Wildlife Commission Gratefully Accepts Family's Generous Donation

Wildlife Commission Gratefully Accepts Family’s Generous Donation

The Oklahoma Wildlife Conservation Commission gratefully accepted a gift of $80,000 from Terry and Marie McQueeney of Shawnee during its regular meeting May 6 in Oklahoma City.

The donation was made through the Oklahoma Wildlife Conservation Foundation and presented to the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation, to be used for improvements to the shooting range at Lexington Wildlife Management Area. The donation is eligible for a 9-to-1 federal funding match, so it will create a total impact of $800,000.

Foundation Executive Director Rick Grundman told Commissioners that McQueeney recently was diagnosed with a serious health condition, and he wanted to support shooting sports and hunting in the state as part of his legacy.

Just weeks ago, McQueeny’s financial adviser asked the Foundation and ODWC about available opportunities to support his passions. The family selected a project to make shooting range improvements at Lexington.

Michelle McQueeney-Gau represented her father at the meeting. She told Commissioners that her parents saved their entire lives and “we are not the Rockefellers.” The reasons for the generous gift was her dad’s love for hunting and fishing, and the guidance from his financial adviser.

McQueeney-Gau said her father wanted to emphasize that if all of the state’s hunters would be able to set aside $1,000 in their estate plans to support the Wildlife Conservation Foundation, each of those gifts could generate from $4,000 to $10,000 to fund ODWC’s conservation efforts, or fishing and hunting support.

Also on Monday, Commissioners approved resolutions setting Oklahoma’s 2024-25 waterfowl seasons and antlerless deer zone harvest dates.

Bill Dinkines, ODWC Wildlife Division Chief, introduced Dallas Barber, Big Game Biologist, and Paxton Smith, Migratory Birds/Wetlands Biologist, who both said season lengths and bag limits would remain the same as last year, and the only changes in both resolutions are the calendar dates.

Dinkines said hunters have responded from the additional antlerless days and bag limit changes the Commission implemented in 2021, bringing the antlerless harvest up to around 45 percent.

Youth deer gun season will be Oct. 18-20, 2024, deer muzzleloader season will be Oct. 26-Nov. 3, 2024, and regular deer gun season will be Nov. 23-Dec. 8, 2024. Teal season will be Sept. 7-22, 2024, statewide, with a daily limit of six. Duck season in the Panhandle will be Oct. 5, 2024, to Jan. 1, 2025. Duck season in Zones 1 and 2 will be Nov. 9-24 and Nov. 30, 2024, to Jan. 26, 2025.

Also, Commissioners viewed the presentation of the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR) Patriot Award to ODWC Game Warden Lt. Col. Wade Farrar for being an outstanding employer of National Guard and Reserve members. Game Warden Chris Newkirk, based in Delaware County, nominated Farrar. Paul Ray of the American Legion presented the award and thanked ODWC and the Commission for their support of National Guard and Reserve members.

In other business, the Commission:

  • Dinkines talked about the partnership and the Departments support of the Oklahoma Prescribed Burn Association and then introduced the group’s President John Weir. Statewide since 2015, 26 OPBA chapters have conducted 1,370 prescribed burns on 447,000-plus acres.
  • Received updates on various ODWC divisions from Interim Director Wade Free, including details about an accidental shooting at Blue River Public Fishing and Hunting Area. Game Warden Zane Arnold, based in Johnston County, responded to the scene and promptly applied a chest seal to the victim to reduce bleeding. With the assistance of Johnston County first responders, the victim was stabilized and flown to a nearby trauma center. Arnold’s quick response and intervention played a crucial role in the victim’s survival.
  • Accepted a donation from Quail Forever’s North Fork Chapter to buy a fire quick remote-ignition incendiary flare kit (valued at $1,405) to aid in prescribed fire operations on western Oklahoma WMAs.
  • Accepted a $3,500 donation presented by Marshall Reigh, president of the Oklahoma Game Warden Association, supporting the annual ODWC Wildlife Youth Camp.
  • Accepted a $5,000 donation from the Oklahoma Wildlife Conservation Foundation to fund four Pneu-Dart G2 X-Caliber dart guns and supplies for ODWC’s nuisance bear response team.
  • Received a legislative update from Nels Rodefeld, Communication and Education Division Chief.
  • Recognized Wildlife Biologist Scott Cox for 30 years of service, and Fisheries Division Chief Ken Cunningham for 20 years of service.

The Oklahoma Wildlife Conservation Commission is the eight-member governing board of the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation. The Commission establishes state hunting and fishing regulations, sets policy for the Wildlife Department, and indirectly oversees all state fish and wildlife conservation activities. Commission members are appointed by the governor and confirmed by the Oklahoma Senate.

The next regular Wildlife Commission meeting is set for June 3, 2024, at the John D. Groendyke Wildlife Conservation Building, 1801 N. Lincoln Blvd. in Oklahoma City.

A video of the May 6 meeting is available on the Outdoor Oklahoma YouTube Channel at