January 19, 2014

The Optima National Wildlife Refuge is in the center of the Oklahoma panhandle, nearest the small town of Hardesty.  The refuge was created in 1975.

"The refuge provides an island of prime habitat for resident species such as white-tailed deer, coyotes, Rio Grande turkeys, quail, and many others. Because of its important habitats, Optima National Wildlife Refuge is a migratory stopover and summer home to many species of songbirds and raptors."


It's clear that this wildlife refuge was meant to include the water backed up by a small dam to provide a flyway stopover.  The dam was built, but there is no water.  There are no facilities here, and the management of this refuge is controlled from another refuge in Oklahoma.

Hardesty is the nearby town, but if you need any supplies you should stop in Guyman.



About five miles south of Hardesty is the Schultz state wildlife management area.

"Schultz WMA covers 306 acres in southeastern Texas County in the Oklahoma panhandle. Located just south of Hwy. 412 (south of the town of Hardesty), the area is a mixture of upland and floodplain habitats.  Side oats and buffalo grass predominate on upland sites. Bottomlands consist of salt cedar and cottonwood. The average annual precipitation for the area is about 17 inches."




last edit: 1/20/2014