The Selman Bat Watch

The Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation puts on the Selman Bat Watch annually, which the other half and I have been attending the last two years. The Selman Wildlife Management Area is outside of Freedom, Oklahoma, and contains millions of Mexican free-tail bats in a nursery cave. The cave was explored several years ago, but the researchers apparently did not want to attempt a return trip through the over seven feet of guano that have built up in it.

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The area is only open for viewing in July, when groups are bused out three nights a week to watch a bunch of bats black out the sky in an awesome display.

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Well, okay, these ones didn’t black out the sky. The adult bats fly in a tighter formation and fly out before the pups, some of which are pictured below.

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The second-most important part of the trip, however, is obviously the free water, since even temperatures in the 100’s won’t deter avid batwatchers like us.

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Before the bat watch, most visitors go on a tour of Alabaster Caverns, which is one of the largest gypsum caves in the United States.

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Some of the signatures and drawings in the cave date back to the 1800s.  No word on the date these bunnies were drawn.

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You can even walk around on a nature trail where you can drool over the sand plums and complain about how prairies are mismanaged.

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If you have never tried sand plum jelly, make sure you have really good friends willing to help you reach into the thorns. Trust me, it’s worth it.

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For more information on the Selman Bat Watch, visit their website here.


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