Oklahoma deer hunters 17 and younger have an opportunity to take a shot before other gun hunters during Youth Deer Gun Season this weekend (Oct. 16-18).
“The Youth Deer Gun Season is an ideal time to take a youngster out and hopefully bag that first buck or doe of the year,” said Lance Meek, hunter education coordinator for the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation.
All youths participating in the Youth Deer Gun Season must be accompanied by an adult 18 older who is hunter education-certified (unless exempt). Participating youths do not have to be hunter education-certified but must follow the apprentice-designated license requirements.
According to the Department’s “2014 Big Game Report” published in the October/November issue of “Outdoor Oklahoma” magazine, almost 8,600 youngsters participated in Youth Deer Gun Season this past year. Those hunters bagged 4,129 deer during the three-day season, for an impressive success rate of 48 percent.
Every youth who participates in Youth Deer Gun Season is required to have a Deer Gun License ($10 for resident youths) for each deer hunted. Only those ages 16 and 17 must also have the Youth Hunting License ($5 for resident youths).
For more information about hunting licenses or to buy licenses online, visit the License Sales page on the Wildlife Department’s website.
Youth hunters who do not harvest a deer during the Youth Deer Gun Season may use their unfilled Youth Deer Gun License during the regular deer gun season. Youth hunters who harvest a deer during the Youth Deer Gun Season may buy another Youth Deer Gun License and harvest a deer during the regular Deer Gun Season.
The Youth Deer Gun Season limit is two deer, only one of which may be antlered. The harvest of antlerless mule deer is prohibited. Deer taken by hunters participating in the Youth Deer Gun Season are included in the hunter’s combined season limit.
As a bonus, youth deer hunters may also harvest a turkey in counties that have a fall rifle turkey season, provided the hunter has the appropriate turkey license.
For complete information on Youth Deer Gun Season, consult the current “Oklahoma Hunting” regulations guide online at wildlifedepartment.com or in print anywhere hunting and fishing licenses are sold.