Bonus Youth Deer Hunts Offered

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Beginning deer hunters have a unique opportunity to participate in nine youth antlerless deer controlled hunts that will take place on private lands in several Oklahoma counties.

The hunts are scheduled for either mid October or late December. This year 103 bonus antlerless deer gun licenses will be drawn for youths 12 to 16 years of age who have completed their hunter education requirements.

"These hunts are on private property and should provide young hunters a great opportunity to see some deer as well as a chance to harvest a doe," said Bill Dinkines, assistant chief of wildlife for the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation.

The Oklahoma Wildlife Conservation Commission has endorsed the youth hunt program and is thankful for the landowners' willingness to participate in this program and for allowing these youngsters the opportunity to hunt on their property.

A non-hunting adult that is at least 21 years old must accompany any youth chosen for the hunts. To apply for a hunt, applicants must send the Department a four inch by six inch index card titled "Private Lands Youth Deer Hunts." The card should provide the hunter's name, date of birth, mailing address, telephone number, hunter education certification number, social security or drivers license number, the county in which they prefer to hunt and lifetime license number if applicable. The name of the non-hunting partner must also be included.

The October hunts offered include sites in Alfalfa, Canadian, Craig, Dewey, Ellis, Harmon, and Osage counties. There will also be a December hunt offered in Canadian county. Each hunter may apply for up to three hunts. If applying for more than one hunt, hunters must designate the order of hunt preference. Applications must be received at the Department no later than 4:00 p.m. on Friday, September 5, 2003.

Successful applicants will receive a notification letter in the mail about their hunt. The letter will inform them of their selection, details about the hunt and license requirements. Any youth selected for the hunt will need to purchase a $10.00 resident youth deer gun license unless they possess an Oklahoma resident lifetime hunting or resident lifetime combination license. The youth's non-hunting adult partner will not be required to possess a license of any type. Any antlerless deer harvested during the controlled hunt will be considered "bonus" deer and will not count against the youths’ annual statewide bag limit.

Applications for the Private lands Youth Deer Hunt should be sent to: Department of Wildlife, Attn: Wildlife Division-Youth Deer Hunts, P.O. Box 53465, Oklahoma City, OK 73152. For additional information concerning the hunts, contact the Department at (405) 521-2730.