In 1945 the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation (ODWC) created a magazine to address the interests of outdoors enthusiasts. Its purpose was to inform Oklahoma hunters, fishermen, trappers, naturalists, and wildlife conservationists about matters pertaining to wildlife in Oklahoma, about ODWC efforts to promote better hunting and fishing. It was also intended to provide a medium of information exchange for wildlife conservationists across the state. The first issue, then titled Game and Fish News, had fifteen pages and was distributed free to the public. Juanita Mahaffey, a pioneering woman in this field, was the magazine's first editor. By 1955 circulation of the magazine stood at thirty thousand. In September 1957 the publication changed its name to Oklahoma Wildlife. In September 1964 it became Outdoor Oklahoma, published bimonthly. The 2002 subscription cost was ten dollars. Outdoor Oklahoma is nationally recognized for containing some of the nation's finest photography. Each issue provides informative and pertinent articles. Under the guidance of editor Nels Rodefeld, the magazine won an average of two awards per year since 1998.
BIBLIOGRAPHY: James R. Bond, "Outdoor Oklahoma," Outdoor Oklahoma, September 1965. Roger DiSilvestro, "Hunting for Our Heritage," Outdoor Oklahoma, March April 2001. Juanita Mahaffey, "Editor's View," Game and Fish News, January 1945. Juanita Mahaffey, "We Change Our Name," Oklahoma Wildlife, September 1958. Oklahoma Game and Fish Commission, Biennial Report, July 1, 1946-June 30, 1948 (Oklahoma City: N.p., n.p., 1948). Oklahoma Game and Fish Commission, Biennial Report, July 1, 1952-June 30, 1954 (Oklahoma City: N.p., n.p., 1954).
Jon M. Hadley
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