Hunting is a way of life in the United States, and we are here to help you be as successful on the hunt as possible.
Hunting for deer in Oklahoma can be quite a rewarding trek for even the novice hunter if they understand the rules in place and they know where to look for their quarry.
White-tailed deer, species Odocoileus virginianus, are prevalent throughout all of Oklahoma. The mule deer, species Odocoileus hemionus, resides in a range limited to the panhandle and northwest portions of the state. Many environmental factors are involved in determining the population density of deer in the Oklahoma ecosystems.
Learning the factors that provide prime conditions for deer populations is one of the keys to a successful hunt. For instance, deer prefer to feed in the early morning or late afternoon hours and will be most active during these times. And while the natural habitat of white-tailed deer is dense forest, this species can easily adapt to grasslands if it is dense enough to provide cover.
When and How to Hunt Deer in Oklahoma:
The Oklahoma deer hunting season provides specific windows for specific types of deer hunting. Though dates for each section of the hunting season may vary by year, the following information taken from the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation lists the following general time frames for the designated hunting methods.
Bow Hunting: Early October through mid January
Muzzle Loading: Late October through early November
Rifle: Middle of November through early December
Where to Hunt Deer in Oklahoma:
Oklahoma leaves open thousands of acres of land available to the public for hunting use. Land is demarcated into Wildlife Management Units grouped into 10 Zones. Each W.M.A. is covered under general hunting regulations, and zone specific hunting regulations. The general regulations for deer hunting include that every hunter above the age of 16 must have a hunting license. Hunters under the age of 16 are not required to have a hunting license, but must carry the youth deer gun license. Special licensing is required for holiday antlerless hunting and archery hunting as well. To hunt with a muzzleloader requires a primitive firearms deer hunting license.
There are some sizable costs involved to the non-resident wishing to hunt in Oklahoma. Keeping in mind that each method of deer hunting involves a separate license, the non-resident hunter is looking at licensing fees of $280 to hunt deer with either a bow, a conventional firearm, or a primitive firearm such as a muzzleloader. In comparison, residents pay only $20 per deer license, and only $10 for the youth deer license.
Other Oklahoma Deer Hunting Regulations:
Oklahoma has a combined season limit to deer hunting. While the hunter is allowed to participate in bow hunting, gun hunting, or hunting deer with a muzzleloader, they are limited to six deer per individual. This limit can only include two antlered deer. Every deer must be tagged with the hunter’s information. Thereafter, the carcass must be checked online or at an open check station. For enhanced safety, hunting is only permitted from 30 minutes before official sunrise to 30 minutes after official sunset. Sportsman must also wear a minimum amount of hunter orange.
Though there are many other regulations regarding conduct during the Oklahoma deer hunting season, many of these regulations border on simple common sense. Some of these regulations cite that it is prohibited to:
+ hunt from moving vehicles.
+ shoot or attempt to fire from a public roadway.
+ waste hunt for hides, head, or antlers while intentionally abandoning the carcass.
+ use a silencer for hunting.
Regulations for the Oklahoma deer hunting season can be found online here. They are updated regularly.