Monday, January 9, 2012
I park on the northern edge of the area along a lonely, seldom-used county line road, and as Jenny and I start hunting down toward the river bottom (and toward the direction of the prison, which sits across the river) I happen to look back at the parking area and notice one of those official-looking white vans that scream "government vehicle" parked directly behind my truck. I'm still close enough to notice that the driver is eyeballing me through a pair of binoculars.
"Who the hell are those guys and why are they watching me?" I ask myself as he puts down his binoculars and resumes driving, slowly, on down the road. I shrug my shoulders and promptly forget about it as the dog and I continue hunting a brush-choked draw that leads down into the riverbottom.
Three hours, numerous miles and zero quail later, we work our way back up out of the bottom toward the road when I notice that same damn van parked behind my truck again. Once again, they eyeball me for a few minutes before slowly pulling out of the parking area and cruising on down the road.
Odd behavior, for sure, and I wonder if one of the inmates at the prison has decided incarceration is a bummer. It's actually a fairly routine occurrence, not like this prison is Alcatraz. Once or twice a year someone gets happy feet, and the fleeing inmates generally fall into one of two distinct categories: those smart enough to slip into the small town adjacent to the prison and quietly steal a car, or those who climb the fence and blindly run like hell to the north across the WMA.
The former generally at least make it back to a major metropolitan area before getting recaptured, while the latter spend a few very uncomfortable nights wandering aimlessly around the prairie before being spotted by a rancher and picked up.
So maybe it's not just the dog and me out here, after all, because there sure as hell aren't any other quail hunters.
Sure enough, when I get home and check the news, I discover that nope, we weren't alone...
From the Oklahoman
An Okmulgee County man who escaped from a prison in Fort Supply remained missing Saturday, Warden Marvin Vaughn said. Michael Weber, 50, was last seen at an inmate count about 9 p.m. He was still missing at the next count taken at 10 p.m. Weber is serving a five-year sentence for two counts of possession of a stolen vehicle in 2009 in Okmulgee County. He began his sentence in October 2009 and was to be released in August 2013.
Weber is 5-foot-9 and weighs about 170 pounds. He has numerous tattoos on his arms, legs and back.
The William Key Correctional Center in Fort Supply is a minimum-security prison housing about 1,100 inmates. Deputies from the Woodward County sheriff's office are assisting in the search.
As of Monday morning, Monsieur Weber, much like Monsieur Colinus virginianus, has evaded all attempts to locate him and is still hiding out somewhere in the wilds of far northwest Oklahoma. He sleeps with the quail. And where that may be I have no idea...
Posted by Chad Love at 11:25 AM