Holidays Mean Additional Antlerless Deer Hunting Opportunities For Sportsmen Throughout Oklahoma
Hunters having withdrawals now that deer gun season is over will be happy to know that, for the seventh year in a row, they will have an additional six days of antlerless deer gun hunting during the holidays.
The season dates will be right before the Christmas and New Year’s Day holidays — Dec. 19-21 and Dec. 26-28. Most of the state will be open to antlerless hunting those days, excluding most of the panhandle and portions of southeast Oklahoma. For a map of Oklahoma’s antlerless deer hunt zones and to see which counties will be open for the holiday antlerless deer gun season, consult page 21 of the “2008-09 Oklahoma Hunting Guide.”
“The holiday antlerless deer season is a good chance to get more venison in the freezer as well as have a good time with family during the holidays,” said Jerry Shaw, big game biologist for the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation. “Additionally, it helps the Wildlife Department accomplish some important deer harvest objectives.”
Shaw said the cool weather the state has been experiencing may increase deer use of agricultural fields during the antlerless season, which could help hunters see more deer while afield.
With deer muzzleloader and deer gun season behind them and archery season open through Jan. 15, hunters have been having a successful season both on public and private land across the state. Following deer gun season, preliminary harvest numbers were up 16 percent from last year.
To participate in the holiday antlerless deer gun season, resident hunters must possess a valid hunting license and a fishing and hunting legacy permit, unless exempt, as well as a holiday antlerless deer gun license. Resident lifetime hunting or combination license holders are exempt from purchasing these licenses. Resident youth hunters 16 or 17 years old must purchase a hunting license, and a $10 youth holiday antlerless deer gun license is available for all youth under 18 years of age.
Nonresident deer hunters are exempt from a hunting license, but they must possess a nonresident holiday antlerless deer gun license and a fishing and hunting legacy permit or proof of exemption. Nonresident lifetime license holders are not exempt from purchasing deer licenses.
In addition, hunters participating in the holiday antlerless deer season must comply with the hunter orange requirements for the regular deer gun season. Archery hunters and those hunting most other species in open holiday antlerless zones must wear either a hunter orange hat or upper garment while hunting.
To learn more about this year’s antlerless deer season, refer to the “2007-08 Oklahoma Hunting Guide” or log on to wildlifedepartment.com.