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Selman Guest Ranch
Harper County

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This account written in 2007 by Eric Beck


The Selman Guest Ranch is located in Buffalo, Oklahoma.  The ranch is a 4th generation working ranch that also provides wildlife viewing and hunting opportunities for guest of their accommodations.

14,000 acres of mixed grass prairie, eight miles of creek bottom and an excellent bird habitat with a sand and salt flat nesting area. Many species can be viewed, from Snowy plovers, Least Terns and Lesser Prairie Chicken, to many migratory birds such as a large variety of hawks and falcons and occasionally Golden Eagles and Bald Eagles. You will also see Cassin's, Rufous-crowned, Field, Grasshopper, and Harris's Sparrow. The ranch is working with the USFWS to improve the overall habitat, especially for the Lesser Prairie Chicken.

Large swaths of mixed grass prairie containing little bluestem, buffalo grass and other natives are abundant. Sandsage brush is also abundant, which is why Lesser Prairie Chickens can be found booming here in the early spring. These grasses also provide ample habitat and cover for a large population of Northern Bobwhites.

Not only does the ranch contain large tracts of native grasses but it is also divided by a number of spring fed streams and creeks. Sleeping Bear, Buffalo, and Sand Creek all intersect the ranch land. Along these streams are large stands of old Cottonwoods that harbor Warbling Vireos, three species of orioles, countless sparrows, Eastern Screech-Owls and various other species throughout the year. These stream meander through the ranch and eventually end up spilling into the Cimarron River. Other habitats on the ranch include beaver ponds and cattail marshes, as well as small mesquite stands that attract species such as ladder-backed woodpecker and ash-throated flycatcher at their far eastern distributional limits.

The Cimarron River and its floodplain add another significant habitat type to this lands repertoire. There is a large salt flat that encompasses approximately a mile and a half of river bottom. These flats are consistently home to large breeding populations of the Federally Endangered Least Tern and an Oklahoma Category II species the Snowy Plover. During the spring and fall migration shorebirds are also abundant with sightings of Dunlin, Western Sandpipers, and Bairdís Sandpipers not uncommon.

Prime areas available for birding include cottonwood gallery forest along several perennial prairie streams, a several hundred acre salt flat along the Cimarron River, cattail marshes, ponds, gypsum buttes, cliffs, mesquite flats and acres and acres of midgrass and shortgrass prairie. The ranch is situated where East meets West geographically, and both Eastern and Western species nest here. Selman Ranch protects a population of Lesser Prairie Chickens, Least Terns, Snowy Plovers and a host of grassland birds. Winter is famous for the waterfowl, shorebirds, Swans, Owls and other wanderers.

Accommodations at the ranch include camping under the stars and a guesthouse which was originally the train depot in Selman, OK. Bob Selman moved it to the ranch as a home for his in-laws to live in and to be close to his wife Wilma. Now it sleeps six and has it's own bathroom and kitchen with a small but growing Library. Sue Selman does all the cooking. Many of her dishes come from old family recipes. Everyone loves her homemade Jellies and bread.

Contact the ranch at (580) 256-2006 or info@selmanguestranch.com

 

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Copyright © 2009 Tulsa Audubon Society
Last modified: September 21, 2009

 

 

 

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