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 wildlife management area features everything from uniform flatlands to adventurous terrain known as the "breaks." 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. The Sandy Sanders Wildlife Management Area is known for its beautiful wildflowers, excellent bird watching and hiking opportunities available April through August. This area is also open to hunters September through March.
Roads throughout the Sandy Sanders Wildlife Management Area are unpaved, but well-graded for passenger vehicles as long as the roads are dry. Come to this wildlife haven and keep your eyes peeled for species such as Rufous-crowned sparrow, Lark sparrow, Cassin's sparrow, grasshopper sparrow, green-tailed Towhee and mourning dove, as well as Mississippi Kite, Northern Harrier, Swainson's Halk, 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, Eastern Phoebe, Turkey Vulture, 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, mesquite, juniper, willow, dotted gayfeather, yucca and a fascinating assemblage of other prairie vegetation. During wet years, spring at Sandy Sanders is 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 unparalleled opportunities for scenic drives and photography. Daybreak affords spectacular views of the red shale formations, and the 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.