Sandy Sanders Wildlife Management Area
The Sandy Sanders Wildlife Management Area near Erick is a 25,000-acre preserve of pristine prairie in western Oklahoma. This area features everything from uniform flatlands to adventurous terrain. Three creeks flow across the area and a variety of on-site ponds attract a wide array of wildlife including deer, bobcat and golden eagles. Known for its beautiful wildflowers, excellent bird watching and hiking opportunities, visitors can utilize the trails April through August. Hunting season runs from September through March.
Roads throughout Sandy Sanders are unpaved, but well-graded for passenger vehicles as long as the roads are dry. This wildlife haven features species such as Lark sparrow, Cassin's sparrow, grasshopper sparrow, green-tailed Towhee and mourning dove, as well as Mississippi Kite, Northern Harrier, red-tailed hawk and Golden Eagle.
Northern Bobwhite can also be viewed atop rocks or fenceposts, as well as Western and Eastern meadowlarks, American Kestrel, Bewick's Wren, Great Blue Heron and more. Travel to the southern end of the Sandy Sanders Wildlife Management Area for a prairie dog town. White-tailed deer are also common, and black-tailed jackrabbits are often seen scurrying about the area. Coyotes and Prairie boomer lizards also call this area home.
Patches of little bluestem are interspersed with sideoats-grama, juniper, willow, dotted gayfeather, yucca and a fascinating assemblage of other prairie vegetation. During wet years, spring offers a festival of colorful prairie wildflowers. Take time to get out of your vehicle and walk down into the draws. Willow-lined creekbanks can harbor a variety of birds and butterflies. Also known as "the breaks," Sandy Sanders offers prime opportunities for scenic drives and photography. Daybreak affords spectacular views of the red shale formations, and colors change dramatically every few seconds as the sun breaks the horizon and moves higher into the sky.
Stop by the reserve office for a copy of the WMA roadmap. Anyone who enters this Oklahoma Wildlife Management Area must have an Oklahoma hunting or fishing license or a Conservation Passport License.