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An image of a snake with barring on the face and an upturned snout in hand.
Jena Donnell/ODWC

Oklahoma's hunting and fishing licenses have been around for generations. But it wasn't until 1948 when the Wildlife Department's Oklahoma Game and Fish News clarified that "the license also is required for hunting any kind of bird, animal or reptile and is not confined to game species alone." 

As with other laws, regulations surrounding reptiles and amphibians have evolved through the years. Today, the license required for taking or attempting to take reptiles and amphibians depends on where the animal is collected or harvested. 

Oklahoma residents 16 years or older must have a valid hunting license to collect or capture a land-dwelling reptile or amphibian. A valid fishing license is required for water-dwelling animals. Those younger than 16 are exempted from either license. Landowners, lessees, or occupants of lands are also exempted from a license when reptiles other than those listed as endangered or threatened are creating a nuisance. 

Most reptiles and amphibians have a statewide, year-round open season, but 12 reptile species and 13 amphibian species have a statewide closed season and can only be collected with a valid Scientific Collector's Permit. This allows research teams to legally study rare or declining species such as the Texas horned lizard, alligator snapping turtle, Oklahoma salamander, and grotto salamander. Scientific Collector's Permits are issued based on collection purpose and the species sought, and have an annual reporting requirement before the collector can apply for the permit in the following year. 

In addition to the license requirements, collectors must also be aware of daily limits and any closed seasons or are closures. Most reptiles have a limit of six per day or in possession, while most amphibians have a limit of four per day or in possession. One notable excetpion: The American bullfrog, Oklahoma's state amphibian, has a collection limit of 15 per day or in possession. Other exceptions and reptile and amphibian laws can be found in the current Oklahoma Fishing and Hunting Regulations.

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