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Muzzleloader Seasons Open Oct. 23; Fall Turkey Gun Opens Oct. 30

October 14, 2021

Muzzleloader Seasons for Deer, Elk, Bear Open Oct. 23; Fall Turkey Gun Season Follows Oct. 30

Several more hunting seasons are set to open during the next few weeks, giving sportsmen and sportswomen plenty of opportunities to make some incredible memories and enjoy the bounty found in Outdoor Oklahoma. 

Again this year, deer muzzleloader hunters toting their “smoke poles” into the woods will enjoy liberalized harvest limits for antlerless deer. Muzzleloader hunters can take four deer, no more than one of which may be antlered. Consult the current Oklahoma Fishing and Hunting Regulations to see a map of antlerless deer zones and the bag limits for each. 

Antlerless deer harvest is an important part of the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation’s deer herd management plan. Learn more about the benefits of antlerless deer harvest at www.wildlifedepartment.com/hunting/species/deer/antlerless-harvest. 

According to the most recent Big Game Report, available at www.wildlifedepartment.com, an estimated 97,000 hunters took part in the 2020 deer muzzleloader season, reporting a harvest of 17,414 deer. That was the highest harvest total since 2012. 

Also opening Oct. 23 will be muzzleloader seasons for black bear in southeastern Oklahoma, and elk on private lands statewide. Muzzleloader deer season will close Oct. 31. Muzzleloader seasons for elk and bear will remain open until Oct. 31 unless harvest quotas are met earlier. Hunters must check the harvest quota status for their hunting zone before going afield to make sure the season is still open.  

Hunting with muzzleloaders — sometimes called "primitive firearms" — pays homage to a traditional form of gun hunting from the early pioneering days of Oklahoma's history. While modern muzzleloaders of today are far from primitive, there are still plenty of outdoorsmen and women who enjoy the satisfaction of using a traditional flintlock loaded with black powder and a lead ball. 

Opening a bit later, on Oct. 30, is fall turkey gun season only in open counties. A regulation change this year allows only shotguns as the method of take, and the season limit is one bearded turkey. Fall turkey gun season is closed in Ottawa, Delaware, Mayes, Rogers, Tulsa, Pittsburg, Coal, Atoka, Latimer, Pushmataha, Choctaw, Le Flore and McCurtain counties. 

Other hunting seasons that are open during all or a portion of deer muzzleloader season include deer archery, fall turkey archery, elk private-lands archery, squirrel, rabbit, dove, crow, woodcock, rail, snipe, gallinule, sandhill crane, and waterfowl only in the Panhandle. 

All hunters are reminded that they must wear the minimum required amount of hunter orange clothing during any open big-game firearms season, except those hunting waterfowl, crane, crow, dove, or furbearers at night. Those and all other regulations such as license requirements, hunting hours, bag limits, field tagging and online E-Check rules are detailed in the current Oklahoma Fishing and Hunting Regulations online at www.wildlifedepartment.com, in the free Go Outdoors Oklahoma mobile app for Apple and Android, or in print at license dealers statewide.