Oklahoma Hunting News

Deer Gun Season Looks Promising
Falling leaves and falling temperatures signal one thing to Oklahoma hunters, the much-anticipated deer gun season is right around the corner. Running Nov. 23 through Dec. 1, the deer gun season is undoubtedly Oklahoma's most popular hunting event in terms of overall participation. Modern firearms hunters also enjoy the greatest success in terms of harvest.
Mixed Ballot Results for Animal Rights Groups
Arkansas voters appear to have overwhelmingly rejected Initiated Act 1, a poorly worded animal cruelty act opposed by the state's sporting and agriculture communities. In Oklahoma, animal rights groups successfully banned cockfighting with the passage of Ballot Question 687 by a vote of 56 percent to 44 percent. At the same time, they defeated Ballot Question 698 that would have raised the bar to qualify future ballot issues attempting to restrict animal uses. In Florida, animal rights organizations successfully championed a constitutional amendment granting special rights to pregnant hogs.
Big Game Report Available
Hunters can find just about everything they want know about last year's Oklahoma big game seasons in the 2002 Big Game Report, which is part of the September/October issue of "Outdoor Oklahoma," the official bi-monthly magazine of the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation. In 2001 sportsmen harvested 101,635 deer, just under the previous year's record of 102,100. The report also outlines where and how the big bucks were harvested.
Bonus Youth Deer Hunts
Beginning deer hunters have a unique opportunity to participate in 10 youth controlled antlerless deer hunts that will take place on private lands in several Oklahoma counties. The hunts are scheduled for either mid October or late December. Approximately 130 bonus antlerless deer gun licenses will be drawn for youth 12 to 16 years of age who have completed their hunter education requirements.
Controlled Hunt Results Coming Soon
The moment of truth is drawing near for applicants in the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation's Controlled Hunt program. The results of the drawing will be announced on July 22. Hunters will be able to find if they were drawn by logging onto www.wildlifedepartment.com or by visiting a regional Department office.
Youth Hunter Challenge
Forty seven youth hunters and 60 volunteers participated in this year's final Youth Hunter Education Challenge (YHEC) at the Oklahoma City Gun Range. The event was the culmination of several YHEC events held statewide this spring. YHEC is an event designed to give young hunters or shooters up to the age of 19 a chance to test their skills in shooting and hunting sport. Participants must be hunter education certified and may participate in shotgun, archery, and rifle events. They also are tested on their knowledge of wildlife species, knowledge of regulations and hunting ethics.
Deer and Elk Import Ban Proposal
In an effort to protect Oklahoma's deer herd against the spread of diseases from outside states, personnel from the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation will recommend that the Wildlife Conservation Commission suspend the importation of deer and elk from states where chronic wasting disease (CWD) has been identified in free ranging deer.
Controlled Hunts Deadline
It is that time of year again. Time for hunters to submit their controlled hunt applications offered by the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation. Those interested in applying have until May 3. We're approaching the home stretch," said Melinda Sturgess-Streich, chief of administration for the Department. "We want to remind everyone that applications must be made by May 3, or they will not be accepted."
Deer Season is Oklahoma's Biggest Attraction
It attracts more participants than the busiest day of the Oklahoma State Fair and the Tulsa State Fair -- combined. It attracts more Oklahomans than the number of football fans attending sold out home games at Lewis Field, Owen Field, and Skelly stadium --- combined. And although it may surprise many, the state's largest single-day recreational attraction is the opening day of Oklahoma's deer gun season.
Primitive Deer Harvest Likely Down; Gun Outlook Better
Deer hunting across the state has been slow and biologists are reporting that although some hunters have had good success, they anticipate the rut is still ahead.