Oklahoma Deer News

... Senate Bill 1142 would allow for hunting wild pigs with spotlights at night without a hunting license ...  it will open the door for deer poachers and essentially shut game wardens off from doing their jobs effectively...

Oklahoma hunters can soon use suppressors on public land April 27, 2016 Guns.com
... HB 2637, revises state law to grant the use of federally approved suppressors on public land. An amendment that would have made it unlawful to use subsonic ammunition ... was later removed before passage...The Oklahoma State Game Warden Association ... lobbied against the public land expansion ...

Ranchers brace for the worst during northwest Oklahoma wildfire April 6, 2016 KOKH FOX25
... named the 350 Complex Fire, has burned over 50,000 acres ... You see dead livestock - cattle, deer, coyotes - that'll show you fast a fire can move. When you see dead deer just laying there, that's a fast moving fire...

What happens to wildlife in a wildfire? March 25, 2016 Oklahoma, Wichita Eagle
...   “There were a lot of deer moving, really running way ahead of the flames,” ...  once that grass does begin growing, Brunson said life could get much better for most kinds of prairie wildlife. The habitat could become the best in several years...

Yarrow perfect for Oklahoma gardens March 24, 2016 Oklahoma, Muskogee Daily Phoenix
... Yarrow (Achillea or Achillia) comes in many colors and heights ... Yarrows are also deer, rabbit, drought and dry soil tolerant....

Browse survey gives better deer picture February 14, 2016 Oklahoma, Enid News
...  “A property can have a deer per 20 acres [32 per square mile] and actually be understocked ... ”  ...The key to making a browse survey work is knowing the level of preference for browsing of each species of plants. OSU Cooperative Extension has a document, “White-tailed Deer Habitat Evaluation and Management Guide” 

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 ...

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, estimated at 575,000.  Deer are recovering from the drought that reduced populations in 2011 and 2012, a population of about 650,000 before the drought in 2010.  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.  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.  Rain in the central region in the fall of 2013 and good acorn production in the northeast improved herd health. The drought 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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