Archery Season Offers Ample Time to Head to the Woods

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No more excuses about not having enough time to hunt.

Opening day of archery deer season is October 1 and it is followed by over three full months of hunting opportunity.

The season runs from Oct. 1 to Jan. 15, allowing more than 100 days of hunting. The first of Oklahoma's big game seasons, the archery deer season, attracted more than 88,000 Oklahoma hunters last year.

“Archery season is just about here. It looks like the post oak acorn crop is going to be pretty good this year, so that may be a good place to look for early season deer activity,” said Mike Shaw, wildlife research supervisor for the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation.

Shaw added that early reports from spotlight deer surveys are showing a fair number of fawns.

During the 2002 archery deer seasons, Oklahoma bow hunters enjoyed their best season ever, harvesting a record 14,278 deer. The archery harvest contributed 14 percent of the total deer harvest.

Before heading afield, hunters will want to be sure to pick up a copy of the “2003 Oklahoma Hunting Guide" available at all license dealer locations.

Several significant regulation changes will take effect this year. Perhaps of most interest to archery hunters is that archery season will no longer be closed during deer gun seasons. Hunters should pick up a copy of the “Guide” to find out exactly what is needed to hunt with a bow during the 16-day deer gun season. In past years, deer hunters could still use archery equipment during the nine-day deer gun season, however they were required to possess a deer gun permit. This year’s change will allow archers to hunt throughout the 16-day deer gun season on their deer archery permit. Numerous hunting season changes have also been made to wildlife management areas across the state.

Hunters can also find updated check station locations, antlerless dates and zones, and a wealth of other information in the “2003 Oklahoma Hunting Guide,” or by logging on to the Department's Web page at wildlifedepartment.com.