We are excited to welcome Spencer Beard who joins Hagerman National Wildlife Refuge as the new Park Ranger-Visitor Services Manager. Spencer is originally from Oklahoma and attended Oklahoma State University where he received a bachelor's degree in Natural Resource Ecology and Management. Afterwards, he attended Southwestern Oklahoma State University where he earned a master's degree in Education with a focus on Parks and Recreation Management. For the past four years, Spencer has served as a Natural Resource Specialist-Lead Park Ranger for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) in Indiana. Prior to that he was an employee of the National Park Service at Capulin Volcano National Monument as a Visitor Use Assistant, Park Guide, and Biological Science Technician. He also spent time with the Park Service at Chickasaw National Recreation Area, Oklahoma, as a Visitor Use Assistant.

Mr. Beard brings excellent skills to his new position including managing volunteers, developing and presenting environmental education and interpretive programs, managing social media accounts, working with television and print media, writing, and has dealt with on-site visitation of more than 1-million persons annually at his current location.

From Spencer: My real name is Edwin Spencer Beard VIII but I go by Spencer. I have been hooked since the day I started working for the federal government as a summer park ranger at Chickasaw National Recreation Area back in 2011 while studying at Oklahoma State. This September I was serving a 4 month detail position for the Corps of Engineers in Eugene Oregon when life handed me a wild card I'll never forget. I got engaged in the Redwood Forest and a week later accepted a new role with the US Fish and Wildlife service at Hagerman National Wildlife Refuge. I have arrived in Sherman Texas and will be working to build some great relationships in the Texoma area. Hopefully I can catch a few fish and find some old coins and relics with my metal detector along the way!

The New Education Pavilion is Nearly Completed!!

It took 49 dump truck loads to bring in the 490 yards of dirt needed to level the area and the slab required 46.5 cubic yards of concrete! It looks great, the contractor and his grandson did a great job.  The pavilion is plumbed and wired but won’t have water and electricity right away.  Hopefully students will be able to have classes in our amazing pavilion as soon as the Visitor Center opens!

Thank you to everyone who supported this magnificent project!

Refuge Update:

The refuge is beautiful this time of year! The hiking trails are wonderful and the snow geese are beginning to arrive. 

Notice: Due to the Coronavirus, the Visitor Center remains closed.  Refuge lands remain open to the public from sunrise to sunset daily.  Restrooms are located at Goode Day Use Area, the Visitor Center, Big Mineral Day Use Area and Sandy Point Day Use Area. 

Upcoming Hunt Information, Closures and Applications

Archery Deer Hunt

November 5-7, Nov 19-21 and December 3-5

Areas Closed: Big Mineral, Sandy, and Godwin.

Feral Hog Hunt

March 46, 2022, Mar 18–20, 2022

Areas Closed: Big Mineral, Sandy, Godwin, Goode, Meyers, and SE Harris Creek.

Spring Turkey

April 22–24, 2022 Areas Closed: Big Mineral, Sandy, Godwin, Meyers, and SE Harris Creek

Our First Facebook Auction was a Big Success!

A big thank you to all who participated in the first Friends of Hagerman on-line auction. The event was a huge success--raising almost $6,000!!! This money will be used to further educational programs at Hagerman. Thanks to those who gave items, to those who solicited gift certifications, to those who helped with the physical part of the auction, to those who monitored the FB page and especially to my committee: Patricia Crain, Pat Crone, Donna Rogers, and Cindy Steele and Judy Wilkins.

Cathy Van Bebber

Bluestem Master Naturalist

Did You Know?  By Master Naturalist David Parsons

Smaller orb weaving spiders (as compared to mygalomorphs and mesothelae; the truly big spiders of the planet) are able to take down vertebrates. In fact, the prey for orb weavers tends to be tiny reptiles. This is quite remarkable, but, this morning I found proof in my own back yard in Grayson County. Behold, this yellow garden spider (Argiope aurantia) snagged a lizard!

Above: A yellow garden spider snags a Lizard

Right: The aftermath

Photos by Master Naturalist David Parsons


Another Orb weaver's catch: a moth and a Gulf Fritillary

Photo by Master Naturalist Laurie Sheppard


Wild Mammals of Grayson County—Order Chiroptera (Bats)

By Master Naturalist Bryon Clark

The Order Chiroptera (Bats) is the second most speciose mammalian order in the world with about 1,400 species, of which 33 species in four families occur in Texas.  A characteristic shared by all bats is true flight; no other mammal has this trait although several species (e.g., Southern Flying Squirrel, Flying Lemur, Sugar Glider) have the ablity to glide.  About 75% of all bats species in the United States can be found in Texas; however, only nine species in two different familes occur in Grayson County.  Bats are nocturnal but may be active during the crepuscular hours of dawn and dusk.  To find prey items and avoid...

Hagerman Photo Club Presents: Wildlife Photo Hacks

with Michael Keck

Register  Nov 20, 2021 01:00 PM Central Time (US and Canada)

So you like to photograph wildlife, but don't want to spend a fortune on gear. Mike Keck's program provides tips for photographing birds, reptiles, and amphibians on a (somewhat) reasonable budget.

Dr. Michael B. Keck has been photographing wildlife with SLR cameras for about 40 years. His wife, Trish, and he run a small photography business in their spare time, wherein they specialize in portraits, weddings, and pet photography. Michael is a biology professor at Grayson College. He earned his Ph.D. in Quantitative Biology from the University of Texas at Arlington, where he studied reptiles and amphibians.

Second Saturday: Chickasaw History and Culture

With Wilson Seawright, Archivist

November 13th, at 10:00 AM Online via ZOOM

We will examine Chickasaw history and incorporate some comments relating to Native American influences in North Texas.

Wilson Seawright is an Archivist with the Chickasaw Cultural Center in Sulphur, Oklahoma. He is a Graduate of East Central University in Ada, OK. with a BA in Education, and later with a Master’s degree in Human Service Administration. He is currently the Vice President & Past President of the Board of Trustees of the Greater SW Historic Museum in Ardmore, OK, and is the Secretary of the Board of Directors for the Southwestern Historic Foundation.

Winners from the 2021 Friends of Hagerman NWR Photo Contest will be announced.

Puddles' Craft Corner

Talkin' Turkey Craft

By Cindy Steele, Master Naturalist

Welcome back to Puddles’ Craft Corner. Gobble, Gobble! When we think of turkeys we often think about the Fall season and the Thanksgiving Holiday. Who doesn’t remember making fun turkey crafts in school while anticipating our Thanksgiving school break and the smell of turkey cooking in the oven?

But turkeys aren’t just for Thanksgiving. They are an interesting species of birds. Turkeys are one of most popular and recognizable birds in the United States. In fact, it was almost our national bird. As the story goes, Benjamin Franklin wanted the national bird to be the wild...

Birding with Jack

Updated, Weekly Census Results

By Master Naturalist Jack Chiles,

Master Naturalist Mike Petrick and 

Dr. Wayne Meyer (Pictured Right)

Each Tuesday a team of experienced birders, including Master Naturalist Jack Chiles, traverse 35 miles of refuge roads and hiking trails, documenting every bird they encounter. This Bird Census is reported to The Cornell Lab of Ornithology for use in research, and each week we will bring you a link to their actual bird count, and a summary of their adventures.

Oct 26: Bird Census Results

Today was a cloudy cool fall day. Great weather for the bird census. Our first stop of the day was Raasch Trail, behind the maintenance buildings. We were fortunate to come upon a mixed flock of feeding birds just past the bridge. We saw numerous House Finches feeding on Ash seed pods. Also in this area we saw Downy Woodpeckers, a Pine Warbler, Orange-crowned Warblers, Ruby-crowned Kinglets, Red... 

Read More       

Shop Amazon Smile to Support the Friends of Hagerman

Amazon SmileDid you know that you can support the Friends of Hagerman while shopping on Amazon? If you shop on Amazon using this Amazon Smile link, the Friends will receive 0.5% of eligible purchases. Simply go to smile.amazon.com and sign in with your Amazon account. Under "Your Account" select "Change your Amazon Smile Charity" and enter "Friends of Hagerman" in the charity search box. Once your results appear, select the Friends of Hagerman National Wildlife Refuge Foundation. Every time you make a purchase on Amazon Smile, the Friends will get a donation. Thanks for helping us make Hagerman a great wildlife refuge!

Kroger: Stop by the customer service desk at Kroger and link your Kroger Card to the Friends of Hagerman: the Friends will get rewards for every dollar you spend, at no cost to you.

Thank You

To Our Contributors:

Master Naturalist Jack Chiles,  

Master Naturalist Cindy Steele,

Master Naturalist Bryon Clark,

Master Naturalist David Parsons, 

Master Naturalist Laurie Sheppard, 

and Kathy Whaley, Refuge Manager

Refuge Manager: Kathy Whaley

Deputy Refuge Manager: Paul Balkenbush

Editor: Master Naturalist Patricia Crain

Friends of Hagerman NWR Foundation

6465 Refuge Road, Sherman, TX 75092

Phone: 903-786-2826

Contact Us  


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