The Land Rush of 1889 brought "Sooners" to Oklahoma. These pioneers wanted land in the state so badly they jumped the gun and rushed to settle unassigned tallgrass prairies. While the term "sooner" once carried negative connotations, now the "Sooner State" embraces the nickname that stands for its innovative, hardworking people and vast open spaces.
Oklahoma still retains the spirit of the west. A large state, seemingly without borders, invites you to roam free and enjoy the beauty and adventure it offers. Cowboys remain part of the state’s western heritage. On the same land where riders drove cattle over a hundred years ago, ranchers tend herds on massive pastures that support Oklahoma's top agricultural commodity. The state ranks fourth in the nation in cattle production. In Oklahoma, you can hit the trail and ride off into the afterglow of a magnificent magenta sunset surrounded by postcard views.
Oklahoma is also a land of Native American nations. With 39 nations once inhabiting the state, its natural resources and wild game are widely regarded. The Arbuckle Mountains to the west is a landscape that pours out great waterfalls, amazing lakes and lots of wilderness. Turner Falls Park highlights one of Oklahoma's most beautiful waterfalls and popular swimming holes. Incredible deer populations attracted the Native Americans long ago, and the attraction remains today for hunters and landowners pursuing big Sooner State bucks as they enjoy diverse, multiple tag seasons.
The Ouachita National Forest in Oklahoma's southeastern region entices hunters and anglers from across the state to fish waters like Broken Bow Lake. Excellent waterfowl hunting and hike-in turkey hunting draw outdoorsmen back into these woods. The Black Fork Mountain Wilderness challenges hikers with its huge oak forests and sandstone bluffs. The area has no official trails, is considered difficult terrain and is a prime example of the adventure, wildlife and solitude Oklahoma is known for.
Across the state in the panhandle region of the northwest, Black Mesa rises 5,000 feet above Oklahoma's red soil, and it's the tallest point in the state. Backpacking is popular here and offers views of mixed-grass, sand-sagebrush prairies.
Venturing west, this rugged, "no man’s land" region brings you to places like Cimarron Bluff Wildlife Management Area. Hunters traverse barren rolling hills of red clay and follow streams flowing through the property. Emerging into a grove of cottonwood, soapberry trees and scrub brush you may find great dove, bobwhite quail and whitetail hunting in the salt flats.
Oklahoma is an untamed land where the past meets the present. That old spirit of the West is still alive and free today.
Antelope, Elk, Whitetail Deer, Black Bear, Turkeys