Oklahoma Offers 2 Youth Bonus Deer Hunts

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Beginning deer hunters have a unique opportunity to participate in two youth controlled antlerless deer hunts that will take place on private land in Alfalfa and Osage Counties and are scheduled for October and January.

This year 22 youth will be drawn to receive one of the bonus private lands antlerless deer gun permits. To be eligible, youth must have completed their hunter education requirements prior to applying and must be 12-16 years old at the time of their scheduled hunt.

"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 we are thankful for the landowners' willingness to allow these kids the opportunity to hunt on their property."

To apply for a hunt, applicants must send the Department a 4" by 6" index card with the following information:

* Hunter's name
* Date of birth
* Mailing address
* Telephone number
* Hunter education certification number
* Social security or driver's license number
* Their order of hunt preferences: Osage County (October 1-3) & Alfalfa County (January 7-9)
* Lifetime license number if applicable
* A non-hunting adult (licensed or unlicensed) who is at least 21 years old must accompany the youth, and must also be listed on the index card

Youth who will be 16 years of age at the time of the hunt, who are required to have a hunting license, may possess an apprentice-designated license; however, the non-hunting adult accompanying an apprentice-designated hunter must possess a valid Oklahoma resident or nonresident hunting license, lifetime hunting license, or lifetime combination license and be hunter education certified, unless otherwise exempt.

The envelope/card should be labeled "Private Lands Youth Deer Hunt" and should be mailed to: Department of Wildlife, Attn: Wildlife Division-Youth Deer Hunts, P.O. Box 53465, Oklahoma City, OK 73152. Applications must be received at the Department by 4 p.m. Friday, August 20, 2010.

Applicants that are successfully drawn will receive a notification letter in the mail about their hunt the following week. The letter will inform them of their selection and provide details about the hunt and license requirements.

Selected resident youth will need to purchase a $10 resident youth deer gun license unless they possess an Oklahoma resident lifetime hunting or resident lifetime combination license. Selected nonresidents will need to purchase a $206 nonresident deer gun license.

Any antlerless deer harvested during the controlled hunt will be considered a bonus deer and will not count against the youths' combined season limit.

For additional information concerning the hunts, contact the Wildlife Department at (405) 521-2739.