1. Staff

Russell Stevens Articles

How Chronic Wasting Disease Affects Deer Hunting

Chronic wasting disease attacks the brains of white-tailed deer, mule deer, elk, moose and caribou. Hunters can help reduce the spread of CWD in infected areas by eliminating practices that encourage deer-to-deer contact and participating in state-organized deer population reduction plans.

Prescribed Fire Is Essential to the Land

Prescribed fire, grazing and rest are integral processes for maintaining the integrity, stability and beauty of the biotic community in the Southern Great Plains and throughout the U.S.

Find Out Why and How to Burn at Great Plains Fire Summit

Many decisions go into planning a safe and effective prescribed burn that meets your management goals. You will need to determine your burn objectives and consider the weather as well as personnel and equipment needs. You’ll also need to prepare firebreaks, something that ranks high on the list to safely conduct a burn.

How Often Should You Conduct Prescribed Burns?

There are many reasons why property owners use prescribed fire. The most common reasons are brush management, wildlife habitat management and forage improvement for livestock. Since the effects of...

Common ag practices key for pollinators, grassland birds

Tools and processes that encourage plant diversity are essential.

Grazing for wildlife, livestock involves many factors

Grazing management and wildlife management largely address plant community management with considerations involving interconnected, dynamic systems.

Review of grazing practices could benefit wildlife

If wildlife is deemed an important component of an operation, the key is to apply grazing with wildlife habitat needs in mind.

Pond dam repair offers opportunity to improve design

Improving spillway design can help reduce or eliminate future problems.

Signs That You Have Feral Hogs

The first step to controlling feral hogs is to recognize the signs that you have them on your property.

New prescribed burn insurance protects landowners

Liability has always been a concern for landowners using or considering the use of prescribed fire. Surveyed landowners report liability as one of the major reasons they do not use prescribed fire in their property management.

Processing your deer extends the hunt

Harvesting a deer yields a significantly larger quantity of meat, and putting meat in the freezer is important for many hunters. Yet most deer hunters take their deer to a processor and miss out on an opportunity to extend their hunting experience.

Key steps facilitate formation of associations

With the increased publicity regarding controlled burning and wildlife management associations, some people have expressed interest in forming an association but do not quite know where or how to begin.

Management associations support regional improvement

Currently, 17 associations exist in Oklahoma for prescribed burning, and more will be formed with assistance from the Oklahoma Prescribed Burn Association.

Drought must be considered when applying prescribed fire

Fire is a natural process to which plant communities have adapted. Drought, which in recent years has been a major issue in the Southern Great Plains, is also a natural process to which these plant communities have adapted.

Association represents prescribed burn practitioners

Many landowners already use prescribed fire for accomplishing their management goals. However, most landowners do not, due to fear of liability as well as a lack of knowledge, labor and equipment.

Cooperatives support wildlife goals

Have you considered the effects on the buck population when an area is chopped up by many different landowners and infiltrated by several deer hunters who want to shoot a buck?

Are Drought and Fire the Great Equalizers?

This question developed during a farm visit while discussing fence line contrast of rangeland between a property that had been well managed for years and a neighboring property. Our objective was to evaluate rangeland health of forage for cattle and sheep, and wildlife habitat following the impacts of 2011 - drought and wildfire.

Spring Harvest Management for Rio Grande Turkey

The drought and excessive heat has had a significant impact on Rio Grande turkey recruitment. Many landowners who saw fewer turkeys during the fall and winter are convinced that the impact was negative.

Fish Population Renovation During Drought

If your pond is low, this might be the perfect time to renovate poor or marginal largemouth bass, bluegill and channel catfish populations or eliminate undesirable fish such as bullheads, common carp, warmouth and green sunfish. If your pond is dry, you will need to make plans to deepen it before stocking fish next spring when, hopefully, it's full again.

Pond Renovation During Drought

Landowners are often tempted to take advantage of droughts by deepening or enlarging existing ponds when water levels drop low enough or when ponds dry up completely. This can be an opportunity to increase water supply for fisheries and livestock, but certain factors should be considered before spending money and time deepening or enlarging a pond.

Increased Buck Survival Through Better Management

If you are willing to pass up a few bucks next year, you may begin to wonder what will happen to them during post-rut.

The Feral Hog in Oklahoma

Introduction Oklahomans have enjoyed or cursed feral hogs (Sus scrofa) in the southeastern and eastern parts of the state for several years. Oklahomans in many other areas of the state are following...

Fish Pond Water Quality: As Simple as Chemistry 101

Water quality is one of the most overlooked aspects of pond management - until it affects fish production.

Think Before Planting Food Plots

Food plots can be used to increase visibility of deer for hunting or other purposes. Although popular, food plots do not always accomplish intended deer management goals. Several factors should be evaluated to ensure the success of food plots.

Quality of Native Plant Forage Species Important to White-tailed Deer and Goats in South Central Oklahoma

Deer or goat production can be viable enterprises for many landowners. In many areas, native forb and woody plant communities are capable of meeting the nutritional requirements of deer and goat....

Think About Use Before Constructing Ponds

Many landowners are building and stocking new ponds, as well as re-stocking old ponds that dried up, with fish to increase water reserves and provide fisheries for family enjoyment or income. It's good to take time to consider all of the values that ponds have to offer before actually beginning the dirt work.

Spotlight and Daylight Cruise Survey of Deer: Collecting and Interpreting Data

Introduction White-tailed deer are the primary game animal in Oklahoma and Texas, which means a substantial amount of interest is dedicated to them. A variety of companies makes everything from...