The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

Sports

March 17, 2007

Big changes ahead for fall hunting

Oklahoma Wildlife Conservation Commission passed a host of hunting regulation changes at its regular meeting March 5. A number of significant deer hunting regulation changes were enacted to improve the health of Oklahoma’s deer herd while providing additional hunting opportunities for antlerless deer.

Specific changes were:

• The statewide combined season limit on antlered deer was reduced from three to two bucks.

• Hunters 18 and younger will have the opportunity to harvest a buck during youth gun season.

• For most of the state (antlerless zones 2-9), the number of days open to antlerless deer hunting was increased to include the entire muzzleloader season (Oct. 27 through Nov. 4) and gun season (Nov. 17 through Dec. 2). Zone 1, located in the panhandle, will be open to antlerless deer hunting Nov. 17 and Dec. 2 (gun), while zone 10 in southeast Oklahoma will be open to antlerless deer hunting Oct. 27-29 and Nov. 2-4 (muzzleloader) and Nov. 17 and 24 and Dec. 2 (gun).

Special antlerless seasons for most of the state (antlerless zones 2-9) will be open Dec. 21-23 and Dec. 28-30. The panhandle and portions of southeast Oklahoma are excluded. For a map of specific antlerless hunting zones, consult “Oklahoma Hunting Guide.”

In Zone 2, which includes much of northwest and north central Oklahoma, the antlerless deer bag limit for muzzleloader and gun seasons was increased to two.

Officials with Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation say the changes should help manage the state’s deer herd.

The commission voted and approved the following hunting items as well:

• River otters were added to the list of species that can be taken during the state’s furbearer season in 14 counties in eastern Oklahoma: Adair, Atoka, Cherokee, Choctaw, Coal, Haskell, Latimer, LeFlore, McCurtain, McIntosh, Muskogee, Pittsburg, Pushmataha and Sequoyah. A season limit of two river otters will apply. For tagging and other requirements, log on to wildlifedepartment.com.

• Mountain lions were added to the list of species that can be taken year-round when committing or about to commit depredation, or when deemed a nuisance or health hazard.

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