City Council approves changes for hunting season at Lake Ellsworth

City Council approves changes for hunting season at Lake Ellsworth

LAWTON, OK (KSWO) -Lawton City Council approved an ordinance that will change when people can hunt and drive recreational vehicles at Lake Ellsworth.

Hunting season used to be open from the last Saturday in October to December 15th, but now it will be open longer from October 1st through January 15th.

The proposal came after the Lakes and Land Commission decided to make it easier for Game Wardens and officials to patrol and enforce the laws at both Lawtonka and Ellsworth during the same time periods. It was also an issue of safety.

This is one of the many areas around Lake Ellsworth that's owned by the City and open to the public for hunting.

Rick Snidow loves taking his grandsons out there to hunt dove and deer, but his favorite is turkey hunting.

"It's got some good opportunities out here," said Snidow.

But he says safety is always a big concern when on public land. Snidow says just last year, he pulled back his bow to shoot a turkey when a man drove through the wooded area.

"He was doing what you call donuts and spinning his tires about the time I pulled up to shoot the bird he just stopped right out in front of me," said Snidow. "I could have shot out the windshield or his pickup. A lot of guys like that don't take to consideration of public land and that takes away from what we do when they make ruts and tear it up."

Mark Duncan, a Chairman of the Lakes and Land commission for the City of Lawton says vehicles must always be on roadways or in the parking lots for that very reason. But now, recreational vehicles such as motorcycles, bicycles or ATV's will no longer be allowed back in the woods or on the trails during hunting season.

"October is a perfect time to ride motorcycles and we understand that, however we can't have people shooting guns or shooting bows when motorcyclists or bicyclists are riding on the trails just because of safety," said Duncan.

Snidow hopes others hunters take advantage of this longer hunting season at Lake Ellsworth, but also respect the rules and watch out for one another.

"A lot of other people appreciate this place and I really do," said Snidow.

Duncan says if anyone has questions or concerns for the Lakes and Land Commission, they have quarterly meetings and would love to hear from the community on how they can improve. If you would like to attend a meeting, Duncan says you should first contact the City of Lawton Parks and Recreation department.

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