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General Hunting Regulations


Oklahoma is 95% privately owned, habitat management on those acres is critical for wildlife. Free technical assistance is available to landowners across the state.

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Computer-Aided Hunting

The use of computer software or services that allow a person, not physically present, to remotely control a firearm or weapon to hunt any live animal or bird is prohibited. No person shall engage in any activity that provides, sells, offers for sale, assists in, or provides facilities for computer-assisted remote control hunting of wildlife.

Dogs For Hunting

Dogs may not be used in taking bear, deer, elk, antelope and turkey.

Except as otherwise provided, nothing shall prohibit the year-round pursuit of game (species that can be lawfully hunted with dogs) for dog training or sport only. However, unless otherwise provided, no person in pursuit of game with hunting dogs outside the regular harvest season shall possess the means to harvest such game.

Final Destination

For purposes of pheasant, turkey, bear, deer, elk, Eurasian collared dove and antelope, “final destination” shall be the hunter’s residence or place of consumption.

Harvest Reporting of Game

All deer, elk, antelope, bear, or turkey taken must be reported by the hunter to the Department within 24 hours of leaving the hunt area. Once reported, a carcass tag or online confirmation number will be issued. This tag or confirmation number must remain with the carcass to its final destination or through processing and/or storage at a commercial processing or storage facility. Evidence of sex must remain naturally attached to the carcass until the harvest has been properly reported.


No person may attempt to take, take, attempt to catch, catch, attempt to capture, capture, attempt to kill, or kill any deer, feral animal or other wildlife, except fish and frogs or except as provided by law, by the use of a vehicle-mounted spotlight or other powerful light at night, by what is commonly known as “headlighting” (or “spotlighting”) or use any light enhancement device (night scope). Provided, however, nothing in this code shall prevent one from possessing a .22 caliber rimfire rifle or .22 caliber rimfire pistol and a light carried on his person while in pursuit of furbearers with hounds during the legal open furbearer season, while possessing a valid hunting license unless exempt. Except during deer gun seasons, a landowner, agricultural lessee, or their designated agent with written permission from the landowner or agricultural lessee may control nuisance or damage by coyotes or feral swine without a permit during the day or night, and without limitation by statewide season regulations or bag limits, and with the use of any legal means of take, to protect marketable agricultural crops, livestock or processed feed, seed, or other materials used in the production of an agricultural commodity. Landowners or agricultural lessees performing nuisance control activities shall be required to have a current agricultural exemption permit issued by the Oklahoma Tax Commission. A landowner, agricultural lessee, or designated agent of the landowner or lessee may use a headlight, thermal, or light enhancement device carried on the person, a vehicle with or without a mounted spotlight or night vision equipment while controlling nuisance coyotes and feral swine at night.

Nuisance Coyote/Hog Damage Control

Except during deer gun seasons, the landowner or agricultural lessee or their designated agent with written permission from the landowner or agricultural lessee may control nuisance or damage by coyotes or feral hogs day or night by any legal means of take, to protect marketable agricultural crops, livestock or processed feed, seed or other materials used in the production of an agricultural commodity. Landowners or agricultural lessees performing nuisance control activities shall be required to have a current agricultural exemption permit issued by the Oklahoma Tax Commission.

Hunting, use of any artificial light, thermal or night vision equipment from a public roadway is prohibited.  

Any person who has been convicted of, or pleads guilty to, a violation of Section 5-203.1 of Title 29 of the Oklahoma Statutes or Section 5-411 of Title 29 of the Oklahoma Statutes within a previous three-year period shall not control nuisance or damage by coyotes or feral hogs at night. 

Hunting During Big Game Seasons

Any person hunting any wildlife in open areas during the youth deer gun, bear muzzle­loader, deer muzzleloader, deer gun, holiday antlerless deer gun (in open zones), elk gun (in open counties) or September antelope gun (in open areas) seasons with a shotgun and rifled slug, or any rifle or handgun larger than a .22 caliber long rifle, must possess a valid bear, deer, elk, or antelope license, unless otherwise exempt.

Hunting From Motor Vehicles

No person may harass, attempt to capture, capture, attempt to take, take, kill or attempt to kill any wildlife with the aid of any motor-driven land, air or water conveyance, except a non-ambulatory person may hunt from said conveyances with a non-ambulatory or motor vehicle permit. Provided, however, nothing in this code shall prevent the use of motor-driven land or water conveyances for following dogs in the act of hunting, when use of said conveyances is restricted to public roads or waterways. Said conveyances may be used on private property for following dogs in the act of hunting with the landowner’s or occupant’s permission.

Landowner Permission

Hunters must obtain permission to enter any posted or occupied land or land primarily devoted to farming, ranching or forestry purposes.

Nothing in this guide shall be interpreted as permitting hunting or allowing access into any area, public or private, without permission from the owners or custodian as required by law. All persons are prohibited from entering land owned by another without permission for the sole purpose of retrieving domestic livestock or other animals.

Consent is not valid for more than one year, unless the owner, lessee, or occupant specifically grants consent for a specified period of time.

Carry of Firearms

Unless otherwise provided by state law, a person may carry a firearm on any private or public state lands. This includes, but is not limited to, while hunting, fishing, scouting and tracking. Federal lands such as Corps of Engineers or National Wildlife Refuges are subject to additional regulations that may prevent the provisions of this act.

Possessing Wildlife

No person may possess any game bird, animal or other wildlife, or portions thereof, that have been taken by another person unless written information giving the taker’s name, address, customer ID number, date taken and the number and kinds of game birds, animals or other wildlife, is attached to the game birds, animal or other wildlife, or portions thereof. In addition, information on turkey, bear, deer, elk, and antelope must include the online confirmation number. The person’s name and address receiving said wildlife must also appear on the written information.

It shall be unlawful for any person to have in their possession any meat, head, hide, or any part of the carcass of any wildlife not legally taken. The keeping of wildlife as pets and the sale of wildlife or parts is strictly controlled by state and federal laws.

Protected Species

All migratory birds, which include all hawks, owls, eagles, songbirds and all other birds, except resident game birds, house sparrows and starlings, are protected by federal and state law. House sparrows and starlings are the only birds that are not protected by either federal or state law. However, federal regulations provide for the control of blackbirds under a depredation order. For complete regulations, see 50 CFR, Part 20.43.

Endangered and threatened species are protected by federal and/or state law.

Oklahoma’s Endangered and Threatened Species

Mammals: Gray bat, northern long-eared bat, Ozark big-eared bat, Tri-colored bat, Indiana bat. 

Birds: Whooping crane, piping plover, eastern black rail, red knot, red-cockaded woodpecker. 

Fish: Ozark cavefish, leopard darter, Neosho madtom, blackside darter, longnose darter, Arkansas River shiner. 

Invertebrates: Winged mapleleaf mussel, scaleshell mussel, Ouachita rock pocketbook, rabbitsfoot mussel, Oklahoma cave crayfish, Neosho Mucket mussel, American burying beetle.

Plant: Harperella.

Selling of Wildlife

Except as otherwise provided for by law, no person may buy, barter, trade, sell or offer, or expose for sale all or any part of any fish or wildlife or the nest or eggs of any bird, protected by law.

Shooting From Road

Shooting from or across any public road, highway (or right-of-way) or railroad right-of-way is prohibited. Public roadways are defined as any governmental or corporate roadways where vehicular traffic is not restricted and the roadway is routinely used by the general public.

Shotgun Pellet Size

No person in the field may possess or attempt to harvest any wildlife, except waterfowl and crane, with a shotgun using shot larger than #4 buckshot. Hogs are not considered wildlife; see Hog Regulations for shotgun provisions for hogs.

Suppressors (Silencers)

Hunters are allowed to use legally acquired and possessed suppressors to hunt game animals, game or nongame birds on both private and public lands.

Taking of Wildlife

No person, including but not limited to persons licensed for commercial hunting or wildlife breeders, may hunt, chase, capture, shoot, shoot at, wound, attempt to take or take, attempt to kill or kill, slaughter, or use any trap, net, snare, cage, pitfall, baited hook or similar device, drug, poison, narcotic, explosive or similar substance, swivel or punt gun of greater caliber than ten (10) gauge, or any device which generates electricity on an antelope, moose, whitetail or mule deer, bear, elk, mountain lion, Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep, wild turkey, or any subspecies except as otherwise provided by statute or commission rule.

Transportation of Firearms, Bows & Crossbows

Except as otherwise provided, no person may transport a loaded firearm in a land or water motor vehicle. No bow may be transported at full or partial draw in a motorized vehicle.

Muzzleloaders may be transported with a loaded powder charge and bullet as long as the gun is uncapped or battery is disconnected.

Crossbows may not be transported in a motorized vehicle unless uncocked or disassembled.

Use of Fire

No person shall concentrate, drive, molest, hunt, take, capture, kill, or attempt to take any wildlife by aid of any fire or smoke whether man-made or natural.

Wanton Waste

No person may capture, kill or destroy any wildlife protected by law and remove the head, claws, teeth, hide, antlers, horns or any or all of such parts from the carcass with the intent to abandon the carcass. No person may kill any wildlife protected by law and abandon the carcass without disposing of the carcass in the most appropriate manner. No person may dump the carcass of any dead animal in any well, spring, pond, or stream of water or leave it within 1/4 mile of any occupied dwelling or public highway without burying the carcass in an appropriate manner where it will not become exposed through erosion of the soil or where such land is subject to overflow. Penalties and fines have been increased for anyone convicted of improperly disposing of wildlife.