbhole grip, adjustable comb, and a new finish that helps it disappear into the landscape. You can have it for a little more than $8,100.

Savage 110 Ultralight One Savage’s several standouts in 2021 is the new 110 Ultralight, which combines a carbon-wrapped, stainless-steel Proof Research barrel to a skeletonized, blueprinted 110 receiver with spiral-fluted bolt. The result is a mountain rifle that weighs about 6 pounds, depending on the model. Like all 110s, the Ultralight has the user-adjustable AccuTrigger and AccuStock with adjustable comb pieces and length-of-pull shims. Retails for $1,599.

Nosler M48 Mountain Carbon Rifle in 6.5 PRC Browning X-Bolt and .280 Ackley Western Hunter Long Improved Range For 2021, the company has added two new chamberings for the rifle: the 6.5 PRC and .280 Ackley Improved. Mountain Carbon rifles are built around Nosler’s Model 48 Action and feature a 24-inch Light Sendero Contour, carbon-fiberwrapped, cut-rifled barrel that is glass and aluminum pillar bedded into a carbon-fiber aramid-reinforced Mountain Hunter Stock. This goes for $3,235.

J.P. Sauer S404 Synchro XTC Camo Green Carbon Fiber Rifle J. P. Sauer & Sohn, Germany’s oldest manufacturer of hunting firearms, updates its flagship series with the introduction of the S404 Synchro XTC Carbon Fiber rifle in

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Fall Edition 2021

To build the new Western Hunter Long Range, Browning attached a heavy sporter-contour barrel to the tried-and-true X-Bolt action. The free-floating barrel is bedded at the front and rear of the action for stability and to help maintain barrel-tostock spacing for consistent accuracy. It’s more than manageable at only 7.7 pounds. Cost is $1,099.99.

Springfield Armory Model 2020 Waypoint This is a custom-quality boltaction hunting rifle with a .75-MOA accuracy guarantee. There are many options in the Waypoint series, starting with the barrel. You can choose from an all-steel version, or one that wraps the fluted 416 stainless-steel tube in a carbon-fiber jacket. It retails for $1,699.


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On The Menu Guide To Area Restaurants

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Fall Edition 2021


Scene & Be Seen

Big Boy No. 4014 comes to town Hundreds greeted Big Boy No. 4014 as it rolled into Muskogee and stopped at the Union Pacific railroad crossing at Broadway. Photos by Cathy Spaulding

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Fall Edition 2021


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Flavors of Oklahoma People satisfy their sweet tooth and barbecue craving at Flavors of Oklahoma, benefiting Women in Safe Home, (WISH). Photos by Cathy Spaulding

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Fall Edition 2021


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Celebrate Muskogee Mayor Marlon Coleman delivered State of the City Address at Hunt’s Greenspace, former site of the Hunt’s Department Store. Photos by Cathy Spaulding

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Localmotion Localmotion Fall Festival of Arts attracted families, musicians and artists to Muskogee’s Depot District. Photos by Cathy Spaulding

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