The Noble Foundation’s White-tailed Deer Management Workshop will be held in partnership with Oklahoma State University Extension from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 19 at the Cleveland County Fairgrounds’ Frye Auditorium/Sutton Wilderness in Norman. The workshop will provide key insights into deer behavior, nutrition and biology as well as facts, myths and misconceptions about deer. There will also be presentations on deer food plant identification, population management, aging whitetails and antler development.
Registration is $15 and starts at 9:30 a.m. The cost includes lunch, and participants can also choose to register and receive a book on managing for deer in the Cross Timbers region for $35. More information is available online here www.noble.org/events/ag/ and payment can by arranged by contacting Jackie Kelley at (580) 224-6360 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Countless properties across Oklahoma are being purchased for recreation, and many of these landowners are planting food plots and attempting to manage deer herds. The Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation has begun a deer education initiative aimed at encouraging sportsmen to voluntarily let young bucks walk during hunting seasons as a way to help improve age structure in the state’s herd. “Hunters in the know…let young bucks grow; deer management is more than antlerless harvest” has become the slogan for the effort. In recent years, Oklahoma hunters have been harvesting increasingly greater numbers of older bucks while letting more and more young bucks walk.
The Quality Deer Management Association recently issued a report on a list of states that provided the organization with their 2011 buck harvest data, and Oklahoma was in the top five states with the highest harvest of bucks age 3.5 years old and older. In Oklahoma, 51 percent of the deer jaw bones aged from the 2011 buck harvest was comprised of deer that were 3.5 years old or older. In comparison, the national average of states from which QDMA was able to collect harvest data is about 33 percent. Oklahoma harvest data for 2012 is expected to be complete this summer.
Additionally, officials with the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation report that the percent of yearlings in the total buck harvest has continually decreased as well, from nearly 70 percent in the late 1980s to just 25 percent in 2011.
Hunters not only enjoy the recreation of hunting but also play a critical role in the conservation of Oklahoma’s deer and other wildlife. The Wildlife Department receives no general state tax appropriations and is funded primarily by hunters and anglers through their purchase of hunting and fishing licenses and excise taxes paid on certain sporting goods.
To learn more, click here wildlifedepartment.com.