Ever dream of an epic hunting adventure? Look no further than Oklahoma! From majestic deer to sneaky turkeys and even playful squirrels, Oklahoma’s got it all. Dive into the state’s rich landscapes, where each hunt becomes a tale to remember. Whether you’re a pro or just starting, Oklahoma’s hunting scene is sure to capture your heart.
In this detailed guide, we have covered everything you need to know about hunting in Oklahoma. You will find hunting seasons, license information, species information, and the best places to hunt them right here.
What Can You Hunt in Oklahoma?
Oklahoma is truly a hunting paradise. The state boasts a large population of white-tailed deer, admired by hunters for their meat and antlers. Wild turkeys, though elusive, are another sought-after game, abundant in both public and private hunting grounds.
For those seeking a greater thrill, black bears present an unparalleled hunting experience, although they come with specific regulations. Oklahoma also offers plenty of small game hunting options, including squirrels, rabbits, and quail.
With its numerous lakes and ponds, the state is a haven for waterfowl hunting enthusiasts. Beyond game animals, Oklahoma allows the hunting of predators like coyotes, bobcats, and mountain lions with the appropriate licenses.
There are two types of deer in Ohio: White-tailed deer and Mule Deer. White-tailed deer hold the title of Oklahoma’s most beloved big game, a surprising fact given their near-disappearance a century ago.
These graceful creatures are versatile, living across various Oklahoma landscapes, though they have a soft spot for open woodlands. Habitually, they tread familiar routes to their meals, usually grazing at dawn and dusk.
Whitetails possess impressive defenses: acute hearing and a keen sense of smell. But their most astonishing asset? Their ability to sprint up to 40 miles per hour, effortlessly leaping over forest hurdles. If that’s not enough, they’re skilled swimmers too, often using waterways as escape routes from threats.
Deer Season Oklahoma
|Archery||Oct 01 – Jan 15|
|Muzzleloader||Oct 28 – Nov 05|
|Gun||Nov 18 – Dec 03|
|Youth Gun||Oct 20 – Oct 22|
|Holiday Antlerless Gun||Dec 18 – Dec 31|
Holding the title of North America’s second-largest antlered beast, the elk boasts a weight range from 700 to 1,000 pounds. Standing about 5 feet high at the shoulder, it’s distinguishable by its pale winter coat and rich brown mane.
While these majestic creatures predominantly roam western North America, in Oklahoma, you’ll spot them in areas like the Wichita Mountains National Wildlife Refuge and within Pushmataha, Cookson Hills, Spavinaw, and Cherokee wildlife zones. Additionally, smaller gatherings grace private territories in Kiowa, Comanche, and Caddo counties.
Elk Season Oklahoma
|Elk Archery||Oct 01 – Jan 15|
|Elk Muzzleloader||Oct 28 – Nov 05|
|Elk Gun||Nov 18 – Dec 03|
|Elk Youth Gun||Oct 20 – Oct 22|
|Holiday Antlerless Elk Gun||Dec 18 – Dec 31|
|Archery (Southwest Zone)||Oct 07 – Oct 11, Dec 09 – Dec 13|
|Muzzleloader (Southwest Zone)||Closed|
|Gun (Southwest Zone)||Oct 12 – Oct 15, Dec 14 – Dec 17|
|Youth Gun (Southwest Zone)||Oct 20 – Oct 22|
|Antlerless Gun (Southwest Zone)||Nov 18 – Dec 03, Jan 01 – Jan 31|
Unique to America, pronghorn antelopes aren’t found anywhere else on the globe. Oklahoma boasts healthy numbers of this exceptional species.
Famed for their astonishing speed, pronghorns can race up to 70 miles per hour, earning them the title of North America’s fastest creatures. But it’s not just speed they count on; their sharp eyes and attentive noses are crucial for prairie survival.
These majestic beasts thrive in the vast expanses of the American West, even where other wildlife might struggle. In Oklahoma, the picturesque terrains of Cimarron and Texas counties are where these fast runners can be admired, and they’re plentiful enough to offer hunting seasons for enthusiasts.
Antelope Season in Oklahoma
|Antelope Archery||Oct 01 – Oct 14||——-|
|Antelope Gun (Landowner/Controlled Hunt Permit)||Aug 31 – Sep 03||Either Sex: Special Draw only|
|Antelope Gun (Controlled Hunt Permit)||Sep 04 – Sep 13||Doe only: Special Draw|
|Antelope Gun (Landowner Permit)||Nov 25 – Jan 15||Doe only: Special Draw|
Hunting black bears in Oklahoma is a thrilling and rewarding experience that requires skill, patience, and an understanding of these majestic animals. The bear population has been increasing every year making the state a popular destination for hunters.
The hunting season typically runs from October to November each year, with archery, muzzleloader, or modern firearms being used to hunt them. However, baiting or using dogs is prohibited by law when hunting black bears.
In order to hunt this species successfully, you must obtain a special permit along with your regular license as the state wildlife department issues only a limited number through a lottery system each year – ensuring sustainable management of their numbers so they won’t be overhunted.
The primary habitat for these beasts in Oklahoma is mainly found in the Ouachita Mountains region which provides ideal conditions for thriving populations due to its heavily forested landscape.
When going after one, it’s essential to familiarize yourself with how they behave; usually active during dawn and dusk but can also be spotted during daytime hours. They have a great sense of smell yet poor eyesight so scent control techniques should be implemented if possible.
Black Bear Season
|Archery||Oct 01 – Oct 15|
|Muzzleloader||Oct 28 – Nov 05|
In Oklahoma, the wild turkey showcases three distinct subspecies: Eastern, Rio Grande, and Merriams. Where their habitats cross, hybrids emerge. Tipping the scales, mature male turkeys, or toms, can weigh over 20 pounds.
Characterized by long legs and wide wings, these birds are nimble on foot and impressive in flight. An elongated neck helps boost their alertness and field of view. Blessed with sharp eyesight and acute hearing, both male and female turkeys can be lured by a hunter’s call.
Still, only the toms are fair game during the fall and spring hunting seasons. As hunters, differentiating between genders is vital. Typically, males boast a more prominent, darker, and more vibrant appearance than their female counterparts.
Turkey Season Oklahoma
|Fall Turkey Archery||Oct 01 – Jan 15|
|Fall Turkey Gun||Nov 04 – Nov 17|
|Spring Turkey||Apr 16 – May 16|
|Spring Turkey Youth||Apr 13 – Apr 14|
Ready to kick off your outdoor experience with a crack at some squirrel hunting? It’s the perfect way for newcomers to hone their shooting skills with small rifles and airguns.
In the Sooner State, you’ll spot two kinds of tree-dwellers: the eastern fox squirrel and the gray one. The former is larger – weighing up to three pounds – sporting an eye-catching mix of brown, orange, and grey on its back; they’re usually easy enough to find in most parts except the western panhandle.
On the other hand, the eastern gray packs a more subtle look donning a grey coat, white belly plus hints of white around its tail tip while mostly sticking within east Oklahoma bounds.
Foodwise, these critters are known for dipping into acorns, hickory nuts as well as seeds & berries whilst also munching bugs here & there when necessary! Plus each type can even give birth twice yearly, giving rise to litters consisting of 3-5 youngsters apiece.
|Squirrel||May 15 – Feb 28|
Oklahoma is home to three rabbit species: cottontail, swamp, and jackrabbit.
Cottontails, weighing between 2-4 pounds, have a mix of tan, brown, and gray fur, with white under-tails and feet. They love places with brush, swamps, or briar patches. Their food? Green plants in summer and woody plants in winter. They’re found everywhere in Oklahoma and have up to five litters between February and September.
Swamp rabbits are a bit heavier at 4-6 pounds. Their fur is short and sleek, but their color matches the cottontail. They’re fond of watery areas like marshes. Eating grasses and shrubs, they breed from mid-February to September and live mainly in the eastern third of the state.
The black-tailed jackrabbit, common in the West, weighs 4-7 pounds. With buff-brown fur, white underparts, and black tail tops, they love alfalfa and other crops. They thrive in open lands and have up to four litters yearly.
|Rabbit||Oct 01 – Mar 15|
Oklahoma is home to two quail species: the widespread northern bobwhite and the scaled quail, primarily seen on the state’s western fringes, including the panhandle. These birds prefer staying grounded, munching mostly on seeds and bugs. Quail hunting in Oklahoma has deep roots.
Although recent data indicates a decline in quail numbers across the state, a pattern mirrored across the southeastern U.S. – Oklahoma remains a hotspot. It’s among the rare states where hunters can still find a good number of wild quail.
Over the past half-decade, yearly hunts have yielded a remarkable 200,000 to 500,000 quail, placing Oklahoma consistently among the top three states in quail hunting success.
|Bobwhite & Scaled Quail||Nov 11 – Feb 15||10 per day|
Coyotes are infamous for their slyness and adaptability, making them one of North America’s most successful predators. You can find these cunning creatures all over Oklahoma; they inhabit grasslands, forests, and even cities! They feed on small mammals like rabbits and rodents as well as deer occasionally.
When hunting coyotes, you have to keep a few things in mind. First off, make sure you’re fully licensed – not only is it important legally but it also helps maintain healthy populations of coyotes through conservation efforts.
Calling techniques work best when trying to attract them successfully by mimicking howls or whines from an electronic call or your mouth – this will lure them close enough for a shot! Also, decoys are great too, curious little critters that they are – if it looks like prey, then chances are they’ll investigate further within firing range.
But remember that hunting coyotes aren’t easy; with their keen senses, there’s no way to hide human presence if caution isn’t taken so use scent control products and camouflage clothing wisely. Patience and skill come into play here more than anything else so be prepared before hunting in Oklahoma.
|Coyote||Jan 01 – Dec 31|
Feral Hog Season
|Feral Hog||Jan 01 – Dec 31|
|Pheasant||Dec 01 – Jan 31|
|Beaver||Jan 01 – Dec 31|
|Badger||Dec 01 – Feb 29|
|Raccoon||Jan 01 – Dec 31|
|Nutria||Jan 01 – Dec 31|
|Striped Skunk||Jan 01 – Dec 31|
|Gray & Red Fox||Dec 01 – Feb 29|
|Bobcat||Dec 01 – Feb 29||10 per license|
|Mink||Dec 01 – Feb 29|
|Muskrat||Dec 01 – Feb 29|
|Opossum||Dec 01 – Feb 29|
|Weasel||Dec 01 – Feb 29|
|River Otter||Dec 01 – Feb 29|
Sandhill Crane Season
|Sandhill Crane||Oct 21 – Jan 21|
|Mourning, White-Winged & Eurasian Collared Dove||Sep 01 – Oct 31, Dec 01 – Dec 29||15 per day|
|Crow||Oct 10 – Nov 16, Dec 09 – Mar 04||No Limit|
|September Teal||Sep 10 – Sep 25|
|Regular Season Panhandle Counties||Oct 07 – Jan 03|
|Regular Season Zone 1 and 2||Nov 11 – Nov 26, Dec 02 – Jan 28|
|Youth/Military Panhandle Counties||Sep 30, Feb 03|
|Youth/Military Zone 1 and 2||Nov 04, Feb 03|
|Canda Goose Special Resident||Sep 09 – Sep 18||8 per day|
|White-fronted Goose||Nov 04 – Nov 26, Dec 02 – Feb 04||2 per day|
|Dark Goose||Nov 04 – Nov 26, Dec 02 – Feb 11||8 per day|
|Light Goose||Nov 04 – Nov 26, Dec 02 – Feb 11||50 per day|
|Light Goose Conservation Order||Feb 13 – Mar 30||No Limit|
|Woodcock||Oct 28 – Dec 11||3 per day|
|Virginia & Sora Rail||Sep 01 – Nov 09||25 per day|
|Gallinule||Sep 01 – Nov 09||15 per day|
|Wilson’s Snipe||Sep 30 – Jan 14||8 per day|
Oklahoma Hunting License Information
If you’re looking to hunt in Oklahoma, securing a hunting license is essential. Oklahoma has distinct rules to promote wildlife conservation and safe hunting. Here’s a rundown:
License Types: Depending on age, where you live, and what you’re hunting, Oklahoma provides different licenses, like ones for residents, non-residents, youths (under 18), seniors (65 and above), and even lifetime licenses.
Hunting Seasons: The Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation (ODWC) sets specific seasons for different animals. Always check the ODWC’s guidelines for exact dates.
Hunter Education: Most hunters must complete an education course focused on firearm safety, conservation, and hunting rules. Some might get exemptions based on age or past hunting experience.
Licensing Process: You can buy licenses online via the ODWC site or at approved sellers in Oklahoma. You’ll need personal details, and if you’re claiming residency, proof might be necessary.
Fees: Costs for licenses differ based on residency and the type of license. The ODWC site lists these fees. An Annual resident hunting license costs $32 while a lifetime license costs $625 in The Sooner State.
Additional Permits: Certain animals, like deer or turkey, might need extra permits, which could have separate fees or application processes.
Regulations: Before hunting in Oklahoma, acquaint yourself with the state’s hunting rules, including bag limits, allowed hunting tools, and specific area guidelines.
Where Can You Hunt in Oklahoma?
Oklahoma is home to an abundance of great hunting spots, from the expansive Ouachita National Forest to the steep canyons and rocky cliffs of the Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge.
Whether it’s big game like deer and bear, waterfowl at Great Salt Plains National Wildlife Refuge, or upland birds in Black Kettle National Grassland – there’s something for everyone.
For a more luxurious experience, private hunting ranches and clubs offer guided hunts with all the bells and whistles you could ask for! With such variety across Oklahoma’s landscape – this state has quickly become one of the premier destinations for hunters everywhere.
Public Hunting Places in Oklahoma
Great Plains State Park
Hunting in Great Plains State Park is a unique experience, with an abundance of wildlife ranging from white-tailed deer to wild turkeys and even black bears. With its expansive terrain and peaceful atmosphere, each hunt becomes a thrilling adventure. For those seeking more of a challenge, bowhunting in designated areas provides the perfect opportunity for testing your skillset!
Safety is always important when hunting here – all participants must complete safety courses prior to their outing while wearing bright orange clothing at all times.
Osage Hills State Park
Located in Oklahoma, Osage Hills State Park offers a thrilling hunting experience for all skill levels. Spanning 1,100 acres of rolling hills, dense forests, and open fields – this park is home to an array of game species. Whether you’re looking for a trophy buck or some fresh venison – with the proper licensing and following state regulations, you’ll find what you need!
White-tailed deer are plentiful throughout the park but that’s not all; turkey, quail, rabbit, and squirrel can also be found here. Don’t forget about waterfowl hunting either! The park has several ponds which attract ducks and geese from far away.
Ouachita National Forest
At Ouachita National Forest, you can embark on the ultimate hunting adventure. Spanning over 1.8 million acres of rolling hills and dense forests, it’s a paradise for any outdoor enthusiast looking to hunt deer, turkeys, bears, or small game. With more than 700 miles of trails and designated areas perfect for your pursuit – you won’t have trouble finding that secret spot where luck’s sure to be in your favor.
Before heading out into the wilds of Oklahoma though; check in with the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation website first for all necessary permits and licenses!
It pays off to do your due diligence when it comes to safety too. Bring blaze orange clothing along with a comprehensive first aid kit as an extra precautionary measure so you can focus fully on enjoying yourself without worry while navigating through this remote destination.
Also, make sure you have all the right gear suited specifically towards whichever type of game species is up on your list today – whether rifle or bow hunting is what gets that adrenaline pumping.
Deep Fork National Wildlife Refuge
Located in central Oklahoma, Deep Fork is a sprawling 10,000-acre haven with diverse habitats and abundant wildlife. From deer to turkey and waterfowl to small game – this refuge has something for everyone who loves the outdoors. But what sets it apart from other hunting destinations is its commitment to conservation and sustainable practices.
The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service manages the refuge so that all forms of life remain balanced while also providing hunters an opportunity to enjoy their sport responsibly without compromising on environmental protection or animal welfare standards.
Deer hunting is particularly popular at Deep Fork due to over 7,000 acres designated specifically for them; across varied terrain ranging from thick forests through open prairies – even amateur hunters can find success here!
For a real challenge though – don’t miss out on turkey season when Easterns as well as Rio Grandes flock into these parts looking for food or shelter!
Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge
The Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge is a must-visit for any hunter looking to bag their trophy buck. Spanning over 59,000 acres of diverse terrain ranging from rolling hills to rugged mountains, it offers an ideal habitat for game species including white-tailed deer, elk, turkey, and quail – plus the rare bison. Black bears and bobcats are also found here making this a unique hunting destination like no other!
For those seeking the ultimate challenge, there are limited quota hunts available for both elk and bison – but beware; these contests require advanced planning as only a select few permits will be granted each year.
For those wanting something more accessible, however: deer hunting season begins in October with archery taking place until January while rifle hunters can join in November through December. All participants must possess valid Oklahoma hunting licenses along with the appropriate tags specific to their desired game species before entering the refuge grounds.
Private Hunting Places in Oklahoma
It’s essential to know that hunting spots in Oklahoma that are not public are private property and require authorization or membership in order to gain access. This implies no overcrowding or competition with other hunters, leading to an improved experience overall.
One advantage of hunting on private hunting lands in Oklahoma is the quality of game – these areas have been managed and maintained which leads to larger populations of wildlife including deer, wild hogs, quail, pheasant, and turkey. Also, it offers solitude from noisy crowds giving you more peace during your hunt.
Safety should always be taken seriously while out hunting but when on somebody else’s terrain, it becomes even more crucial; familiarize yourself with all regulations set by the landowner before heading out. Remember to practice safe firearm handling at all times! Don’t forget to respect the property owner’s rules for successful hunting in Oklahoma.