Oklahoma Deer Hunting

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Pre-Season Scouting
Deer Archery Season
Youth Antlerless Deer Gun
Deer Primitive Firearms (muzzleloader) Season
Deer Gun Season
Special Antlerless Deer Season
Antlerless Zones 2005 {MAP}
Deer Regulations
Record of Game (idea)
2003-2004 Sunrise-Sunset Table

Pre-Season Scouting

Probably the most important part of deer hunting is pre-season scouting.

If you are hunting public or private land out of your state or even out of your city then you need to start scouting early in the fall. When you find a spot where you find deer and you know that's where your going to hunt then the first thing you should do is to get a topo map of the area (more about topo maps in hunting grounds.

You should talk with someone familiar with the area. If you are going to be hunting public land then you can ask the local game warden, Soil Conservation officer, or someone familiar with the area. If you are going to be hunting private land then you first need to get permission of course, then you can ask the land owner, or someone familiar with the area. Ask them questions like. If, what time, and where they have been seeing deer. Ask, what have the deer been feeding on? Where is the best source of that type of foliage? Where is the best habitat that provides feeding, bedding, and cover in a localized area? While you are in the area you may want to go ahead and scout the terrain. Get an idea how the land lays, which way is the best way to enter and exit the woods to where you are going to hunt. Concentrate more on the deer movements, feeding habits and what time of day the deer are bedding down the closer it gets to season.

This page is just hit and miss on pre-season scouting. But I hope it gives you an idea on what to do when going out of your community to hunt Whitetail deer. Do a little research of your own, check out some of the links for more helpful tips and ideas.

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Archery Season

License Requirements
Resident: Annual hunting or combination license, lifetime hunting or lifetime combination license, youth hunting or youth combination license, senior citizen hunting or senior citizen combination license, a fishing and hunting legacy permit or proof of exemptions. In addition, all deer hunters must possess a deer archery license for each deer hunted or proof of exemption.
Nonresident: All nonresident deer hunters must possess a fishing and hunting legacy permit and a nonresident deer archery license for each deer hunted or proof of exemption. Holders of nonresident lifetime hunting and lifetime combination licenses are not exempt from purchasing deer licenses. Nonresident deer hunters are exempt from purchasing an annual nonresident hunting license if only hunting deer. See pg. 10 of your 2005-2006 Oklahoma Hunting Guide or click here.
Jan. 1-15: All hunters must possess a hunting license and a deer archery license for the current calendar year, unless otherwise exempt. Most annual licenses are valid from Jan. 1 to Dec. 31.


ARCHERY DATES OPEN
OPEN October 1, 2015 CLOSE January 15, 2016 Statewide

NOTE:  SEASONS ON PUBLIC LANDS MAY VARY FROM STATEWIDE SEASONS.

Archery Limit
    Four (4) deer which may include no more than two (2) antlered deer.
    During the period of Jan. 1 - Jan. 15, 2006, harvest is limited to antlerless deer only.
    Deer taken by hunters participating in archery season are included in the hunter's combined season bag limit.

Combined Season Limit
    The combined season bag limit for deer archery, youth antlerless deer, deer muzzleloader, and deer gun seasons is no more than six (6) deer per individual. This limit may include no more than three (3) antlered deer.
    Deer taken by hunters participating in special antlerless deer gun season or controlled hunts are not included in the hunter's combined season bag limit.

Legal Means of Taking
Bow: Minimum of forty (40) pounds or more draw weight. Hand-held releases are legal.
Broadheads: Hunting type points not less than 7/8 inches wide and not less than 1-1/2 inches long.
Illegal Devices: Laser sights and any device that permits a bow to be held mechanically at full or partial draw.
Firearms Restriction: No person may carry or use any firearm in conjunction with archery equipment during the archery season while hunting deer, except under provisions of the Oklahoma Self Defense Act.
    Hunters are allowed to carry both archery equipment and a muzzleloader during the muzzleloader season provided they have the appropriate licenses and follow other muzzleloader season regulations. Hunters also are allowed to carry both archery equipment and legal firearms during any modern gun season, again provided they have the appropriate licenses and follow other regulations to participate in those seasons.

Hunter Orange
    Archery hunters hunting during the youth antlerless deer gun, elk gun (in open counties), deer muzzleloader, deer gun or the special antlerless deer gun seasons (in open zones) must conspicuously wear either a head covering or an outer garment above the waistline consisting of hunter orange. Camouflage hunter orange is legal.

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Youth Antlerless Deer Gun

Age Requirements
    Youth under 18 years of age. All youth while hunting are required to be accompanied by an adult, 18 years old or older. The adult shall not gun hunt, but may archery hunt while accompanying the youth hunter. The adult hunter may not possess any firearms.

License Requirements
Resident youth under 16 years of age: Exempt from the purchase of an annual hunting license and the fishing and hunting legacy permit, but must have successfully completed a hunter education course.
    All youth deer hunters must possess a youth antlerless deer gun license or proof of exemption. Those exempt include holders of a lifetime hunting license or lifetime combination license.
Resident youth 16 and 17 years old: Must possess an annual hunting license or combination license, lifetime hunting license or lifetime combination license or proof of exemption, a fishing and hunting legacy permit and have successfully completed a hunter education course.
    In addition, youth deer hunters must possess a youth antlerless deer gun license or proof of exemption. Those exempt include holders of a lifetime hunting license or lifetime combination license.
    Nonresident youth: See Nonresident Deer Licenses section on pg. 10 of you 2005-2006 Oklahoma Hunting Guide or click here.


YOUTH DATES OPEN
OPEN October 16, 2015 CLOSE October 18, 2015 Statewide

NOTE:  SEASONS ON PUBLIC LANDS MAY VARY FROM STATEWIDE SEASONS.

Youth Antlerless Deer Gun Limit
    One (1) antlerless deer.
    Deer taken by youth hunters participating in youth antlerless deer gun season are included in the hunter's combined season limit.
    Harvest of antlerless mule deer is prohibited during the youth antlerless deer gun season.

Combined Season Limit
    The combined season bag limit for deer archery, youth antlerless deer, deer muzzleloader, and deer gun seasons is no more than six (6) deer per individual. This limit may include no more than three (3) antlered deer.
    Deer taken by hunters participating in special antlerless deer gun season or controlled hunts are not included in the hunter's combined season bag limit.

Unfilled Deer Licenses
    Youth hunters who do not harvest an antlerless deer during the youth antlerless deer gun season may use their unfilled license during the regular deer gun season to take an antlerless deer on days and in zones open to antlerless deer hunting.

Legal Means of Taking
    Equipment described as legal for deer gun season.

Hunter Orange
    Hunters participating in the youth antlerless deer gun season must conspicuously wear both a head covering and an outer garment above the waistline, both consisting of hunter orange color totaling at least 400 square inches. Camouflage orange is legal.
    Hunters participating in the youth antlerless deer gun season using archery equipment must conspicuously wear either a head covering or an outer garment above the waistline consisting of hunter orange. Camouflage orange is legal.

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Primitive Firearms (muzzleloader) Season


License Requirements
   
Resident: Annual hunting or combination license, lifetime hunting or lifetime combination license, youth hunting or youth combination license, senior citizen hunting or senior citizen combination license, fishing and hunting legacy permit or proof of exemption. In addition, all deer hunters must possess a deer primitive firearms (antlered or antlerless) license for each deer hunted or proof of exemption.
    Nonresident: All nonresident deer hunters must possess a nonresident deer primitive firearms (antlered, antlerless or combination) license for each deer hunted and a fishing and hunting legacy permit or proof of exemption. Holders of nonresident lifetime hunting and lifetime combination licenses are not exempt from purchasing deer licenses. Nonresident deer hunters are exempt from purchasing an annual nonresident hunting license if only hunting deer. See Nonresident Deer Licenses section on pg. 10 of your 2005-2006 Oklahoma Hunting Guide or click here.


Antlerless deer may only be harvested on specified days and in zones open to antlerless harvest (see pg. 14 of your 2005-2006 Oklahoma Hunting Guide or click the link below.
Antlerless Deer Hunt Zones 2005 {MAP}

MUZZLELOADER DATES OPEN
OPEN October 24, 2015 CLOSE November 1, 2015 Statewide

NOTE:  SEASONS ON PUBLIC LANDS MAY VARY FROM STATEWIDE SEASONS.

Muzzleloader Limit
    Two (2) deer, which may include no more than one (1) antlered deer and  one (1) antlerless deer.
    Deer taken by hunters participating in muzzleloader season are included in the hunter's combined season limit.

Combined Season Limit
    The combined season bag limit for deer archery, youth antlerless deer, deer muzzleloader, and deer gun seasons is no more than six (6) deer per individual. This limit may include no more than three (3) antlered deer. 
    Deer taken by hunters participating in special antlerless deer gun season or controlled hunts are not included in the hunter's combined season bag limit.

Unfilled Antlered Deer Permits
    Hunters who have not harvested an antlered deer during muzzleloader season may use their unfilled primitive firearms antlered license to harvest an antlerless deer on the last day of the muzzleloader season in zones open to antlerless harvest.
    Hunters must still comply with the limit restriction of no more than one (1) antlerless deer during muzzleloader season.
    Unfilled primitive firearms licenses are not valid during any other deer season.

Legal Means of Taking
    Muzzleloading rifles: Forty (.40) caliber or larger; flintlock or percussion cap or shotgun primer; single slug or ball; blackpowder, Pyrodex or modern smokeless powder; double barreled muzzleloader rifles; in-line muzzleloader rifles; metallic sights or optical sights are legal.
    Muzzleloading shotguns: Smoothbore muzzleloading shotguns, 20 gauge or larger and firing a single projectile are legal..

    Muzzleloading pistols: Single shot or revolver with characteristics described al legal for muzzleloading rifles are legal.
    Archery: Archery equipment described as legal for deer archery season.
    Illegal devices: Blackpowder firearms loaded from the breech, laser sights and light enhancement devices (night scopes) are illegal.

Hunter Orange
    Hunters participating in the deer muzzleloader season using a muzzleloading firearm must conspicuously wear both a head covering and an outer garment above the waistline, both consisting of hunter orange color totaling at least 400 square inches. Camouflage orange is legal.
    Hunters participating in the deer muzzleloader season using archery equipment must conspicuously wear either a head covering or an outer garment above the waistline consisting of hunter orange. Camouflage orange is legal.

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Gun Season


License Requirements
   
Resident: Annual hunting or combination license, lifetime hunting or lifetime combination license, youth hunting or youth combination license, senior citizen hunting or senior citizen combination license, fishing and hunting legacy permit or proof of exemption. In addition, all deer hunters must possess a deer gun (antlered or antlerless) license for each deer hunted or proof of exemption.
    Hunters under 18 years of age may purchase either the youth deer gun license or the regular deer gun license.
    Nonresident: All nonresident deer hunters must possess a nonresident deer gun (antlered, antlerless or combination) license for each deer hunted, a fishing and hunting legacy permit or proof of exemption. Holders of nonresident lifetime hunting and lifetime combination licenses are not exempt from purchasing deer licenses. Nonresident deer hunters are exempt from purchasing an annual nonresident hunting license if only hunting deer. See Nonresident Deer Licenses section on pg. 10 of your 2005-2006 Oklahoma Hunting Guide or Click Here.


Antlerless deer may only be harvested on specified days and in zones open to antlerless harvest (see pg. 14 of your 2005-2006 Oklahoma Hunting Guide or click the link below.
Antlerless Deer Hunt Zones 2005 {MAP}

DEER GUN DATES OPEN
OPEN November 21, 2015 CLOSE December 6, 2015 Statewide

NOTE:  SEASONS ON PUBLIC LANDS MAY VARY FROM STATEWIDE SEASONS.

Deer Gun Limit
    Two (2) deer, which may include no more than one (1) antlered deer and one (1) antlerless deer.
    Deer taken by hunters participating in deer gun season are included in the hunter's combined season limit.
    Harvest of antlerless mule deer is prohibited during deer gun season.

Combined Season Limit
    The combined season bag limit for deer archery, youth antlerless deer, deer muzzleloader, and deer gun seasons is no more than six (6) deer per individual. This limit may include no more than three (3) antlered deer. 
    Deer taken by hunters participating in special antlerless deer gun season or controlled hunts are not included in the hunter's combined season bag limit.

Unfilled Antlered Deer Permits
    Hunters who have not harvested an antlered deer during deer gun season may use their unfilled deer gun antlered license to harvest an antlerless deer on the last day of the deer gun season.
    Hunters must still comply with the bag limit restriction of no more than one (1) antlerless deer during deer gun season.
    Unfilled deer gun licenses are not valid during the special antlerless deer gun season.

Youth Antlerless Deer Licenses
    Youth hunters who do not harvest an antlerless deer during the youth antlerless deer gun season may use their unfilled youth antlerless deer gun license during the regular deer gun season to take an antlerless deer on days and in zones open to antlerless deer hunting.
    Youth hunters who have harvested and antlerless deer during the youth antlerless deer gun season may purchase another youth antlerless deer license and harvest an antlerless deer during the regular deer gun season on days and in zones open to antlerless deer hunting.

Legal Means of Taking
    Rifles: Centerfire rifles firing at least a 55 grain weight soft-nosed or hollow point bullet and having an overall cartridge case length of 1 1/4 inches or longer (9mm rifles are not legal). Clips or magazines of all .22 caliber centerfire firearms may not be capable of holding more than seven (7) rounds of ammunition.
     Muzzleloaders: Equipment described as legal for deer
muzzleloader season and blackpowder firearms loaded from the breach are legal.
     Shotguns: Twenty (20) gauge or larger, firing a single rifled slug are legal.
    
Centerfire Handguns:  Chambered for a .24 caliber or larger and 100-grain or heavier soft-nosed bullet having and overall cartridge case length of 1-1/4 inches or longer are legal (.357 or larger) and a minimum barrel length of four (4) inches.
  
  Semi-automatic Handguns: Chambered for any centerfire ammunition with a 100-grain or heavier soft-nosed bullet and having a cartridge case size of .40 cal. or larger (includes 10mm, .357 Sig., and 40 cal. or larger) and a minimum barrel length of four (4) inches.
    
Handguns chambered for any centerfire rifle ammunition: Chambered for any centerfire rifle ammunition using at least a 55-grain soft-nosed bullet and having an overall cartridge case length of 1 1/4 inches or longer and a minimum barrel length of four (4) inches.
  
  Archery: Equipment described as legal for deer archery season.
     Illegal devices: Fully automatic firearms, silencers, laser sights and light enhancement devices (night scopes) are illegal.

Hunter Orange
    Hunters participating in the deer gun season using firearms described as legal must conspicuously wear both a head covering and an outer garment above the waistline both consisting of hunter orange color totaling at least 400 square inches. Camouflage hunter orange is legal.
    Hunters participating in the deer gun season using archery equipment must conspicuously wear either a head covering or an outer garment above the waistline consisting of hunter orange. Camouflage orange is legal.

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     In addition, all deer hunters must possess a special antlerless deer license or the youth special antlerless deer gun license (under 18) or proof of exemption. This license will remain valid for the duration of the special antlerless deer gun season (including any days that extend into the following calendar year). Those exempt include holders of a lifetime hunting license, lifetime combination license, senior citizens license (65 yrs. and older), residents born before Jan. 1, 1923, and resident veterans 100 percent disabled.
    Nonresident: All nonresident deer hunters must possess a nonresident special antlerless license and a fishing and hunting legacy permit or proof of exemption. This license will remain valid for the duration of the special antlerless deer gun season (including any days that extend into the following calendar year). Holders of nonresident lifetime hunting and lifetime combination licenses are not exempt from purchasing deer licenses. Nonresident deer hunters are exempt from purchasing an annual nonresident hunting license to deer hunt if only hunting deer. See Nonresident Deer Licenses section on pg. 10 of your 2005-2006 Oklahoma Hunting Guide or Click Here.


Antlerless Deer Hunt Zones 2005 {MAP}

DATES OPEN

Refer to Antlerless Deer Hunting Zones Map on page 14 (or click here) and WMA Regulations beginning on page 30 of your Oklahoma Hunting Guide!

NOTE:  SEASONS ON PUBLIC LANDS MAY VARY FROM STATEWIDE SEASONS.

Special Antlerless Deer Gun Limit:
    One (1) antlerless deerfor both weekends combined.
    Deer taken by hunters participating in the special antlerless season are not included in the hunter's combined season limit.
    Harvest of antlerless mule deer is prohibited during the special antlerless deer season.

Combined Season Limit
    The combined season bag limit for deer archery, youth antlerless deer, deer muzzleloader, and deer gun seasons is no more than six (6) deer per individual. This limit may include no more than three (3) antlered deer. 
    Deer taken by hunters participating in special antlerless deer gun season or controlled hunts are not included in the hunter's combined season bag limit.

Unfilled Deer Licenses
    Unfilled youth antlerless deer gun, deer primitive firearms and deer gun licenses are not valid during the special antlerless deer gun season.
    Hunters participating in the special antlerless deer gun season must purchase a special antlerless deer gun license, or a youth special antlerless deer gun license (under 18) unless exempt.

Legal means of taking:
    Equipment described as legal for deer gun season.

Hunter Orange
    Hunters participating in the special antlerless deer season using firearms described as legal must conspicuously wear both a head covering and an outer garment above the waistline both consisting of hunter orange color totaling at least 400 square inches. Camouflage hunter orange is legal.
    Hunters participating in the special antlerless deer season (in open zones) using archery equipment must conspicuously wear either a head covering or an outer garment above the waistline consisting of hunter orange. Camouflage orange is legal.

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Deer Regulations

Nonresident Deer Licenses
    Nonresidents must purchase a fishing and hunting legacy permit, and may purchase an annual combination deer license for $251 that allows them to harvest one (1) antlered and one (1) antlerless deer (valid on both public and private land). The licenses are valid by season (separate licenses exist for archery, muzzleloader, and gun season).
    If a nonresident purchases one (1) of these season-specific combination licenses, they may also purchase an additional antlerless only deer license for $51. This license is only valid for the season for which it was purchased and it is valid only on private land not managed by the Department (for example, if a hunter purchases a $251 primitive firearms combination deer license, they would be eligible to purchase an additional antlerless primitive firearms deer license for $51.)
    All regular season dates and bag limits still apply, which means that additional $51 antlerless primitive firearms or gun licenses are valid only on private lands enrolled in the Deer Management Assistance Program (DMAP), since the statewide bag limit for each of these seasons is one (1) antlerless deer, not including DMAP lands on which hunters may take additional antlerless deer.
    The $51 antlerless archery licenses are valid statewide on private lands not managed by the Department (since the statewide archery bag limit allows for more than one (1) antlerless deer).
    Licenses are not transferable between seasons and none are valid during the special antlerless deer gun season, which requires a nonresident special antlerless license that costs $201.

Combined Season Limit
    The combined season bag limit for deer archery, youth antlerless deer, deer muzzleloader, and deer gun seasons is no more than six (6) deer per individual. This limit may include no more than three (3) antlered deer. 
    Deer taken by hunters participating in special antlerless deer gun season or controlled hunts are not included in the hunter's combined season bag limit.

Public Lands
    Seasons on public lands may vary from statewide seasons. Consult Wildlife Management Area (WMA) regulations beginning on page 30 of your 2005-2006 Oklahoma Hunting Guide.

Shooting Hours
    One-half hour before official sunrise to one-half hour after official sunset.

Antlered Deer Definition
    Any deer regardless of sex, with at least three (3) inches of antler length above the natural hairline on either side.

White Deer
    It is unlawful to kill a white deer without specific written permission of the Wildlife Department director.

Tagging
    Upon harvesting a deer, all annual license/permit holders are required to complete the "Record of Game" section on the back of the license form. In addition all persons, including lifetime license holders,  shall immediately upon harvesting a deer securely attach their name and hunting license number to the carcass. The attached item can be anything, as long as it contains the hunter's name and license number. This must remain attached to the carcass until it is checked at the nearest open hunter check station.

For a neat idea on how to attach your name and hunting license number to the carcass "click here"!

Checking
    The person who harvested the deer must check it at the nearest open hunter check station or with an authorized Department employee where the deer will be tagged with a carcass tag.  The carcass tag must remain with the carcass through processing and/or storage at commercial processing or storage facilities.
    Carcasses may be checked in quartered with the sex organs naturally attached and head accompanying the carcass.

More Than One Method of Take in the Field
    Hunters are allowed to carry both archery equipment and a muzzleloader during the muzzleloader season provided they have the appropriate licenses and follow other muzzleloader season regulations. Hunters also are allowed to carry both archery equipment and legal firearms during any modern gun season, again provided they have the appropriate licenses and follow other regulations to participate in those seasons.

Tracking Devices
    Telemetric radio tracking devices for deer hunting are legal. However, thermal tracking devices are illegal.

  Carcass Disposal
    No person may dump the carcass of any dead animal in any well, spring, pond, or stream of water or leave it within 1/4 mile of any occupied dwelling or public highway without burying the carcass in an appropriate manner where it is not liable to become exposed through erosion of the soil or where such land is subject to overflow.

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Q. IS CHRONIC WASTING DISEASE A
THREAT TO HUMANS?

    A. NO, OKLAHOMA VENISON AND ELK IS SAFE TO EAT!
    Media reports linking eating wild deer meat to a form of "mad cow disease" have been sensationalized, and hunters should not be worried about their venison, according to officials with the Department. A degenerative brain disease - called Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) in deer and elk was found in a captive elk herd in Oklahoma County, but has never been documented in wild deer or elk in Oklahoma. Even if the disease did exist in wild herds, there has never been a confirmed case of a hunter contracting it through hunting or eating venison.
    As a way to ensure the health of Oklahoma's deer herd, the importing of captive live deer and elk from states confirmed to show CWD in free ranging herds has been indefinitely banned.
    "Last year more than 1,400 hunter harvested deer and elk were sampled in Oklahoma and all tested negative for chronic wasting disease. To date, some 4,102 animals have been tested statewide as part of The Wildlife Department's monitoring program and all have tested negative for CWD. The Department will continue to monitor the state's deer and elk herds through additional testing."



Maximum Penalties for
Spotlighting Deer

  • seizure of vehicle

  • seizure of firearm and other equipment used

  • suspension and/or revocation of hunting and/or fishing license (including lifetime licenses)

  • minimum fines of $250 (first offense); $500 (second offense); fines may be higher than the minimums specified

  • up to one year in jail

 

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