Wednesday, February 8th, 2023
Wednesday, February 8th, 2023

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Sportsmen Since 1967

OK: Deer gun season at a glance

Deer gun season runs Nov. 19 through Dec. 4 – a full 16 days of
long-awaited and long-celebrated tradition in which more than
156,000 hunters participate every fall, making it one of the
largest sporting events in the state.

Since 1933, deer gun hunters have been making their way into the
woods and fields of Oklahoma for hunting season, and this year
looks to be no different. In the early part of the last century,
when deer populations were down to just a few hundred animals,
hunters and the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation took
up the call to once again have healthy deer populations across the
state. Part of this conservation effort began with the historic
deer trap-and-transplant projects of the mid-1940s, ‘50s and ‘60s.
Today, Oklahoma can boast having deer in every county and a
whitetail population in excess of 500,000 animals. Hunters have
generous harvest limits and expansive opportunities statewide for
hunting deer.

To hunt deer in Oklahoma, residents much have a hunting license or
proof of exemption, as well as a deer gun license (antlered or
antlerless) for each deer hunted or proof of exemption. Resident
youth hunters 16 or 17 years old must purchase a hunting license
but can purchase a youth deer gun license for each deer hunted that
costs only $10. Nonresident deer hunters are exempt from a hunting
license while hunting deer, but they must possess a nonresident
deer gun license or proof of exemption. Holders of nonresident
lifetime hunting and lifetime combination licenses are not exempt
from purchasing deer licenses.

Antlerless deer may only be harvested on specified days and in
zones open to antlerless harvest. A map showing the antlerless days
and zones is available on page 25 of the current “Oklahoma Hunting
Guide,” available online at wildlifedepartment.com.

The deer gun limit is one antlered and two antlerless deer (at
least one antlerless deer must be harvested from Zone 2, 7 or 8).
The harvest of antlerless mule deer is prohibited during deer gun
season, and deer taken by hunters participating in deer gun season
are included in the hunters’ combined season limit of six.

Resident hunters who do not harvest an antlered deer during deer
gun season may use their unfilled deer gun antlered license to
harvest an antlerless deer on the last day of the deer gun season,
but they must still comply with the limit restriction of no more
than two antlerless deer during deer gun season.

Seasons on public lands may vary from statewide season dates. For
full details and regulations, consult the “Oklahoma Hunting Guide”
online at wildlifedepartment.com.

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