Oklahoma Deer News

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...

Some wild deer w/ fawns playing in background Lake Eufaula, OK - September 20, 2014



... 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:   The 2014 deer population is the lowest in 10 years, roughly estimated at 575,000, but more availability of food has improved fawn survival and resulted in healthier deer.  Still, it will take two or three years to rebound 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.
     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. 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.  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 opens in 2014.

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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