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County
Hemphill
Region
Panhandle Plains
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Gene Howe Wildlife Management Area
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Gene Howe Wildlife Management Area Overview:
The Wildlife Management Areas includes the 5,394 acre WMA located along the Canadian River 12 miles east of Canadian, Texas, and the 880 acre Pat Murphy Unit located approximately 4 miles south of Lipscomb, Texas. The unit is approximately 66% sandsage and mid-grass rangeland, and 33% cottonwood and tallgrass bottomland. This WMA is used by teachers, scientists and students for educational and research purposes. Wildlife includes prairie and western massasauga rattlesnakes, bobwhite and scaled quail, Rio Grande turkey, lesser prairie-chicken, white-tailed deer, mule deer, coyote, bobcat, black-tailed jackrabbit, raccoon, eastern cottontail, black-tailed prairie dog, feral hog, Mississippi kite, mourning dove, Texas horned lizard, and burrowing owl. Activities on the units include hunting, prairie dog town viewing, fishing, primitive camping, hiking, birding and horseback riding.Activities vary by unit.All visitors must register upon arrival at the registration building which is open 24/7. The WMA is open year round, except the entire area is closed for special hunts.
 
Gene Howe Wildlife Management Area Canadian Unit #755, 5,886 Acre Unit:
The 5,394 acre WMA is located along the Canadian River. Habitat in the northern portions of the refuge feature rolling sand hills, tall grasses, and sand sagebrush. The bottomlands consist of tallgrass meadows and strands of eastern cottonwood and Russian olive trees. The TPWD purchased the lands in 1950 and 1951 for the purposes of wildlife management, public use, and research. Common plant species in the sand sage/mid-grass habitat type include sand sage brush, sand plum, fragrant sumac, little bluestem, sand bluestem, and blue grama. Dominant plants found in the cottonwood/tallgrass habitat type include eastern cottonwood, netleaf hackberry, black locust, big bluestem, switchgrass, Indian grass, and alkali sacaton. The Big Tree Trail leads to a giant cottonwood tree known as the “Big Tree” by native Americans, the cavalry and pioneers traveling the stage road from 1870-1890. Wildlife species include bobwhite quail, scaled quail, Rio Grande turkey, lesser prairie-chicken, white-tailed deer, mule deer, coyote, bobcat, black-tailed jackrabbit, raccoon, eastern cottontail, black-tailed prairie dog, feral hog, burrowing owl, Mississippi kite, Texas horned lizard, mourning dove, prairie rattlesnake, and western massasauga rattlesnake. Gene Howe management practices include prescribed grazing. The five separate herds of cattle are managed by two cowboys. Visitor activities include primitive camping, biking, horseback riding, birding, fishing, hiking and wildlife viewing. The WMA offers special permit hunting for white-tailed deer, feral hog (gun only) and Rio Grande Wild Turkey. Trapping, horses and ATV use are prohibited. There are no restrooms or potable water. Visitors must sign in and out at the registration building which is open 24/7. The WMA is closed to non-hunting visitors during special permit hunts. The WMA is located west of Lake Marvin on FM 2266, approximately 12 miles east of Canadian. From U.S. 83N /U.S.60, turn right (east) on FM 2266 and go about six miles to the registration and information station. 
 
Gene Howe Wildlife Management Area, Pat Murphy Unit #705, 880 Acres, Lipscomb:
This 880 acre tract was donated to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department by Mr. W.A. "Pat" Murphy of Lipscomb, Texas. Primary purposes of the unit include wildlife management, public use, and research. Habitat consists of 432 acres of mid-grass prairie, 368 acres enrolled in CRP and 89 acres of creek bottom. 256 acres in the CRP have been restored to native mid-grass prairie. The cottonwood lined Plum creek transverses the WMA. Common plant species in the mid-grass prairie include sand sage brush, sand plum, sideoats grama, little bluestem, and blue grama. Wildlife species include bobwhite quail, scaled quail, Rio Grande turkey, lesser prairie-chicken, pronghorn, white-tailed deer, mule deer, coyote, bobcat, black-tailed jackrabbit, raccoon, eastern cottontail, Texas horned lizard, mourning dove, prairie rattlesnake and western massasauga rattlesnake. The north area observation blind is located in the Middle Pasture overlooking a prairie dog town. Students, teachers and scientists use the Murphy Unit for instructional, educational and research purposes. Fishing is limited to a few pools in Plum Creek. Fish species include bass, sunfish, catfish and carp. Hiking is permitted though there are no designated hiking paths, though a still in use oilfield road exists. Hunting for mourning dove, quail, rabbits and hares is permitted by special permit; onsite registration is required for all hunters. Only authorized vehicles are permitted on the WMA. There are no restrooms or potable water. Camping, horses, and ATV and vehicle use are prohibited. The WMA is managed by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. Open year round except during Special Permit hunts. Visitors must sign in and out at the registration kiosk located on the west side of SH 305 at the WMA entrance. (806) 323-8642. The WMA is located near the Oklahoma/Texas border. From Canadian, take U.S. 60 east to Glazier. Go north on SH 305 and drive to the WMA. From Lipscomb, go south on SH 305 for 3.7 miles to the gate.    
 
Canadian River:
The Canadian River, the largest tributary of the Arkansas River, rises near Raton Pass in Colorado and near the New Mexico border. It flows south and southeasterly separating the Llano Estacado in northeast New Mexico and northwest Texas from the northern High Plains. The river is approximately 760 miles long; approximately 190 miles of the river are located in Texas. The river enters Texas near the midpoint of the western boundary of Oldham County. It crosses the Texas Panhandle, flowing eastward and northeastward through Oldham, Potter, Moore, Hutchinson, Roberts, and Hemphill Counties. Particularly in its lower reaches in Oklahoma, the riverbed contains great amounts of quicksand; this and the deep gorge make the river difficult to bridge. The North Canadian River, a tributary of the Canadian, rises in New Mexico; it briefly passes through Texas before entering Oklahoma. The mouth of the Canadian River is located on the Arkansas River, 20 miles east of Canadian, Texas in Haskell County, Oklahoma. According to some sources, the river's name came from early explorers who thought that it flowed into Canada. Among the Canadian's principal tributaries in Texas are Big Blue, Tallahone, Red Deer, Pedarosa, Punta Agua, Amarillo, Tascosa, and White Deer Creeks. The Texas portion of the Canadian River is noted for archeological sites where extensive remains of Pueblo Indian culture have been found. Large collections of artifacts and records from all of the WPA excavations and many other projects are on file at the Panhandle-Plains Historical Museum in Canyon, Texas. Artifacts from W. C. Holden's early studies and F. E. Green's excavations at sites within the Lake Meredith area are located at Texas Tech University in Lubbock. Artifacts from other excavated sites at Lake Meredith are located at the Texas Archeological Research Laboratory, University of Texas at Austin. Small collections and notes from other surveys are on file at the National Park Service office in Fritch, Texas. The river is dammed to form Lake Meredith forty miles northeast of Amarillo, 10 miles west of Burges, and near Fritch, Texas.  Fish Stocking History   
 
Gene Howe Wildlife Management Area Directions & Map:
Canadian Unit:  Take U.S. 60 east to Glazier. Go north on SH 305 and drive 11 miles to the WMA.
 
Lipscomb Unit:  Go south on SH 305 for 3.7 miles to the gate.