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Click here for an up-to-date hunter education course listing.
It is strongly recommended that anyone who plans on hunting or shooting complete a hunter education class. The exemptions from hunter education are:
There is no minimum age requirement for the hunter education class, however, we do recommend that students under age 12 be accompanied by an adult. There is a written test at the end of the class that the students would need to have adequate reading comprehension skills in order to read and understand the test questions. If your child cannot read, the instructor may read the test to him or have the student listen to an audio version of the exam.
No. You will need to present your card to the license dealer upon purchasing your hunting license/permits -- using the number from the previous year's license will not be sufficient. After the license/permit has been purchased, and your hunter education certification number has been placed on the license, that number is sufficient in the field. The game warden will recognize the number in the field, without the card.
Hunter education classes are always free to the public.
There is no minimum age restriction to attend a hunter education course, however the Wildlife Department recommends that students under age 12 be accompanied by an adult.
Find out what is required and how to hunt if you don't have hunter education.
No. Parents are encouraged to attend class with their children, but cannot assist them with their testing. If the parent can simply notify the instructor prior to class of any special assistance that may be needed, arrangements will be made for the instructor to help with those special needs.
Yes. All other states honor students certified in Oklahoma.
Students obtain the home study manuals or complete the internet home study portion, fill out the workbook that is submitted to the home study instructor and attend the final four hours presented by the home study instructor, which includes the written exam. If the student passes the exam, they receive their hunter education card.
You can print off a replacement paper copy of your hunter education card or get a new, hard plastic credit card-type of card. Find out more details.
All deer gun, muzzleloading firearm, special antlerless deer, elk and antelope season hunters must conspicuously wear both a head covering and an outer garment above the waistline, both totaling 500 square inches or more of clothing, both consisting of daylight fluorescent orange color totaling at least 400 square inches. The camouflage orange pattern is legal as long as there is at least 400 square inches of daylight fluorescent orange. All other hunters, except those hunting waterfowl, crow or crane, or while hunting furbearing animals at night, must wear either a head covering or upper garment of fluorescent orange clothing during the deer gun, deer muzzleloading firearms and holiday (special antlerless) deer seasons. Archery controlled hunt permittees are exempt.
The rut is a biological process that is contingent on a host of factors that can vary from year to year and animal to animal. That said, the peak of the rut typically occurs the second week of November. That is the average high point of activity. Some does will start the estrous cycle beginning in October, some as late as December, whatever date they come into estrous, if they are not bred they will come back into estrous 28 days after the first cycle. By far, the best way to tell when the rut happens is to spend lots of time in the woods scouting for scrapes and watching deer! Keep some notes in a notebook and over a few years you will be able to determine when the peak breeding activity occurs.
Wildlife Management Area maps are available online at Digital Wildlife Management Areas Atlas. The Internet maps, give the sportsmen the ability to “customize” those features and/or areas that they are most interested in; now with the Internet delivery of the maps, a user can reprint the map with or without the contours. In addition, Internet users can see aerial photos of all the areas which is a very popular feature. These are just a few examples of how the Internet user can customize a map to his or her personal preferences.
You can access maps of all the wildlife management areas through Digital Wildlife Management Area Atlas. You can customize and print off your map. Be sure to check the Oklahoma Hunting regulations for which ones are open for the different seasons.
Typically, hunting regulations should be available at license vendors and department installations by August 1st.
Typically, waterfowl regulations should be available at license vendors by mid- to late- September.
Sorry to hear that your vehicle sustained major damage when you hit a deer. Deer/vehicle collisions are a growing problem nationwide. Michigan alone recorded more than 50,000 deer/vehicle collisions last year. Fortunately, this number is much lower in Oklahoma. The Department of Wildlife does not reimburse for damage caused as a result of hitting a deer with a vehicle. Deer, and for that matter all wildlife that occurs in the state, do not belong to the Department of Wildlife, but the citizens of Oklahoma. We are simply mandated with the responsibility of conserving the fish and wildlife resource for all Oklahomans to enjoy.
While our state is blessed with many types of habitats which support a diverse assemblage of wildlife species, we recognize that wildlife species occasionally cause problems. The Department attempts to minimize the problems by maintaining wildlife populations at levels which are compatible with land use and human activities.
While I am certain that this response will not make you feel any better about the damage to your vehicle, please understand that the Department of Wildlife is sympathetic to the situation and we will take your input into consideration when preparing future deer harvest recommendations for your area.
Feral hogs are defined as any hogs, including Russian and European wild boar, which are running at large and whose owners are unknown. In the case where the hog's owner is known, the hog will be defined as feral five (5) days after escaping confinement. If notice is provided to adjacent landowners within those five days, the hog shall not be considered feral for an additional 10 days. No person whose hunting license is revoked may hunt feral hogs.
Feral hogs may be taken year-round on private land with the landowner's permission and hunters must comply with all current season regulations.
During youth antlerless deer gun, deer muzzleloader, deer gun, special antlerless deer gun and elk seasons, hunters must possess a filled or unfilled deer or elk license appropriate for the current season, unless otherwise exempt.
On WMAs open during any regular hunting season, hunters will be allowed to harvest feral hogs by whatever means legal during that season. Hunters must comply with all other current season and WMA regulations. However, feral hogs may not be taken by the aid of a light or light enhancement device (night scope).
All feral hog hunters must possess a valid hunting or combination license, unless otherwise exempt. In addition, on WMAs open during youth antlerless deer gun, deer muzzleloader, deer gun and/or special antlerless deer gun seasons, hunters must possess either a filled or unfilled deer license appropriate for the current season, unless otherwise exempt.
Honobia Creek, Three Rivers and Broken Bow WMAs will only be open to feral hog hunting during deer archery, youth antlerless deer gun, deer muzzleloader and the first nine days of deer gun season, with the appropriate means of take for that deer season. Hunters also must comply with all deer season and WMA regulations, including the required Land Access Permit.
All feral hog hunters must possess a valid hunting or combination license, unless otherwise exempt, and a filled or unfilled deer license for the appropriate season during the youth antlerless deer gun, deer muzzleloader and/or deer gun seasons, unless otherwise exempt.
Oklahoma does not have the extensive prairie dog towns you may be use to, to hunt prairie dogs in Oklahoma you will need to purchase an Oklahoma hunting license. There is no prairie dog hunting on public lands so you have to make arrangements with a private landowner.
The Department of Wildlife generally recommends contacting the Chambers of Commerce in the various cities across the panhandle of our state. The farther west you go across the panhandle the larger and more numerous the dog towns. You should contact one of the following Chambers:
Most of our state wildlife management areas have permanent shooting ranges for this purpose. Unless otherwise posted these areas are open from daylight to dark, seven days per week. Shooters can greatly assist wildlife managers by removing targets, shell casings and other litter upon leaving these facilities. Only areas open to rifle. Area's that are archery and shotgun only are closed.
The Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation does not endorse the releasing of pen-raised game birds to enhance wild bird populations. Past research has shown that pen-reared birds have lower survival rates than their wild cohorts and very few released birds survive until the following breeding season. Remember, habitat is the key to healthy wildlife populations. If there is good habitat in an area, wildlife will find and use it.
The best way is to look in the local newspaper or attend an outdoor show like the Backwoods Hunting and Fishing Show held each March in Oklahoma City. Try to get permission to hunt well before the start of the season. Don't wait until November to look for a place to deer hunt, start in January for next fall's deer seasons.
Native Americans can not hunt anywhere without buying proper licenses or tags. If a person is allowed to hunt without licenses because they are exempt for one reason or another we cannot write them a ticket for hunting or fishing without a license and then let the court dismiss the charge.
The only place Native Americans can hunt or fish without buying OK licenses or tags is on Indian land belonging to their tribe. Indian land is:
Indian country is defined in 18 U.S.C. 1151 (1982) as:
No. Muzzleloaders are considered unloaded as long as the cap or primer is removed from the nipple or breach plug of the gun.
You may obtain a replacement at our office for $10.00 or you may receive one by mail. If you choose the mail option, please send your name, current mailing address, driver's license number, date of birth and type of license to be replaced with the $10.00 replacement fee and the license will be returned to you. Our mailing address is:License Section, ODWC
You can also download an application for a replacement license.
You can bring in your license or mail it to:License Section, ODWC
We will mail you a new card at no cost. Be sure to include a note with your name, address, date of birth and driver's license number.
No. Send us your name, address, date of birth, Social Security Number and/or driver's license number (whichever one you used), approximately when and where you purchased your license and type of license along with $1.50 to:License Section, ODWC
Or, you can go to our web site and print off a duplicate annual license application
To replace an annual license issued by a dealer on a computer, you may return to any dealer that issues computerized licenses to obtain a replacement for $1.50.
The disability license is available to any resident who has been a resident for six months and is receiving Social Security disability, SSI, railroad disability or postal disability. You must request an application from the Department of Wildlife Conservation or download the application.
The senior citizen lifetime license is available to residents who have been residents for 60 days and will be turning 64 or older during the calendar year. The applications are available at license dealers, game wardens or from any department installation and from the Internet. If an individual was born before January 1, 1923, they are exempt from this license and only need to carry proof of age and residency, i.e. driver's license. These individuals receive the same privileges as the senior citizen's lifetime license without having to purchase it. Download a senior citizen lifetime license application.
You can purchase your license online or an annual license can be purchased at any license dealership that sells hunting and fishing licenses for the Department of Wildlife. Licenses can also be purchased at any Department hatchery, the Jenks office and the Oklahoma City office. Sportsmen can purchase licenses by telephone, 1-800-949-6392, and the license will be mailed to that individual.
The Fishing and Hunting Legacy Permit (required of most annual license holders) was passed by the 2004 Legislature. The law authorizes the Department to sell a $5 permit that would be used by the Department to purchase, lease, or purchase easements for property to be used for public fishing and hunting.
The permit is required of most annual license holders who hunt, fish or trap, or attempt to take fish or wildlife in any manner.
Anyone hunting, fishing or trapping must possess the Fishing and Hunting Legacy Permit except the following persons are exempt:
The price for all lifetime licenses sold beginning September 1, 2004, including 60 and over lifetimes, increased by $25, with the additional funds also being earmarked for this program. Once someone buys a lifetime license, they become exempt from the Fishing and Hunting Legacy Permit.
We have been developing purchasing guidelines that will be presented to the Wildlife Conservation Commission for approval. We do not anticipate actually purchasing any property for at least a year as the Commission will need to act on these recommendations, and we need to see what the revenues will be from the new permit sales.
The Wildlife Department no longer issues crossbow permits. Hunters who have a permanent disability to the extent that they cannot use a conventional longbow, as certified by a physician licensed to practice in Oklahoma or bordering state, may hunt with a crossbow. A person who qualifies to use a crossbow shall have in their possession while in the field written evidence of such certification. Hunters with existing permits (lifetime crossbow permit) may use it for as long as the hunter hunts. You can download a form that your doctor can fill out. You can carry your expired crossbow permit as proof of permanent disability instead of a new letter, since you had to have proof to get the crossbow license in the first place.
Fishing license exemptions and permits are set by state statutes, and can be changed only through legislation. Exceptions cannot be made by the Wildlife Department or Director, and we can only issue permits that are provided in the Statutes.
Resident owners or tenants, their spouses, parents, grandparents, children and their spouses, grandchildren and their spouses who fish on land owned or leased by such owner or tenant do not have to have a fishing license.
Only resident landowners or tenants who reside on and hunt only on land owned or leased by them (not including hunting leases, and does not extend to relatives who reside off the property) are exempt from the hunting license for all legal game species.
Any person who is exempt from an annual fishing or annual hunting license is also exempt from the legacy permit while fishing.
All hunters must purchase a license to hunt deer, antelope, elk & turkey even if they are hunting on their own land.
All hunters must still purchase a $15 federal waterfowl permit (sold at post offices) to hunt ducks, geese, & teal, however, resident landowners are exempt from purchasing a state waterfowl stamp when hunting on their own land.
Hunters hunting coots & sandhill cranes are not required to have either the state or federal waterfowl permits (stamps), however, they must still obtain the sandill crane permit ($3.00) from the Wildlife Department or any license dealer even if they are hunting on their own land.
These species stress easily and will die after being held in a livewell or on a stringer. Once you keep one of these species you cannot release it.
No, there is plenty of bank access around American Horse; boat anglers will also find the lake easy to fish.
Lake Watonga's largemouth bass population has bloomed since trout were first stocked in 1987. Five to eight pound largemouth bass are common during spring surveys. Fish brush piles with weedless lures.
Watershed lakes, or flood control ponds, dot the Oklahoma landscape from border to border. But some anglers mistakenly believe that the public is entitled access to these ponds, which can create conflicts between landowners and envious anglers.
Because they are on private land, these flood control ponds are not open to public access. Most watershed reservoirs were, and still are, built with technical assistance from the Natural Resources Conservation Service. Primarily constructed to prevent downstream flooding, these mini-reservoirs allow for increased agriculture and other land use opportunities. Fishery development is not a primary consideration when building or planning a flood control pond and, if there happens to be good fishing in one of these ponds, it is because the landowner has taken efforts to make it happen.
Permission to fish one of these ponds is entirely at the landowner's discretion. If asked, many may allow responsible anglers to spend a day fishing their pond, but always ask first.
No. It's a common misconception that landowners who receive fish from the Wildlife Department must let everyone fish in that pond. The only requirement, after the pond is stocked, is that the landowner must allow an ODWC game warden access to check fishing licenses on the pond. However, the Department urges landowners who receive fish to allow people to fish. Remember that the Wildlife Department only stocks new or reclaimed ponds of ½-surface-acre or larger and that the landowner must have a current Oklahoma fishing license. Check with your local game warden or fisheries division office for details.
Although some parasites of North American fish can be infectious, the vast majority will not develop in man even if eaten raw. All are killed by thorough cooking, pickling or freezing. There is no danger of eating an infected fish if they are properly prepared. Even though some anglers shudder at the thought, fish containing such parasites are still good table fare.
If your pond drops more than 4-5 vertical feet during a normal year, then you may suspect that water loss due to something other than evaporation is taking place. Seepage through the dam is the most common culprit. Trees on the dam, muskrats and insufficient compaction during construction will cause a dam to leak. Pond bottoms without enough clay will also lose water.
Many pond owners have had good luck in sealing a leaking pond with bentonite clay. Calcium bentonite (purchased in 50-100 pound sacks) is commonly used as drilling mud in Oklahoma's oil fields. However, sodium bentonite is a more preferred option because it expands and seals better. Attempting to seal a pond with bentonite without draining it first is difficult and expensive. The best method is to drain the pond, allow it to dry and till the sodium bentonite into the pond bottom and sides (or add a 4-inch deep bentonite blanket) before refilling the pond.
Crappie are not usually recommended in bass ponds under one hundred surface acres. A prolific spawner, crappie in small bodies of water will usually compete directly with bass for food and produce not only slow-growing crappie but slow-growing bass as well. They are also known to reduce small bass survival by preying directly on young bass. You may know of a pond with both good size bass and crappie, but these are rare.
A trout license ($10; $5 for youth age 17 and under) is required for all who fish in state designated trout areas or in tributaries to a state designated trout stream during trout seasons. There are no exceptions.
Look in the fishing regulations to find out what the current record fish of that species weighs. This page also has the procedure for certifying a record fish.
Oklahoma game wardens generate a weekly fishing report. Your local newspaper may also reprint the fishing report, which is part of the Wildlife Department's weekly news release. If you send the Department of Wildlife your email address, you will get the weekly news release and fishing report. View fishing report.
Protected slot limits are special size regulations (usually for bass) that are placed on certain lakes or rivers to improve the fish population.
Fish that measure within the protected slot limit must be released immediately, while fish that are either shorter or longer than protected range may be kept. For example, on a lake with a 13 to 16 inch protected slot limit on bass, you cannot keep any bass between 13 and 16 inches, they must be released immediately. Anglers are encouraged to harvest fish below the protected slot range in order to achieve the desired management result.
While Florida-strain largemouth bass have produced trophy/record fish in some reservoirs in southern Oklahoma, the results of stockings in farm ponds has not been encouraging. It's well known that Florida bass are much less temperature tolerant than the native strain. Since farm ponds are smaller and react quicker and longer to lower temperature changes, stocking a pond that is less than thirty surface acres with Florida bass is risky, at best. One cold winter could literally wipe out an entire bass population made up of the Florida strain. Stick with native largemouth when stocking farm ponds.
New and reclaimed ponds are eligible for stocking of fish from the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation hatcheries. A fish application form can be obtained from any ODWC hatchery office or biologist or the fish division office in Oklahoma City. If you would like to purchase fish to stock your pond, call (405)521-3721 for a list of commercial hatcheries.
View the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation trout schedules, but remember, schedules are subject to change.
Having a red color to your pond is a common problem in central and western Oklahoma. It is caused by small particles of clay that remain suspended in the water. Because these particles have a magnetic-like “charge” to them, they bounce around and can stay suspended for literally hundreds of years before they settle.
The color in the water is not only unpleasing to the eye but reduces sunlight penetration in the water. This reduced energy transfer will ultimately slow down the growth of the pond's fish by inhibiting the bottom end of the food chain. Muddy water also makes it more difficult for sight feeding fish to prey. Suffice to say that muddy, red water is not preferable for optimum fish production.
So what can we do to clear up a red pond? Something needs to be added to the water that will take the “charge” of the clay particle and let it settle to the bottom. One way to do this is by adding hay. As the hay settles in the water, bacteria begin to decompose the hay producing small, dilute amounts of acid that remove the charge from the clay particle and allow it to settle. Break up the bales and scatter the hay on the surface at a rate of about 3-10 bales (200-300 pounds) per acre. Because decomposing hay can cause problems oxygen depletion problems, limit the amount of hay applied in the heat of the summer. Continue to apply hay in 10-14 day intervals until the pond is clear. Do not make more than four hay applications per year.
A better solution to clearing a muddy pond is to add powdered gypsum. Like the hay, gypsum chemically removes the charge from the clay particle, but although more expensive than hay, tends to work much faster. Scatter the gypsum evenly over the surface at a rate of 500 pounds per acre-foot of water. Your pond should clear in one to four weeks, but if not, apply ¼ of the original amount of gypsum. You may need to apply smaller amounts annually to keep it clear. Remember that you are changing the water chemistry of the pond, so only use an amount absolutely necessary to clear your pond. You may want to wait until the spring rains are over before embarking on your pond clearing program. Also, gypsum bought in bulk from a quarry is much cheaper than buying it in bags.
While aquatic vegetation can be somewhat of a nuisance, either aesthetically or when trying to fish, it is an important part of the ecology of a pond. It serves as protective cover for newly hatched fish in order to avoid predation and as well as providing habitat for many smaller organisms in the pond food chain. It also produces oxygen through photosynthesis during the day and helps stabilize the bottom that helps maintain water clarity. Generally speaking, if less than 25% percent of your pond's surface area is covered in vegetation, aquatic plant removal is not recommended.
However, too much vegetation can cause problems. An abundance of cover can keep the predators from feeding and growth in gamefish, such as largemouth bass, can be slowed. Also excessive vegetation can cause oxygen distress. Although plants produce oxygen during the day, they respire (use oxygen) at night. Large amounts of aquatic plants, coupled with a week of cloudy weather in the summer, can deplete oxygen enough to cause a fish kill. If you decide that your pond needs vegetation removed, you are faced with selecting one of three methods of removal: mechanical, biological or chemical. Here is the low-down on each of the three:
It is virtually impossible to provide enough information here to cover all the possibilities of using chemical herbicides in the multitude of situations and plant types found in Oklahoma. You should always consult a professional before applying any kind of chemical plant treatment. Although the most expensive, using chemicals can be the least labor intensive and the most long lasting of all three methods. There are several items of information that a professional will need in order to make sound recommendations for aquatic vegetation control. First and foremost, what type of aquatic plant are you wanting to control? If you don't know or have a difficult time describing it, put some in a plastic bag and take it to the professional or chemical supplier. What is the size of the pond you are treating? How much of the pond is covered in vegetation? What time of the year will the treatment be made? Is the pond used for other purposes such as livestock watering or irrigation? A sensible, well planned chemical control program, can be a reliable and safe way of controlling nuisance vegetation.
The online application will be available by April 1st and the only method for applying will be via the Internet. View the controlled hunt application.
The application deadline is May 15, 2011, at 11:59 p.m., CST.
Applicants may check to see if they were selected for a controlled hunt beginning July 6, 2011 at 8 a.m. Printed lists will not be available. Click here to see if you were chosen.
There are too many hunters applying for too few hunts for this kind of system to work.
No, but your odds get better and better each year.
Example: One person has one preference point, one has two, one has three and one has four. This equals 10 points total. The points are averaged to two and one-half and then rounded off to three points. The group is assigned three preference points.
Yes, until you are drawn or do not put in for a given category for five years.
No, once selected, your points in that category go back to zero.
The following tips can increase your odds of being drawn for a hunt.
Yes, but be sure all of your information is correct or your group could be disqualified.
Contact the License Section at (405)521-3852.
You will need a nonresident hunting license prior to applying for the controlled hunts. It can be a 5-day hunting license before applying, however, it is not valid for turkey and big game hunting. Do not purchase an over the counter license for controlled hunts. If a nonresident applicant is drawn you will need to pay your license and user fees online. Costs are: deer ($201), elk ($301) or antelope ($301) both the hunting license and tag is included. For turkey, a nonresident will need a nonresident annual hunting license ($137.00) as well as a turkey license ($10.00). There is also a $50.00 nonresident controlled hunts permit fee. Nonresident are also responsible for Federal User Fees.
|Broken Bow||KKBI||FM 106.1|
|Okla. City||KOKC||AM 1520|
|Sallisaw/Fort Smith||KYHN||AM 1650|
|Call-In Number: 866-652-5489|
7401 N. Kelley Ave.
Oklahoma City, OK 73111
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