WICHITA MOUNTAINS NWR
A stop at the Forest Service offices on the north end of Dexter, Texas will yield good road directions to wend you into the refuge. Wichita Mountains NWR is a must see granite peaked preserve plunked in the imperfect flats north of the Texas border with Oklahoma. Oak encrusted granite outcrops surround a high rolling plateau of forest and prairie with several moderate to large impounded lakes scattered about. The refuge is just north of Fallon, Oklahoma and can be reached by 115 from the south or 49 from the SW or East. Route 49 rather erratically bisects the refuge running from east to west, and there are several paved and unpaved side roads that go to lakes and peak trails.
This refuge was one of the initial herd expansion sites for the American Bison. Original breeding stock came from the Bronx Zoo at a time when it was one of only two remnant herds. Strangely enough for a wildlife refuge, they also have a large herd of Texas Longhorns. Also keep your eyes peeled for deer, elk and coyotes. At the Black-tailed Prairie Dog Pullout you may see loving interactions or if you are very lucky a young one might rear up to full height and throw out a loud and comical squeal of delight. A second prairie dog town is at the entrance to an interesting old stone Indian Christian passion play center on a refuge inholding.
Numerous Lark Sparrows with their almost comma shaped tail flash feathers and Scissor-tailed Flycatchers can be seen flying from the high fences. Mississippi Kites are also present in summer and the refuge is great feeding area for migrant raptors including Golden Eagles which have been seen picking off the occasional Wild Turkey from fall through spring. Ducks also come through in fair numbers during migration. There is a large modern Visitors Center near the middle of the refuge if you need the help of a naturalist.