Animals

The Top 6 Reasons Oklahoma Is the Best State for Deer Hunting

Both the local deer population and the natural vegetation may benefit from controlled deer shooting. Ensuring there is sufficient food for deer means keeping their number from expanding too much. Because many deer will starve to death if there is a shortage of food. Furthermore, a large deer population can hinder the profuse reproduction of other plants and crops. Deer numbers are managed through controlled hunting, maintaining a healthy habitat. Deer hunters in Oklahoma can participate in the hunting season very easily. The top six states for deer hunting are listed below for Oklahoma.

1. A Thriving Population of Deer

Although Texas has more white-tailed deer than any other state (including Oklahoma), it is still in the top 20. There’s a decent possibility you’ll be taking a deer home, with 2,375 mule deer and 750,000 white-tailed deer in the state.

According to preliminary figures released by the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation, hunters harvested 128,796 deer during the 2022–2023 hunting season.

2. Affordable Licenses and Tags

Residents of Oklahoma are eligible to apply for yearly, five-year, or lifetime licenses.

Residents of Oklahoma who are over the age of eighteen (18) are required to acquire either a Resident Combination Hunting/Fishing License ($53) or a Resident Annual Hunting License ($32). $88, for a resident five-year hunting license, and $625 for a lifetime license. Lifetime hunting licenses are only available in 32 states.

A resident youth hunting license ($7) or a resident youth combination hunting/fishing license ($19) must be purchased by residents between the ages of 16 and 17.

Those who hunt but do not live in Oklahoma must purchase an Oklahoma non-resident license. Non-residents can purchase an annual license for $176 or a five-day license for $75.

In addition, in order to hunt in Oklahoma, hunters need to get a particular deer license. There are licenses for resident deer archery, resident deer muzzleloader (antlerless and antlerered), and resident deer gun (antlerless and antlerless) available to adults 18 years of age and over.

These deer licenses come in youth versions that hunters under the age of eighteen must buy, and non-resident ones that are necessary for hunters from other states. Go to the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation website to learn about all the permits that are offered and their costs.

3. Long Archery Hunting Season

The deer hunting season usually opens in the middle of September or early October in the majority of states. The archery season in Oklahoma starts on October 1. Nevertheless, unlike many other states, Oklahoma’s archery season lasts until January 15th. Naturally, the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation reserves the right to alter the precise dates. Based on the deer’s mating and weaning seasons, they must modify the season.

4. No Instances of Chronic Wasting Disease

Oklahoma has not been found to have Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) as of 2022. Cervidae, the family of deer, includes deer, elk, and moose. CWD is a neurological illness that kills these animals. The illness causes the brain to seem spongy, and some of the symptoms include behavioral abnormalities, excessive salivation, weight loss and physical decline, and finally, death.

Animals that come into direct contact with one another transmit the sickness. This may occur from animal corpses, excrement, or saliva. There is no known cure or immunization for this. Although CWD doesn’t seem to be harmful to people, it is still unclear if CWD can spread to people.

However, there is virtually little chance of that if you hunt in Oklahoma. In 2022, a deer with CWD was detected in Oklahoma’s closest vicinity, which was 2.5 miles south of the Texas border.

5. Antler Size

White-tailed deer inhabit all 77 of Oklahoma’s counties. The prairie and shrublands are habitable, but the bottomland forests and upland hardwoods are where deer like to concentrate. Overall, Oklahoma’s terrain is conducive to deer survival.

According to the National Deer Association’s 2020 Annual Report, 3 and a half-year-old bucks made up 66% of the deer killed in Oklahoma in 2017 and 2018. White-tailed deer have the biggest antlers between the ages of four and six, yet antler size does not always correspond to a deer’s age but rather to its health and fitness.

Thus, many hunters were able to obtain bucks in the age group where antler growth peaks, according to the survey. Additionally, the majority of these deer have enormous antler sizes because they have busy, healthy lives in a sustainable habitat. Oklahoma is the greatest state in the union for deer hunting for yet another reason.

6. A Large Amount of Public Land to Hunt On

Oklahoma has roughly 932,000 acres of public hunting ground, or about 4.6 percent of the state’s total land area. This includes 80 Wildlife Management Areas, meadows, and national forests.

The Oklahoma Land Access Program is also helpful. The OLAP, which is run by the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation, provides cash incentives to landowners that permit the public to shoot, fish, or observe wildlife on their private property.

Overview of Oklahoma’s Deer Hunting Industry

For deer hunting, Oklahoma is the greatest state. Check out all the information you require for Oklahoma’s deer season if you’re prepared to schedule your next hunting trip to the Sooner State. Here is a summary of the top six reasons Oklahoma is the greatest state for deer hunting in the interim.

Reason Oklahoma Is the Best State to Deer Hunt
Abundant Deer Population
Affordable Licenses and Tags
Long Archery Hunting Season
No Instances of Chronic Wasting Disease
Antler Size
A Large Amount of Public Land to Hunt On