Just east of Kaw Lake in the rolling hills of Osage County is the oil-boom town of Shidler, at the intersections of Highways 11 and 18. Known today for large cattle ranches, Shidler hit its heyday in the 1920s with one of the largest oil finds in the country at the time.

Today you will see a blend of oil-field workers and working cowboys around town. You don’t have to look very hard to see cowboys complete with chaps, spurs and hats eating lunch in a local restaurant; or workers fresh in from the oil fields that are seeing a resurgence in activity.

A blend of the old with the new is what you'll find today as you enter Shidler from the west on Highway 11. The newest attraction, Prairie Rattler Winery, is on the north side of the highway. Stop by and sip the wines in the sipping room. Just east of the winery on the south side of the road is The Bivin Garden. Ray and Mollie Bivin constructed their home on six acres of nearly uncultivated prairie in November of 1981. In June 1982, they started preparing the landscaped garden and now have reached their goal of spacious lawns, numerous flowerbeds and hundreds of trees and shrubs. The visitor can enjoy perennials and annuals in abundance and several ornamental ponds May through September.

Shidler is home to John Payne, The One Arm Bandit & Company, PRCA Entertainer of the Year for an unprecedented eight consecutive years. John, his son, Lynn, and daughter, Amanda (Mandy) have performed their rodeo act throughout the USA and Canada. Stop for a bit of lunch in Mandy’s Café where you’ll find “real cowboys” chowing down on the daily special or a burger with fries.

The view of the rolling Osage hills is beautiful from Shidler’s nine-hole golf course southeast of town.

Shidler is also the west entrance to the Tallgrass Prairie Preserve, an effort by The Nature Conservancy to preserve the last remaining tallgrass prairie in the world. Bison roam freely there and over 700 plant species have been identified, as well as a number of breeding birds and birds of prey.

Go to for information on the many events including the annual car show. If you're looking for a quiet spot in Oklahoma to spend a few hours, or a few days, visit Shidler. For more information phone the Shidler Chamber, 918-793-4171 or go to their website,

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April 23, 2017
10:29 pm US/Central


64º F

Current Conditions:

Sun - Sunny, High: 68
Mon - Sunny, High: 75

Focus On Fishing

Hey Kids, the annual Focus on Fishing event will be held at Northern Oklahoma College Cove on Kaw Lake on May 13, 2017.  Northern Oklahoma College Cove is located on the west side of Kaw City, Ok just south of state Hwy 11.  There will be food, fun and fishing all morning long so plan now to attend this fun event.  More details will be posted on this web site as they come available or you can contact the Kaw Lake Assn at 580-762-9494.

Campgrounds Open

Major camping areas at Kaw Lake are now open and overnight campsites are available.  Beginning 1 April contract gate attendants and the National Recreation Reservation System will be available at Sarge Creek, Coon Creek, Osage Cove and Washunga Bay.  The Kaw Lake Assn invites you to come and enjoy some fabulous spring camping at beautiful Kaw Lake. Spring crappie and sand bass fishing as well as spring turkey hunting is some of the best anywhere.  


© 2008 Kaw Lake Association