Opportunities Still Available for Deer Hunters

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Much of the state, except for the far southeast and the panhandle, will have three days of antlerless-only gun hunting running from Dec. 31 through Jan. 2. Hunters should consult the antlerless deer hunt zone map on page 14 of the “2004-05 Oklahoma Hunting Guide” to determine which areas will offer the special antlerless deer gun seasons.

"I hope everyone will take the opportunity to participate in this special season. Much of the small decrease we have seen in the deer harvest this year can be attributed to a decrease in the number of does harvested," said Mike Shaw, wildlife research supervisor for the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation. "By increasing the antlerless deer harvest, hunters will be helping to balance the state's deer population with available habitat, improve buck to doe ratios, reduce agricultural depredation and reduce deer/vehicle collisions. The most sound management strategy that can be employed in many areas is to harvest more antlerless deer."

Hunters who participate in the special antlerless deer gun season must possess a special antlerless deer gun license in addition to their annual hunting license. Lifetime hunting and combination license holders are exempt and do not need to buy the special antlerless deer gun license.

The statewide season limit during the special antlerless deer gun season is one antlerless deer. All hunters participating in the special gun season must comply with the same blaze orange requirements as set forth for the regular deer gun season, as well as tagging and checking requirements. Archery deer hunters and those hunting other species (quail, squirrel, pheasant, etc.) must wear either a blaze orange hat or vest in areas open during the special antlerless deer gun season.

To learn more about the special antlerless gun season and deer management in Oklahoma, consult the “2004-05 Oklahoma Hunting Guide” or log on to the Wildlife Department’s Web site at www.wildlifedepartment.com.