Hunters in Oklahoma are continuing to enjoy some of the most diverse deer hunting opportunities that the country has to offer. Harvest increased slightly from 2017- 18, with a total of 109,260 deer taken in 2018-19.
Figure 1 shows total deer harvest from 2004 through this past season. Doe harvest landed at 36 percent for the season, which is below the target rate of 40 percent to 45 percent. In the westernmost parts of the state, 222 mule deer were taken across 14 counties, which can be seen in Table 3.
Gun hunting continues to be the most common hunt- ing method. Muzzleloader hunters harvested fewer deer compared to last season, but the number of muzzleload- er hunters was down as well.
Archers came up with 26.4 percent of the total harvest, which is consistent with last season’s numbers. The total archery harvest was 28,886 animals. While archery harvest this year did not set a new harvest record as it had in 2016 and 2017, the 2018 archery harvest is the second highest harvest by archers.
Figure 2 depicts the percentage of deer harvest by season. The top three counties in harvest numbers were Osage County with 5,208 deer, Pittsburg County with 3,330 deer and Cherokee County with 2,954 deer.
Table 1 shows harvest by county, season and sex on the state’s private lands. Harvest data from wildlife management areas (WMAs) and other public hunting ar- eas is not included in order to account for counties that lack WMAs.
Oklahoma is dominated by privately owned land, making up about 95 percent of the state. Still, hunters have an abundant chance to use public hunting areas such as Department-managed WMAs, national wildlife refuges, state parks, and recreation areas. Table 2 details deer harvest in these areas by area, season and sex.
Mule deer inhabit the westernmost areas of the state, and they can be harvested using the regular deer license. A total of 222 mule deer were harvested across 14 western Oklahoma counties. Regulations protect antlerless mule deer during gun season; this resulted in only one antlerless mule deer being harvested. Table 3 breaks down mule deer harvest.