News of the Week

Dec.15, 2014
Gun Hunters Have Holiday Hunt Chances for Deer, Elk

The Holiday Antlerless Deer Gun Season will give deer gun hunters another opportunity to harvest one white-tailed doe in Oklahoma this winter. This hunting season will run from Dec. 18-27 in specified open areas.

Hunters lucky enough to harvest an antlerless whitetail during those 10 days are getting an early Christmas gift of sorts, as that deer is considered a bonus deer and does not count against a hunter's combined season limit for deer.

The holiday season allows each hunter to harvest one white-tailed doe only; the harvest of any mule deer doe is not allowed.

Resident hunters planning to participate in the Holiday Antlerless Deer Gun Season must have an appropriate hunting license and a Holiday Antlerless Deer License, unless exempt. Nonresident hunters must have a Nonresident Deer Gun License. Unfilled licenses from the previous Youth Deer Gun, Deer Muzzleloader or Deer Gun

  Does harvested during the Holiday Antlerless Deer Gun Season       will not count toward a hunter's season limit.                                       (wildlifedepartment.com)
seasons are not valid for the Holiday Antlerless Deer Gun Season.

The Holiday Antlerless Deer Gun Season will be open in eight of the state's 10 Antlerless Deer Zones. Closed areas include the Oklahoma Panhandle west of U.S. 83, and most of southeastern Oklahoma. Also, many wildlife management areas are closed to Holiday Antlerless Deer Gun Season. For open areas, consult the public hunting area listings and the zone map on page 20 of the current "Oklahoma Hunting" regulations guide.

Also, a Holiday Antlerless Elk Gun Season will be held on private lands in all elk zones except the Special Southwest Zone. This season will be Dec. 18-27 only in zones where harvest quotas have not yet been met. Hunters who plan to pursue antlerless elk from Dec. 18-27 may use any unfilled elk license from the previous elk firearms seasons or buy a resident or nonresident elk license. Elk taken during this holiday season will count toward the hunter's combined season limit, so any hunter who already has harvested a combined season limit is not eligible to participate in the holiday season. And zone quotas remain in effect, so any hunter planning to pursue elk must first check the status of the elk harvest quota at wildlifedepartment.com before going afield.

Season dates vary in the Special Southwest Zone (all private lands in Caddo, Comanche and Kiowa counties) for Elk Gun (Dec. 17-20) and Additional Antlerless Elk (Jan. 1-31, 2016) hunting seasons. For details, see the current "Oklahoma Hunting" regulations guide online at wildlifedepartment.com or in print where hunting and fishing licenses are sold.

In addition, Deer Archery and Elk Archery seasons remain open until Jan. 15.

All hunters are reminded that wearing hunter orange clothing is required during any open deer, elk, bear or antelope firearms season. Only hunters pursuing waterfowl, crane or crow, or while hunting furbearing animals at night, are exempt from hunter orange requirements. Hunters also are required to check-in all harvested elk and deer using the online E-Check system within 24 hours of leaving the hunt area.

Hunting licenses, deer licenses and elk licenses are sold by vendors statewide or online on the online license desk at wildlifedepartment.com. For additional regulations and information, see the current "Oklahoma Hunting" regulations guide online atwildlifedepartment.com or in print where hunting and fishing licenses are sold.