Small Game Is Great Way to Introduce Hunting Tradition
What’s a hunter to do after another bountiful Oklahoma deer hunting season comes to a close? Turns out there’s still plenty to do in Outdoor Oklahoma!
Some of the most overlooked hunting opportunities in this state are for small game. Not too many years ago, when most Oklahomans lived a more rural lifestyle, squirrels and rabbits were regular table fare. A youngster out in the forest or field with a shotgun or .22-caliber rifle provided many a meal for the family.
Pursuing and harvested small game is a great way to introduce youths to the hunting tradition, and those outings are still available today.
Squirrel and rabbit hunting seasons are open now, and all hunters must have a hunting license, unless exempt. Squirrel hunting closes Jan. 31. Rabbit season runs through March 15.
Other hunting seasons are also open now.
Waterfowl hunting in Zones 1 and 2 is open through Jan 29. Statewide hunting for white-fronted geese is open through Feb. 5; for dark and light geese through Feb. 12. The Conservation Order Light Goose Season follows from Feb. 13 to March 30 statewide. Waterfowl hunters must have a hunting license, a federal waterfowl stamp and a state waterfowl license (or stamp), and a Harvest Information Program permit, unless exempt.
Sandhill crane hunting runs through Jan. 22 west of Interstate 35. A federal sandhill crane hunting permit is required, along with a Harvest Information Program permit and hunting license, unless exempt.
Pheasant season is under way in the designated open counties through Jan. 31. And quail season runs through Feb. 15 statewide. However, new restrictions this year prohibit quail hunting by nonresidents on wildlife management areas west of Interstate 35.
Hunting is open statewide year-round for coyotes, feral swine, prairie dogs, raccoons, beavers, striped skunks, and nutria.
Hunting is open now through Feb. 28 for bobcats, badgers, minks, muskrats, opossums, weasels, river otters, gray foxes, and red foxes.
Seasons on public lands may vary from statewide seasons. Required licenses for hunting and trapping can vary for the species pursued.
For all the details regarding season dates, open areas, required licenses, and other regulations, consult the Oklahoma Fishing and Hunting Regulations online at https://www.wildlifedepartment.com/hunting/regs, in the Go Outdoors Oklahoma mobile app for Apple or Android, or in print wherever hunting and fishing licenses are sold.