OK: Deer muzzleloader season to kick off Oct. 22

With big game hunting opportunities for black bear, antelope,
elk and mule deer available, Oklahoma is becoming a “land of
opportunity” to hunters. But the whitetail deer remains the most
abundant big game hunting opportunity in Oklahoma, with archery
season already underway and muzzleloader season to open Oct.

Deer are plentiful in every part of Oklahoma, whether it be in
wide-open prairie or pine-covered mountains, and many wildlife
management areas across the state offer hunting opportunity during
the muzzleloader season. Muzzleloader season runs Oct. 22-30, and
the season accounts for about 18 percent of the total annual deer
harvest in Oklahoma. The modern gun season opens Nov. 19 and runs
for 16 days. Archery season remains open through Jan. 15, 2012.

During muzzleloader season, hunters can harvest a buck and two
antlerless deer (at least one antlerless deer must be harvested
from Antlerless Deer Zones 2, 7 or 8), and most of the state is
open to antlerless hunting every day during the season. Resident
muzzleloader hunters must possess an appropriate hunting license
and a deer muzzleloader license for each deer harvested.
Nonresident muzzleloader hunters are exempt from a hunting license
while hunting deer, but they must possess a nonresident deer
muzzleloader license. For a map of Oklahoma’s antlerless deer
zones, consult the current “Oklahoma Hunting Guide” available
online at wildlifedepartment.com.

Muzzleloader hunters must conspicuously wear both a head
covering and an outer garment above the waistline, both totaling at
least 400 square inches of hunt orange.

Upon harvesting a deer, all hunters must immediately attach
their name, license number, and date and time of harvest securely
to the animal. This “field tag,” which can be constructed of
anything (such as a business card), must remain attached to the
carcass until it is checked either at the nearest hunter check
station, with an authorized Wildlife Department employee or online
at wildlifedepartment.com.

In many counties, hunters can harvest a turkey with their
muzzleloaders Oct. 29-30. A fall turkey license is required, unless
exempt. Turkey fall gun season runs Oct. 29 through Nov. 18, and
details on the season are available in the current “Oklahoma
Hunting Guide.”

Hunters age 8-30 who have not completed a hunter education
course can buy an apprentice-designated hunting license and hunt
while accompanied by a licensed hunter 18 years old or older who
has completed the hunter education course, or a licensed hunter 18
years old or older who is otherwise exempt from hunter education
(includes those 31 years old or older, those honorably discharged
or currently active in the Armed Forces or members of the National
Guard). All hunters under 10 years old must be accompanied when
hunting big game, including those who have completed a hunter
education course.

For specific information regarding which areas are open to
muzzleloader season, licenses, season limits, legal firearms or
other details, consult the current “Oklahoma Hunting Guide” or log
onto wildlifedepartment.com.



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