It's not easy to spot an Oklahoma brown tarantula. These spiders spend most of their lives inside burrows. However, starting from late August, they leave their hideouts and can be seen on short grass prairies and crossing roads. Fall is mating season for tarantulas so males venture out in the wild to look for females.
Brown tarantulas are quite large, reaching about five inches (13 cm) from leg to leg. Despite their size and fearsome looks, tarantulas are usually harmless to humans. Their venom, however, is capable of killing insects.
The spiders prefer open areas and sandy soil types. So they are more common in western parts of the state where the climate is arid. The area around the city of Hollis is known for tarantula abundance. Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge is another good place to look for them. Tarantulas are most active right before sunset.
By the arrival of cold weather, tarantulas are usually gone. Males rarely live long after mating and could even be eaten by their partners. Females mostly stay in their burrows as they lay from 100 to 1000 eggs each year.