Oklahoma, with its diverse landscape and rich wildlife, stands as one of the best states for hunting big game and enjoying an array of outdoor experiences. From antelopes and elks to deer and bears, the state offers a wide range of opportunities for hunting enthusiasts. Additionally, the woods of Oklahoma are home to abundant small game, making it an ideal destination for all kinds of hunters. However, before embarking on your hunting adventure, it is crucial to understand the state’s hunting regulations, licenses, permits, and seasons to ensure a safe and legal experience. In this article, we will explore the exciting world of hunting in Oklahoma, covering its regulations, licenses, seasons, popular game species, and even available hunting lands for sale or lease.
Oklahoma Hunting Regulations
Hunting in Oklahoma is subject to strict regulations and requirements that all hunters must adhere to. These regulations aim to maintain the balance of wildlife populations and ensure sustainable hunting practices.
Hunting on private lands without obtaining permission from the landowner is strictly prohibited. Even when hunting from public roads adjacent to private lands, hunters must seek permission from the landowner beforehand.
Collecting and Giving Games
Hunters who gift or transfer game to others must provide essential details, including their name, permit number, license details, address, the date of the gift, and their signature.
Selling game carcasses or meat taken in Oklahoma is illegal, as is selling games at charitable events.
Hunters are responsible for retrieving any game they injure, cripple, or kill. The retrieved game must be utilized by consuming, processing, or taking it home.
Prohibited Activities While Hunting in Oklahoma
Several activities are prohibited during hunting in Oklahoma to ensure fair and ethical practices:
- Using drugs, coated arrows, chemicals, or substances that incapacitate game animals is prohibited.
- Hunting, pursuing, or shooting game animals with vehicles (exceptions are allowed for certain situations).
- Using two-way communication devices or mobile phones to aid in hunting or locating game animals is prohibited.
- Using live decoys or drawing game animals out with electronic calls is not allowed.
Use of Non-Toxic Shots
For certain game species like geese, coots, ducks, and rails, non-toxic shots are approved and required for shotgun hunting in specific wildlife refuges.
Use of Tags
For big game animals or turkeys found dead in Oklahoma, possession is allowed only after tagging them with the state’s KDWPT salvage tag. Cutting off antlers or possessing skulls without the salvage tag is prohibited.
Law enforcement officers have the right to check hunting licenses and bag limits. Hunters must carry their hunting licenses at all times and cooperate with officers during checks and inspections.
Open Carry While Hunting in Oklahoma
While open carry is lawful during hunting, conceal carry holders must inform law enforcement officers or game wardens about their possession of firearms.
Hunter Harassment Laws
Oklahoma has hunter harassment laws in place to protect hunting activities in the state. Interfering with hunting, fishing, or trapping is strictly prohibited.
Oklahoma Hunting Licenses, Permits, and Tags
To legally hunt in Oklahoma, hunters must obtain the appropriate licenses, permits, and tags based on their age, residency, and specific hunting needs.
Residents Annual Hunting License
This license is available for Oklahoma residents and is valid for one year, costing $27.5.
Residents Hunting and Fishing Combination License
For residents who wish to both hunt and fish in Oklahoma, this combination license is valid for one year and costs $47.5.
Residents 5 Years Hunting License
Oklahoma residents can opt for this five-year hunting license, valid for hunting within the specified period. It costs $102.5 and expires after 1825 days.
Residents 5 Years Hunting and Fishing License
Similar to the previous license, this five-year option allows residents to hunt and fish within the period, costing $182.5 and expiring after 1825 days.
Non-Residents Hunting License
Non-residents can obtain this license for hunting in Oklahoma, which is valid for one year and costs $97.5.
Non-Residents Hunting and Fishing Combination License
Non-residents interested in both hunting and fishing in Oklahoma can purchase this combination license, valid for one year, at a cost of $137.5.
Non-Residents Youth Hunting License
Designed for non-residents who are youths aged 15 and below, this license costs $42.5.
Residents Multi-Year Youth Hunting License
Available for Oklahoma residents aged between 16 and 21, this license is valid until the holder reaches 21 years old, costing $72.5.
Senior Hunting Annual License
For senior residents aged between 65 and 74, this one-year license costs $15.
Senior Hunting and Fishing Combination License
Senior residents aged between 65 and 74 can opt for this one-year combination license, enabling both hunting and fishing at a cost of $25.
Lifetime Residents Licenses
Lifetime hunting licenses are available for residents, granting the privilege to hunt, fish, or harvest fur for a lifetime. There are different types of lifetime licenses:
Hunting, Fur Harvesting, and Fishing License
This license covers hunting, fur harvesting, and fishing activities and costs $502.5, with an additional $50 quarterly fee.
Hunting and Fishing Lifetime Licenses
Costing $962.5, this license allows residents to hunt and fish in Kansas for life, with an additional $89.5 paid quarterly.
Senior Hunting and Fishing Combination Lifetime License
Designed for senior residents aged between 65 and 74, this license costs $42.5 and permits both hunting and fishing in the state.
Oklahoma Fishing Licenses, Permits, and Tags
Fishing enthusiasts can also enjoy various licenses, permits, and tags in Oklahoma to pursue their passion legally.
Senior Residents Fishing License
Available for senior residents aged between 65 and 74, this one-year fishing license costs $15.
Residents 1 Day Fishing License
For residents who wish to fish for only one day, this license is available at a cost of $8.5.
Residents Annual Fishing License
This license is for residents wishing to fish in the state and is valid for one year, costing $27.5.
Residents 5 Years Fishing License
Similar to the hunting license, this five-year fishing license costs $102.5 and is valid for 1825 days.
Residents Lifetime Fishing License
Residents can obtain a lifetime fishing license for $502.5, allowing them to fish throughout their lives.
Hunting and Fishing Lifetime Combination License
For $962.5, residents can opt for this combination license, permitting both hunting and fishing in Oklahoma for life.
Non-Residents Annual Fishing License
Non-residents interested in fishing in Oklahoma can obtain this one-year license, costing $52.5.
Non-Residents 5 Days Fishing License
For non-residents who want to fish in the state for five days, this license costs $27.5.
Non-Residents 1 Day Fishing License
Non-residents can also purchase a one-day fishing license for $14.5.
Oklahoma Hunting Season
Hunting seasons in Oklahoma vary according to game species and specific methods of taking them. It is essential for hunters to be aware of the starting and ending dates for the particular game they intend to pursue.
Oklahoma Deer Hunting Seasons
- Archery Hunting Season: 14th of September to 31st of December
- General Youth and Disabled Hunting Season: 9th of September to 15th of September
- Muzzleloader Hunting Season: 14th of September to 27th of September
- Pre Rut Antlerless Deer Hunting Season: 10th of October to 12th of October
- General Firearm Hunting Season: 2nd of December to 13th of December
The season length for whitetail deer hunting in Oklahoma may vary based on hunting units and military member seasons. Hunters can find more information about special deer hunting seasons on the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife, Parks, and Tourism website.
Oklahoma Elk Hunting Season
- General Hunting Season: 1st of September to 15th of March
- Extended Hunting Season (based on permits): 1st of October to 31st of December
Elk hunting in Oklahoma is subject to variations across different zones. Hunters must possess a valid Oklahoma elk license to participate in the season.
Oklahoma Bear Hunting Season
- Archery Hunting Season: 1st of October to 18th of October
- Muzzleloader Hunting Season: 24th of October to 1st of November
Oklahoma Antelope Hunting Seasons
- Archery Hunting Seasons: 19th of September to 27th of September and 10th of October to 31st of October
- Firearms Hunting Seasons: 25th of October
- Muzzleloader Hunting Season: 28th of September to 5th of October
Oklahoma Turkey Hunting Seasons
- Fall Hunting Season: 1st of October to 10th of November
Oklahoma Small Games Hunting Seasons
- Bullfrog Hunting Season: 1st of July to 31st of October
- Crow Hunting Season: 10th of November to 10th of March
- Rabbit Hunting Season: Open Season
- Squirrel Hunting Season: 1st of June to 28th of February
It is essential to note that regulations, special seasons, and bag limits for hunting in Oklahoma may vary for specific games in different parts of the state. Hunters are advised to obtain all necessary information before venturing out to hunt.
Hunting Wildlife, Games, and Fishes
Oklahoma offers a plethora of game species for hunting enthusiasts. Some of the most popular games to hunt in the state include:
Oklahoma Deer Hunting
Both white-tailed and mule deer are native to Oklahoma, with mule deer more commonly found in the western part of the state, particularly in regions like red hills, smoky hills, and high plains. As you move further east, white-tailed deer become more abundant, making them popular game species for hunters.
Oklahoma Turkey Hunting
Turkey hunting in Oklahoma is one of the most sought-after experiences for hunters. The state offers great turkey hunting opportunities, particularly in public hunting lands and wildlife areas.
Oklahoma Antelope Hunting
Antelope hunting is also popular in Oklahoma, with approximately 3,000 antelope found in various parks and wildlife areas, especially in the western part of the state.
Oklahoma Bear Hunting
Bear hunting in Oklahoma was previously restricted to certain southeast counties. However, with specific permits, hunters can now participate in black bear hunting, primarily during archery and firearm seasons in the southern region.
Oklahoma Elk Hunting
Elk hunting in Oklahoma mainly takes place in specified Wildlife Management Areas (WMAs). However, individual elk hunting or hunting small elk herds may be allowed in different locations across the state, provided hunters possess a valid elk license.
Oklahoma Rabbit Hunting
Oklahoma offers opportunities for rabbit hunting, with two popular species being the swamp rabbit and the cottontail rabbit. Swamp rabbits are mostly found in the southeastern region, inhabiting swampy areas and river edges. Cottontail rabbits, on the other hand, are well dispersed throughout the state, particularly in urban and suburban areas.
Oklahoma Duck Hunting
Duck hunting is common in the wetland regions of Oklahoma, with ducks preferring areas away from human habitation. Shallow water bodies such as lakes and ponds are popular spots for duck hunting.
Oklahoma Crow Hunting
Crow hunting is prevalent in woodland areas along rivers, streams, farmland, and suburban areas of Oklahoma.
Oklahoma Public Shooting Ranges
For enthusiasts looking to sharpen their shooting skills, Oklahoma offers public shooting ranges that are open to all:
- ADA Skeet & Trap Club
- Silverleaf Shotgun Sports
- Shawnee Twin Lakes Trap Club
- Red Rock Firearms
- Oklahoma Trap Association
- Nowata Firearms
- Happy Hollow Gun Club
- Grand National Gun Club
- Dough Creek Shooting Club
Oklahoma Hunting Lands for Sale and Lease
For those seeking hunting lands in Oklahoma, there are several options available for purchase or lease:
- Nowata, Oklahoma (Nowata County) – 540 acres
- Depew, Oklahoma (Creek County) – 1,278 acres
- Wewoka, Oklahoma (Seminole County) – 120 acres
- Turnkey Recreational property less than 5 miles from the Bixby City Limits, Bixby, Oklahoma (Tulsa County) – 79.19 acres
- Rosston, Oklahoma (Harper County) – 9,738 acres
- Thanksgiving Hill, located approximately four miles northeast of Konawa, Oklahoma (Seminole County) – 30 acres
- Elk and whitetail deer in a convenient setting loaded with property improvements and first-class amenities, Bartlesville, Oklahoma (Osage County) – 2,032 acres
- Premier Hunting Ground NW Oklahoma (5.5 hours from DFW, 2 hours from OKC) Wood County – 2,200 acres
Oklahoma stands as a paradise for hunters, offering diverse landscapes, abundant wildlife, and a range of hunting opportunities. From big games to small games and waterfowl, hunters of all kinds can find their perfect adventure in the state. However, it is essential to understand and follow Oklahoma’s hunting regulations, obtain the appropriate licenses and permits, and respect private property boundaries to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience. So gear up, embrace the thrill of the hunt, and make the most of the hunting seasons that Oklahoma has to offer!
Can non-residents hunt in Oklahoma?
Yes, non-residents can hunt in Oklahoma by obtaining the required hunting licenses and permits.
Are there special hunting seasons for military members in Oklahoma?
Yes, there are special hunting seasons for military members in Oklahoma. Hunters should check with the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife, Parks, and Tourism for specific information.
What are the popular game species to hunt in Oklahoma?
Popular game species to hunt in Oklahoma include deer, turkey, antelope, bear, elk, rabbit, duck, and crow.
Are there public shooting ranges in Oklahoma?
Yes, Oklahoma has several public shooting ranges where enthusiasts can practice and hone their shooting skills.
Can hunters purchase hunting lands in Oklahoma?
Yes, there are hunting lands available for purchase or lease in Oklahoma, providing hunters with their private hunting grounds.