Archery Season Offers Ample Time to Head to the Woods

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Coming off a record setting archery season, deer hunters are looking forward to the opening of the archery deer season on October 1. During the 2004 archery deer season, bowhunters harvested 14,639 whitetail deer, topping the previous record of 14,278 set in 2002. The archery harvest was 16 percent of the total deer harvest.

Running from Oct. 1 to Jan. 15, deer archery season offers more than 100 days of hunting. The first of Oklahoma's big game seasons, the archery deer season attracted more than 81,000 Oklahoma hunters last year.

With few exceptions, the majority of Oklahoma’s more than 75 public wildlife management areas are open to deer archery hunters for all or part of the season. The following is a short list of wildlife management areas with good bowhunting opportunities – for a complete list or to view the Department’s award-winning online maps, log on to wildlifedepartment.com.

* Whether you enjoy wetting a line or stalking the woods for deer, Keystone Wildlife Management Area is hard to beat. Just a quick drive southeast from Tulsa, the area offers over 16,000 acres of river bottomlands, mixed grass prairie and open water.

* Head north on state highway 177 and you will run into Kaw Lake near Ponca City. If you walk into the rolling hills of the Kaw Wildlife Management Area you will find good deer hunting and you are likely to bust a covey a bobwhite quail.

* In southcentral Oklahoma, Hickory Creek Wildlife Management Area offers great scenery and top-notch deer hunting. Located about 15 miles south of Ardmore, the area offers more than enough timber and creek bottoms for bowhunters.

For more information about public hunting areas pick up a copy of the "2005-06 Oklahoma Hunting Guide.” Hunters can also find updated check station locations, antlerless dates and zones, and a wealth of other information in the guide or by logging on to the Department's Web page at wildlifedepartment.com.