Oklahoma Deer News

Low harvest totals, no problem February 6, 2016 Oklahoma, Stillwater NewsPress
... The drop in deer checked in online last season was nearly 13,000 from the year before ... Weather was the number one factor in the drop in harvest ... lack of frosty temperatures brought nocturnal activity that just wouldn’t budge into daylight hours...

Oklahoma Game Wardens Arrest Two For Poaching January 27, 2016 Klahoma's Own Channel 9
... two people for poaching deer in Delaware County. The deer were killed without permission on Christmas Day in a licensed commercial facility ...

Facebook posts lead to disturbing poacher arrests January 20, 2016 Oklahoma, KFOR-TV
... The elk, famous in the Tahlequah area, was decapitated and dumped on a wildlife preserve... When poachers strike, they [Wildlife Department] simply post a picture of the crime online and watch as the tips pour in...

Deer archery ends, indoor leagues begin January 18, 2016 Oklahoma, Tulsa World
... As of the last day of deer archery (Friday, Jan. 15), the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife reported 85,091 deer had been checked.  That total is down from the 2014-15 numbers (97,265), which had marked a strong increase from the previous year...

...  fined more than $11,000 last week for selling two deer skulls ... Deer were hunted to near extinction and it took decades before the population became healthy again ... It is legal to sell deer antler sheds ...

Total deer harvest likely lower this season January 10, 2016 Oklahoma, Tulsa World
... it looks like the total will be below the 2014-15 season total of 97,265... ... The good news this year is we had multiple people reporting seeing twins and lots of fawns and young deer,” he said. “We are recovering from the drought ...the acorn crop was incredible this year ... 

Deer population down November 26, 2015 Oklahoma, Enid News
... “The drought over the past five years hurt the deer population numbers, about 10 to 15 percent overall,” said Tracy Daniel, Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation district captain. “Some of the counties —like Woods and Major — the drought impacted them really hard, but Garfield and Grant, those numbers are a little better.” ...

...  "It is just like our dogs. This is your K-9 version of a hoofed animal. It is his yard, those are his people and you better stay away or I'm going to get you." ...  King said possible predators can range from foxes to coyotes and bobcats, to birds of prey...


Colder forecast ushers in deer rifle season February 20, 2015 Oklahoma, Muskogee Daily Phoenix
... Some reports indicate the drought could still be reducing herd numbers and deer harvests. Hunters in western counties of the state might still see fewer deer than they might have three or four years ago. Drought conditions are far less severe in most of central and eastern Oklahoma. Springtime rains this year brought much of central and eastern parts of the state back to near normal conditions...

Rut Report November 18, 2015 Oklahoma, NewsOK.com
... southeast:  Habitat is great with more food on the ground than in recent years. Lots of acorns, persimmons and beautyberries....central:  The region had a very wet early summer, which created an abundance of natural foods. Where oaks are present, acorns are abundant...

Deer season begins, but not with a bang November 17, 2015 Oklahoma, The Pryor Times
... preliminary numbers, excluding controlled hunts, 9,591 archery deer have been checked this year. Of those, 4,408 are bucks and 5,183 are does. This, they report, represents a 8.2%decrease from last year ...

... To date, the total number of deer taken by Oklahoma hunters during the muzzleloader and archery season is down almost 10 percent ...  the 2014-15 deer season total of 97,265 is still a far cry from four decades ago when the state's total deer harvest was less than 10,000 ...

... On Saturday, an estimated 150,000-160,000 hunters will venture afield ... Last year, 56,000 of the total 97,265 deer killed were taken with firearms...

Sawyer Man Drowns Trying To Retrieve Deer November 14, 2015 Oklahoma, Oklahoma's Own NewsOn6
... the body of 51-year-old Stephen Newton was recovered in approximately 10 feet of water ...
... A southeastern Oklahoma man is assumed drowned Friday after he went into a river to retrieve a deer his daughter had shot with a bow and arrow and didn't resurface...

Oklahoma Game Wardens Swamped With Poaching Cases November 10, 2015 news9.com KWTV
... wardens are working a case involving a doe shot and killed at Lake Thunderbird State Park.  Two children found her on a walking trail.  The poacher got away...

Game Warden searching for deer poacher November 10, 2015 Oklahoma, KSWO 7 News 
... a large buck was found dead Tuesday morning, three miles east of Davidson in Tillman County...  call Operation Game Thief at 1-800-522-8039

Deer poaching suspect busted in Edmond thanks to hunter November 6, 2015 Oklahoma, KOCO Oklahoma City
...  a buck was shot near Interstate 35 and Southeast 33rd Street. Though deer hunting season is in full swing, you are not allowed to shoot within city limits... The archer tracked down the suspect himself ...

Two Men Arrested For Shooting At Deer Decoy Near Eagletown November 3, 2015 Oklahoma's Own NewsOn
... The wardens say within 15 minutes of setting up the decoy they saw two men pull up in a Dodge pickup and fire a shot at it...

'Mystic' buck may be Osage County's largest ever November 1, 2015 Oklahoma, Tulsa World
... weighed 180 pounds field-dressed — will land somewhere between 215 to 220 inches non-typical.  That score makes it one for the record books. It will not only qualify for Boone & Crockett Club and list it neatly within the top 25 of Oklahoma’s Cy Curtis Awards ...

... most of the meat had been removed, but the skeleton, head and hide were hung on the fence... Improper disposal carries a penalty of a fine between $700 and $1,200, between 10 days and one year in the county jail ...

2015 Trophy Deer Forecast: Oklahoma October 21, 2015 Game & Fish
... the bulk of Oklahoma’s deer harvest comes from the eastern half of the state ... The prairie deer ... usually have more diverse food supplies, including agricultural crops, while the deer from the southeastern mountains may have more limited diets and poorer nutrition.

How far has quality deer management come in Oklahoma? October 16, 2015 Oklahoma, NewsOK.com
.."Yearling buck harvest is at an all-time low and doe harvest in some areas is the highest it's ever been. People are aging bucks, planting plots, thinning timber, conducting prescribed burns and allowing more bucks to reach maturity than ever before. Quality deer management is a hugely popular trend ...

Youth gun deer season opens Friday October 15, 2015 Oklahoma, KOCO Oklahoma City
... last year youth hunter's had a 48 percent success rate during this season ...

Keep an eye out for deer on roads October 9, 2015 Oklahoma, Woodward News
... now through November is the most likely time of year for collisions involving motor vehicles and deer... The deer population has been down over the past few years ...

Hunting season drives deer into roadways says OHP October 2, 2015 Oklahoma, Chickasha News The Express Star
... The Oklahoma Highway Patrol (OHP) is advising drivers to slow down and pay attention as hunting season pushes deer out on to the roads...

With deer season comes hunter responsibility October 1, 2015 Oklahoma, Muskogee Phoenix
... With an estimated population of 625,000, the herd has rebounded from a 10-year low estimated at 575,000 in 2014... season deer hunter numbers estimated at 200,000 ...

...  Oklahoma's bear population started growing years ago after a restocking effort by the state. They're coming in from Arkansas. The largest population is in southeastern Oklahoma ...  they're also looking for food - and what better place to find it than a deer feeder?

Record deer harvest expected as archery season begins October 1, 2015 Oklahoma, FOX 23.com 
... The extra rain this year contributed to an increase in deer reproduction and a record harvest is expected...

Another record archery deer season may lay ahead September 28, 2015 Oklahoma, Tulsa World
... The 2014 statewide season-total 97,265 deer killed was far from an overall record but it was 9,256 more than in 2013 ... With the long drought gone for now adult deer are fat, healthy and likely reproduced well this spring and summer ...

Big game archery seasons open Thursday September 26, 2015 Oklahoma, Oklahoma News 
... According to the game harvest survey, 96,901 bowhunters in Oklahoma hunted during the 2014-15 archery season and they checked in 25,741 deer. Both are all-time highs...

Beware of deer on roads September 15, 2015 Oklahoma, Stillwater News Press
...  the odds drivers will hit a deer in Oklahoma in the coming year are 1 in 198... Oklahoma ranked 32nd in the country ...

On a small lake community in Oklahoma ... September, 2015


Osage County Game Warden Searching For Deer Poacher September 13, 2015 Oklahoma, Oklahoma's Own NewsOn6 
... seeking information about an illegally killed deer near Pawhuska...  the deer was killed on Saturday night or early Sunday on County Road 2561, about a half-mile north of Nelagoney... contact Operation Game Thief at 1-800-522-8039

Oklahoma Deer Forecast for 2015 September 9, 2015 Game & Fish
... drought could still be reducing deer populations and deer harvests... conditions are far less severe in most of central and Eastern Oklahoma ... deer populations and annual harvests are significantly higher east of I-35 ...

... A study by the Oklahoma Fish and Wildlife Agencies determined that 50 percent of deer shot with an arrow were not recovered, and some deer survived up to a week ...

... Under federal guidelines, the Cherokee Nation will give the state $2 for each license issued, which has been estimated to be $300,000 with 150,000 hunter-fishers added to the state’s rolls...



Deer population down across Oklahoma June 30, 2015 KOCO Oklahoma City
... In 2011, deer all across the state were so stressed as they looked for food that fewer reproduced... This continued in 2012 and 2013 ...

...  This right to hunt across the state will be at no charge to Cherokee Nation citizens.
Our treaty rights say Cherokees can freely hunt on tribal land. But as state and tribal jurisdictions have overlapped or connected, there has been confusion on exactly where Cherokees can exercise their inherent right to hunt and fish the land...

...  Gov. Mary Fallin signed a compact with the Cherokee Nation on Friday that will allow its tribal members to hunt and fish for free in all 77 counties in Oklahoma...  the Cherokee Nation will annually pay the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation $2 for each license it issues...

Deer damage on ornamentals  May 13, 2015 Oklahoma, Grandlakenews
... Some of the rarely damaged garden plants include canteloupe, cucumber, hot peppers, tomato and watermelon. Annual flowers that are rarely damaged include French marigold, periwinkle and snapdragon.  Baby’s-breath, gay-feather, iris, sage and lavender are good perennial flowers to plant, while Colorado Blue Spruce, Common Boxwood and Shortleaf Pine ... woody plants ...

Deer may damage ornamentals May 7, 2015 Oklahoma, High Plains Journal
... Repellents may provide relief on small areas of high value plants, but for large areas it is not a good option... A good strategy is called a “peanut butter fence.” On a standard electric fence small pieces of conductive foil are attached at intervals. Apply peanut butter to each piece of foil. When the deer lick the peanut butter, they are shocked...

... Collin Berg, of the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation, says for most of the last century this state's deer were all but gone. "If you find somebody who's 90-years old, and ask what was it like to see a deer in Oklahoma. There was only about 7 counties in the southeast that they still were found." ...

Oklahoma wildlife refuge named ‘Best National Wildlife Refuge’ April 2, 2015 KFOR-TV
... ranges of Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge are home to American bison, Rocky Mountain elk, and white-tailed deer...

Game wardens take to Facebook to solve crimes February 26, 2015 Oklahoma, KSWO
... In October, the game wardens started up their very own Facebook page, separate from the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation. Since then, it's helped them find witnesses and gather evidence in dozens of cases across the state...

Headless deer photo on Facebook nets poachers Feburary 23, 2015 Oklahoma, Tulsa World
... A photo of headless deer posted on the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation – Game Wardens Facebook page back in October resulted in the conviction of two teenage poachers who were hit with maximum penalties under Oklahoma law last week...

Oklahoma Man Pleads No Contest To Killing Rare Deer February 19, 2015 Oklahoma's Own NewsOn6
... The spotted buck was well-known in the Park Hill area as "Patches." The deer was killed along Horseshoe Bend Road, but game wardens said the man who shot Patches let him suffer for hours first.  “It was kind of like a pet,” ...

... about 10 percent more deer this year ...  the consensus of Wildlife Department biologists based in northwestern Oklahoma is that deer numbers, and hunter success, were lower.  Similar trends were observed in southwestern Oklahoma....

Deer counts higher except out west January 23, 2015 Oklahoma, Muskogee Phoenix
... hunters reported harvesting more than 98,500 deer in Oklahoma through Jan. 15, the last day of deer archery season... In 2013-14, hunters harvested 88,009 deer in all seasons... 

Deer harvest total near average January 20, 2015 Oklahoma, Ardmoreite 
... the cooler and wetter summers in 2013 and 2014 produced more native forage, leaving them to feast in private. This reduced deer harvest by hunters, particularly in 2013... 

Deer harvest total near average January 19, 2015 Oklahoma, Grand Lake News 
... The dry, hot summers in years past, plus ample numbers of animals, sent deer harvest totals through the roof.  However, the cooler and wetter summers in 2013 and 2014 produced more native forage ... nearly 99,000 harvested for the 2014-2015 season. Since 2000, the average number of harvested deer per year is 105,000...

Oklahoma Deer Harvest Total Near Average January 16, 2015 Oklahoma Farm Report
...  the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation is reporting nearly 99,000 harvested for the 2014-2015 season. Since 2000, the average number of harvested deer per year is 105,000. The 2013-14 harvest was just over 88,000...

Holiday deer season boosts state doe harvest December 18, 2014 Oklahoma,  Tulsa World
... Not long ago, in a place not far from here, deer hunters who considered themselves the most ethical of the breed would never, ever shoot a doe.  It just was not done... Now roughly 40 percent of Oklahoma’s annual deer harvest is made up of does...

Last days of deer rifle season show promise December 2, 2014 Oklahoma, Tulsa World
... With six days left in the deer rifle season ... the season is on track to show improvement over last year, which had the lowest harvest since 2000 and was the first in a long time to fall below the 105,000 average...

Along with conservation comes law enforcement. As the deer population grew in Oklahoma, Game Wardens had to come up with new techniques to stop poaching of deer. One technique was to set up a decoy... December 3, 2014



Deer hunting in Oklahoma moves into digital age November 26, 2014 Oklahoma, KTEN
...  new e-check system is saving the state money since it no longer has to send biologists and technicians to physical check stations to collect data... , the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation estimates 200,000 hunters ... deer gun season ... 

Game warden hunts for poachers November 24, 2014 Oklahoma, Claremore Daily Progress 
... In the past five days Henry has worked cases involving 14 deer carcasses, a number he calls highly unusual...

Rut reports raise optimism for good deer gun season November 23, 2014 Oklahoma, The Pryor Times 
... Reports from this past weekend indicate that rutting activity was in progress in most areas. Deer were being observed moving more during daylight hours. And bucks have been seen chasing does...

Not everyone is a fan of E-check for deer November 23, 2014 Oklahoma, Oklahoma News
... all hunters must check in their deer within 24 hours using the Wildlife Department’s E-check system at www.wildlifedepartment.com...  I still know people that don’t have the Internet. Even if they have it at home, they may not have mobile Internet at their hunting camp. Count me as one of the people opposed to the new style of checking deer.” ...

Deer rifle season begins Saturday November 21, 2014 Oklahoma,  Grandlakenews
... Four does and two bucks are the limit. That is for all seasons combined. The deer gun limit, you can take one antlered and two anterless deer, but at least one of those anterless deer must be harvested from zone 2, 7, or 8... 

... o far in 2014, archery hunters have checked in more than 17,000 deer, a pace slightly ahead of last year's harvest at this time. Deer archery season will remain open through Jan. 15.  Youth deer gun hunters checked 4,277 deer for the Oct. 17-19 season. That number is 9 percent lower than last year's youth deer gun harvest of 4,700 ...

Coming soon: deer season ...  November 18, 2014 Oklahoma, Tulsa World
... Deer populations seem to be bouncing back with a better summer after years of prolonged drought, especially in the eastern and central parts of the state. Portions of the drought-stricken west still are suffering, he said. ...  in muzzleloader season ... 2 percent lower than 2013, and last year’s fewer participating hunters and fewer kills put that total 30 percent lower than 2012. ...

Check stations are not optional November 18, 2014 Oklahoma, Grandlakenews
... online systems, available atwww.wildlifedepartment.com, are required for all hunters who harvest a deer this season... “Biologists can use this information to set season guidelines and to evaluate trends in harvest over time.” ...

Gun season opens Saturday in Oklahoma November 17, 2014 Grandlakenews
... The ODWC reported that rifle hunters accounted for 58 percent of the total deer harvest for 2012. Data indicates 155,246 hunters headed to the field for the gun season ...

Oklahoma's deer gun season: What you need to know November 16, 2014  Oklahoma News 
... Hunters who kill a deer during the hunting seasons are required by law to check in the deer within 24 hours using the online E-Check system at wildlifedepartment.com ...  “This is a top priority for the department.  “If you get caught not checking your harvest, the fine just for illegally possessing wildlife and the restitution could be in the thousands of dollars ...

The rut is all around us November 16, 2014 Oklahoma, Stillwater News Press
... Female white-tailed deer (does) are coming into estrous for the first time of the season and males (bucks) are in overdrive ... During the breeding season, or rut, bucks leave scent deposits from various glands (such as tarsal and preorbital) on their body. These scent deposits serve as olfactory communication between bucks ...

Deer cooperatives catching on in Oklahoma November 16, 2014 Oklahoma, NewsOK.com
... His idea was to have everybody with adjoining properties manage the deer herd with the same goals.  He proposed that everyone would refrain from shooting young bucks (except for kids and first-time deer hunters) and only harvest mature whitetails. They would also attempt to keep a balanced buck-doe ratio in the herd by harvesting more does...

Missouri law to impact Oklahoma deer farmers November 9, 2014 Oklahoma, Enid News 
... The changes include a ban on the importation of live white-tailed deer from other states...  Oklahoma does significant commerce with Missouri with farmed deer...

Deer Hunters Evading E-Check Law Risk Stiff Penalty November 4, 2014 Oklahoma, Daily Ardmoreite
... Hunters who take a deer this season in Oklahoma are required by law to check in their harvest using the online E-Check system at wildlifedepartment.com. Those who choose to break the law are risking hefty fines and the loss of their hunting or fishing privileges ...

Muzzleloader Seasons Open Oct. 25 for Deer, Elk, Bear October 22, 2014 Oklahoma, Daily Ardmoreite
... Last year, about 85,000 hunters participated in Oklahoma's muzzleloader deer season. Muzzleloader hunters checked in 14,981 deer harvested during the nine-day season in 2013...

Deer season underway October 14, 2014 Oklahoma, Grand Lake News 
... “White tailed deer in Oklahoma were virtually extinct in about 1916.” ...  Now, with a booming population of over an estimated half million ...

2014 Deer Hunting Season Underway October 10, 2014 Oklahoma, Oklahoma Farm Report
... White tailed deer in Oklahoma were virtually extinct in about 1916.”  Great strides have been taken since the mid-1950s to restore the population of white tailed deer in Oklahoma. Now, with a booming population of over an estimated half million ...

Moore man takes first elk on private land October 5, 2014 Oklahoma, NewsOK.com
... there are free-ranging elk in 33 counties in Oklahoma — most of them  ... escapees from private elk farms or commercial hunting operations...  He became the first person in the state to check in an elk during the inaugural hunting season ...

Looking ahead to big-game archery seasons September 28, 2014 Oklahoma, NewsOK.com
... Oklahoma hunters should see heavier and healthier deer than in the past two seasons.  “The groceries are better,”  ... while there is better fawn survival this year, it will take two or three years for the population to rebound ...

Chances of drivers hitting deer in Oklahoma may be down this fall September 21, 2014 Oklahoma, Oklahoma News
... it will take at least five years for populations to bounce back after recent drought years in 2011 and 2012, said Erik Bartholomew, a biologist at the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation.  Before the droughts of 2011 and 2012, there was an estimated deer population of about 650,000 statewide. Today the deer estimate is 575,000...

... There’s a one in 213 chance, which is three percent lower than last year.  Experts say the deer population is decreasing ...

Deer appearing earlier in Oklahoma this year September 9, 2014 Oklahoma, KOCO Oklahoma City
... when the weather turns cooler, the deer move more often during the day. They say the food sources are also changing and acorns, which deer feed on, are dropping off trees...


Oklahoma data:   About 525,000 deer in 2015 using harvest data to estimate. The mule deer population was estimated at 1,500 to 2,000 for 2015 Good weather and rain increased the deer population in the central and eastern part of the state in 2015.  Also a good acorn crop, but preliminary data shows the 2015 deer harvest down by 12.5 percent . Over the past five years the population has fallen by 10 to 15 percent.  The 2014 deer population was the lowest in 10 years, roughly estimated at 575,000, but more availability of food has improved fawn survival and resulted in healthier deer.  Deer are recovering from the drought that reduced populations in 2011 and 2012.  Populations have done better with more water in the eastern and central parts of the state, but not as well in the west.  Numbers were down in the northwest and southwest as a result of drought.  About 200,000 deer hunters in 2015.  Deer densities are higher in the east.  Deer in the southeast mountains have more limited forage that prairie deer supplemented by agriculture.
     A population of about 650,000 in 2010, perhaps closer to a million in previous years.  A big decline in the 2013 hunt, 88,009 deer, down almost 20,000 from 2012 and 25,000 from 2011.  Rain in the central region in the fall of 2013 and good acorn production in the northeast improved herd health. The drought has devastated populations in the northwest.  Spring rains in 2014 improved fawn survival.  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.  Deer density is highest in the southeast where there is rugged forest with steep hills. 
     As a result of market hunting and unregulated hunting, deer were virtually extinct in 1914 - 1916.  Hunting was prohibited in 1922, reopened in six counties in 1933 with 235 bucks taken.  Hunting was closed for most of the next decade and in 1943 deer were transplanted into the state for several years until the state opened a state-wide gun season in 1954.  Estimated 1989 population:  250,000.  Hunters took more than 40,000 deer in 1990, 25 percent does.  In 2000 the harvest exceeded 100,000
     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.  Hunting Statistics  The 2013 hunt took 59.3 percent bucks. In 2013 the state started the s “Hunters In The Know Let Bucks Grow,” program, which encourages hunters to pass up shots on younger bucks in favor of taking only mature bucks.  Hunting generates an estimated $600 million annually in the state.  About 200,000 hunters.  Legal to feed deer.
    About 300 elk in the panhandle, first hunting season opened in 2014.
    At least 1500 bears, based on a previous estimate, but a growing population in the southeast.
Report Poaching:   Operation Game Thief hotline at 1 (800) 522-8039. Rewards are available

Other useful links:
Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation
Hunting Regulations   

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