Controlled Hunts Offer Unique Opportunities

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When most sportsmen think about Oklahoma hunting, they think about the staples - deer, turkey and quail. But there is also some very unique opportunities available to Oklahoma hunters. Just imagine crawling over rolling granite mountains in pursuit of a trophy elk or stalking a pronghorn antelope on a wind-swept plain.

“The Wildlife Department’s controlled hunts program is one of our most popular programs, and it’s no wonder why - these hunts not only provide hunters with some special opportunities, but they often have a fairly high success rate,” said Alan Peoples, wildlife chief for the Department.

Peoples pointed to the recently completed buck antelope controlled hunt in the panhandle.

“Fifty hunters were drawn, forty-five hunters participated and 43 hunters went home with a buck. That’s a 96 percent success rate. I’d take those odds any day,” Peoples said.

The controlled hunts program offers a wide variety of highly desirable hunts through a random drawing each spring. Some hunts are held to provide high-quality hunting experiences on high-profile areas where it is necessary to regulate hunting pressure and others are held to achieve other management goals for certain species.

If you’re interested in applying for next year’s controlled hunts, there’s a way you can improve your chances for submitting a successful application.

The staff at “Outdoor Oklahoma,” the official magazine of the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation, is gathering all the numbers you need to know to up your odds of being drawn

A special article, which will appear in the January/February issue, will provide a comprehensive look at the odds for successfully drawing each of the controlled hunts. The article will break down each hunt in terms of available permits compared to the number of applicants, and then list the individual odds for successfully drawing a permit to participate in each hunt.

“The goal of the article is to help applicants decide which controlled hunts might offer them the best chances for getting drawn,” said Nels Rodefeld, “Outdoor Oklahoma” editor. “For example, a hunter stands a better chance of drawing a cow permit at the Wichita Mountains elk hunt than they do for drawing a bull permit. We hope that prospective applicants will use the information in the article to improve their odds for participating in the controlled hunts program.”

The January/February issue of “Outdoor Oklahoma” will be available for $3 at the Department’s headquarters at 1801 N. Lincoln in Oklahoma City and is also available at the Department’s regional offices. You can also subscribe to “Outdoor Oklahoma” for $10/year, or $18 for two years. To subscribe to “Outdoor Oklahoma,” call (800) 777-0019 or log on to

For more information about “Outdoor Oklahoma” magazine, call (405) 521-3856.