Oklahoma Deer News

... Officials with the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation say a statewide elk season addresses agricultural depredation problems for some landowners by allowing for a controlled thinning of elk herds while creating new opportunities for hunters.  Elk can be found in at least 30 of Oklahoma's 77 counties ...

White-tailed Deer Management Workshop scheduled May 1 April 11, 2014 Oklahoma, okstate.edu
... “This field day would be beneficial for anyone interested in improving white-tailed deer habitat or deer populations on their property,” said Dwayne Elmore, OSU Cooperative Extension wildlife specialist. The workshop will be held at the Okmulgee County Fairgrounds, May 1 from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. The event is free and open to the public. Those interested should contact Elmore at (405) 744-9636 or dwayne.elmore@okstate.edu to RSVP by April 21.

Oklahoma ready for statewide elk hunting March 9, 2014 Oklahoma News 
... “Our estimate in the Panhandle was about 300 animals,” ... “There are liberal elk seasons in New Mexico and Colorado and when they get to pushing them, they come over on us.” ...

Commission approves elk hunting season March 3, 2014 Oklahoma, Oklahoma News 
... The Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation had proposed the statewide hunting season on private land because the agency’s surveys showed that 33 counties in the state had six or more free-ranging elk... The majority of free-ranging elk in the rest of the state either have been released or escaped from commercial hunting operations or private elk farms ...

...  an informant provided information that a group from Tennessee was taking deer in Oklahoma unlawfully...

Wildlife Department tries to appease both trophy hunters and meat hunters February 15, 2014 Oklahoma, Daily Oklahoman ·
... For years, the Wildlife Department has said the majority of hunters in Oklahoma are more interested in maximum hunting opportunities. Quantity over quality. That is still the prevailing sentiment today, but not by much... neighboring landowners work together to manage deer and other wildlife on their properties with a common goal, such as protecting young bucks and increasing the buck age structure...

Proposed deer hunting legislation incorrectly written, riles hunters February 11, 2014 Oklahoma, Daily Oklahoman 
... It was intended to be written to read that adult Oklahoma deer hunters could not shoot any buck whose antlers had less than a total of six points ... “Our staff lawyers are not avid deer hunters ... It was never meant to be written as a 6-point on each side. ... We filed the bill so the Department of Wildlife would come over here and have a discussion about what is being done to cultivate a more mature buck population,” ...

Deer crossing signs could be added to county roads February 4, 2014 Oklahoma, Duncan Banner
... A fatal accident last month on U.S. 81 that was caused by a deer may result in additional warning signs being posted ... In 2011, Oklahoma had 495 deer-related vehicle accidents ...

Deer season kill total down over previous years January 12, 2014 Oklahoma, Tulsa World 
...  The department's annual Big Game Report lists a long-term harvest average of 106,900, and the 2013 total will come in well below that... following two years of drought. Vegetation and mast were factors ... "We have a lot of anecdotal information from people saying they saw fewer fawns, of course," ... 

Hunting and fishing proposals for 2014 December 28, 2013 Oklahoma,  NewsOK.com
... Among the proposed changes is a statewide elk hunting season on private land. State wildlife officials say there are at least 30 counties in Oklahoma that each have six or more free-ranging elk.... Most of the elk are animals that have either escaped or been released from commercial hunting operations ...

My how times have changed for deer hunters December 27, 2013 Oklahoma, Muskogee Daily Phoenix 
... Mama deer, as the elders called them, were next year’s bucks and more heavily guarded than Fort Knox ... High doe harvests help accomplish several important management benefits such as reducing localized overpopulations, improving buck to doe ratios for a more healthy herd, reducing competition for forage to promote greater antler growth in bucks ...

Deer rifle harvest numbers down December 10, 2013 Oklahoma, Tulsa World 
... Three years of drought has had an impact. "We would expect lower recruitment from those years, particularly the 2011 age class with one of the hottest summers on record," Bartholomew said. "Then 2012 was not a whole lot better." ...  With more precipitation and improved habitat in 2013, the population had a chance to spread out with multiple water sources and plentiful mast and browse. ..

Wildlife Department proposes statewide elk hunting in 2014 December 8, 2013 Oklahoma, NewsOK.com
... Alan Peoples, chief of the wildlife division for the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation, said the agency's surveys show that 33 counties in Oklahoma each have six or more free-ranging elk... 

Game wardens' investigations lead to big fines paid in poaching case December 2, 2013 Oklahoma, Pryor Daily Times
... completed in October 2013 - a total of 73 wildlife violation charges were filed against 13 individuals who pleaded guilty in both Oklahoma and Arkansas courts, mostly for crimes involving the illegal killing of deer and obtaining fraudulent hunting licenses. They paid a total of $22,356 ... 

Deer season opens on high note ... November 26, 2013 Oklahoma, Woodward News 
... Only three days into the 16 day gun season for deer in Oklahoma, nearly 52,000 deer have been checked in ... According to Lt. Mark Reichenberger, game ranger for Woodward County, the season might be slow this year for buck that are two and a half years old since the 2011 drought saw a dismal number of fawns that survived ...

Statewide deer season is open November 25, 2013 Oklahoma, Shawnee News Star
... Data indicates that 155,246 hunters headed to the field for the gun season, and almost 30 percent of all the deer harvested with a modern firearm last year were taken during opening weekend...

Deer rifle season gets underway in Oklahoma November 24, 2013 Tulsa World 
... When: Nov. 23-Dec. 8   Hunters: 155,246 in 2012   Harvest: Roughly 60 percent of the annual kill takes place in the 16-day rifle season  Rifle season harvest 2012: 38,243 bucks, 24,792 does

Tag deer within 24 hours of leaving hunt area November 21, 2013 Oklahoma, Tulsa World (blog)
... “Some of those guys might stay in camp for a week,” he said. If they killed a deer they wouldn’t have to check it until 24 hours after they left that remote camp...

2013 rut report from the ODWC November 19, 2013 Oklahoma,  Grandlakenews
... Northeast Region:  acorn production was really good with the white oaks and post oaks making the majority ... an abundance of browse where previous controlled burns ...

The Rut Report November 18, 2013 Oklahoma, NewsOK.com
... Central Region:  Welcome rainfall returned to the drought stricken central region in 2013...  Most central region deer went into the fall period in good condition. Production is spotty, but most areas have good to excellent quantities of acorns and other mast producing crops such as persimmons and buck brush...

State's gun deer season nears November 18, 2013 Oklahoma, Shawnee News Star
... The Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation invests each year nearly half a million dollars in deer and other game hunting seasons with the rental of 300,000 acres of beautiful land in Southeastern Oklahoma...

Deer gun season opens Saturday statewide November 17, 2013 Oklahoma, Daily Oklahoman 
... State wildlife biologists in Oklahoma expect the peak of the rut in most areas of the state to occur sometime before Saturday's opener...  nearly 200,000 hunters ...

... Deer mating season is beginning and more deer are crossing the roadways. The Oklahoma Department of wildlife estimates nearly a million deer are in the state ...

Rutting deer wreak havoc on roads November 14, 2013 Oklahoma, Tahlequah Daily Press
... Some drivers install deer whistles on their vehicles ... The sound is intended to warn animals of the approaching vehicle. Studies by the University of Wisconsin, the University of Georgia and the Farm Journal yielded disappointing findings that showed little difference in animal reactions with or without the whistles ...

Deer numbers are slightly down November 10, 2013 Oklahoma, NewsOK.com
... Oklahoma hunters already have checked in more than 30,500 deer this season, but that pace is slightly behind last year... more available food sources — also due to the wetter-than-usual weather — have whitetails spreading out more...




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Oklahoma data: Over half a million deer prior to 2012 and 2013 hunting season, perhaps closer to 1 million.  Drought reduced populations in 2011 and 2012.  Fawn survival was very low in the southwestern portion of the state in 2011.  A widespread outbreak of epizootic hemorrhagic disease (EHD) also reduced populations in 2012.  Increased rainfall in 2013 seems to have allowed some rebound of the population. Deer density  is highest in the southeast where there is rugged forest with steep hills. Deer were virtually extinct in 1914 - 1916, the result of over hunting.
     More than half the bucks harvested in the state recently have been 3.5 years old or older, compared to about 33 percent on average - better demographics for the herd.
    About 300 elk in the panhandle.

Report Poaching:   Operation Game Thief hotline at 1 (800) 522-8039. Rewards are available

Other useful links:
-  Deer Harvest Statistics
Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality
Ornamental and Garden Plants:  Controlling Deer Damage [PDF]  OSU
Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation
Hunting Regulations    Mission Statement: The mission of the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation is to manage Oklahoma’s wildlife resources and habitat to provide scientific, educational, aesthetic, economic and recreational benefits for present and future generations of hunters, anglers and others who appreciate wildlife.

 
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