Deer season hits Oklahoma

BY STAFF REPORTS
10/03/2019 08:30 AM
Main Cherokee Phoenix
A whitetail buck walks in an open field. More bucks are harvested during deer season than does because of a limited season for females. OKLAHOMA WILDLIFE DEPARTMENT
Main Cherokee Phoenix
A young whitetail buck stands in a meadow. Deer season started Oct. 1 in Oklahoma. OKLAHOMA WILDLIFE DEPARTMENT
Main Cherokee Phoenix
Hunting safety tips
TAHLEQUAH – With cooling temperatures and fall foliage, Oklahoma’s second-favorite sporting season began Oct. 1.

Much like football, deer hunting has almost become a way of life in Oklahoma.

More bucks are harvested than does because of a limited season for females. Most deer are taken via the rifle as opposed to the more primitive archery or black powder method.

A good hunter always begins the hunt long before the season arrives. Some tips include scouting and finding the food sources for the deer. Look for green covering with clover or rye. Try to find trails or routes where deer travel. You may want to mark your spots on a GPS system and take notes. Most importantly, the majority of deer are taken downwind of a food source.

Before you head out to the woods remember safety first. Several hunters are killed or injured each year while seeking that trophy buck. According to the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation, here are some hunting safety tips.

Gun safety

• Never point your firearm at something that you do not want to shoot,

• Assume every gun is loaded,

• Control the direction of the muzzle – point gun in a safe direction,

• Keep your finger off the trigger until you are ready to fire,

• Be certain of your target and what is behind it, and

• Do not use telescopic sights as binoculars.

General hunter safety

• If a fellow hunter refuses to practice safe gun handling rules while hunting with you, do not hunt with said person, and

• Never use drugs or alcohol before or during hunting.

Tree stand safety

• Wear a full body harness any time you are installing, entering, exiting or sitting in a tree stand,

• Avoid permanent homemade tree stands,

• Carry an emergency signal device, such as a cell phone, walkie talkie, whistle, etc.,

• Use a haul line to get your fire arm and/or archery equipment into and out of the tree stand,

• Select a healthy tree that is large enough to hold your tree stand, and

• Inspect your safety harness and tree stand before each use.

Remember to always use available safety equipment and know your equipment. Never carry equipment with you while climbing into a tree stand. Also, be sure to always check permanent tree stands each year before hunting. Another point is to respect the rules of public lands. It is illegal to place nails or other hardware into trees or erect any type of permanent structure.

If you are a hunter you are required to have a hunter’s education certification. There are only a couple of exemptions from this rule: if you’re 36 years of age or older, or if you’re honorably discharged or on active duty from the U.S. Armed Forces or a member of the National Guard. According to Oklahoma officials, the only places Native Americans can hunt or fish without licenses or tags are on Indian lands belonging to their respective tribes.

General Hunting Seasons 2019–20

***Deer Holiday Antlerless: Dec. 20–29

***Youth Deer Gun: Oct. 18–20

Deer Archery: Oct. 1–Jan. 15

Deer Muzzleloader: Oct. 26–Nov. 3

Deer Gun: Nov. 23–Dec. 8

***Elk Holiday Antlerless: Dec. 20–29

***Youth Elk Gun: Oct. 18–20

Elk Archery: Oct. 1–Jan. 15

Elk Muzzleloader: Oct. 26–Nov. 3

Elk Gun: Nov. 23–Dec. 8

***Special Southwest Zone Elk Seasons: Archery: Oct. 5–9; Dec. 7–11

Muzzleloader: Closed. Gun: Oct. 10–13; Dec. 12–15

Antlerless: Nov. 23–Dec. 8; Jan. 1– 31

Antelope Archery: Oct. 1–14

***Antelope Gun Seasons: Either Sex Hunt: Sept. 5–8 Cimarron County: State Drawn – 20 Landowner – 20 Texas County: State Drawn – 5 Landowner – 5 State Drawn Doe: Sept. 9–18 Cimarron County: 50 Texas County: 20 Landowner Drawn Doe: Nov. 30–Jan. 15 Cimarron County: 50 Texas County: 20 Antelope tag numbers pending survey.

Bear Archery: Oct. 1–20

Bear Muzzleloader: Oct. 26–Nov. 3

Turkey Fall Archery: Oct. 1–Jan. 15

Turkey Fall Gun: Nov. 2–Nov. 22

Youth Spring Turkey: April 4–5,

Youth Spring Turkey (SE): April 18–19

Spring Turkey: April 6–May 6

Spring Turkey (SE): April 20–May 6

Quail: Nov. 9–Feb. 15

Pheasant: Dec. 1–Jan. 31

Crow: Oct. 10–Nov. 16; Dec. 9–March 4

Squirrel: May 15–Jan. 31

Rabbit: Oct. 1–March 15

Furbearers (Raccoon, Bobcat, Badger, Gray Fox, Red Fox, Mink, Muskrat, Opossum, River Otter & Weasel): Dec. 1–Feb. 29
(***subject to change)

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